Panavia Tornado GR4

The Panavia Tornado GR4 is a two engine, variable-geometry, two-seat, day or night, all-weather attack aircraft, capable of delivering a wide variety of weapons.

GR4 is powered by two Rolls Royce RB 199 Mk 103 turbofan engines, each of them is rated at a maximum thrust of 16,500 lbf (73.5 kN). It is a 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 when poor weather prevents visual flight.

The Panavia Tornado GR4 is also equipped with forward-looking Infrared and is night-vision google compatible, making it a capable platform for passive night operations. For navigation purposes, the Tornado is equipped with an integrated global positioning inertial navigation system that can also be updated with visual or radar inputs.

It is also equipped with a Laser Ranger and Marked Target Seeker system that can be used for ground designation or can provide accurate range information on ground targets.

The GR4 can carry up to three Paveway II, two Paveway III or Enhanced Paveway Laser Guided Bombs (LGBs), and by using a Thermal Imaging Airborne Laser Designation (TIALD) pod it is able to self-designate targets for LGB delivery. The GR4 also has a ground-mapping radar to identify targets for the delivery of conventional 1000lb bombs and BL755 cluster bombs. All Panavia GR4 aircraft are capable of carrying the Air Launched Anti-Radiation Missile (ALARM), which homes on the emitted radiation of enemy radar systems and can be used for the suppression of enemy air defences. The GR4 is capable of carrying up to nine ALARM missiles or a mixed configuration of ALARM missiles and bombs. In the reconnaissance role this aircraft can carry the Joint Reconnaissance Pod to provide detailed reconnaissance imagery; this is currently being replaced with the RAPTOR pod, which provides an even greater day-and-night reconnaissance potential.

For self-protection, the Tornado GR4 is normally armed with two AIM-9L Sidewinder short-range, air-to-air missiles, a BOZ-107 Pod on the right wing to dispense chaff and flares and a Sky Shadow-2 electronic counter-measures pod on the left wing. The aircraft can also carry an integral 27mm Mauser cannon capable of firing 1700 rounds per minute.

The Tornado GR4 is now being equipped with the Storm Shadow missile and will soon be equipped with the new Brimstone missile. The Storm Shadow will allow the Tornado to make precision strikes in poor weather with a greatly increased stand-off range from the target area. Brimstone will provide the Tornado with an effective anti-armour weapon, also providing an enhanced stand-off range.

The GR4A variant is equipped with the Tornado Infrared Reconnaissance system, which provides a low-level tactical reconnaissance capability.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*