Air Force Military Aircraft: Panavia Tornado, Images by PHOTOVAULT®

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See Also: Navy, Naval Aviation, Army, Marines, USMC, Coast Guard, AEROSPACE, Eagles, TRANSPORTATION, MILITARY, ROCKETS

Manufacturer Panavia Aircraft GmbH
First flight
14 August 1974
Primary users
Royal Air Force
German Air Force
Italian Air Force
Royal Saudi Air Force
Number built
Panavia Tornado ADV

The Panavia Tornado is a family of twin-engine combat aircraft, which was jointly developed by the United Kingdom, West Germany and Italy. There are three primary versions of the Tornado; the Tornado IDS (Interdictor/Strike) fighter-bomber, the suppression of enemy air defences Tornado ECR (Electronic Combat/ Reconnaissance) and the Tornado ADV (Air Defence Variant) interceptor. It is one of the world's most sophisticated and capable interdiction and attack aircraft, with a large payload, long range and high survivability. The aircraft has been labelled as "for more than a quarter of a century... the most important military aircraft in Western Europe."[1]

Developed and built by Panavia, a tri-national consortium consisting of British Aerospace (previously British Aircraft Corporation), MBB of West Germany, and Alenia Aeronautica of Italy, During the 1960s, aeronautical designers looked to variable geometry designs to gain the manoeuvrability and efficient cruise of straight wings with the speed of swept-wing designs.

The Tornado ADV is a fighter variant of the Tornado, developed for the RAF (known in service as the Tornado F.2 or F.3) and also operated by Saudi Arabia and Italy.

Unit Base Version Status Notes
102° Gruppo, 6° Stormo Ghedi IDS Active
154° Gruppo, 6° Stormo Ghedi IDS Active
156° Gruppo C.B., 36° Stormo Gioia del Colle IDS Inactive Now only ECR
12° Gruppo, 36° Stormo Gioia del Colle F.3 Inactive 1995-2004
155° Gruppo E.T.S., 50° Stormo San Damiano ECR Active
53° Stormo Cameri ECR Inactive

Deutsche Marine

Marinefliegergeschwader 1 Jagel Disbanded 1982-1993
Marinefliegergeschwader 2 Eggebek Disbanded 1986-2005


Jagdbombergeschwader 31 "Boelcke" Nörvenich IDS Active 34 aircraft, Slated for transition to Eurofighter in 2009
Jagdbombergeschwader 32 Lagerlechfeld ECR Active 34 aircraft, Receives ASSTA 2 Upgrade, remains in service
Jagdbombergeschwader 33 Büchel IDS Active 36 aircraft, Slated for transition to Eurofighter in 2012
Jagdbombergeschwader 34 "Allgäu" Memmingen Disbanded Disbanded 2003
Jagdbombergeschwader 38 "Friesland" Jever Disbanded Disbanded 2005
Aufklärungsgeschwader 51 "Immelmann" Jagel/Schleswig IDS Active 46 aircraft, Receives ASSTA 2 Upgrade, remains in service


No. 2 Squadron Marham GR4/4A Active 12 aircraft
No. 5 Squadron Coningsby F3 Disbanded 1987-2003
No. 9 Squadron Marham GR4/4A Active 12 aircraft
No. 11 Squadron Leeming F3 Disbanded 1988-2005
No. 12 Squadron Lossiemouth GR4/4A Active 12 aircraft
No. 13 Squadron Marham GR4/4A Active 12 aircraft
No. 14 Squadron Lossiemouth GR4/4A Active 12 aircraft
No. XV (Reserve) Squadron Lossiemouth GR4 Reserve 26 aircraft. GR4 Operational Conversion Unit
No. 16 Squadron Laarbruch GR1 Disbanded 1983-1991
No. 17 Squadron Brüggen GR1 Disbanded 1985-1999
No. 20 Squadron Laarbruch GR1 Disbanded 1984-1992
No. 23 Squadron Leeming F3 Disbanded 1988-1994
No. 25 Squadron Leeming F3 Disbanded 1989-2008
No. 27 Squadron Marham GR1 Disbanded 1983-1993
No. 29 Squadron Coningsby F3 Disbanded 1987-1998
No. 31 Squadron Marham GR4/4A Active 12 aircraft
No. 43 Squadron Leuchars F3 Active 16 aircraft
No. 56 (Reserve) Squadron Leuchars F3 Disbanded 1992-2008
No. 111 Squadron Leuchars F3 Active 16 aircraft
No. 617 Squadron Lossiemouth GR4/4A Active 12 aircraft
No. 229 OCU
(No 65 (Reserve) Squadron) Coningsby F2/3 Renumbered 56(R) Sqn 1984-1992 F.2/3 Operational Conversion Unit
No. 1435 Flight Mount Pleasant F3 Active 4 aircraft, based in the Falklands
Tri-National Tornado Training Establishment Cottesmore IDS, GR1 Disbanded
Tornado Weapons Conversion Unit
(No. 45 Squadron) Honington GR1 Renumbered XV(R) Sqn 1981-1992
Royal Saudi Air Force

