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Tornado Aircraft

Volume 485: debated on Monday 8 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence with reference to the statement by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence of 19 November 2008, Official Report, columns 94-5WH, on RAF operations, whether the Tornado aircraft due to be deployed to Afghanistan on Operation Herrick from 1 April 2009 will be fitted with the Raptor imaging system from the start of their deployment. (241200)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence with reference to the statement of 19 November 2008, Official Report, column 95WH, on RAF operations, whether the Tornado aircraft due to be deployed to Afghanistan on Operation Herrick from 1 April 2009 will be fitted with the Raptor imaging system from the start of their deployment. (240736)

The Tornado GR4 will have the capability to carry the Raptor Reconnaissance Pod from the start of their deployment; however there has not yet been any decision to deploy this capability. An Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance capability will be provided by GR4 with an alternative system in the first instance, which delivers the ISR effects required in the Operation Herrick theatre, while providing an optimum balance between weapons and ISTAR payloads.