Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Also Known As: Tornado Gr1
and United Kingdom
Airbus Group, BAE Systems and Leonardo-Finmeccanica
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Description: The Tornado is a swing-wing, multi-role aircraft designed to perform air defense, reconnaissance, and attack missions. It flies at low altitude and supersonic speed to penetrate sophisticated air defenses. Tornado aircraft variants feature tandem two-seat cockpit. Panavia is a consortium comprising Germany, United Kingdom and Italy responsible for the development and production of Tornado aircraft. The Tornado was ordered by the Panavia consortium countries plus Saudi Arabia.
The Tornado entered service in 1982. It was first deployed during the Gulf War in 1991. Subsequently Tornado aircraft have been employed over the former Yugoslavia and most recently over Iraq during operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. During these conflicts Tornadoes performed ground attack, suppression of enemy air defenses (SEAD), reconnaissance and air defense missions.
The Tornado IDS was designed to carry out surface attack missions ranging from air strikes to anti-ship attack missions. It features two 27mm guns mounted under the forward fuselage. Typically carries two external fuel tanks, 2 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles for self-defense, electronic countermeasures and chaff/flare dispensing pods, and the weapons load under the centerline airframe. A laser designator pod can be also provided for delivery of precision guided weapons.
Tornado IDS currently in service with Germany and Italy are being upgraded to remain in service beyond 2020. The upgraded Tornado will feature improved performance and will be able to release the latest weaponry such as the impressive Taurus KEPD 350 and Storm Shadow cruise missiles.
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