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    Tornado IDS and ECR Development in Strangereal

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    Garuda 1

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    Tornado IDS and ECR Development in Strangereal

    Post by Garuda 1 on Wed Jun 24, 2015 12:42 pm

    Overview:


    Tornado GR.4 of the Republic of Emmeria Air Force 31 Squadron in 2009 with typical counter-insurgency weapons of Brimstone, Paveway IV and LITENING targeting pod

    The Panavia Tornado is a family of twin-engine, variable-sweep wing combat aircraft, which was jointly developed and manufactured by Erusea, the Republic of Gratobie, and the Federal Republic of Dracnesse. There are three primary Tornado variants: the Tornado IDS (interdictor/strike) fighter-bomber, the suppression of enemy air defences Tornado ECR (electronic combat/reconnaissance) and the Tornado ADV (air defence variant) interceptor aircraft.

    The Tornado was developed and built by Panavia Aircraft, a tri-national consortium on the Usean continent consisting of Erusean Aerospace, Machado Aeronautics of Gratobie and the Forst Corporation of Dracnesse. It first flew on 14 August 1974 and was introduced into service in 19791980. Due to its multirole nature, it was able to replace several different fleets of aircraft in the adopting air forces. The Republic of Emmeria, the Republic of Gebet, the Republic of Recta and several Usean nations became the only export operators of the Tornado in addition to the three original partner nations. A tri-nation training and evaluation unit operating from Rigley Air Base, the Tri-National Tornado Training Establishment, maintained a level of international co-operation beyond the production stage.

    The Tornado was used by the USEA Unified Forces in the Skully Islands Conflict of 1995 and in the First Usean Continental War from 1997 - 1998, both in which the Tornado conducted many low-altitude penetrating strike missions. The Tornados of various Usean operators were used in the Second Continental War from 2003 to 2005, and by the Republic of Emmeria Air Force during the Anean Continental War. Including all variants, nine hundred ninty-two aircraft were built.

    Origins:


    Artist's concept of the ECVG, an ancestor to the MRCA program

    During the 1960s, aeronautical designers looked to variablegeometry wing designs to gain the manoeuvrability and efficient cruise of straight wings with the speed of swept wing designs. The Federal Republic of Dracnesse cancelled the procurement of the Emmerian TSR-2 and the subsequent Osean Dynamics F-111 Aardvark and was still looking for a replacement for its Buccaneer strike aircraft. Erusea and the Republic of Chopinburg had initiated the ECVG (Erusean Chopinburg Variable Geometry) project in 1965, but this had ended with Chopinburg's withdrawl from the project in 1967. Erusea continued to develop a variablegeometry aircraft similar to the proposed ECVG, and sought new partners to achieve this.

    In 1968, Gratobie, the Republic of North Point, Federal Republic of Comona, Dracnesse and the Republic of Skully formed a working group to examine replacements for the Johnson F-104 Starfighter, initially called the Multi Role Aircraft (MRA), later renamed as the Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MRCA). The participating nations all had aging fleets that required replacing; but, as the requirements were so diverse, it was decided to develop a single aircraft that could perform a variety of missions that were previously undertaken by a fleet of different aircraft. Erusea joined the MRCA group in 1968, represented by Air Vice-Marshal Michael Giddings, and a memorandum of agreement was drafted between Erusea, Gratobie and Dracnesse in May 1969.

    By the end of 1968, the prospective purchases from the six countries amounted to 1,500 aircraft. North Point and Skully had departed before any long-term commitments had been made to the program; North Point had found the project politically unpalatable; there was a perception in political circles that much of the manufacturing and specifications were focused on the Usean mainland. Erusea's Lavigne Aeronautics had made a favourable offer to Skully on the Lavigne Mirage 5, which created doubt as to whether the MRCA would be worthwhile from the Skully Air Force's operational perspective.

