To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many RAF Tornado squadrons are currently operational with the TIALD equipment; and what is the total planned number of such squadrons. 
The thermal imaging airborne laser designation capability is a specialist role, which requires some aircraft modifications. One Tornado squadron is currently TIALD capable; it is planned that a further Tornado squadron will be proficient in the TIALD role in 1996. A further two squadrons will start TIALD training in 1997. Further opportunities to extend the RAF's TIALD capability will be possible when Tornado GR4 comes into service in 1988, since all these modified aircraft will be TIALD capable.