Here’s a Royal Air Force Tornado GR4 as you have never seen it before.
This is a No II (AC) Sqn Tornado GR4 based at RAF Marham, through a fisheye lens for an interesting 360 angle ‘globe’ image.
No. 2 Squadron’s role is Army Co-Operation as reflected in the “AC” of its title.
Tornado GR4 from RAF Marham have been conducting reconnaissance missions out RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus, supporting UK airdrops in Iraq.
Image credit: Crown Copyright/SAC Lee Matthews
A humanitarian aid air drop as you have never seen it.
The following footage was filmed by a Litening III reconnaissance pod of a British Tornado GR4 aircraft during a humanitarian aid air drop by a RAF Hercules over Mount Sinjar, Iraq on Aug. 13.
The UK has deployed a “small number” of Tornado from RAF Marham to Akrotiri airbase, in Cyprus, from where the aircraft are available to fly over the crisis area at short notice to provide intelligence and assit the air drop of UK Aid.
UK is expected to escalate its surveillance in Iraq with the commitment of the first RAF Rivet Joint ELINT (Electronic Intelligence) aircraft.
One Tornado and one Sentinel R1 provided valuable support to the flood relief operations across UK
Hi-tech equipment carried by two Royal Air Force aircraft was used in the last few days to provide detailed aerial imagery of the areas affected by the floods in the Thames Valley, UK.
A 31 Squadron Tornado GR4 from RAF Marham carrying the RAPTOR (Reconnaissance Air Pod for Tornado) gathered high-resolution imagery that was brought back to the base to be processed and assessed by RAF analysts before being passed to civilian authorities.
The optical imagery provided by the Tornado’s reconnaissance pod was complemented by the radar pictures taken by a Sentinel R1 aircraft operated by the 5 (Army Cooperation) Squadron from RAF Waddington airbase, which was launched on Feb 13 following the Tornado’s sortie.
The Sentinel is a long-range ISR (Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance) platform with extensive combat experience in Libya and Mali, equipped with an all-weather radar system and electro optical sensors that is capable to produce photo-like imagery of a large parts of the ground: these images are then used to map the areas hit by the devastating flooding and assist in the identification of those at a higher risk of further flooding.
Image credit: RAF / Crown Copyright
On Jan. 16, a Tornado fighter bomber belonging to the German Air Force crashed south east of Laubach, not far from Büchel airbase in central western Germany.
Both the pilot and the navigator (a WSO – weapons system officer in the American mil aviation jargon) ejected from the plane with minor injuries; one of them was rescued while hanging from a tree as the following image (credit Rhein Zeitung) shows.
Here below is a photo of the doomed plane taken by The Aviationist’s contributor Alessandro Caglieri at Decimomannu airbase in April 2013.
Image credit: Euronews, Rhein Zeitung and Alessandro Caglieri
H/T to Emiliano Guerra for providing additional details
Since Sept. 2, Royal Saudi Air Force Typhoons and Tornados are deployed to RAF Coningsby, in the UK, where they are training together with the Royal Air Force.
The four Typhoons belong to the 3 Sqn, whereas the Tonkas are from the 75 Sqn. Also deployed to Coningsby from Marham are six Tornado GR4s.
During the first two weeks, the Saudi aircraft took part in the Green Flag exercise that saw eight Tornados and eight Typhoons take off in pairs for two daily waves (one in the morning and the other one in the afternoon, both lasting on average about 2 hours).
Noteworthy, each two-ship flight was made of a RAF and RSAF aircraft.
After attending the Green Flag, the Saudi Typhoons and Tornados remained in the UK to continue working with the British aircraft for two more weeks.
The images in this post were taken at RAF Coningsby by The Aviationist’s contributor Alessandro Fucito.
Image credit: Alessandro Fucito