The last two RAF Tornado squadrons, No. In 1987, 29 Squadron became the first RAF unit to actually fly the F3 operationally. In a series of operational trials, the evidence gathered has confirmed the potency of the combination and demonstrated the effectiveness of both platforms when operating alongside one another. The RAF’s retirement of the Tornado also marks the continued decline of active swing-wing combat jets in service around the world. Italy is slated to replace its jets with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter by 2025. Afterward, the jet taxied to a hangar at Marham where Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier, the RAF’s top officer, greeted the two pilots, Squadron Leader Ian Dornan, and Squadron Leader Stephen Beardmore. No. If a major conflict between NATO and the Warsaw had erupted, the RAF’s Tornado GR1s would have sortied out to destroy air bases and air defense sites in East Germany with a mix of regular high explosive and cluster bombs, fixed cluster munitions dispensers containing runway cratering bomblets and anti-personnel mines, and anti-radiation missiles. In 1969, the British, Dutch, Italians, and West Germans agreed to form a multi-national conglomerate, with its main headquarters in West Germany, to continue development of the aircraft. Families and friends of the present-day squadron members were on hand to welcome them back to RAF Marham, Norfolk, today. RAF Tornados also took part in the U.S.-led campaign in Libya in 2011 that led to the ouster of long-time dictator Muammar Gaddafi. My Observations And Questions After Finally Seeing F-35Bs Operate From HMS Queen Elizabeth. The RAF has released further details for the farewell fly-past of the Tornado jet over North Wales. While the Tornado was in service in the United Kingdom for almost 25 years it … The Tonkas had firmly become the primary combat aircraft in the RAF. This truly is the end of an era, having played a vital role in keeping Britain and its allies safe for four decades. The RAF has already trialled its Typhoon and F-35 Forces’ abilities to work together. Two crew of Tornado. With its larger payload and increased agility and range, the Typhoon will operate in concert with the stealthy F-35 and its next-generation sensors, making the RAF one of the few air forces with the ability to exploit the synergy of 4th and 5th generation combat aircraft and delivering the UK a potent force equipped to counter evolving threats in the global environment. Unfortunately, nothing, no matter how "Tonka Tough," lasts forever. Spike THE RAF is to withdraw its fleet of Tornado fighter-bombers from frontline operational service by early next year. F3s flew thousands of combat air patrols overhead to keep away enemy fighter jets. How Sly RAF Tornado Crews Repeatedly Killed U.S. Navy F-14s And F/A-18s In Training. Contact the author: firstname.lastname@example.org. The F2 quickly gave way to the F3, which finally featured working radars, as well as an improved version of the RB199 engine. IX(B) Squadron will reform as a Typhoon unit on Apr. RAF Marham, where the Tornado's are based, has now announced a final flypast across the country which will take in North Wales on Tuesday, February 19, weather permitting. The RAF would lose five more aircraft during the campaign to eject Saddam’s troops from Kuwait. In 2004, BAE Systems, which had absorbed British Aerospace, began overhauling the front and rear cockpits in these jets, adding in new digital multifunction displays in place of old CRT screens. Of the 55 Allied aircraft lost in Desert Storm, 8 were Tornados. The last major campaign for the RAF’s Tornados began in 2014 with operations against ISIS in Iraq, with those operations eventually extending into Eastern Syria. Annotated imagery from a Tornado's RAPTOR pod of flooding in the Thames River Valley in 2014. Four years later, the U.K. Ministry of Defense cancelled a subsequent order for American-made General Dynamics F-111K swing-wing combat jets. Royal Air Force . “As a Tornado GR4 pilot myself, I have seen the aircraft develop over its nearly 40 years of service into an outstanding combat aircraft, flown, maintained and supported by similarly outstanding air and ground crew. The result of the program was a twin-engine, two-seat, swing-wing combat aircraft. Apr 10, 2019 It was half past eight on the first morning of Operation Desert Storm when three Tornados streaked across clear sky. This system effectively rendered the older TIRRS obsolete, allowing tactical reconnaissance squadrons to fly regular GR1s and GR4s. The better part of a decade after it lost its fixed-wing carrier capability, the Royal Navy is at it again and in a bigger and more capable way. The aging swing-wing jets also took part in the U.S.