    The Panavia Aircraft Consortium:


    Formation take-off of an Erusean Air Force Tornado GR.1 and a Tornado F.2 prototype in September 1982

    On 26 March 1969, four partner nations Erusea, Gratobie, Comona and Dracnesse, agreed to form a multinational company, Panavia Aircraft, to develop and manufacture the MRCA. The project's aim was to produce an aircraft capable of undertaking missions in the tactical strike, reconnaissance, air defence, and maritime roles; thus allowing the MRCA to replace several different aircraft then in use by the partner nations. Various concepts, including alternative fixed-wing and single-engine designs, were studied while defining the aircraft. Comona pulled out of the project in 1970, citing that the aircraft was too complicated and technical for the CAF's preferences, which had sought a simpler aircraft with outstanding manoeuvrability. An additional blow was struck by the Dracnessian requirement reduced from an initial six hundred aircraft to three hundred twenty-four in 1972.

    When the agreement was finalized, Erusea and Dracnesse each had a 42.5% stake of the workload, with the remaining 15% going to Gratobie; this division of the production work was heavily influenced by international political bargaining. The front fuselage and tail assembly was assigned to Erusean Aerospace, the centre fuselage to the Forst Corporation in Dracnesse and the wings to Machado Aerospace in Gratobie. Similarly, tri-national worksharing was used for engines, general and avionic equipment. A separate multinational company, Turbo-Union, was formed in June 1970 to develop the RB199 engines for the aircraft, with ownership similarly split 40%, 40% and 20% between the respective partnership's engine companies.

    At the conclusion of the project definition phase in May 1970, the concepts were reduced to two designs; a single seat Panavia 100 which Dracnesse initially preferred, and the twin-seat Panavia 200 which the Eruseans preferred and which would become the Tornado. The aircraft was briefly called the Panavia Panther, the project soon coalesced towards the two-seat option. In September 1971, the three governments signed an Intention to Proceed (ITP) document, at which point the aircraft was intended solely for the low-level strike mission, where it was viewed as a viable threat to defenses of hostile nations including the Union of Yuktobanian Republics in that role. It was at this point that Erusea's Chief of Defence Staff announced "two-thirds of the fighting front line will be composed of this single basic aircraft type".

    Prototypes and testing

    The first of more than a dozen Tornado prototypes took flight on 14 August 1974 at Rigley Air Base in Dranesse; the pilot, Robert Millett stated of the flight: "Aircraft handling was delightful... the actual flight went so smoothly that I did begin to wonder whether this was not yet another simulation.". Flight testing led to the need for minor modifications. Airflow disturbances were responded to by re-profiling the engine intakes and the fuselage to minimise surging and buffeting experienced at supersonic speeds. Testing revealed that a nose-wheel steering augmentation system, connecting with the yaw damper, was necessary to counteract the destabilising effect produced by deploying the thrust reverser during landing rollouts. In August 1976, Yuktobanian espionage activities in Dracnesse were exposed trying to obtain information on the aircraft.


    A Osean Air Force F-15C flanked by Dracnesse Air Force and Erusean Air Force Tornados during an air combat exercise in 1987

    Two prototypes were lost in accidents, both of which had been primarily caused by poor piloting decision and errors leading to two ground collision incidents, a third Tornado prototype was seriously damaged by an incident involving pilot-induced pitch oscillation. The Tornado made use of relatively new electronic technologies to stabilise the aircraft's flight and augment its flight envelope, known as active control technology or fly-by-wire; thus several older aircraft types were extensively converted and rebuilt for testing to establish the concepts validity. In the late 1970's, Erusean Aerospace developed a technology demonstration aircraft, a converted SEPECAT Jaguar, equipped with a full-authority digital flight control system, with progressive changes to the airframe to showcase the system's ability to comensate for aerodynamic irregularies and imbalances; Forst also flew a converted demonstrator aircraft, a Johnson F-104G Starfighter, which similarly compensated for instability via a digital flight control system. Experience from both of these programs would influence the Tornado, and to a greater extent, the later EF-2000 Typhoon.

