UK’s Tornados To Retire In 2019

  • 12:00 AM, August 6, 2012
  • 2420
By the end of this decade, the UK’s Royal Air Force will have phased out the Panavia Tornado GR4 to make room for the Eurofighter Typhoon and Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II. The British Forces Broadcasting Service reported on August 3 that the “R4 bomber will leave service in March 2019 after featuring in every conflict since the first Gulf War”. "The out-of-service date for the UK Tornado fleet has been confirmed by the MoD [Ministry of Defence] as March 2019," BAE Systems said in its half-year results statement on 2 August. The service also reported that the Joint Strike Fighter will effectively replace it, although no decision will be taken on how many new planes to buy for another three years. Meanwhile, BAE says it has delivered 73 upgraded aircraft under its Tornado Sustainment Programme deal with the Royal Saudi Air Force, including 12 which were returned to service in the first six months of 2012.
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