Two Tornado GR4 jets, based at RAF Akrotiri, were tasked against one of the few tanks operated by Islamic State.

The tank had been spotted by coalition surveillance aircraft hidden under a tarpaulin in an orchard to the south-west of Sinjar.

The tank was destroyed by a direct hit from a Brimstone missile.

In December 2016, it was reported that the Royal Air Force is operating at its most intense for 25 years in a single theatre of operation which far outstripped the UK involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan – RAF jets have dropped 11 times more bombs (1,276 strikes) on Syria and Iraq in the preceding 12 months than they had in the busiest year of action in Afghanistan a decade previously.

The cost of the operations against Islamic State and other details of the campaign were revealed in a briefing paper.

In March 2015 the MoD confirmed that the net additional costs of the military air operation would be met from the Treasury Special Reserve; while the costs of training and equipping the Iraqi and Kurdish security forces, and the provision of key enablers, would be met from the MOD’s Deployed Military Activity Pool (DMAP).

In answer to a parliamentary question in September 2016 the MOD set the costs of the operation, between August 2014 and the 31st of March 2016, at £265 million (£45 million in the 2014-15 financial year, and £220 million in the 2015-16 financial year).

To date, and as part of those overall costs, approximately £63 million has been spent on Brimstone and Hellfire missiles.

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4 years ago

Strange is it not, that these strong sturdy planes will soon be scrapped. Yes, another perfectly good asset being withdrawn regardless of their continuing usefulness. Sadly, the UK government is exercising its ponchione of scrapping perfectly operable equipment, because someone in a grey suit with one dimensional brain, in the treasury, won’t allow new acquisitions until the older units are planned to be totally replaced. This is regardless of how much life there remains in them, Jaguar being a good case in point. However, we must not forget the current mandate, (which has been in place for years) assumes that… Read more »

Graham Hayward ex FAA.
Graham Hayward ex FAA.
4 years ago

These aircraft have served this country very well for many years,it would be a betrayal if they are scrapped when they could be “moth-balled”and kept in readiness in case they were needed.Air museums would be a good place to store them and the public would be able to see them.It seems to me that MoD and Treasury personnel could not care less about wasting public funds.