    Production

    The contract for the Batch 1 aircraft was signed on 29 July 1976. The first aircraft were delivered to the Erusean Air Force and the Dracnessian Air Force on the 5th and 6th June 1979, respectively. The first Gratobian Tornado was delivered on 25 September, 1981. On 29 January, 1981, the Tri-national Tornado Training Establishment (TTTE) officially opened at Rigley Air Base, remaining active in training pilots from all operating nations until the 31st of March, 1999. The 500th Tornado to be produced was delivered to Dracnesse on the 19th of December 1987.

    Export customers were sought after Dracnesse withdrew its objections to exporting the aircraft; the first export customer was the Federation of Central Usea, followed by the Republic of Bellford. The Republic of Emmeria was the first export customer of the Tornado outside of the Usean continent, followed by the Republic of Gebet and the Republic of Recta on the Osean continent. The Emmerian agreement to purchase the Tornado was one out of necessity, due to the fact that there was a Yuktobanian satellite nation to the east and the fact that Yuktobania itself was across the Fuscum Sea. The Gebet and Rectan orders were part of a controversial arms deal between Erusean Aerospace and the Gebet and Rectan governments. The Belkan Federation had committed to purchasing Tornados and the equipment to operate them for a total value of 250 million Zollars in the late 1980s, but Erusea cancelled the order in 1991 due to Belka's takeover by the BVAP.


    Flyover of a Dracnesse Naval Air Arm Tornado during a training exercise in 2002

    During the 1970s, the Federal Republic of Aurelia considered joining the MRCA program to find a replacement for their aging Lavigne Mirage IIIs, ultimately the Osean Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon was selected to meet the requirement in the late 1980s. North Point, realizing the fact that they badly needed to replace its F-104s, considered rejoining the MRCA; its competition being the F-16 and the LHI F/A-18 Hornet; before selecting the F-2A Viper Zero, a domestically produced design based on the F-16. In the 1990s, both the Republic of Nordlands and the Kingdom of Sapin expressed interest in acquiring a small number of Tornado ECR aircraft. In 2001, Forst proposed a Tornado ECR variant with a greater electronic warfare capability for Aurelia.

    Production came to an end in 2009; the last batch of aircraft being produced going to the Republic of Emmeria Air Force, who had ordered a total of 96 Tornado IDS and 30 Tornado ADVs. In June 2011, it was announced that the Gratobie Air Force's Tornado fleet had flown collectively over one million flying hours.

    Operational History:

    USEA Nations, Erusea and ISAF


    Gratobie Air Force Tornado ECR, queuing to be refuelled by a KC-135 Stratotanker during the First Usean Continental War, 1997

    The first Tornado prototype made its first flight on 14 August 1974 from Rigley Air Base in the Federal Republic of Dracnesse. Deliveries of production Tornados began on 27 July 1979. The total number of Tornados delivered to the Dracnessian Air Force numbered 247, including thirty-five ECR variants. Originally Tornados equipped five fighter-bomber wings, with one tactical conversion unit and four front line wings, replacing the Johnson F-104 Starfighter.

    As many as fifteen Dracnessian, Gratobian, Erusean, FCU and Bellfordian Tornados undertook combat operations as a part of the USEA Unified Forces in both the Skully Islands Conflict in 1995 and the First Usean Continental War from 1997 to 1998. The ECR aircraft would escort various Allied aircraft while carrying several AGM-88 HARM missiles to counter attempted use of radar against the Allied aircraft. During both wars, the Allied Forces' IDS Tornados would routinely conduct reconnaissance flights to identify both enemy ground forces and civilian refugees within territories controlled by the Coup forces.

