Riat22 Germany Tornado Ecr 46Plus25 Kev Storer

Panavia Tornado ECR

Nicknamed the Mighty Fin, the Panavia Tornado was originally known as the Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MRCA) program and was a joint program between the UK, Italy and Germany. Designed as a specialist low level strike aircraft, 990 were eventually produced for the three partner nations and Saudi Arabia. The Tornado was produced in three main variants, the IDS which was the main strike variant, ECR which is an advanced anti-radar variant and the ADV which was an interceptor variant. The latter differed from the IDS and ECR by featuring more powerful engines, a lengthened fuselage to accommodate more fuel and was fitted with the Foxhunter air to air radar. The type became famous for its ultra-low-level exploits during the first Gulf War attacking Iraqi airfields. The RAF retired their last Tornados in 2019.

The German Air Force originally took delivery of 247 Tornados including 35 ECR variants, the remainder being IDS variants. These were further supplemented between 1994 and 2005 as the German Navy either retired or transferred to the Air Force their own fleet of 112 Tornado IDS aircraft. The current German Air Force fleet has been reduced to 90 aircraft by budget cuts but has been constantly upgraded and remains a potent combat aircraft having served in Kosovo and Afghanistan. During 2021 the German government announced that the Tornado’s role as a NATO Nuclear Bomber in their military would be replaced by an order for 35 F-35A Lightning IIs. It is likely that the remainder of the Tornado fleet will be replaced by subsequent Typhoon orders as a stop gap until a 6th generation fighter is co-developed with France.

We are very pleased to announce that a pair of German Air Force Tornado, one ECR and the other an IDS variant will be attending RIAT 2024 for static display. The ECR will be provided by TLG 51, a member of the NATO Tiger Association and the host of the 2024 Tiger Meet which will be attending as part of our 75th anniversary of NATO celebrations. The IDS will be provided by WTD 61 which is responsible for test and development within the Luftwaffe, they will be attending as part of our Pushing the Boundaries in Air and Space theme.

Photo Credit: Kev Storer

On display

Role Friday Saturday Sunday
Static Not decided Yes Yes