A Royal Air Force Tornado GR4 prepares for takeoff from Gioia Del Colle airbase in Italy during Operation Ellamy, the UN backed operation to secure the skies over Libya in 2011.
The Tornado GR4 is a variable geometry, two-seat, day or night, all-weather attack aircraft capable of delivering a wide variety of weapons.
Powered by two Rolls-Royce RB 199 Mk 103 turbofan engines, the GR4 is capable of low-level supersonic flight and can sustain a high subsonic cruise speed.
The aircraft can fly automatically at low level using Terrain Following Radar (TFR) when poor weather prevents visual flight.
The aircraft is also equipped with Forward Looking InfraRed (FLIR) and is Night Vision Goggle (NVG) compatible. This gives it a relatively unique all weather night capability as well as making it an impressive platform for mounting passive night electro-optical operations.
For navigation purposes, the Tornado is equipped with an integrated Global Positioning Inertial Navigation System (GPINS). The GR4 also has a Ground Mapping Radar (GMR) to identify fix-points and update navigation systems as well as providing an air to air search facility.
The GR4 is also equipped with a Laser Ranger and Marked Target Seeker
(LRMTS) that can be used to locate targets designated on the ground or
can provide accurate range information to ground targets.Photographer:
Sgt Pete Mobbs
Image 45153869.jpg from www.defenceimages.mod.uk