The Tornado GR4 is a Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MRCA) used for low-level penetration to attack ground targets.

Table of contents
1 History
2 Military Operations
3 Roles
4 Specifications
5 Units


The Tornado programme first began with Tornado GR1s, which were built by a tri-national company (Panavia). However, upgrades were made to the more than twenty-year old aircraft, including FLIR (Forward-Looking InfraRed), a wide-angle HUD (Heads-Up Display), improved cockpit displays, NVG (Night Vision Goggle) capabilities, new avionics and weapons systems, updated computer systems, and a Global Positioning System. Also, additional weapons could be fitted onto the aircraft.

Military Operations

The Tornado GR4 made its operational debut in patrols during Operation Southern Watch. The aircraft flew from Ali al Salem in Kuwait, and patrolled a large part of southern Iraq. Several times bombs were dropped when the aircraft were fired upon by Iraqi ground defences.

Its full wartime debut came in Operation Telic, the British part of the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The aircraft, according to all indications in the public domain, performed well. The campaign in Iraq marked a number of firsts for the aircraft. No. 617 Squadron debuted the Storm Shadow Missile, and enhanced Paveway Missiles were used in an anti-runway capability.


The Tornado GR4's main function is ground attack (generally low- to medium-level bombing) using bombs, specifically targeting air defense systems (usually), or sometimes other sites (such as runways and radar systems).


Powerplant: Two Turbo Union RB199-103 Turbofans Wingspan: 13.9m (fully spread) Length: 16.7m Max Speed: 2,336 km/h (Mach 2.2) at 11,000m altitude Accommodation: Pilot and Navigator Armament: One Mauser 27mm cannon and up to 18,000 lb of ordnance.


RAF No. 9 Squadron
RAF No. 12 Squadron
RAF No. 14 Squadron
RAF No. 31 Squadron
RAF No. 617 Squadron
RAF XV Squadron
RAF Strike Attack OEU