An RAF Tornado

Bringing peace and stability

The RAF's 31 Squadron saw out the end of Tornado’s involvement in Afghanistan after five years as part of the Air Force’s contribution for the UK and NATO.

Tornados were flown by 31 Squadron in air support of the campaign to bring peace and stability to the region.

Introduced to Afghanistan in 2009, the Tornado worked closely with ground forces, providing intelligence and surveillance through reconnaissance pods and sensors as well as offering an aerial threat with the capacity fast response across the whole country.

The other advantages of Tornado are that we have a great fit of weapons on it. We have Paveway IV and Brimstone that we use in theatre and we have excellent targeting and reconnaissance equipment, which is all integrated onto the jet Wing Commander Richard Yates, Commanding Officer of 31 Squadron


Wing Commander Richard Yates


A Close Partnership

Through a very close partnership between us and the Royal Air Force we have been able to enhance the capabilities and equipment, improve the navigation and how the avionics have been integrated and provide software updates onto the aircraft.

Wing Commander Richard Yates (Commanding Officer) of 31 Squadron admits it is the team behind Tornado, including the operation across BAE Systems, which deserves as much of the credit for what he sees as a successful mission.


Charlie Charlesworth, team leader of BAE Systems’ Technical Services Engineers, is excellent and typifies just what it takes to make the relationship work. He is as much as a member of the Squadron as I, or any of the air crew or engineers are. It’s people like Charlie who make the relationship work, along with work in the Combined Maintenance & Upgrade programme at the base Wing Commander Richard Yates, Commanding Officer of 31 Squadron


An RAF Tornado in Afghanistan

Still Going Strong

31 Squadron celebrates it’s centenary in 2015 and will look back on 100 years since it’s maiden flights over India.

The Marham-based Squadron engaged in some of the same skies as the old Indian North West Frontier province as part of the NATO mission operating in Afghanistan.