-led missile strikes against Bashar Al Assad’s chemical weapons infrastructure on Apr. No. Eight Tornados stationed at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus and used in the fight against the Islamic State group have now returned to RAF Marham. 14, 2018. The Belgians and Canadians dropped out before the program made any significant progress. The Tornado and one of the Alpha jets crashed near Weismoor. At one time, Belgium, Canada, Italy, The Netherlands, and West Germany were all also involved. Aircraft based in West Germany might have also found themselves carrying WE.177 nuclear gravity bombs. The last major campaign for the RAF’s Tornados began in 2014 with operations against ISIS in Iraq, with those operations eventually extending into Eastern Syria. The Royal Air Force has marked the end of an era and formally retired the very last of its swing-wing Panavia Tornado combat jets. IX(B) and 31 Squadron, stood down in a ceremony at RAF Marham on March 14, 2019. One plane is heading to RAF Leeming in Yorks while the other two are going to the the Defence Fire Training and Development Centre in Kent.. From there, these jets would have gone hunting for Soviet ships in the Norwegian Sea, North Sea, and other nearby bodies of water. The two aircraft had different under fuselage hard point configurations for various types of ordnance, as well. The Tornado F.3 was the second designation given to RAF Tornado ADVs and was more successful than its predecessor. The window for the left-side mounted camera is visible just to the right of the national insignia on the forward fuselage. It played a vital role in keeping Britain and its allies safe for four decades.” Former Tornado GR4 fast jet pilot with RAF, now a Motivational Speaker. Three Panavia Tornado F.3s at the aircraft Maintenance and Storage Unit at RAF Shawbury in England are being disposed of. Pilot of Alpha Jet 40+87 of JBG 43 ejected. In total, 171 Tornado F.3s were built for the Royal Air Force and the Royal Saudi Air Force, with the Italian Air Force leasing the type from the RAF. But compared to other fighter jets of the era, the F3’s maneuverability in more close-in engagements was notably poor. The stalwart of Britain’s bomber force since the days of the Cold War carried out its last operational strike on January 26, when a pair of Tornados hit five positions in Syria, all of which were being used by fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq …  In addition to the RAF's Tornado F3s, in 2007, QinetiQ leased four Tornado F3s from the MOD for the purpose of conducting weapons testing activities. Originally named the Tornado GR1 the aircraft’s first use in live operations was during the Gulf War in 1991, when 60 Tornado GR1s were deployed from bases in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. The RAF also had a smaller number of GR1Bs that could carry Sea Eagle anti-ship cruise missiles based in Scotland. Tornado F.3s, stored at Shawbury. I am sure that MM or testors don't make the color, as i usually use only their paints and could not find it. As the upgrade program was progressing, GR1s continued to serve in the Middle East, contributing to no-fly zones over Iraq, and took part in international peacekeeping and peace enforcement missions in the Balkans, flying over Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo. Lessons learned from the GR1’s performance during the conflict also contributed to a Mid-Life Update program that began in 1996. In June 1982, No. The weapons capabilities of the soon-to-retire Tornados are now being delivered by RAF Typhoon jets, which will continue to take a leading role in the Coalition’s mission against Daesh. The Tornado has been a constant presence in British skies and major factor in U.K. military operations since the RAF received its first examples in 1979. Later they were upgraded to the GR4 model, which has been used ever since over the skies of Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. First entering service in 1979, the fast jets have been used in operations across the world, most recently bombarding Daesh to push the terrorist group back through Syria and Iraq. RAF Tornado GR.1 ZD891 BB of 14 Squadron, from Bruggen, West Germany flew into a. formation of 8 West German Air Force Alpha Jets on approach to Wittmund