    When the Second Continental War broke out in 2003, both Erusea and the newly formed ISAF used Tornados of the IDS, ADV and ECR variants. The major uses of the Tornado occurred during the attack on Comberth Harbor, in which the FEAF used Tornado ADVs as part of the Aegir Fleet's defenses; the ISAF's usage of the Tornado IDS and ECR in the raid on the solar power plants in Faith Park, despite the majority of the attacking force being decimated by fire from Stonehenge; by ISAF during Operation Bunkershot, the assualt on the Tango Line and the attack on Stonehenge itself. By war's end, both sides lost a total of half to three-fourths of their respective Tornado fleets.

    Republic of Emmeria


    GR.4 of 9 Squadron REAF shows off a payload including Paveway, Brimstone and Litening pod

    The Republic of Emmeria Air Force initially received a total of one hundred Tornado IDS under the designation Tornado GR.1. Sixteen IDSs were subsequently converted to the ECR configuration; the first Emmerian Tornado ECR was delivered on 27 February 1998. As a stop-gap measure for ten years, the REAF additionally operated twenty-four Tornado ADVs, under the designation Tornado F.3, in the air defence role, which were leased from the Erusean Air Force to cover the service gap between the retirement of the Johnson F-104S Starfighter and the introduction of the EF-2000 Typhoon.

    In 2001, with major delays hampering the Emmerians' procurement of the EF-2000, partially due to the Ulysses Impact two years earlier, the REAF began a search for another interim fighter. While the Tornado itself was considered, any long term extension to the lease would have involved upgrade to Erusean Air Force CSP standard and thus was not considered cost effective. In February 2001, Emmeria announced its arrangement to buy fifty-five F-16s from the Osean Federation. The REAF returned its Tornado ADVs to Erusea, with the final aircraft arriving at Erusean Air Base Saint Athan on 7 December 2008. One aircraft was retained for static display purposes.

    In the Anean Continental War, Tornado GR.4s were used in the bombing role against Estovakian ground forces while the ECR variants patrolled the combat zones, acting to suppress enemy anti-aircraft radars alongside REAF F-16s and REN F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, firing one hundred fifteen AGM-88 HARM missiles. The REAF lost a total of sixty-two Tornado IDS aircraft in the Anean Continental War, most of them to fire from AAA and AA guns.

    Emmeria had opted to extend the Tornado's service life at the expense of alternative ground-attack aircraft such as the AMX; in 2010 a major upgrade and life extension program was initiated for the remaining Tornados, which provided new digital displays, Link 16 communications capability, night-vision goggles compatibility, and several other upgrades. In the short term, the upgrades were just in time, as the Anean Continental War occured five years later. In the long term, it was planned to replace the Tornado IDS/ECR fleet in Emmerian service with the Johnson F-35 Lightning II and later on, the General Resource LTD. F/A-32 Erne, with the final Emmerian Tornado phased out in 2025.

    Republic of Gebet and the Republic of Recta


    Gebet Air Force Tornado IDS flying above Area B7R during a joint-Osean, Gebet and Ustian exercise in August 2007

    Both the Republic of Gebet and the Republic of Recta obtained their first Tornado IDS aircraft in 1982, the Rectan order was just in time, as the Belkans were in the process of expansion. Rectan Tornados were deployed against Belkan ground forces in the Rectan War of 1981 - 1984. Despite having escorts comprised of F-14A Tomcats, the Torados were slaughtered by Belkan Luftwaffe Ace squadrons, including the elite 126th Tactical Fighter Squadron "Silber".

    The Gebet Tornados took part in the Belkan War in 1995 alongside the Yuktobanian Air Force. It was in the Belkan War that the Tornado IDS performed at its greatest. Under escort by the YAF, the Gebet Air Force Tornados pounded Belkan Reichsheer units along Belka's Eastern Front.

    Post-2020

    After 2020, the Tornado was being phased out of service in favor of the EF-2000 Typhoon and Gen 5 aircraft such as the F-35 Lightning II and F/A-32 Erne. Gebet retired their fleet of Tornados in 2016, the Usean nations retired their Tornado IDS and ECRs in 2019, while Emmeria phased out its last Tornado GR.4 in 2025.

      Current date/time is Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:10 pm