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Luftwaffe Sending Another Tornado to Ostrava

06.06.2013, 14:07

In addition to the previously announced Tornado GR.4 of the Royal Air Force (RAF), the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) has confirmed its Tornado IDS aircraft for static presentation. NATO Days in Ostrava & Czech Air Force Days visitors will thus have a chance to admire both versions of this very attractive aircraft.

Luftwaffe’s Tornado will be representing the Jagdbombergeschwader 33 (Fighter-Bomber Wing 33) based at  Büchel. “German Air Force Tornadoes IDS participated already in 2007, 2008 and 2009, moreover, in 2007 being from the very same unit as this year. We believe our visitors will appreciate this popular aircraft,” says Zbyněk Pavlačík, chairman of the Jagello 2000 Association, the NATO Days in Ostrava & Czech Air Force Days main organizer.

NATO Days in Ostrava had seen the Tornado aircraft already in 2005 in the F3 version of the RAF, when history was made as the UK became the very first foreign country participating with aircraft. “The Tornado is thus especially dear to us and has a special flavour at our event. We are excited that the German Tornado meets the British one here after four years,” adds Pavlačík.

The supersonic, twin-engined, swing-wing Tornado aircraft had been produced between 1979 and 1998 by the Panavia Aircraft GmbH. The company manages the Tornado projects of Germany, Italy and the UK who are, with Saudi Arabia, also only operators of the type.

The Tornado fighter-bombers are capable of high-sped, low-altitude intrusions deep into the enemy territory and have all-weather and 24-hour deployment capability. The aircraft’s main task is the suppression of enemy by surprise attack. To this end, Tornado can carry up to 9 tons of weaponry on its 13 hardpoints, complemented by two built-in 27mm cannons.

Luftwaffe’s Tornadoes have seen action in 1995 in the NATO Operation Deliberate Force, aimed at establishing the so-called “safe-havens” in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Tornadoes have also been used in the ISAF operation in Afghanistan.

The Büchel-based Tornado aircraft are capable of carrying nuclear weapons, namely the US B61 gravitation bombs, of which several dozen are stored at the base. In the scope of the nuclear sharing policy, these tactical nuclear weapons could be made available for use by Luftwaffe in case of war. Nevertheless, this is a Cold War relict and fierce discussions have been waged over its real implementation.

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