The Panavia Tornado is a family of twin-engine swing-wing fighters jointly developed by United Kingdom, Germany and Italy. There arethree primary versions of the Tornado:
- Tornado IDS - version attack surface;
- Tornado ADV - version interception and air superiority;
- Tornado ECR - version recognition and electronic combat.
Developed by Panavia, a consortium of three nations consisting of three British Aerospace, MBB Germany, and Alenia Aeronautica Italy, the Tornado first flew on August the 14th, 1974 and saw action with the British Royal Air Force in Iraq during Operation Desert Storm. It did a good protion of the low altitude missions in the operation and crippled Iraqi airbases using runway cratering munitions. Including all variants, 992 aircraft were built for the three partner nations and Saudi Arabia. Although still in service, there are currently plans to be implemented to replace these aircraft.
RAF Tornado GR4s contributed to operational patrols during Operation Southern Watch. The aircraft flew over Ali Al Salem at Kuwait and patrolled a large area in southern Iraq. Several times bombs were dropped when the aircraft were under fire from Iraqi ground defenses .
RAF Tornado GR4s deployed to Gioia Del Colle, Italy in March 2011 to begin combat operations over Libya. Paired with RAF Eurofighters the Tornados patrolled the Libyan No Fly Zone and attacked ground targets which posed a threat to the civilian population.
- United Kingdom
- Luftwaffe and Navy
- Saudi Arabia
- Length: 18.08 m
- Wingspan: 13.900 m
- Wing surface: 30 m²
- Height: 5.95000 m
- Empty operating: 14 500 kg
- Maximum Takeoff: 27 987 kg
- Speed Maximum: 2.2 Mach
- Operational ceiling: 21 335 m
- Mileage: 3600 km
- Quantity and Type: 2 turbofans
- Mark: Turbo -Union
- Model: RB199 - 34R Mk 104
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