Friday, September 17, 2021

BAE Systems marks 40 years since the first Tornado aircraft were delivered to Royal Air Force

British multinational defense, security and aerospace company BAE Systems marks 40 years since the first Tornado aircraft were delivered to Royal Air Force.

Tornado has been a vital part of the RAF from the day it entered into service in 1980 and, through a combination of enhancements and capability improvements, it has remained just as important to the very end of its operational life for the RAF as it was at the start.

Built as part of a consortium between the UK, Germany and Italy, the Tornado is a swing-wing aircraft renowned for its ability to operate in any weather conditions, at low level at any time of the day or night. Whilst active service for the RAF has now almost come to a close, the aircraft continues in service and continues to form an vital component of other air forces around the world.


According to BAE Systems: “The iconic aircraft was retired in the U.K. earlier this year after an illustrious stint in service.”

Three Tornado GR4 aircraft made their final pass over skies across the UK in February, it was another poignant moment for those associated with this icon of air power.

The flypast was part of a long farewell for the UK’s fleet which, on March 31 2019, will be retired from service with the Royal Air Force, bringing to an end many decades of service.

If you wish to report grammatical or factual errors within our news articles, you can let us know by using the online feedback form.

If you would like to show your support for what we are doing, here's where to do it:

Executive Editor

About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
U.S. defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.