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Tornado F3

No 1435 Flight - Falkland Islands

The badge of the Royal Air Force (Crown Copyright - MOD)2

 

 
  Charity on the taxiway Charity and Faith heading for the runway Nice ass!  
 

Charity on the taxiway

Charity and Faith heading for the runway

Nice ass!

 

 

 

Making the armament safe Connecting the tractor Arms of the Government of the Falkland Islands Tucking her in! The bedroom

Making the armament safe

Connecting the tractor

Arms of the Government of the Falkland Islands

Tucking her in!

The bedroom

 

    Tornado F3 Charity    
   

Charity "in bed"

   

Aircraft Specifications

RAF Tornado F3

 

Key Points:
  • Two-seat supersonic fighter
  • Long patrol time at great distance from base
  • 'Swing Wings' move in flight
Details

The Tornado F3 was developed from the original Tornado GR1 attack aircraft as a dedicated fighter and entered service (as the Tornado F2) with the RAF in 1986. In reality the 18 F2s built were little more than an interim aircraft lacking radar and the more powerful engines of the definitive F3.

First deliveries of the Tornado F3 were made to the RAF in 1986. Fitted with the Foxhunter radar and more powerful engines, the aircraft replaced ageing Lightning and Phantom fighters in the air defence role. One key feature of the F3 is its ability to patrol at long distance from its home base, and these air patrols can be extended by air-to-air refuelling.

The standard weapons carried by the Tornado F3 are up to four Sidewinder or ASRAAM short-range air-to-air missiles on the wing pylons and four Skyflash or AMRAAM medium-range mmsiiles mounted under the fuselage. In the months before the 2003 Gulf War, a small number of Tornado F3s underwent a modification programme to allow them to operate as 'wild weasel' anti-radar aircraft. The modifications permitted the carriage of a pair of ALARM anti-radar missiles to be carried in place of the Skyflash or AMRAAM missiles, but the modified aircraft were not deployed during the conflict.

In its usual air defence role, the F3 can receive real-time information through a datalink on approaching targets from patrolling Sentry early warning aircraft and attack nominated targets without having to use its own radar and give its position away to the enemy. Similarly, in the anti-radar role, F3s can pass information back to the Sentrys or ground-stations to pass on the location of an opponent's radar site for onward relay to other aircraft or ground forces.

Roles

Counter-Air (CA). (Perhaps better described by it's more common title of 'Air Defence'. )

Suppression of Enemy Air Defences (SEAD - pronounced 'see-add'). Attacks on enemy air defence systems such as surface-to-air missile positions with ALARM missiles. (Limited to a few aircraft upgraded for this new role.)

Armament

One 27mm cannon plus four Sky Flash or AMRAAM medium range air-to-air missiles plus four AIM-9L Sidewinder or ASRAAM short-range air-to-air missiles. A small number of aircraft have also be modified to carry the ALARM anti-radar missile.

F3 Specifications

Engines: Two Turbo-Union RB199s

Length: 61ft 3in (18.68m)

Wingspan: 45ft 7in (13.90m) at 17 sweep; 28ft 2in (8.60m) at 68 sweep

Top Speed: 1,480mph (2,333km/h) at 40,000ft (12,492m)

Crew: Pilot and Weapons Systems Operator

 

(Crown Copyright - MOD)

More information about the RAF Tornado F3