Panavia Tornado IDS Aircraft Data
Photo ID 194087 by Alex Staruszkiewicz. Germany Air Force Panavia Tornado IDS, 44 61
During the late 1960's a number of countries were looking at replacing their existing military aircraft fleets. Many of these countries had or were considering variable geometry as a means of making an aircraft perform well throughout a wider flight envelope. Variable geometry allows the pilot and/or fly by wire system to adapt the aircraft wing shape to the optimal settings dependant on its height, speed and load. The Tornado takes this one step further and incorporates swivelling weapons pylons that always ensure the stores are parallel to the airframe and therefore the airflow, thus minimising drag.

Britain and France joined forces on a variable geometry aircraft project, called the AFVG. (Anglo French Variable Geometry). France was already in the process of developing a variable geometry airframe of its own. In 1968, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Italy, and Canada formed a working group to look at replacements for the F104. The outcome of this project was initially called the MRA or Multi Role Aircraft, later changed to the MRCA, Multi Role Combat Aircraft. Britain later joined this group on the strength of its variable geometry design.

The MRCA was initially viewed as two different aircraft, a single seat F104G replacement for Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Canada, and as a two seat strike aircraft for Britain and Germany.

In July 1968 a memorandum of understanding was signed by Germany, Italy and Britain covering the proposals for the MRCA. Canada and Belgium pulled out the following year. Holland later pulled out over technical concerns with the MRCA.

The initial Tornado design was for a deep penetration all weather bomber, known as the IDS (Interdictor Strike). This aircraft is designed to fly at extremely low level at high speed in almost any weather. At low level the Tornado excels, the large all moving tailerons and fin provide the necessary damping action to keep the ride relatively smooth and on track.
  • Country of Origin: United Kingdom / Germany / Italy
  • First Flight: 1974
  • Initial Service Date: 1980
  • No. Built: 397
  • No. In Service: 366 (approx.)
  • No. of Hardpoints: 8
  • Crew: 2


2× Turbo-Union RB199-34R Mk. 101 turbofan at 8,475 lbf or 2× Turbo-Union RB199-34R Mk. 103 turbofan at 8,650 lbf


2× 27mm Mauser BK-27 cannon with 180 rounds per cannon


Air-to-air missiles:
AIM-9 Sidewinder or IRIS-T or AIM-132 ASRAAM

Air-to-surface missiles:
6× AGM-65 Maverick; or
12× Brimstone missile; or
4× Storm Shadow or Taurus KEPD 350 cruise missile

Anti-ship missiles:
2× AS.34 Kormoran; or
2× BAe Sea Eagle

Anti-radiation missiles:
4× AGM-88 HARM; or
6× ALARM missile

Hunting Engineering BL755 cluster bombs; or
HOPE/HOSBO GPS/electro-optically guided glide bombs; or
Joint Direct Attack Munition; or
Paveway series of Laser-guided bomb (LGB); or
Up to 2× JP233 or MW-1 munitions dispensers (for runway cratering operations)
Up to 4× B61 or WE.177 tactical nuclear weapons


Length: 54 ft. 10.25 in.
Wing Span: 45.64 ft. / 28 ft, 2 in.
Wing Area: 286.33 sq.ft
Height: 19 ft. 6.25 in.
Empty Weight: 31,065 lbs
Max. Weight: 61,620 lbs
Max. Ordnance Load: 19,841 lbs
Internal Fuel: 10,273.53 lbs


Max. Speed: 1,453 mph
Cruise Speed: 585 mph
Service Ceiling: 50,000 ft.
Normal Range: 750 nm
Max. Range: 2,100 nm


Germany (Air Force and Navy), Italy, Saudi Arabia.

Random great photos of the Panavia Tornado IDS:

Photo ID 6276 by Roberto Bianchi. Italy Air Force Panavia Tornado IDS, MM7011
Photo ID 215381 by Chris Hauser. Germany Air Force Panavia Tornado IDS, 43 27
Photo ID 232860 by huelsmann heinz. Germany Air Force Panavia Tornado IDS, 43 50
Photo ID 228769 by Matthias Bienentreu. Germany Air Force Panavia Tornado IDS, 45 69
Photo ID 37329 by Klemens Hoevel. Germany Air Force Panavia Tornado IDS, 45 69
Photo ID 41099 by Walter Van Bel. Germany Air Force Panavia Tornado IDS, 45 06
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