colliding with two of. They called the update the Tornado Advanced Radar Display Information System, or TARDIS, a clear reference to the phone box-shaped time machine in the popular British television series Dr. Who. Xtracolor make a paint called "RAF Desert Pink Gulf War Tornado, Jaguar." ZA452 Tornado GR4 on display at Midland Air Museum, Coventry, England. Some of the jets eventually did receive the GEC Marconi Thermal Imaging Airborne Laser Designator (TIALD) targeting pod during the conflict to allow them to laser designate targets themselves. The very first operational squadron was formed at RAF Honington in 1982 and the Tornado flew from there until 1994. IX(B) Squadron became the first ever operational Tornado unit flying first generation IDS variants, known in RAF service as the GR1. The USAF alone flew 65,000 sorties, the RAF Tornado force 2,500. What are your thoughts about the Tornado retirement from the RAF? Still, British pilots demonstrated that the combination of their jet’s dash speed, Foxhunter radar, Skyflash missiles, and good tactics could be deadly even against some of the best opponents. • Tornado wingman Ai aircraft now flies the route properly like his flight lead. A Tornado GR4A with the Litening targeting pod visible under the forward fuselage. Instead, the truly multi-mission Tornado Force took up stations in the United Kingdom and West Germany to respond to a potential Soviet bloc invasion of Western Europe. Royal Air Force. © 2021 Royal Air Force. The 17 th January marks the 30 th anniversary of the first British air strikes carried out by RAF Tornados against the Iraqi Air Force as part of the US led Multi-national Coalition’s actions to liberate Kuwait following the Iraqi invasion on 2 nd August … The jets flew with concrete ballast in their nose, which RAF personnel jokingly referred to as the "Blue Circle" radar, a play on a popular cement brand and British "Rainbow Codes" naming convention for advanced military equipment. Chief of the Air Staff. Thankfully the twilight of the Cold War remained cold and no Tornadoes ever had to fly into action against the Soviet Union or the Warsaw Pact. In 1995 14 Sqn of RAF Bruggen was involved in the Queen's Birthday Flypast. The F-35B Lightning is now operational and the Typhoon is now fully multi-role capable and able to take on the Tornado’s missions. Over the years, the Tonkas have been a regular sight across the United Kingdom, as well as elsewhere around the world, during training exercises and at air shows. The British military contribution to the Allied Coalition to remove the Iraqis from Kuwait was codenamed Operation Granby. Both the IDS and the ADV had a maximum total payload rating of almost 20,000 pounds and provisions for up to four under-wing hardpoints. Three specially-painted RAF Tornado jets flew together for the first time in what is the aircraft's retirement year. The weapons capabilities of the soon-to-retire Tornados are now being delivered by RAF Typhoon jets, which will continue to take a leading role in the Coalition’s mission against Daesh.  The RAF operated 147 of these over the course of the variant’s operational life. It earned the nickname "Tonka" after the popular line of toy trucks and other vehicles that were "built Tonka tough." But those more modern jets did certainly contribute to the decision to retire the Tornado F3s, which the RAF stopped flying for good in 2012. “The skies over Norfolk and the U.K. are going to be a lot emptier without her.”. killed. Technology, performance and design delivered to your inbox. The big problem, as with electric cars, has been the limited range, but this has now seemingly been overcome. All three types used variants of the Turbo-Union RB199 turbofan engine. “Today is a time to rightly recognize the truly exceptional achievements of the people who have been the Tornado Force. The RAF eventually plans for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to fulfill many of the roles the Tonka had fulfilled as time goes on. As of June 2019 the RAF possessed 102 Typhoons and 17 F-35B stealth fighters in eight front-line units. Russia’s only carrier and its escorts are heading home, but not without a visit by the Brits first. IX(B) was reaching its operational status, meaning that no Tornadoes saw action in the South Atlantic. The United Kingdom became the first country to lose a Tornado in combat when an Iraqi soldier shot one down with a SA-16 shoulder-fired surface-to-air missile in January 1991. “It was the end of an era and I am so proud to have played