RAF Tornado Units in Combat 1992-2019

RAF Tornado Units in Combat 1992-2019

Combat Aircraft 142
  • Author: Michael Napier
  • Illustrator: Janusz Swiatlon, Gareth Hector
  • Short code: COM 142
  • Publication Date: 20 Jan 2022
  • Number of Pages: 96
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After the Gulf War of 1990, No Fly Zones (NFZ) were established over northern and southern Iraq and the Tornado GR 1 force stepped up to operations over the southern NFZ.

The Tornado GR 4 took responsibility for RAF combat air operations in Afghanistan from the Harrier force in 2009, and in 2011 was involved in missions against the Gaddafi regime in Libya. The unique multirole capabilities of the aircraft enabled it to support ground operations with the Raptor reconnaissance pod, Brimstone missiles and Paveway IV laser-guided bombs until withdrawal in 2014. The Tornado GR 4 was also used for operations over Iraq and Syria against the ISIL terrorist organisation. Intensive air operations were flown between 2014 and 2019, when the Tornado GR 4 was finally withdrawn from RAF Service.

This volume, written by former RAF pilot Michael Napier, provides detailed first-hand accounts of the missions undertaken by the Tornado crews during the most recent conflicts over the Middle East and the Balkans.

Biographical Note

Michael Napier is the author of 11 books on aspects of aviation and military history, including the Royal Air Force: A Centenary of Operations, Cold War Skies, Combat Aircraft - RAF Tornado Units of the Gulf War and Combat Aircraft - Wellington Units of World War 2 published by Osprey. Michael, who spent nearly ten years flying the Tornado GR1 from RAF Bruggen in the late 1980s and early 1990s, has been an airline pilot for the last 21 years. He lives near Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire.ARTIST: Based in Poland, Janusz Swiatlon has produced artwork for a variety of British and European publications for many years. This will be his fifth commission for Osprey.


(Subject to Confirmation)

Chapter 1
Iraq Operations Jural
Southern Watch
Resinate South Tornado GR 1 operations enforcing the NFZ in southern Iraq from 1992 - including laser-guided kinetic events in 1993 and 1998-2003 (including Operation Desert Fox, three days of bombing in December 1998); Operations Warden
Northern Watch
Resinate North over northern Iraq 1995-2003. Tornado F 3 involvement from 1999.

Chapter 2
Operation Deny Flight over Bosnia-Herzegovina, with Tornado F 3 operations enforcing NFZ over the Balkans 1993-99. Combat Air Patrols and defensive counter-air operations throughout the period.

Chapter 3
Operation Engadine, Tornado GR 1 offensive operations against Serbian military installations from RAF Br├╝ggen (and later Sigonella) March-May 1999.

Chapter 4
Operation Telic, second Gulf War (March-April 2003). Tornado GR 4 operations from Kuwait and Tornado F 3 operations from Saudi Arabia. Post-war operations, urban Close Air Support (CAS) missions, 2003-09. First use of Storm Shadow missile. Coincident F 3 tasking with Baltic Air defence (2004) and also Falklands commitment.

Chapter 5
Operation Ellamy (March-October 2011). Tornado GR 4 operations in NFZ over Libya, based at Marham and Gioia del Colle. Operations against military installations and armoured vehicle concentrations.

Chapter 6
Operation Herrick Tornado GR 4 missions from Kandahar 2009-2014. Many CAS and surveillance ops, use of Brimstone missile.

Chapter 7
Iraq and Syria
Operation Shader against ISIL terrorists 2014-19, Tornado GR 4 from Akrotiri, most sorties involve dropping ordnance.

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