News story: The end of an era: RAF Tornado returns from operations for the last time

#2
I can remember seeing a Tornado prototype doing trials at Decimomannu so long ago I can't/don't want to remember when.
I can also remember the Cpl RAFP telling us not to take any pictures as we were waiting to board our Herc back home. Unfortunately I've lost the pictures that I didn't take. The rest of the sqn didn't take any pictures either.
 
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#4
I grew up next the the factory that made them, or as they were known then, the MRCA, Multi Role Combat Aircraft. With he added bonus of seeing daily Lightning flights, which used to go vertical straight after take off.
 
#5
Is there really a problem using them on ongoing operations?

It's not like we have a budget the size of the US for military expenditure

UK: 35.3bn GBP - 2018
USA: 696bn USD - 2018
How much do you spend on maintaining the old airframes for combat readiness? Using them for training as mentioned in the article makes sense. The Luftwaffe Tornado fleet isn't in a particularly good state. They might want some parts to keep a token force going until 2035...

From Defence News, April 2018:

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Germany fears steeper Tornado costs after the UK ditches its planes
 
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#6
In other words, the Hun bureaucracy want to get shot of all Tornados as soon as possible, in the hope that a replacement for reasonable money will magically appear to save the day (ie, their jobs). Note to editor; was Berlin the seat of Government when the German Tornado fleet was originally bought? .......there probably isnt a singe part made in 1980 left on those aircraft, which have probably been overhauled and upgraded at least twice in their lives.
 
#7
Is there really a problem using them on ongoing operations?

It's not like we have a budget the size of the US for military expenditure

UK: 35.3bn GBP - 2018
USA: 696bn USD - 2018
Engineering support contracts are up; no more aircrew or ground crew converting to the type as they are required on other platforms; RAF policy of no more than two types for each role. Everything comes to an end.
 
#9
1979 that seems so long ago now, I always that the Tornado was pretty 'ally'.

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#10
Memorable moment for me was on Ex in the highlands and a pair of Tornado's flying in the valley below me. Not my pictures obviously:

 
#11
The retirement of the GR4 also means the fast jet Nav, WSO, talking Navbag etc etc will be a thing of the past. This means a world where the seat-to-stick interface's ego will now run unchecked in the fast jet world.

 
#12
In other words, the Hun bureaucracy want to get shot of all Tornados as soon as possible, in the hope that a replacement for reasonable money will magically appear to save the day (ie, their jobs). Note to editor; was Berlin the seat of Government when the German Tornado fleet was originally bought? .......there probably isnt a singe part made in 1980 left on those aircraft, which have probably been overhauled and upgraded at least twice in their lives.
Berlin was the seat of the East German Gov't back then, West Germany had its parliament etc in Bonn.
 
#15
Is there really a problem using them on ongoing operations?

It's not like we have a budget the size of the US for military expenditure

UK: 35.3bn GBP - 2018
USA: 696bn USD - 2018
The airframes themselves have kept together purely using prayers, sacrifices to various gods, and blind luck and such a lot of time out for testing to check it was still safe that they were barely present for actual flying - but there is only so much stress metal can take and we use ours more than the Germans do.
 
#16
I grew up next the the factory that made them, or as they were known then, the MRCA, Multi Role Combat Aircraft. With he added bonus of seeing daily Lightning flights, which used to go vertical straight after take off.
I’m fortunate to be regularly overflown by the BBMF, red arrows and a few cheeky chinooks flying low.
 

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#17
The airframes themselves have kept together purely using prayers, sacrifices to various gods, and blind luck and such a lot of time out for testing to check it was still safe that they were barely present for actual flying - but there is only so much stress metal can take and we use ours more than the Germans do.
What about the black nasty? You told me there were entire air frames and avionics packs held together with the stuff.
 
#18
What happens to Navigators? Will they be hoofed?
 
#20
I grew up next the the factory that made them, or as they were known then, the MRCA, Multi Role Combat Aircraft. With he added bonus of seeing daily Lightning flights, which used to go vertical straight after take off.
I grew up in Lostock Hall, the southern turning point between Salmesbury and Warton (it was the gas works there).
I remember a childhood with skies full of Jags, Tornadoes, Canberras, Lightnings, Buccs, Strikemasters and Hawks.
My house now lies directly under the flightpath into Warton (western Preston) and my home office faces west, so I get to see all the traffic going into there.
The skies are a lot quieter these days and the Tornadoes few and far between. I'll be getting myself down there when they do the final flight at the end of March and it may get a little dusty.
A hell of a plane that proved itself again and again.
I may get to see the odd Saudi one after that though, fingers crossed.
 

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