The Korean War showed there were weaknesses in the existing bomber types
, and therefore some Canberras were pushed into a strategic role for which it was not
intended, a role which lasted until the introduction of the V-bombers.
In total, about 60 squadrons were equipped with the Canberra.
At the end of 1954, there was a proving flight to Malaya, to 101 Squadron,
was first used in anger, in Malaya, from 23. February 1955 (until 1960).
This was the first attack by an RAF jet bomber.
In 1958, the RAF Canberras were joined by B2s of the New Zealand Air Force, flying
from Tengah in Singapore.
From 31. October 1956 it carried out bombing raids in the Suez conflict,
continuing into early November. During this period the aircraft were
based in Cyprus and Malta. The Canberra
bore the main brunt of bombing in the Suez campaign, although some was also borne by the new Valiant
which was replacing it in this role. Apparently techniques were fairly crude, using visual methods similar
to World War 2 methods. One Canberra was shot down by a Syrian Mig-15. The targets were airfields (many built by the
British, and which they had been occupying until recently), other military bases and railways.
In early the 1960s, the aircraft took part in the Malaysian campaign against Indonesia.
Here the RAF aircaft were joined by Canberras from the New Zealand
The last aircraft entered service in 1956. The last
aircraft ceased front-line service
with the RAF on 11. September 1961, but
the B(I)8 light-bomber/intruder variant continued
in its originally-intended tactical role (including a
primary low-level nuclear
role, some with Air-to-Surface missiles) until July 1972. It was
originally to be replaced by the
TSR2 but that was scrapped, then by the F-111K but that was scrapped also, it
eventually being replaced by 50 ex-
Navy Bucaneer S2s.
About 140 were updated and refurbished between 1960 and 1983 for export.
were used by Britain in the Falklands War. In 2000, some still remained in British service
- PR.9 photo-reconnaissance versions,
T17 electronic jamming training aircraft
or conversions to TT18 target tugs. At the same time, only Argentina and India
still flew bomber Canberras.