Amercom 1/144th scale AM-ACLB26 Su-34 Vickers Valiant B Mk I 1964. Buy online at Flying Tigers.
The Vickers-Armstrongs Valiant was a British four-jet high-altitude bomber, and was part of the Royal Air Force’s V bomber nuclear force in the 1950s and 1960s. It was developed by Vickers in response to Specification B.35/46 issued by the Air Ministry for a nuclear-armed jet-powered bomber. The Valiant was the first of the V bombers to become operational, and was followed by the Handley Page Victor and the Avro Vulcan, which were more advanced. The Valiant has the distinction of being the only V bomber to have dropped live nuclear weapons.
The Valiant was intended as a high-altitude strategic bomber. During the late 1950s, in response to rapid advances in surface-to-air missile (SAM) technology, the Valiant fleet switched to flying a low-level mission profile to perform the strike mission. Beyond the nuclear deterrence role, the Valiant was also used by the RAF for other purposes, as a number were converted to perform support roles such as aerial refuelling tankers and aerial reconnaissance aircraft. Valiants were used for conventional bombing missions over Egypt for Operation Musketeer during the Suez Crisis of 1956.
By late 1964 it was found that all variants of the Valiant showed premature fatigue and inter-crystalline corrosion in wing spar attachment forgings, traced to the use of a poorly understood aluminium alloy, DTD683. Rather than proceeding with an expensive rebuilding program, the Ministry of Defence retired the Valiant in 1965. Its duties were continued by the other V-bombers which remained in service until the 1980s.