From: Terry W. Colvin (
Date: Mon Jul 31 2000 - 22:19:57 MDT

Successful co-production

In 1969 three-nation airframe and engine consortiums were formed to develop
and build the "swing-wing" Multi-Role Combat Aircraft required by the air
arms of the countries involved. In 1976 the governments of the interested
parties agreed that Panavia would build 809 of these Tornado aircraft,
including 697 of the IDS interdictor/strike version with reconnaissance
and other capabilities. Production totals have since increased.

A broad European program

The Tornado is a very advanced multi-role warplane using a fly-by-wire
control system and an advanced nav/attack system (including terrain-following
radar) for penetration and blind first-pass weapon delivery
at very high speed at heights down to 200 ft (61 m). The combination
of "swing wings" with extensive high-lift devices and thrust-reversible
engines also provides the Tornado with STOL capability even on rough
airfields. The type first flew in April 1974 and entered service in
1980. Current plans will result in the delivery of more than 725 IDS
aircraft, and a mid-life update will soon maintain the type's capability
into the next century.

Principal version

Tornado IDS (interdictor/strike and reconnaissance version operated by the
RAF as the Tornado GR.Mk 1 combat type and the Tornado GR.Mk 1T combat-
capable trainer).

Principal users

Great Britain, Italy, Saudi Arabia, and West Germany

Technical data
Type: Panavia Tornado IDS two-seat multi-role warplane.
Engines: two 16,800-lb (7,620-kg) reheated thrust Turbo-Union RB199-34R
Performance: maximum speed 1,453+ mph (2,337+ km/h) or Mach 2.2+ at 36,000 ft
(10,975 m); climb to 30,000 ft (9.145 m) in less than 2 minutes 0 seconds
from brake release; service ceiling 49,210+ ft (15,000+ m); radius 863 miles
(1,390 km) with heavy warload.
Weights: empty 31,063 lb (14,090 kg); maximum take-off 60,000 lb (27,215 kg).
Dimensions: span 45 ft 7.5 in (13.91 m) spread and 28 ft 2.5 in (8.60 m)
swept; length 54 ft 10.25 in (16.72 m); height 18 ft 8.5 in (5.70 m); wing
area about 269.0 sq ft (25.0 m^2).
Armament: two 27-mm cannon and up to 19,840 lb (9,000 kg) of disposable

P.S.: Synchronicity strikes again - while scanning these information cards
I surfed across the movie "Blue Tornado" on the telly. See some info at
< >.

Terry W. Colvin, Sierra Vista, Arizona (USA)
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