Tornado air miss report

AN OFFICIAL REPORT by the Joint Airmiss Working Group (JAWG) into a near-miss involving on RAF Tornado F.3 and a civilian Piper PA-34 Seneca strongly criticises the air traffic controllers. The report added that the controllers involved were not to undertake screening duties until their competence had been checked — all have now been returned to duty. The incident occurred on August 19, 1992 at 4,500ft (1,350m) over RAF Waddington when four jockeys, including Lester Piggott, were flying in the Seneca from Newmarket to York. The Coningsbybased 56R Sqn Tornado F.3 was one of four temporarily resident at Waddington for

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Tornado GR4 and Harrier GR9TIEC

FURTHER DETAILS have been released about the Ministry of Defence contract awarded to BAE Systems in January for upgrading the Tornado GR4 (see Communication Upgrades, March p6).

Valued at £200 million, the Capability Upgrade Strategy (Pilot) [CUS(P)] involves the design, development and integration of an upgraded secure communications system, introduction of a tactical data link, and integration of the Paveway IV precision guided bomb.

Implementation is planned in two stages; capability A covers release to service for multi-mode secure communications system (SCOT); Paveway IV precision guided bomb; and software enhancements to improve the GR4’s controls and displays. The Tactical Information

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Tornado GR.4 first flight

THE FIRST OF three development Tornado GR.4s, converted from development GR.1 XZ631/P15, made its first flight from British Aerospace’s Warton plant on May 29. GEC-Marconi equipment in the aircraft includes the HUD, cockpit symbol generator, SPARTAN passive terrain referenced navigation and terrain following system, digital map database and display, terrain following display, computer loading system, video recorder and enhanced stores management system. The company’s NVG and FUR equipment will also be integrated into the MLU aircraft.

Following its success in the Gulf War, the GEC-Marconi Avionics thermal-imaging airborne loser-designator (TIALD) pod is also to be included as part of the

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Tornado F.3s damaged by contractors

EIGHTEEN RAF TORNADO F.3s have been effectively grounded following the discovery of serious airframe damage after servicing by a private contractor. The MoD contracted out airframe modification work to increase the fatigue index of the RAF’s 97 Tornado F.3s and the first contract for 15 aircraft with BAe has already been satisfactorily completed.

The second contract for 18 aircraft was won by Airwork Services which undercut BAe’s bid of £11 million by £4 million.

The Mod has now cancelled the contract but it may cost up to £6 million per aircraft to rectify the damage.

Work on the aircraft was

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Testing for War

WHAT’S NEW IN the world of RAF attack aircraft? Squadrons may claim that their aircraft are to the latest operational standards, but by the time that a new piece of kit is fitted to a Tornado or Harrier it will be well familiar at Boscombe Down. Famous as the base of the MoD PE’s Aircraft & Armament Evaluation Establishment’, this Wiltshire aerodrome is also host to an RAF unit dedicated more to operational development than test flying and aircraft handling. The Central Tactics & Trials Organisation (CTTO) reports to HQ Strike Command at High Wycombe and directly controls its own

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Saudi Arabia Finalising Weapons Package for Tornado CSP

OFFICIALS ON both sides continue to remain tight-lipped about the exact details of the Royal Saudi Air Force’s (RSAF’s) Tornado Capability Sustainment Programme (CSP), but some details of the proposed upgrade are slowly emerging. It is understood that details of the precise make up of the weapons package involved in upgrading the RSAF’s 48 Tornado interdictor strike aircraft under the CSP are now being finalised. A deal is expected to be concluded in the first half of 2007, with deliveries to commence in 2009.

The stealthy MBDA Storm Shadow conventionally armed stand-off missile, MBDA AIM-132 Advanced Short-Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM),

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RAF Tornado

An add-on for Flight Simulator 2002/2004 and Combat Flight Simulator 3. By Derek Davis

The Panavia Tornado is one of the most exciting military aircraft flying today and the release of Just Flight’s add-on, RAF Tornado, will help to satisfy the thirst of many Tornado aficionados.

RAF Tornado production values are high throughout and this reviewer was pleasantly surprised at the wealth of detail and the innovative features. The external modeling of the Tornado is stunning, with the aircraft exhibiting a photo-realistic finish. RAF Tornado also provides a multitude of camouflage and markings representing various nationalities and theatres of operation

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RAF Tornado F.3 Display

The 2004 RAF Tornado F.3 display is flown by a crew from 56 (R) Squadron based at RAF Leuchars, Fife.

Display pilot for the season is Fit Lt Tim Freeman who joined the RAF in 1991. Tim undertook his Tornado F.3 conversion course in 1996, after which he served for three years with 43 (Fighter) Sqn at RAF Leuchars, Fife. During this time he graduated from the NATO Tactical Leadership Programme (TLP) and also flew on exercises throughout Europe and North America. He also took part in operations patrolling the Southern ‘No Fly Zone’ over Iraq, operations in the Falkland

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Jon Lake reviews the career of the RAF’s Tornado GR.4 and look at its future evolution.

RAF STRIKE Command’s No.1 Group Tornado GR.4 force was the backbone of the UK’s contribution to Operation Telic, with 31 aircraft deploying to the Middle East, forming two Wings. These played a major role in the air war, providing capabilities the US Air Force lacked, and the aircraft won many new admirers. After years during which press coverage of the GR.4 upgrade had concentrated on the very high cost, delays and slippages, the GR.4 story was suddenly all about impressive capability and operational effectiveness,

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Italian Tornado deliveries restart

ON FEBRUARY 13, the first Tornado F.3 for the Italian Air Force’s 21° Gruppo was handed over at RAF Coningsby. Appropriately, the aircraft involved, MM7226 (ex ZE911/’GA’ 43 Sqn), wore the code ’53-21′ since 21° Gruppo is part of 53° Stormo. It departed the following morning for its new home at Cameri to join four 11 Sqn examples detached there for a few days to train ground technicians.

The Italian Air Force is in the process of receiving 24 Tornado F.3s all to the Stage 1 + standard — which includes four dual-stick aircraft — on a ten-year lease in

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