Tornado GR4, in flight

The aircraft in Afghanistan are currently providing vital close air support to troops on the ground.

An upgrade to Tornado’s Stores Management System (SMS) which controls the release of weapons from the aircraft, was brought forward and delivered by BAE Systems in April this year, giving the RAF increased flexibility by enabling pre-programming from the ground.

At the same time Design Authority advice was provided to allow an expanded clearance for the Advanced Infra-red Counter Measures (AIRCM) pod.  This has allowed the RAF to clear the pod for a flying hour life of 1,000 hours.  By September 2010, more work will have been undertaken on the AIRCM pod to extend the life even further.

In June this year, BAE Systems was awarded a contract by the UK Ministry of Defence to undertake work in support of frontline operations to make improvements to the Navigators Hand Controller which will allow increased exploitation of the functionality of the rear cockpit systems, significantly reducing the workload in the cockpit.  This work is expected to be completed and delivered into service in 2012.

Other work being undertaken by BAE Systems includes the introduction of a repeat function on the Pilots Multi Functional Display (PMFD) and RMDP (Radar and Map Display processor) which will allow the pilot and navigator to view the same data simultaneously.  Once again work is expected to be completed and delivered into service in 2012.

Alun Fishburne, Director Tornado and Harrier at BAE Systems said:  “It is vital that we work closely with the MoD and the RAF to ensure the troops on the frontline get the best possible air support.  Our experience on Harrier from its time in Afghanistan has allowed us to deliver a smarter, leaner service to the RAF giving them an improved capability that meets their budget and timescales.  The end result is that the aircraft in Afghanistan are the most capable Tornados in the RAF’s fleet.”

Urgent Operational Requirements and capability upgrades underline the company's capabilities in the area of readiness and sustainment.

About BAE Systems
BAE Systems is a global defence, security and aerospace company with approximately 107,000 employees worldwide. The Company delivers a full range of products and services for air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, security, information technology solutions and customer support services.  In 2009 BAE Systems reported sales of £22.4 billion (US$ 36.2 billion).

 For more information, please contact
Andy Bunce, BAE Systems
Tel: +44 (0) 1772 852714 Mob: +44 (0)7801 716448

Kate Watcham, BAE Systems
Tel: +44(0)1252 383550 Mob: +44(0) 7793 420731

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