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.
No.II (AC) Squadron received their first Tornados by mid-December 1988. During “Operation Desert Storm” the unit performed was awarded “Battle Honors”. The Tornado GR.1A is a modified GR.1 with only a few visual differences, panels on either side of the forward fuselage and a small fairing below the cockpit floor. The GR.1A has no canon so reconnaissance equipment could be mounted. There were 30 GR.1As built and ZA371/C serial 172/BS053/3085 was one. For NATO Arctic Exercises in Norway a temporary white paint covers the usual green.