Tornado jets have destroyed a truck-bomb concealed inside a building south-east of Hajin in Syria.

Royal Air Force aircraft have continued to fly daily armed reconnaissance missions over eastern Syria in support of the Syrian Democratic Forces offensive against Daesh around Hajin, as well as lending assistance when requested by the Iraqi security forces to prevent the terrorists from regaining a foothold within the country, say the Ministry of Defence.

With the SDF pushing south-east from Hajin, Tornado GR4s provided close air support on Wednesday the 19th of December.

The SDF encountered a truck-bomb concealed inside a building, and took cover whilst the Tornados dealt with the threat. A single Paveway IV guided bomb, on target, allowed them to continue their advance.

Background on Operation Shader

The total cost of British operations against Islamic State was recently revealed.

Jim Cunningham, MP for Coventry South, asked in a Ministry of Defence written question:

“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of the fight against Daesh.”

Mark Lancaster, The Minister of State at the Ministry of Defence, replied:

“The net additional cost of counter-Daesh operations in Financial Year 2017-18 was £583.1 million.”

Additional costs in previous years are as follows:

By September 2017, the Ministry of Defence had announced that over 1,000 personnel were engaged in theatre and that the Royal Air Force had conducted around 900 airstrikes, flying over 2,200 sorties, killing 3,000 Islamic State fighters.

Last year, 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.

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Cam Hunter

You would have thought we would have used more bombs in Afghanistan With the uk deployment being far bigger!. We should hear more about the great work the RAF/millitary are doing against isis!…

Ron

I have just been reading that the Tornado is preparing for its final days. I wonder if any of the air-frames are still usable and if so could a squadron be kept using the others as donor aircraft. The reasoning is this could they not be converted to EW/Jamming aircraft, a capability that we do not have but would be useful. Especially if they were a part of a strike package. Just a thought.

Once people wished the same for some of the Tornado F3’s, using ALARM.

Nick

The F3a was the concept armed with alarm missiles also with a very clever radar package. I worked on the trial aircraft out in the states just prior to op telec

Fascinating Nick.

And your observations?

A missed opportunity for a dedicated SEAD platform?

Sceptical Richard

Only valid reason for keeping a small number of Tornadoes is in the reconnaissance role carrying the world-beating Raptor pod which cannot be carried by Typhoon. Will lose that capability and I don’t know if Raptor can be repackaged or if F-35B will have anywhere near as good stand-off imaging capability (doubt it). But very expensive to maintain small number of airframes and have no spare crews

GWM

A smaller redesigned pod was offered to the RAF for Typhoon but they declined.

Sceptical Richard

In that case RAF must think F-35B will do the job somehow. RPAS on its own does not substitute for Raptor

GWM

They did not give a reason but could be money or concern about the vulnerability of carrying aircraft.The latest lightening pods have good resolution and can be slaved to the HMS on Typhoons so maybe the RAF think that’s good enough.

March they’re being retired. Crazy. The Saudis have circa 70 of them. Defies logic why we’re getting rid of them. I loved working on them…… Pure awesome. Sad days.

Ron, you are on my wavelength, and I have been banging on about the axing of the Tornado fleet for some time. These aircraft are still serviceable and all 36 should be mothballed for at least ten years at RAF Shawbury. But no, they are bound for a JCB on the RAF Marham dump. I can see it all now, the Daily Mail headline, ‘Britain’s mighty Tornadoes face the ignominy of the scrap man’s axe.’ I do believe there is a morbid fascination within the corridors of the MOD, who love to scrap equipment and turn a blind eye to… Read more »

At least Culdrose maintains 14(?) harriers for flight deck training purposes.

Garibaldi

If the MOD are still using the GR4s in Syria, then they must be up to the job !
Another crazy decision IMHO to scrap this venerable workhorse. Why not, mothball them at Shawbury or elsewhere, at the least ?

GWM

More likely to go to Saudi or Germany for spare parts.

julian1

there’s not 36 left, more like 18 as we speak and given the increasing intensity that fewer airframes are flying, they are clapped out and reaching their airframe hours. Is it feasible or cost effective to make the investment to run some on? – highly unlikely for purely the RAPTOR role. I’d prefer to invest the funds on more typhoon availability and accelerated F35 introduction. As capability gaps close (MPA/Carrier strike), new ones appear (stand-off recon.)

Cam Hunter

Why can’t we keep the tornados for longer! Even though webougght 350 odd. And onlyhave 19 left! We should keep That 19 flying for another 10 years ntill we have enough F35s, surely there’s still plenty tornado crews and engineers about considering the number we once had or even as a reserve squadron using reserve pilots ect. I hate that the tornado will be gone soon! It’s almost as bad as the Harrier being scraped early! I hate our government and what they have done to our millitary and millitary bases!

captain P Wash.

Bye Bye Tornado, Thanks for your outstanding work over the decades.

julian1

here here! and I remember the early problems and reluctance. how they matured!