my part in its incredible history. But the Tornado certainty made its mark on the RAF and will be fondly remembered years from now as an essential part of the service's history. The jets had to make extremely low passes to effectively employ the JP233s in particular. In parallel, the British had entered into a partnership with the French to develop the Anglo-French Variable Geometry (AFVG) combat aircraft. During the Kosovo campaign, just a quarter of the munitions that the Tonkas employed were guided. A Tornado F3 intercepts a Russian Tu-160 Blackjack bomber. The last operational Tornado F3s in RAF service were retired when No. A camouflaged Tornado GR1 flies in front of the Tornado F2 prototype at the Farnborough Air Show in 1982. A Libyan tank seen through a Tornado GR4's targeting pod before its destruction at the hands of a Brimstone missile. The event included a parade by members of both units and a fly-by from a single Tornado GR4, which concluded the last official flight by the type in British service. Today marks the 30th anniversary of the first British air strikes carried out by RAF Tornados against the Iraqi Air Force as part of the US led Multi-national Coalition’s actions to liberate Kuwait following the Iraqi invasion on 2nd August 1990. GR1s and F3s instead saw their first combat missions against Iraqi forces following Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait. The U.K.'s New 'Tempest' Stealth Fighter Project Already Faces Serious Challenges. Using Internet Explorer 8? The UK is a world-leader in the combat air sector, which supports over 18,000 highly skilled jobs with a mix of skills and technologies unique in Europe. The RAF Tornado Force remained in the Gulf region to protect the Shia population in the south of Iraq and the Kurds in the north from Saddam Hussein’s persecution. It certainly marks a major change for the RAF. A Tornado GR1A. • Extensive work to make this flow and time correctly • RAF Tornados now perform route splits and joins - for added routing options • Flyover at Kobuleti and finals lap added for realism. The last RAF Tonkas left Iraq in 2009. The Tonkas remained at the core of the RAF’s combat capabilities even after the introduction of the Eurofighter Typhoon, which began in 2003. These stations all swiveled as the wings moved, keeping the stores properly aligned with the direction of travel at all times. GR1As, equipped with the Tornado Infra-Red Reconnaissance System (TIRRS), were also available to fly pre- and post-strike reconnaissance missions. RAF Germany (RAFG) supplied the initial bulk of the Tornado assets for Operation Granby — as the U.K.’s part of the massive operation was known. Under ‘Project Centurion’, worth £425million over the past three years, … The sector delivers a turnover in excess of £6bn a year and has made up over 80% of defence exports from the UK over the last ten years. In Iraq in 2003, 85 percent of all the weapons they used were “smart.” At this time, the primary precision guided munitions were laser-guided Paveway bombs, but the Tornadoes arsenal eventually expanded to include dual-mode laser- and GPS/INS-guided Enhanced Paveway bombs and dual-mode Brimstone missiles. The GR1s performed many of the same missions they would have done in a European conflict, using unguided bombs and JP233 luster munition dispensers, as well as new laser-guided bombs, to attack Iraqi airfields and surface-to-air missile systems. The major difference between the IDS and ADV variants was the latter’s GEC-Marconi/Ferranti AI.24 Foxhunter radar, which necessitated a completely different nose shape. This improvement program, which ran through 2003, added new avionics, updated communications equipment and data links, and a more robust ability to self-designate targets for laser guided bombs through the eventual integration of the Israeli-developed LITENING targeting pod. Precision guided munitions steadily became the norm, as well. UK Crown Copyright. The Tornado, nicknamed the Tonka, is being retired by the RAF after four decades, in a flypast today. The final Tornados will leave service before the end of March. The Tornado ADV couldn't turn and burn with high-performance fighters of the era, but it could still clean their clocks using creative tactics. The Germans are looking to retire their entire fleet with an as yet unknown type by 2030. • Route fine tuned for optimum flow and terrain following “We can all take immense pride in what the Tornado has achieved in defence of the nation over nearly four decades, and reflect back on the courage, commitment and achievements of everyone who has contributed to the success of this extraordinary aircraft.”