1. air superiority sensors
2. air superiority aircraft
3. air superiority weapons
4. close in weapon/defense systems
5. coordinated land-based fall-back scheme
The USA hurriedly sold/gave the Royal Navy a boat-load of AIM-9L Sidewinders to arm the newly embarked Sea Harriers and Royal Air Force Harrier GR-1's. But once the UK realized that the USA was not going to take her side against Argentina, the UK realized it had been truly and royally fu**ed. RN contingency plans had toyed with the idea of a conveyer ship embarking Seakings and Harriers and serving as an ad-hoc carrier and that worked out great. However, once the Atlantic Conveyor got sunk (by Exocet), it was back to the drawing board.
The UK's NATO role was watching/patrolling/defending the GIUK gap and to that effect, Tornado's, Jaguars, Nimrods and Shackleton's could hammer any WARPACT effort to breach it. But those same - successful - assets could not be rallied/marshalled and sent overseas to another UK hotspot. Tornado had not been fully accepted yet and the other three didn't have the legs to accomplish the mission. This meant that the carrier task force would be unable to rely on the RAF's massive aerial strength. The RN then publically berated the RAF's continued historical fu**ing of the Fleet Air Arm and basically - again publically - left all RN deaths in their hands. "Had we possessed a large carrier such as HMS Ark Royal, the Falklands could easily have been retaken in a matter of days" quoth the RN talking heads.
Thatcher and Defense Secretary John Nott, went on the defensive to smooth feathers and get a task force as quickly as possible. Shoulder fired Stinger (which worked) was "borrowed" from SAS units and Blowpipe (which was untested) were littered all along the carrier and troop ship decks with ad-hoc gun stations appearing. The also-untested-but-available-in-large-numbers GAMBO-1 twin 35mm gun mount was mounted everywhere. Last but not least, Rapier was rushed onto the troop ships.
The RN had wisely shut down all instances of the Sea Dart in their database. This meant that if the two Type 42's in Arg service launched Sea Darts, any RN unit would pick them up as "hostile." The French assured the UK that the same thing would be done with Exocet. It wasn't. British built Sea Wolf was onboard two Broadsword Class Frigates and two Leander Class Frigates. Sea Wolf was like Phanlynx: once turned on it did its own thing, found its own targets and engaged 'em. Problem was the RN only had the 24 that the task force went down with (6 per ship). So what happened?
1. Despite RAF protestations, RAF Harrier pilots came under FAA control and using USAFE AIM-9L's actually performed higher than expected. The RAF birds tho, had no AAW radar. Only ground attack.
2. RN Harriers *HAD* AAW radar but there weren't enough of them. Or missiles.
3. Sea Wolf performed as advertised and had a 100% success rate shooting down two bombs, one Exocet and the rest, Arg jets.
4. GAMBO-1 performed as advertised but was targeted using the old MK-1 eyeball. Once a fighter plane gun sight was put on it, it was unstoppable.
5. Because France dropped the ball (read: refused) to disable Exocet, the UK disabled all Thompson Air Search radars which meant they couldn't use Sea Dart or Exocet but then, neither could the Argies. With no air search radar, the RN were blind, but the Etendard's (being French planes) were snooping for the signal and once the radar was off, they were blind. Attacks then dropped.
1. Put a metal plate in front of torpedo tube warheads so that stray bullets hitting a ship don't detonate the torps.
2. Put gunsights on all GAMBO-1 twin and single 35mm gun mounts.
3. Put Sea Wolf reloads on all ships so-equipped.
4. Dump Exocet in favor of Harpoon or a home-grown weapon (Sea Wolf).
5. All RAF aircraft to have air-to-air refueling capability and Sea Wolf capability. At the time of Operation Corporate, only the Vulcan was capable of the long range and as many misses as the bomber had, it was hardly worth the effort, which leads to...
6. Press ahead with precision guided weapons.
7. Dump French electronics gear and press ahead with a British built suite of sensors.
8. Put an air to air radar in the nose of all Harriers.
9. Tell NATO/USA to f**k off and stop patrolling the GIUK gap and actually start defending the UK. Re-order the fleet to support four carrier battle groups centered around the three Invincibles and Hermes. Re-do the Type 42's and re-arm the Batch 3 Broadswords to be carrier escorts.
10. Rapier and Blowpipe performed as advertised. Fleet wide acceptance followed.
And that's how today's RN came to be.