The Tornado Interdictor Strike (IDS) is the export version equivalent to the RAF's GR.Mk.1 designed by the three members of Panavia--the UK's British Aerospace Germany's MBB and Italy's Aeritalia. The Tornado is an exceptional performer and well-suited to low-level high-speed bombing missions thanks to its advanced navigation/attack system. The system's powerful radar can operate in search, ground-mapping and terrain-following modes. This allowed British Italian and Saudi Tornadoes to engage in many low-level anti-runway bombing sorties early in the 1991 war against Iraq. So successful was the Tornado IDS that nearly 1000 examples were built including 402 for the UK, 359 for Germany, 99 for Italy and 96 for Saudi Arabia.
In time of war the Harrier was to be deployed away from established airfields which were vulnerable to attack. Instead it was to be operated from short rough strips of ground and hidden in camouflaged 'hides' from which it would attack the enemy's approaching armoured formations. These qualities came into their own during the Falklands War. RAF Harriers were deployed to the Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Hermes as part of the Task Force sent to recapture the Falklands Islands. The Harrier GR3 performed attack sorties from the aircraft carrier and later from basic landing strips on the islands often in conditions that would have grounded conventional aircraft. HMS Hermes sailed from Portsmouth for the Falkland Islands Total Exclusion Zone (TEZ) on 05.04.82 with five Sea Harriers (SHARs) of 800 NAS plus four SHARs from 899 NAS which had in effect been absorbed into 800 NAS on 02.04.82. The original 800 NAS pilots were Lt Cdrs Andy Auld (CO) Mike Blissett and Rod Frederiksen Lts Mike Hale Simon Hargreaves Andy McHarg Clive Morrell Dave Smith and Nick Taylor and Flt Lt Ted Ball. The 899 NAS pilots who joined them were Lt Cdrs Neil Thomas (CO) Tony Ogilvy and Gordon Batt S/Lt Andy George Flt Lts Dave Morgan and Robert Penfold.
6 Squadron of the RAF holds the distinction of being the longest continuously serving Squadron anywhere in the world. Formed on the 31st January 1914, 6 Squadron remained operational continuously until 2007, when it disbanded as the last Jaguar Squadron. The model depicted, XX738 represents one of the Squadron's aircraft as they were typically seen in their final days flying out of RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire. The RAF has announced that No. 6 Sqn will be the third operational front line squadron equipped with the Eurofighter Typhoon but production delays to Tranche 2 aircraft have meant that "the Flying Canopeners" are yet to reform. However they remain scheduled to be the next squadron to receive the Typhoon, the RAF's latest front line jet aircraft.
AA32312 - BAC Lightning F6 - XS921, RAF 74 Sqn, Tengah, Singapore, 1969
English Electric Lightning F6, serial number XS921, was delivered to 74 Tiger Squadron in December 1966 and initially based at RAF Leuchars in Scotland. In 1967, XS921 and other Lightnings of 74 Sqn made the long journey to Tengah Air Base in Singapore and in doing so became the first RAF fighter unit to make such a journey using air to air refuelling. The deployment to Singapore, codenamed Operation Hydraulic, gave the RAFs Far East Air Force (FEAF) a powerful supersonic fighter element in the region. This was deemed necessary in order to deter the territorial claims made by Indonesia against nearby Malaysia, a British protectorate. The show of strength proved successful and 74 Sqn departed Tengah in August 1971 with the squadron disbanding. Its Lightnings were taken over by 56 Sqn at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus. In September 1985, while serving with 11 Sqn, Lightning XS921 was lost after developing technical problems while returning to RAF Binbrook after a training exercise but thankfully the pilot was able to make a successful ejection. For more information about 74 Squadron please visit www.74squadron.org.uk
AA36405 - Eurofighter EF2000 Typhoon F2, ZJ921, 3 Sqn RAF Coningsby, 2008 - MOD TOOL
The Eurofighter Typhoon is a twin-engine canard-delta wing multirole aircraft. It is being designed and built by a consortium of three separate partner companies: Alenia Aeronautica, BAE Systems, and EADS working through a holding company Eurofighter GmbH which was formed in 1986. The aircraft has entered service with the UK Royal Air Force, the German Luftwaffe, the Italian Air Force, the Spanish Air Force and the Austrian Air Force. It is also in production for Saudi Arabia. No. 3 Squadron (Royal Flying Corps) was formed at Larkhill on 13 May 1912 from No. 2 Company of the Air Battalion Royal Engineers. 3 Sqn was actually the first squadron to receive heavier than air flying machines, hence the motto 'Tertius primus erit', meaning 'The third shall be the first'. No. 3 Sqn became the first operational front line squadron equipped with the Eurofighter Typhoon on March 31 2006. 3(F) Sqn was declared operational in 2007.
The DH airframe 6477 started life as the very last Comet 4C and was subsequently converted to become the first prototype Nimrod. Built at Chester as a Comet 4C in 1962, it was however not sold and remained partially completed when it was stored pending further use. When Hawker Siddeley developed the plans for the Nimrod it was decided to complete XV148 as the aerodynamic prototype. In 1972, XV148 participated in Searchwater development work and then returned to HS at Woodford before being allocated to the RRE at Pershore on 23rd December 1975 for avionics and weapon systems research. XV148 moved to RAE Bedford in 1977 and was finally retired form use in 1982. The final flight was made in 1982 when it returned to Woodford for structural stress and fatigue testing.
AA32713 - Hawker Hunter F6 - 74 Sqdn 'Sailor Malan' RAF Horsham St Faith
No. 74 Sqn was formed on July 1st 1917 as a training Sqn for the RFC. They were remobilised on March 1st 1918, as a 'service' Sqn. 74 Sqn then moved to France where they were equipped with SE5 single seat aircraft. Whilst in France, 74 Sqn was nicknamed 'Tiger Squadron' because of the aggressive spirit shown by their pilots. That is why we now see the Tigers head on 74 Sqn aircraft. No. 74 Sqn re-equipped with Hawker Hunter F.4s at Horsham St. Faith in March 1957. These were supplemented by F.Mk.6s in November that year, with several aircraft being painted with a fascimile of Sailor Malans signature on the nose in recognition of Adolf Sailor Malan, 74 Sqns famous Battle of Britain Ace. No. 74 Sqn moved to Coltishall, in June 1959 and was re-equipped with the Lightning in 1960.
In 1977 the military mirrored the popular film JAWS as its acronym and name for its tactical tests of the A-10 and Army attack helicopters became the `Joint Attack Weapons System' (JAWS). Air Force Aggressor pilots reported that the A-10's light celestial camouflage scheme made the `Warthog' easily visible from above so the 57th Tactical Training Wing developed a new terrestrial camouflage of tan green or grey sprayed and brushed with other earth tones. Two of the camouflages were evaluated at JAWS II in November 1977 and by September 1978 the `Lizard' scheme became a minor though well-remembered camouflage oddity.