On Friday, Tornado, Typhoon and Reaper combat aircraft from RAF Akrotiri, launched a large scale assault on Islamic State

Supported by a Voyager tanker the aircraft flew armed reconnaissance missions over north-east Syria and northern Iraq. Near Mosul, the Typhoons conducted two attacks with Paveway IV precision guided bombs. Across the border in Syria, two pairs of Tornados worked in close cooperation with an RAF Reaper to target a group of Daesh defensive positions and a large tunnel complex with several entrances.

Air strikes to now focus on hitting command centres and supply lines while continuing to avoid civilian casualties.

RAF combat aircraft have already stepped up strikes in recent weeks. Ministry of Defence figures show that UK air strikes have risen from a monthly average of 29 between May and October last year to more than 80 in December. In the first week of January the RAF conducted 31 strikes.

According to the Ministry of Defence:

RAF Reapers were in action again on Saturday 30 January. In the area of Ramadi, they conducted two successful attacks with Hellfire missiles against an armoured truck and a mechanical excavator, while a patrol along the border with Syria destroyed another engineering vehicle, used to build defences and attempt repairs to damage from coalition air strikes, near Al Qaim.

On Sunday, a Tornado GR4 flight provided support to the Iraqi army in and around Ramadi: our aircraft used a Brimstone missile to destroy a large truck-bomb, and three Paveways to destroy terrorist positions, including a heavy machine-gun team which had been previously attacking the Iraqi army. In northern Iraq, Typhoons conducted two Paveway attacks on a group of terrorists caught in the open near Mosul, and, slightly further south, a Daesh-held building. A pair of Typhoons also patrolled over eastern Syria, where they employed Paveways to destroy two large clusters of defensive positions.

On Monday 1 February, two Tornados flew reconnaissance and close air support for the Kurdish peshmerga in northern Iraq. Near Kisik Junction, they used a Brimstone missile and three Paveways to attack three rocket launchers and a Daesh vehicle, then over Qayyarah, a further Brimstone and Paveway destroyed an ammunition truck and a mortar position. Typhoons operated in the area of Ramadi, where they conducted successful attacks on three terrorist strongpoints.”

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David Anthony Simpson

We should keep the GR4 capability (all 3 squadrons) gpoing until 2025 as origianlly planned pre-2010. This will ensure the RAF has a big enough and cflexiblec apability until there is at least 3 squadrons of F35B to replace them.

James Gale

…or at least the Typhoons have reached PE3 status. Desperately needs the AESA radar as we are on a backfoot export wise against the Rafale and weapons integration is just far too slow.


We have weapons and it has good capability yes it need one or two more extra weapons but it is a great jet. AESA radar will probable come in the near future.

Jony Lemon Jones

Hasn’t Op Herrick and Shader diminished the the remaining airframe hours?

James Gale

Here’s the daft thing. The F3 airframe had very low hours. It is also a better airframe in terms of airflow than the GR4. There was a study to look at is a wild weasel using the excellent inbuilt ECM system.
Whilst cost is always an issue a rebuild of the F3 into GR4 would have been a very cost effective solution to keeping low airframe hours.

John Stevens

I don’t know if this is true, but about a month ago i read that the Air chief marshal of the RAF had said: “with RAF efficiencies that could be made in the future we could have a 10th fighter squadron instead of the 9 that are planned. I would appreciate if any one has some information on this subject? Thanks!!

Joe Harrison

10,000 strikes, and 90 Islamic so called leaders killed. Good Show.