TORNADO MULTI-ROLE FIGHTER, EUROPE
The Tornado multi-role aircraft is operational in five different forms: Tornado GR 1 interdictor/strike aircraft for close air support; counter air attack and defence suppression; GR 1A tactical reconnaissance aircraft; Tornado GR 1B long-range maritime attack aircraft; and Tornado F3 long-range air defence fighter. The GR 4 is a mid-life update of the GR 1. The Tornado entered service in 1980 and ceased production in 1998. The Tornado was manufactured by Panavia, a consortium of BAE Systems, EADS (formerly Daimler-Chrysler Aerospace) and Alenia.
GR 1 INTERDICTOR/STRIKE AIRCRAFT
The aircraft is fitted with two 25mm cannons on each side of the fuselage. The aircraft is equipped with a wide range of weapons. For close air support and interdiction, the aircraft is typically equipped with iron bombs, cluster bombs and laser-guided bombs. In the defence suppression role, it is equipped with anti-radar missiles.
German Air Force Tornado aircraft will be armed with the IRIS-T infrared-guided air-to-air missile, being developed by BGT.
The comprehensive suite of navigation equipment includes a Raytheon Systems terrain-following, ground-mapping radar, Decca Doppler Type 72 radar and BAE SYSTEMS FIN1010 three-axis digital inertial navigation system. Tornado has a multi-mode APFD AutoPilot and Flight Director from BAE Systems The aircraft's TACAN (Tactical Air Navigation) system is the AD2770 from BAE Systems or the Alcatel SEL AG Sector-TACAN. The instrument landing system is the Cossor.CILS75/76.
In July 2002, the Italian Air Force signed a contract with Panavia to provide a mid-life upgrade for 18 Tornado IDS aircraft. The MLU includes: new Litef GPS satellite system, radio, Galileo Avionica radar altimeter and Thales TACAN, and the ability to deploy GPS and laser guided munitions and the Storm Shadow stand-off cruise missile. The first was delivered in July 2004 and deliveries are to conclude in 2006.
TORNADO GR 4 MID-LIFE UPDATE
The GR 4 is fitted with a pilot's head-up display, multifunction head-down display and a digital map. The BAE Systems TIALD Thermal Imaging Laser Designator pod, which provides high accuracy autonomous guidance for laser guided weapons, is being integrated on the upgraded aircraft. The GR 4 is equipped with a forward-looking infrared (FLIR). The thermal image is projected onto the pilot's head-up and head-down displays.
The GR 4 has been cleared to carry Enhanced Paveway bombs, with GPS/INS (Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation System) guidance. The aircraft are being armed with the Brimstone anti-armour missile system, which entered service with Initial Operational Capability (IOC) on the GR.Mk4 aircraft in March 2005, and Storm Shadow cruise missiles, which entered initial operational service on Tornado aircraft in March 2003, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The GR4 can also deploy the Goodrich Raptor reconnaissance pod which replaces the current Thales Optronics (Vinten) VICON system. Raptor consists of the DB-110 reconnaissance system with CCD day sensor and mid-wave indium antinomide infrared sensor. It provides real-time day and night targeting with a range of 72km (electro-optic) and 36km (infrared). The pod received initial operating capability in September 2002.
The GR 4 is to have a further cockpit upgrade consisting of a new Astronautics pilot's multifunction display and the BAE Systems TARDIS (Tornado Advanced Radar Display and Information System). The upgrade will enter service in 2006.
GR 1A RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT
The electro-optical suite comprises three internally mounted infrared sensors linked to a video recording system, providing 24-hour, horizon-to-horizon surveillance coverage.
GR 1B MARITIME ATTACK AIRCRAFT
F3 AIR DEFENCE
The aircraft is equipped with a BAE SYSTEMS Foxhunter radar, which provides long-range search capability and enables the aircraft to engage targets at beyond visual range.
In July 2004, the UK Ministry of Defence announced that one squadron of RAF Tornado F3 of 13 aircraft, the XI(F), stationed at RAF Leeming, would be disbanded in October 2005.