Here’s the effect of the first British air strike on ISIS in Iraq.
On Sept. 30, RAF Tornado GR4 aircraft from RAF Akrotiri airbase, Cyprus, attacked ISIS positions in northwestern Iraq.
The two planes, were flying an armed reconnaissance mission when they were tasked to support Kurdish troops who were under attack from ISIS terrorists.
During the second strike, the British “Tonkas” destroyed a “technical” (armed pick-up truck) with a Brimstone missile.
The Brimstone, is a fire-and-forget anti-armour missile, first fielded during 2008 after an urgent operational requirement, used on the RAF’s Harriers during operations over Afghanistan, that became the RAF weapons of choice during in the Air War over Libya.
Optimized for use against fast moving platforms, these small guided missiles feature a warhead of 9 kg and have a range of 7.5 miles. They use a millimeter wave (mmW) radar seeker with a semi-active laser (SAL) that enables final guidance to the target by either the launching platform or another plane, and are perfect to destroy a vehicle with very low collateral damage risk, and an accuracy of about 1 – 2 meters.
Two Royal Air Force Tornado GR4s performed a mission over Iraq. Although they carried some Laser Guided Bombs, the two British attack planes didn’t use them, as they did not find suitable targets.
On Sept. 27, two RAF Tornado GR4s, deployed at Akrotiri airbase, in Cyprus, performed an armed reconnaissance mission in company with other planes from the international coalition, over Iraq.
Although the British Parliament has approved an attack role for the 6 “Tonkas” currently committed to Operation Shader and limited until yesterday to the reconnaissance role, the two attack jets which flew over Iraq earlier today did not drop any bomb on ground targets, as no “appropriate target” was identified.
The RAF Tornado jets, supported by a Voyager tanker, carried three Paveway IV LGBs (Laser Guided Bombs) and a Litening III pod that enabled the aircraft to gather intelligence that, according to the UK MoD “will be invaluable to the Iraqi authorities and their coalition partners in developing the best possible understanding of ISIL’s disposition and help acquire potential targets for future operations, either by aircraft or Iraqi ground forces.”
Image credit: RAF / Crown Copyright, Corporal Mike Jones/MOD
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.
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.