German Air Force Tornado

German, British and Italian air forces fly the Tornado air-to-ground and air defense fighter. PANAVIA in Munich, Germany, is contracted to all three governments to manufacture and deliver the aircraft. While PANAVIA ensures management and control of the total weapons system program, the production and engineering facilities employed for the development, testing and manufacture of the Tornados are partner companies: Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm, in Germany; Aeritalia, in Italy; and British Aerospace, in Great Britain.

The Tornado Interdictor Strike (IDS) and Air Defense Variant (ADV) use similar airframes and the same engines and aircraft systems, but different radar, avionics software and weapon suites.

Both versions of the Tornado feature two crew positions, two engines, short takeoff and landing performance, fly-by-wire controls, and an aerial refueling probe.

The Tornado IDS attacks targets with high accuracy in all weather conditions. It carries a spectrum of weapons and defensive aids and is highly survivable by virtue of its automatic terrain-following and electronic counter-measure systems.

The Tornado IDS carries two internally mounted guns and two AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles for self defense. The aircraft is guided by an accurate, fully autonomous navigation system.

The Tornado ADV provides autonomous, all-weather air defense. It can patrol for more than two hours at 350 nautical miles from base and can climb to 30,000 feet in under two minutes. The ADV detects targets more than 100 nautical miles away and engages those targets beyond visual range. It is equipped with a secure data link for integrated tactical scenarios and has a multiple-target track-while-scan radar with high electronic countermeasure resistance. The Tornado ADV features tactical air-to-air displays. It can launch four medium-range Skyflash missiles at four targets in close succession. It carries all-aspect Sidewinder missiles and a 27mm gun for close-in combat.

General Characteristics

Overall Length: 54 ft, 9 in
Wing Span, Swept: 28 ft, 2 in
Wing Span, Unswept: 45 ft, 7 in
Height: 19 ft, 6 in
Maximum Level Speed: Mach 2.2, 800 Knots
Thrust Per Engine: Over 9,000 lbs
Reheated Thrust Per Engine: Over 16,000 lbs
Design Fatigue Life: 16,000 hrs
Minimum Service Life: 4,000 hrs
Operational Weight, Empty: 30,800 lbs
Max. Take-Off Weight: 61,700 lbs
Max. Payload: Over 19,800 lbs
Manufacturer: PANAVIA, Munich, Germany