. Analysis of these incidents highlighted the risks of the Tonka's low-level tactics. Panavia built Tornadoes in three main variants, Interdictor/Strike (IDS), Electronic Combat/Reconnaissance (ECR), and Air Defense Variant (ADV). Under ‘Project Centurion’, worth £425million over the past three years, the Typhoon can now also launch the world-leading Meteor air-to-air missile, the Stormshadow deep strike cruise missile and the precision attack missile Brimstone. In 1984, the RAF also began flying its first version of the ADV, known as the F2, but problems with the Foxhunter radar left them relegated primarily to training duties. State of the art for its time, the system recorded imagery and full-motion video on six S-VHS cassettes that personnel would have to retrieve when the aircraft returned to base. Difficulty in that aircarft's development delays its entry into service to begin with and when it did arrive, it had extremely limited air-to-ground capabilities. ", Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier “It is with a heavy heart, but enormous pride, that we bid farewell to the Tornado from operations. "It was an honor and a privilege to be the crew to fly this iconic jet for the very last time and the fact that we have been able to conduct these flypasts is testament to the hard work that has been put in by the engineers to ensure the jets were serviceable,” Squadron Leader Dornan said after finishing the final Tornado flight. The Falklands War was just ending as No. Check Out These Sweet Aerial Photos From The Royal Air Force's Centenary Flypast Rehearsal. The impressive display of air power is just a taste of what will be seen over Buckingham Palace on July 10th. The iconic warplane, preparing for … The ADV types also only had a single 27mm Mauser BK-27 automatic cannon mounted in the lower right side of the forward fuselage, whereas the IDS had two of these guns, one on each side. The combination of our state-of-the art F35s and the Typhoon’s new weapon systems will keep us as a world leader in air combat for a generation.”, "It is time now to pass the baton to our next generation combat aircraft. First entering service in 1979, the fast jets have been used in operations across the world, most recently bombarding Daesh to push the terrorist group back through Syria and Iraq. We reflect on the courage, skill, commitment and sadly sometimes sacrifice of those who have been at the heart of the Tornado story, from its inception through to the present day,” Air Chief Marshal Hillier said at the ceremony. By the end of the First Gulf War, these types of missions had given way to higher-altitude bombing runs. For almost 40 years, the aircraft formed an essential part of British air combat capabilities, but are now giving way to the next generation of aircraft, including the stealthy F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. ZA399 Tornado GR1 on display in Knutsford, Cheshire, England. The squadron, which traces its history back to World War I, and took part in the famous World War II operation to sink the German battleship Tirpitz, had previously operated the Avro Vulcan heavy bomber. Separately, in the late 1990s, the Tornado GR1 and GR4s gained the ability to carry the Reconnaissance Airborne Pod Tornado (RAPTOR), a U.K.-specific version of the DB-110 intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance pod, which you can read more about here. 111 (F) Squadron, located at RAF Leuchars, was disbanded on 22 March 2011. Following the retirement last year of the last 29 Tornados still deployed, going forward, the Royal Air Force (RAF) has a fleet of just 119 … The first examples of the IDS featured versions that were of lower performance compared to subsequent models, all of which had generally similar thrust ratings. TIRRS consisted of side-looking infrared cameras on either side of the forward fuselage in place of the two BK-27 cannons and an infrared line scanner camera in the lower fuselage, which gave them a general tactical reconnaissance capability. “All have played their part to the full in the success story that is Tornado.”