KAAB IDS Active 96 IDS
No. 7 Squadron RSAF IDS
No. 29 Squadron RSAF ADV
No. 34 Squadron RSAF ADV
No. 66 Squadron RSAF IDS
No. 75 Squadron RSAF IDS
No. 83 Squadron RSAF IDS

Aircraft on display, Although still an operational aircraft, a number of older aircraft are on public display:

* XX946 Tornado Prototype P02 on display at the RAF Museum Cosford, England.
* XX947 Tornado Prototype P03 on display at Shoreham Airport, England.
* XX948 Tornado Prototype on display at Hermeskeil, Germany
* XZ631 Tornado GR1 on display at Yorkshire Air Museum, Elvington, England.
* ZA319 Tornado GR1T Gate Guard, MoD DSDA, Bicester, England.
* ZA354 Tornado GR1 on display at Yorkshire Air Museum, Elvington, England.
* ZA362 Tornado GR1 on display at Highland Aviation Museum, Inverness, Scotland.
* ZA374 Tornado GR1 on display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force, Wright Patterson, Ohio, USA
* ZA457 Tornado GR1 on display at RAF Museum, Hendon, England.
* ZA465 Tornado GR1 on display at Imperial War Museum, Duxford, England.
* ZE934 Tornado F3 on display at National Museum of Flight, East Fortune, Scotland
* MM7210 Tornado F3 on display at the Italian Air Force Museum, Vigna di Valle, Italy
* 43+74 Tornado IDS of the German Navy, Marinefliegergeshwader 1 at the Pima Air & Space Museum, Tucson, AZ
* Tornado IDS on display at the Luftwaffenmuseum, Berlin, Germany
* Tornado IDS on distplay at the Technikmuseum Speyer, Germany

Specifications (Tornado GR.4)

General characteristics

* Crew: 2
* Length: 16.72 m (54 ft 10 in)
* Wingspan: 13.91 m at 25° wing sweep, 8.60 m at 67° wing sweep (45.6 ft / 28.2 ft)
* Height: 5.95 m (19.5 ft)
* Wing area: 26.6 m (286 ft)
* Empty weight: 13,890 kg (31,620 lb)
* Max takeoff weight: 28,000 kg (61,700 lb)
* Powerplant: 2¥ Turbo-Union RB199-34R Mk 103 afterburning turbofans

* Dry thrust: 43.8 kN (9,850 lbf) each
* Thrust with afterburner: 76.8 kN (17,270 lbf) each


* Maximum speed: Mach 2.34 (2,417.6 km/h, 1,511 mph)
* Range: 1,390 km (870 mi) typical combat
* Ferry range: 3,890 km (2,417 mi) with four external drop tanks
* Service ceiling 15,240 m (50,000 ft)
* Rate of climb: 76.7 m/s (15,100 ft/min)
* Thrust/weight: 0.55


* Guns: Single 27 mm Mauser BK-27 cannon with 180 rounds
* Hardpoints: Four fuselage pylons and four swivelling underwing pylons with a capacity of a maximum of 9000 kg (19,800 lb) of weapons, fuel, and ECM pods, inner wing pylons have shoulder rails for two AIM-9 Sidewinder, IRIS-T or AIM-132 ASRAAM air-to-air self-defence missiles. A wide variety of air-to-ground weapons can be carried
* RAPTOR Reconnaissance pod, TIALD laser designator[16],

Note that Luftwaffe IDS Tornados are equipped with 2 Mauser BK-27 cannons.


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