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Tornado

The mainstay of the RAF strike/attack force is the Tornado GR1. Designed and built as a collaborative project in the UK, Germany and Italy, the Tornado is in service with all three air forces and the German Navy. It is a twin-seat, twin-engined, variable geometry aircraft and is supersonic at all altitudes. The Tornado is capable of carrying a wide range of conventional stores, including the JP233 anti-airfield weapon, the ALARM anti-radar missile, and laser-guided bombs, as well as the WE-177 nuclear variable-yield free-fall bomb, first introduced into service in 1966. The last WE-177 was withdrawn from service in 1998.

The program to upgrade 142 Tornado interdictor strike aircraft from GR1 to GR4 standard is proceeding to schedule. The aircraft system enhancements now being developed will ensure that the aircraft can seek out and attack its targets more effectively, taking advantage of the new 'smart' weapons that will progressively become available, and make it less vulnerable to counter-attack. The first Tornado GR4 squadrons started forming in 1998.

GENERAL DATA
Countries of Origin. Italy, Germany, UK.
Similar Aircraft. Su-24 Fencer, F-14 Tomcat, F-15 Eagle, MiG-23/-27 Flogger, F-111.
Crew. Two.
Role. Interdictor strike.
Armament. Missiles, bombs, rockets, cannon.
Dimensions. Length: 55 ft, 9 in (16.8 m). Span: 45 ft, 7 in (14 m).
WEFT DESCRIPTION
Wings. High-mounted, variable, swept-back, and tapered with angular blunt tips.
Engine(s). Two turbofans in body. Air intakes are diagonal and box-like alongside the fuselage forward of the wing roots. Twin exhausts.
Fuselage. Solid needle nose. Body thickens at the midsection and tapers to the tail section. Bubble canopy.
Tail. Tall, swept-back, and tapered fin with blunt tip and a step in the leading edge. Flats are large, mid-mounted on the body, swept-back, and tapered with angular blunt tips.
USER COUNTRIES
Germany, Italy, Saudi Arabia, UK.

Specifications

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Sources and Resources



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