The flypast was part of a long farewell for the UK's fleet which, on March 31 2019, will be retired from service with the Royal Air Force, bringing to an end many decades of service.
Here at BAE Systems, we are proud to have partnered with the RAF to play a pivotal role in decades of support, training and upgrades for the RAF’s fleet. Tornado has been a vital part of the RAF from the day it entered into service in 1980 and, through a combination of enhancements and capability improvements, it has remained just as important to the very end of its operational life for the RAF as it was at the start.
Built as part of a consortium between the UK, Germany and Italy, the Tornado is a swing-wing aircraft renowned for its ability to operate in any weather conditions, at low level at any time of the day or night. Whilst active service for the RAF has now almost come to a close, the aircraft continues in service and continues to form an vital component of other air forces around the world.
Project Centurion delivers seamless transition of capability from the Tornado GR4 to Typhoon, including a new package of advanced weapons, software and avionics enhancements. In particular, it has delivered the integration of Meteor, Storm Shadow and Brimstone 2 missiles onto Typhoon, cementing its position as the cornerstone of combat air capability for the RAF. Completion of Project Centurion ensures Typhoon will successfully operate alongside current and future platforms and further development with the latest technology will now continue to meet new and emerging threats.
The near future will see Typhoon will work seamlessly alongside the UK’s fleet of F-35 Lightning II aircraft, which will operate off the UK’s two Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers, ensuring the UK retains a potent and fully interoperable force mix for decades to come.