1991 Gulf War Photo Feature - RAF Tornados 2
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Panavia Tornado GR.Mk 1

(Muharraq detachment)

The first RAF Tornados arrived at Muharraq (Bahrain) on 29 August 1990. The detachment comprised approximately 24 crews and 15 aircraft, drawn from various squadrons and bases. RAF Tornados also went to Tabuk and Dharan. Operations commenced on the night of 16/17 January 1991, initially with JP 233 anti-runway weapons and then with conventional free-fall bombs. Lazy and ignorant press reporting of the time indicated that most of the RAF Tornados were shot down during delivery of the JP 233, whereas in fact none of the losses occurred during the attack phase of a JP 233 mission, (see our Great Aviation Myths page). Laser guided bombing was introduced at Muharraq on 2 February using Buccaneer designators. Over 1500 bombing sorties and 100 JP 233 sorties were flown by RAF Tornados during the Gulf War. At the end of the war, twelve aircraft remained at Muharraq for several months.

All the photos on this page are copyright John Cotterill

Tornado GR.1 Tail codes - N, H, E and D Tornados in the Dutch Barns at Muharraq
Left side of ZD790 (DL-D) 'Debbie' ZD790 (DL-D) 'Debbie' Snoopy riding JP 233
ZD790 (DL-D) 'Debbie' at the cease fire Left side of ZA471 (ER-E) 'Emma'
Tornado GR.1s 'E' and 'G' depart 'Emma' ZA471 (ER-E) on take-off
'Emma' ZA471 (ER-E) full mission tally 'Emma' ZA471 Snoopy riding 1000lb bomb
Left side of 'Helen' ZD892 (BJ-H) 'Helen' ZD892 Snoopy riding a Sidewinder
'Helen' ZD892 (BJ-H) with full mission tally ZD791 (BG-B) lost over Iraq on 17 Jan 1991
ZA491 (N) was originally 'Nora Batty' ZA491 (N) was soon renamed 'Nikki'
'Nikki' ZA491 (N) carrying LGB's 'Nikki' ZA491 (N) final mission tally
ZA491 'Nikki' Snoopy riding a LGB ZA399 (G) 'Granny'
ZA475 (P) 'Triffid Airways' carrying CBU's Right side of ZA475 (P) 'Triffid Airways'
Left side of ZA475 (P) 'Triffid Airways' ZA475 (P) taxying
Unidentified 'Triffid Airways'
with 22 mission symbols
Unidentified 'Triffid Airways'
with 28 mission symbols
ZD890 coded O 'Hello Kuwait G'Bye Iraq' ZD809 coded BA 'Awesome Annie'
ZA463 (Q) with Garfield 'Flying High'  

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First Created: 2 April 2002 - Last Revised: 23 November 2004
Copyright © 2002 John Hayles.     e-mail: john@aeroflight.co.uk