Royal Air Force Tornado GR.4
For so long the mainstay of the RAF's strike force, the Tornado GR4 is now in its twilight years. An example will be sent for static display at RIAT by No II (Army Co-operation) Squadron stationed at RAF Marham, Norfolk. This unit proclaims itself to be the oldest fixed-wing flying squadron in the world, and celebrated its centenary during 2012. In future, II(AC) will become a Typhoon operator at RAF Lossiemouth. The squadron's current operations are focused, as they have been for many years, on low-level reconnaissance. To this end the main sensor used today is the RAPTOR (Reconnaissance Airborne Pod for Tornado) pod, able to download photography data in real time to ground stations or to the cockpit, and with a vital long-range 'stand-off' capability. Worthy of note is the fact that this year also marks the 40th anniversary of the maiden flight of the first Panavia MRCA prototype that led to the Tornado.