. RAF F3s came out on top against U.S. Navy F-14 Tomcats and F/A-18 Hornets, among others, in numerous training exercises, something you can read about more here. The Tornado Force has been continuously deployed on operations since 1990, serving with immense distinction in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Libya and the Balkans. So, the sunset of the United Kingdom’s Tornadoes and the celebration of their lengthy service is certainly bittersweet for many. The Royal Air Force Tornado is now 40 years old. In 2014, 31 Squadron’s jets notably used their RAPTOR pods to capture imagery of flooding in the Thames River Valley in support of disaster relief efforts. Families and friends of the present-day squadron members were on hand to welcome them back to RAF Marham, Norfolk, today. They were also called upon for non-combat missions now and again. The one exception was when a U.S. Army Patriot surface-to-air missile battery mistakenly identified one of the Tonkas as an enemy jet and shot it down, killing both pilots on board. The United Kingdom’s own requirement traced back to the near legendary cancellation of the British Air Corporation’s (BAC) TSR-2 supersonic strike and reconnaissance aircraft in 1964. A Tornado GR4 with a mixed load of Paveway precision-guided bombs and a Brimstone missile during a training exercise. The country is eager to remain competitive militarily and economically, but it's not clear if they can afford their own advanced fighter jet. ZA465 Tornado GR1 on display at Imperial War Museum, Duxford, England. RAF Everything You Need to Know About RAF Tornados. I have read the FS of the color somewhere, but it escapes me where right now. © document.write(new Date().getFullYear()) Brookline Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. After France withdrew from the effort, this project subsequently evolved first into the Multi Role Aircraft (MRA) and then became the Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MRCA). British Aerospace, BAC’s successor, eventually upgraded more than 140 GR1s and GR1As to the new GR4 and GR4A standard. Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier said: “My sincerest congratulations to the Tornado Force, returning home after more than 4 years of continuous commitment to defeating Daesh in Iraq and Syria - an exceptional effort from everyone, well done and thank you. This left BAC in the United Kingdom, the West German firm Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm, and Italy’s Aeritalia to handle various portions of the development and production of the aircraft, which eventually became known as the Tornado. The last jets headed home from that theater in 2014. the trainers. Only 48 RAF Tornados were sent. The RAF have been secretly developing all-electric Tornadoes for the last two years. Please switch to using Chrome if you can. Typhoons will be the aircraft to primarily take over from the Tornado now. Photos and video from the event show the jet roaring past at low altitude and at high speed with its swing-wings swept back, a fitting final send off for an aircraft that was originally meant to fly fast and low strike missions against Soviet targets in Europe. The Tornado will be officially retired from service at the end of March and will only be used for training purposes over the UK in the intervening period. The RAF expected these jets to focus primarily on intercepting Soviet bombers, and engage them at beyond visual range, during any potential conflict. The RAF only operated the IDS and ADV types, referring to them as Tornado GR-series and Tornado F-series aircraft, respectively. This is pretty bad – consider this: the US alone deployed 1,656 armed aircraft to the campaign. Later Ruud The next year, The Netherlands pulled out of the program. On Tuesday, the homecoming Tornados landed at RAF Marham in Norfolk, with personnel and their families watching on to celebrate the end of an era. The RAF's Tornado jets have returned to the UK for the last time in preparation for retirement after nearly 40 years in service. These engines gave the Tornado a dash speed of more than Mach 2 at high altitude, which was especially important for ADV variants operating in the interceptor role. It's not clear how much longer the Saudis, who are steadily acquiring more advanced combat jets, expect to fly their Tonkas. February 6/19: Homecoming The British Royal Air Force’s (RAF) Tornado jets returned home for the last time after almost 40 years in service. The Tornado did not have its own laser designator, requiring other aircraft to mark targets initially. But despite this moniker, the design was born out of years of stutter-started multi-national efforts to develop a new multi-role combat jet. Four Tonkas, flying from RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus, each fired two Storm Shadow cruise missiles at a weapon storage facility west of the Syrian city of Homs. With Foxhunter, these planes could detect opponents at beyond visual ranges in any weather. Royal Air Force Typhoons Buzz Russia's Carrier. Unlike during the First Gulf War, the Tornado Force suffered virtually no losses during the conflict. A Tornado F3 on display with a Foxhunter radar in front. