Friday, August 5, 2011
The Panavia Tornado Air Defence Variant (ADV) is a long-range, twin-engine interceptor version of the swing-wing Panavia Tornado. Prior to March 2011, the Tornado ADV served with the Royal Air Force (RAF) who were the principal users of the type. The aircraft's first flight was on 27 October 1979, and it entered service in 1986. It was retired on 22 March 2011 by the RAF, and is now only in service with the Royal Saudi Air Force. The Italian Air Force had also operated the type.
The aircraft was originally designed to intercept Soviet bombers as they came in from the East to strike the United Kingdom. The Tornado ADV for the Royal Saudi Air Force were produced to F3 standard. Both the RAF and RSAF are replacing the Tornado ADV with the Eurofighter Typhoon. The Tornado F3 was retired by the RAF on 22 March 2011.