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Tornado sets off from RAF Marham on farewell tour

PUBLISHED: 16:23 12 February 2019 | UPDATED: 16:23 12 February 2019

One of three RAF Tornado GR4 aircraft with a specially painted livery to commemorate their retirement from service, comes in to land at RAF Marham in Norfolk. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

One of three RAF Tornado GR4 aircraft with a specially painted livery to commemorate their retirement from service, comes in to land at RAF Marham in Norfolk. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

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A Tornado jet will take off from RAF Marham next week as the warplane sets off on its farewell tour.

The aircraft is being retired from service after nearly 40 years of being a familiar sight and sound in the skies above Norfolk.

Designed by Panavia, the aircraft was a collaboration between the UK, Germany and Italy – coming into RAF service in 1979.

It saw combat during the Gulf War of 1991, while also flying operations over Kosovo, Iraq and Syria.

A flight of Tornado jets returned home to the UK for the last time on February 5, landing at RAF Marham in Norfolk.

The Tornado flypast map Picture: RAFThe Tornado flypast map Picture: RAF

The Tornado will be replaced by the F-35 Lightning – costing $85m per aircraft according to designers Lockheed.

Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hiller, a former Tornado pilot, said: “I will personally be very sad to see the Tornado retire.

“We can all take immense pride in what the Tornado has achieved in defence of the nation over nearly four decades.”

A three-day nationwide tour begins on Tuesday, February 19, when a Tornado will take off from Marham, before flying to:


The end of an era.  The iconic RAF Tornado's have returned home for the last time after nearly four decades service. Picture: Neil DidsburyThe end of an era. The iconic RAF Tornado's have returned home for the last time after nearly four decades service. Picture: Neil Didsbury

• RAF Cottesmore

• National Memorial Arboretum

• SECA Stafford

• RAF Cosford

• RAF Shawbury

• DECA Sealand

• RAF Valley

• BAES Warton

• BAES Samlesbury

• RAF Spadeadam

• RAF Leeming

• RAF Topcliffe

• RAF Linton-on-Ouse

• RAF Waddington

• RAF Cranwell

• RAF Coningsby

• RAF Donna Nook

• RAF Holbeach

On Wednesday, February 20 the route includes:

• RAF Honington

• IWM Duxford

• Former RAE Bedford

• Cranfield Airfield

• RAF Halton

• RAF High Wycombe

• RAF Benson

• HQ Land Forces

• MOD Boscombe Down

• RAF Pembrey

• MOD St Athan

• Cardiff Airport

• Filton

• Abbey Wood

• MOD Shrivenham

• RAF Brize Norton

On Thursday, February 21, an aircraft will fly past:

• Leuchars Station

• RAF Tain

• RAF Lossiemouth

The RAF said timings would be published next week.

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