Tornado IDS/ECR

Published on
Review Author(s)
Book Author(s)
Federico Anselmino, Giancarlo Gastaldi Contributor(s) : Claudio Col, Mauro Cini
Other Publication Information
Soft cover, 64 pages
Provided by: Casemate UK - Website: Visit Site

Background and History

Thanks to Wikipedia

The Panavia Tornado is a family of twin engine, variable-sweep multirole combat aircraft, jointly developed and manufactured by Italy, the United Kingdom, and West Germany. There are three primary Tornado variants: the Tornado IDS (interdiction/strike) fighter-bomber, the suppression of enemy defenses, Tornado ECR (electronic/combat/reconnaissance) and the Tornado ADV (air defense variant) interceptor aircraft.

The Tornado was developed and built by Panavia Aircraft GmbH, a tri-national consortium consisting of British Aerospace (previously British Aircraft Corporation), MBB of West Germany, and Aeritalia of Italy. It first flew on 14 August 1974 and was introduced into service in 1979–1980. Due to its multi-role design, it was able to replace several different fleets of aircraft in the adopting air forces. The Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) became the only export operator of the Tornado in addition to the three original partner nations. A tri-nation training and evaluation unit operating from RAF Cottesmore, the Tri-National Tornado Training Establishment, maintained a level of international co-operation beyond the production stage.

The Tornado was operated by the Royal Air Force (RAF), Italian Air Force, and RSAF during the Gulf War of 1991, in which the Tornado conducted many low altitude penetrating strike missions. The Tornados of various services were also used in The Bosnian War, Kosovo War, Iraq War, in Libya during the Libyan Civil War, as well as smaller roles in Afghanistan, Yemen, and Syria. Including all variants, 992 aircraft were built.

Publication Format

The text is in Italian and English. Almost all the pages include color images of Italian Air Force Tornados in flight or on the tarmac. There are two pages of color profiles of the standard camouflage scheme, desert camouflage and all grey Tornados.

Contents as Follows

  • Introduction

    The search for an aircraft to provide attack and reconnaissance for European air forces began in the mid-1960's. Several countries proceeded with the work independently, while others (Britain and France) formed a joint effort. Each effort took a different approach from variable sweep wings to supersonic VTOL (vertical/Short take-off and landing). Eventually several countries joined together in an effort to provide an aircraft that met the specified requirements.
  • Origin and Development

    This is the history of the development of the Tornado and the countries initially involved with their different requirements, culminating in the countries involved in the final design, construction of components, and assembly. Initial flights for the countries' prototypes are covered, included images of the very colorful prototype aircraft. Development and production was planned and as such nine prototype aircraft were planned: four British, three German and two Italian. The British first prototype flew on 8/14/74, the Italian first prototype flew on 12/5/75. Altogether until the summer of 1998, 989 Tornados would be built in all models and versions
  • In Service with Italian Air Force

    This is a major part of this publication and includes several color images of Italian Tornados in flight and on the tarmac. Tornados are shown in the all grey and camouflage schemes. There are also images of very colorful special paint schemes as well as various underwing stores and weapons carried by Tornados in Italian service.
  • Tornado MLU

    By 2002 the Italian Tornados were beginning to show their age and were entered into the IT MLU (Mid-Life Update). The upgrades are identified in this section which shows the ability of the original aircraft design to be periodically updated to meet new conditions and accept new technology and equipment.
  • Tornado at War

    Several pages are dedicated to the various wars where Italian Tornados have participated. Color images are included.
  • Modelers' Notes

    Seven pages offer information on kits available from several manufactures in the various scales as well as colors and paint manufacturers appropriate to Italian Tornados. One page is dedicated to the pilot's instrument panel. Two pages contain color detail images that would be informative to the scale modeler.
  • Technical Data

    Here we have a single page of three schedules that address technical data, armament and sensors, and serial numbers. The armament and sensors data should prove informative for those who wish to model an Italian Tornado.
  • Acknowledgements and Bibliography

These are primarily Italian sources.


The many color images of Italian Tornados should be useful tools to the scale modeler wishing to build an Italian or other user Tornado, The images are especially useful for details, weapons, and color schemes used. If you are an enthusiast of modern aircraft this publication will be equally useful and enjoyable. A great addition to anyone's reference library.

I wish to thank Casemate Publications and IMPS/USA for the opportunity to review this publication Recommended.


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