Tornado jets destroyed a stockpile of Islamic State weapons hidden underground in the western deserts of Iraq, the MoD has revealed.

In a release, the Ministry of Defence explain that intelligence operations established that a stockpile of weapons was concealed deep in the western deserts of Anbar province, and two Tornado jets were tasked with its destruction on Friday the 28th of December.

They say that this was accomplished using a pair of Paveway IVs.

In a statement, the MoD said:

“The UK continues to demonstrate its world-leading air capability in the campaign against Daeshโ€™s last major territory, Hajin, with 10 successful air strikes in 19 days over the Christmas period.

A combination of Typhoon and Tornado jets, as well as Reaper drones, supported Syrian Democratic Forces on the ground, as Daesh continue to be pushed underground.”

Background on Operation Shader

By September last year, the Ministry of Defence had announced that over 1,000 personnel were engaged in theatre and that the Royal Air Force had conducted around 1,000 airstrikes, flying over 2,800 sorties, killing over 3,000 Islamic State fighters.

Last year, it was reported that the Royal Air Force was operating at its most intense for 25 years in a single theatre of operation which far outstripped the UK involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan โ€“ 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.


  1. With all the good work being done by the Tornado crews Perhaps we should keep a couple of squadrons until more of the F 35 come into service?

    • Well there’s only 19 tornados left in RAF service! I’m sure most have been scrapped and parts probably given to Germany or Italys Air Forces! I don’t understand it! We should have kept a couple tornado squadrons with the number we did have there should be enough pilots and engineers, we bough over 350 tornados all together.

    • The Typhoon is taking over the Tornados duties, storm shadow and Brimstone 2 have been integrated onto the aircraft, plus a host of other upgrades. 157 Typhoons have now been delivered.

      • Much more computer automation and pre-programmed and dynamic mission data means you don’t need a second man navigating and calling out the targets anymore.

  2. I would have thought it better to save the flying hours of our latest jets and use the Tornado for as long as possible? Around one third are not useable (requiring maintenance) according to a very recent report.

    Clearly, they can still perform their current tasking!

    • The 1/3 of Typhoons are in routine scheduled maintenance. This ranges from Primary to Major maintenance. The Primary you can think of is like a car’s 30,000 miles maintenance, change the oil filter etc. The Major is where the aircraft is stripped down to its primer and every frame is meticulously inspected, usually by non destructive testing such as eddy current techniques. A major servicing can take a minimum of 6 to 12 months to complete depending on what the inspections find.
      All RAF, FAA and AAC aircraft go through the same regime, where at least 1/3 of the fleet will be going through some form of routine maintenance. The problem arises where there is a major modification program. This has to be planned to coincide with the normal maintenance. Unfortunately this can’t always happen and aircraft are taken out of sequence to go through a mod program. The Chinook fleet is a good example of this, where the legacy Mk4s are being upgrade to Mk6As, with the digital flight control system. Boeing have been contracted to modify the aircraft, the RAF must provide them with one every two months and it then takes 6 months to modify. Some of the aircraft are going back into maintenance after have only flown for two months, due to the maintenance scheduling.

  3. Great news. All the Tornado attack aircraft will be gone. Another means to cause death and destruction removed from the Westminster Government.

  4. No doubt, small numbers of additional Thypoons will enter German service.

    They will have to make do with these until the mid 2030’s until a possible replacement arrives in the shape of a aircraft carrier compromised Franco German F35 clone….

    This will of cause be an almost entirely French project, with the Germans having negligent input, with the obvious
    important exception of regular Euro injections!

    I’ll wager cost cutting makes the aircraft a single engine F35 look alike by 2025.

    The French will absolutely dominate the project as they always do.

  5. Why do people say run Tonka on? I think it’s max airframe life (after extension) is 8,000 hrs and retired aircraft have reached this number. To extend further is very expensive. As great as it is, it’s probably the most enduring and hardest working jet the RAF have ever had. The best solution is to accelerate the F35 delivery schedule. There is only one deliverd in 2019! We have to wait 4 years for the next operational squadron when we ought to be standing up a new squadron every other year.

    • This!
      If the Americans can’t build them fast enough, due to so many orders from around the world, then we should negotiate to licence- build our orders here. Would create thousands of jobs, keep the skills base alive until Tempest comes into production, and accelerates our procurement. We could have multiple squadrons flying within 5 years.

      And forget this “138 over the life of the program” nonsense; we could have all 138 in our inventory at once; 5-6 squadrons flying withoutceven having to purchase more planes; just by hurrying them up.


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