The afterburner exhaust on a F4 Tornado fighter aircraft
Contributor:David Gowans / Alamy Stock Photo
File size:60 MB (2 MB Compressed download)
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Dimensions:5417 x 3869 px | 45.9 x 32.8 cm | 18.1 x 12.9 inches | 300dpi
Location:Kinloss Morayshire Grampian Region Scotland
The Tornado GR4 is a variable geometry, two-seat, day or night, all-weather attack aircraft, capable of delivering a wide variety of weapons. Powered by two Rolls-Royce RB 199 Mk 103 turbofan engines, the GR4 is capable of low-level supersonic flight and can sustain a high subsonic cruise speed. The aircraft can fly automatically at low level using terrain-following radar when poor weather prevents visual flight. The aircraft is also equipped with forward-looking infrared and is night-vision goggle compatible, making it a capable platform for passive night operations. For navigation purposes, the Tornado is equipped with an integrated global positioning inertial navigation system that can also be updated with visual or radar inputs. The GR4 is also equipped with a Laser Ranger and Marked Target Seeker system that can be used for ground designation or can provide accurate range information on ground targets. The GR4 can carry up to three Paveway II, two Paveway III or Enhanced Paveway Laser and Global Positioning System Guided Bombs (LGBs), and by using a Thermal Imaging Airborne Laser Designation (TIALD) pod it is able to self-designate targets for LGB delivery. The GR4 also has a ground-mapping radar to identify targets for the delivery of conventional 1000lb bombs and BL755 cluster bombs. All GR4 aircraft are capable of carrying the Air Launched Anti- Radiation Missile (ALARM), which homes on the emitted radiation of enemy radar systems and can be used for the suppression of enemy air defences. The GR4 is capable of carrying up to nine ALARM missiles or a mixed configuration of ALARM missiles and bombs. In the reconnaissance role the GR4 can carry the Digital Joint Reconnaissance Pod to provide detailed reconnaissance imagery; this is currently being replaced with the RAPTOR pod, which provides an even greater day-and night reconnaissance potential.