Panavia Tornado IDS Aircraft Data
Photo ID 8962 by Tony Lowther. Saudi Arabia Air Force Panavia Tornado IDS, 7506
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 37.70 kN or 2× Turbo-Union RB199-34R Mk. 103 turbofan at 38.48 kN


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: 16.72 m.
Wing Span: 13.91 / 8.60 m.
Wing Area: 26.60 m²
Height: 5.95 m.
Empty Weight: 14,091 kg.
Max. Weight: 27,951 kg.
Max. Ordnance Load: 9,000 kg.
Internal Fuel: 4,660 kg.


Max. Speed: 2,338 kph
Cruise Speed: 941.47 kph
Service Ceiling: 15,240 m.
Normal Range: 1,390 km
Max. Range: 3,889.20 km


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

Random great photos of the Panavia Tornado IDS:

Photo ID 92411 by Jan Czonstke. Germany Navy Panavia Tornado IDS, 43 55
Photo ID 68467 by Roberto Bianchi. Italy Air Force Panavia Tornado IDS, MM7087
Photo ID 13500 by Chris Lofting. Italy Air Force Panavia Tornado IDS, MM7005
Photo ID 58316 by Alfonso S.. Italy Air Force Panavia Tornado IDS, MM7088
Photo ID 168976 by Arie van Groen. Italy Air Force Panavia Tornado IDS, MM7005
Photo ID 5025 by Jaysen F. Snow - Sterling Aerospace Photography. Germany Air Force Panavia Tornado IDS, 43 57
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