The Panavia Tornado was a joint effort between the UK, West Germany and Italy to produce a two-seat, dual-engine aircraft with variable-sweep wings. The Tornado took its maiden flight on August 14, 1974 with the first aircraft being delivered to the German Air Force on July 27, 1979. There are three main variants of the Tornado, the IDS (interdictor/strike), ECR (electronic combat/reconnaissance) and ADV (air defense variant) interceptor. By the end of production in 1998 there had been 992 aircraft of all versions built of which 745 were IDS variants.
The British participation in the Gulf War was called “Operation Granby” with No. 15 Squadron based at Tabuk AB in Saudi Arabia. One No. 15 Tornado GR.1 was ZA447/EA that was painted a desert pink scheme and flew 40 combat missions making it one of the busiest Tornados. On one airfield denial mission over Iraq ZA447/EA destroyed what was thought to be a MiG-29 so the aircraft was given nose art “Mig Eater”. Later it was discovered that it was actually a Mirage F.1. RAF Tornados flew a total of 2,500 sorties.