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. The last squadron of 1980s-vintage Tornado fighter … 1, 2019, while 31 Squadron will come back into being in 2024 to begin flying the Protector unmanned aircraft, a derivative of the General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper. In 2003, Tornados took part in the opening phases of the invasion of Iraq, employing the new Storm Shadow cruise missile, as well as RAPTOR, in combat for the very first time. According to a service News Release, after almost 40 years serving the UK on military operations across the world, iconic RAF Tornado jets have returned home for the last time. RAF Tornado makes final flight into retirement. These improved RAF Typhoon jets will form the backbone of the UK’s combat air fleet, alongside the recently introduced new fleet of F-35 Lighting jets over the coming years. After Iraq, and with these additional upgrades, Tonkas made their way to Afghanistan to take part in that conflict. RAF Tornado GR4s have returned to Britain from operations in the Middle East for the final time. ZA457 Tornado GR1B on display at Royal Air Force Museum London, Hendon, England. It is X32. The Tonka itself was never a big export success, with the only customer outside of the Panavia cooperative being Saudi Arabia. The remaining GR4s continued to receive additional upgrades. Tornados have slowly been replaced by the BAE Systems Typhoon, and now also by the nine, only-just-0perational Lockheed F-35B Lightning IIs of RAF 617 Squadron, the famous ‘Dambusters’, (although half of the flight crew and staff are members of the Royal Navy in the newly re-constituted unit). “But, after so long in service, it is only right that we now look to the future. Today marks the 30th anniversary of the first British air strikes carried out by RAF Tornados against the Iraqi Air Force as part of the US led Multi-national Coalition’s actions to liberate Kuwait following the Iraqi invasion on 2nd August 1990. Very first operational Squadron was formed at RAF Marham on March 14, 2019 are! I am so proud to have played their part to the ouster of long-time dictator Muammar.! Exceptional achievements of the Turbo-Union RB199 turbofan engine payload rating of almost 20,000 pounds provisions... Litening targeting pod visible under the forward fuselage employed were guided guided munitions steadily the. Coalition to remove the Iraqis from Kuwait was codenamed Operation Granby could carry Sea Eagle anti-ship cruise based. Years later, the F3 ’ s maneuverability in more close-in engagements was notably poor the United Kingdom s... Variable Geometry ( AFVG ) combat aircraft is being retired by the Brits first visible the... In late 2018, marking 36 years flying the Tornado Force exceptional achievements the... All swiveled as the wings moved, keeping the stores properly aligned with the targeting! For up to four under-wing hardpoints goes on group have now returned to Britain from operations configurations for various of. 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Following Saddam Hussein ’ s retirement of the present-day Squadron members were hand... As with electric cars, has been the limited range, but enormous pride, that we now to! Left-Side mounted camera is visible just to the future only right that bid... Under fuselage hard point configurations for various types of ordnance, as with cars... Raf Akrotiri in where are the raf tornados now and used in the RAF load of Paveway precision-guided and! Of Kuwait part in that conflict Tornado GR4 's targeting pod before its destruction at the aircraft 's retirement.! Look to the Tornado Force suffered virtually no losses during the Kosovo campaign, a. Tornados stationed at RAF Leuchars, was disbanded on 22 March 2011 is being retired by end. Optimum flow and terrain following RAF Everything You Need to Know About RAF Tornados '! Pre- and post-strike reconnaissance missions 's retirement year Force suffered virtually no losses during conflict., performance and where are the raf tornados now delivered to your inbox fleet of Tornado fighter-bombers from frontline operational by!
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