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Tornado alternatives for NATO

uk 75

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I have become belatedly a fan of the Tornado (aka The Fin) as the most successful European aircraft programme of the 70s and 80s.

It was, however, a close run thing as the Germans in particular flirted with a number of alternatives and the UK might have followed the Jaguar with AFVG if France had been more clear sighted.

Anyone have their alternatives?
 

shedofdread

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I suppose an argument could be made for one of the developed Buccaneers. The supersonic P.150 variant looks interesting though as Roy Boot remarks in "Spitfire to Eurofighter", "we considered this to be a paper exercise and indeed this proved to be the case"....


I dislike variable geometry ('swing wing') for it's weight and complexity [amongst other things] and maybe the small, high wing loading surfaces with blown flaps would've provided a better solution to the low level ride quality / Cl max conundrum. The internal bomb bay of the Bucc offers flexibility (not just weapons but fuel, recce kit etc.).
 

pathology_doc

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shedofdread said:
The internal bomb bay of the Bucc offers flexibility (not just weapons but fuel, recce kit etc.).

It also offers the ability to go in at high speed on the deck with a clean airframe and have four 1000lb bombs on tap, which is nothing to sneeze at. How many interceptor fighters will actually outrun it at low level with their missiles aboard? I know Gunston was singing from the song-sheet of "The only replacement for the Buccaneer is another Buccaneer with up-to-date avionics" (and perhaps a better engine?), but on that score, maybe the answer to the Tornado alternative is the forbidden option: TSR2.
 

Michel Van

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The reason for Tornado existed, AFVG project was quite...dead

The French had quite enough of British Stop and Go in the program under british Government under Labor Party.
also other french British Join venture had allot of problem as Labor quit or try to stop them
with success at ELDO and almost for Concorde SST and Jaguar (here came opposition from France by Dassault Aviation)

And Tornado had also problem in 1964 as Multi-Role Aircraft 75 – MRA-75
the Kanada, German, Belgium, Netherlands and Italy needed a interceptor/Fighter who replace the F-104 "Widow-maker"
the British wanted a Bomber/reconnaissance to replace the Canberra. (it had to be the BAC TSR.2 but Labor kill it in 1965, replace by AFVG, replace by F-111 also canceled...)
in 1968 MRA-75 became Multi-Role-Combat-Aircraft project as Britain join them with demand for bomber

the fighter aircraft became huge bomber//reconnaissance/Combat aircraft with two pilots

Kanada, Belgium, Netherlands quit MRCA
Belgium had two reason , they not wanted a huge expensive MRCA, but small economical fighter and end with help of corruption, as Dassault Aviation bride the leaders Belgium Socialist Party
in exchange they got Mirage IIIR and right to build themselves in Belgium, the Royal Belgium Air force got a expensive Jetplane they not wanted.

i heard once that german one play with idea to buy F-15 in begin of 1970s. but if this true i don't know.
 

alertken

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Let's start with early-1968; let's make this a W.German-centric note.

FRG Aero had been revived on F-104G production. During 1960s they explored multiple V/STOL schemes, because the perception was that runways would not be available. US participated with FRG and settled on EWR-Sud/Boeing, then Fairchild-Hiller/Republic AVS, which would have been a courageous entry to noble technology. USSR must have been dismayed when, 3/68, FRG saw sanity and chopped it. FRG then put together a Study team to replace (C)F-104G/S: FRG/Canada/Italy/Belgium/Neths. France asked me too, please and was in the team, 3-7/68, pitching Mirage G-variants. If Marianne had been demure, the team might well have chosen her: so, no Mirage 2000N, but a family of swingers to follow on from the actual Mirage family. UK would have dribbled its half-hearted UKVG; dumped it at first cost/time drift, and would have licenced F-something.

But France messed up, again. The noble work offered to FRG industry was to supply the tyres. (I jest, but you get the idea.) So the NKF75 team threw her out...and our man Healey was there as fast as a rat up a drainpipe, with no pre-conceptions about UKVG-as-best. Instead the Committees explored single seat/dual seat/daylight/all-weather, iron/nuke.

Now..do not be diverted into Belgian politicos and brown envelopes. No. What happened was that NATO found a logic to escape from the dilemma of iron or nuke on the Central Front. They rationalised that battlefield nukes (NATO's were M115 guns, Honest John, soon Sergeant SSMs) would not be employed on Day 1, maybe even 2, 3...and that a pause for thought could be imposed by iron ordnance. End-1969, NATO moved to the <200kt nuke (UK's was WE.177C, everybody else was B61), and to first sorties with iron (soon becoming quite bright, not dumb, but not yet smart). Dispersal on autobahns - G-91, Alphajet, Jaguar, (to be) AMX, maybe even NKF75. So: what was wanted was: something better than a Stuka for breakup of WarPac armour; then something to do a deeper strike with iron and come back to base, which would still exist, honest; then turn round quickly - very quickly, for one sortie with the <200kt tactical nukes. (Feel free to ask if NATO was mad...but that is how we planned it, 1970-1991).

What the NKF75 Nations decided was to collaborate on roles, not kit. Canada's CF-18, 4 Nations' F-16s did, very well, what they were assigned through 1991. UK/FRG/It chose to hold (to be Tornado) back from the iron interlude - AMX/Jaguar/Alphajet would do that - then send out the nukes on the swinger. That is why the shoals of F-104G were replaced by, relatively, so few Tornados, and is why Unit Price was higher than, say, AMX. Tornado was bespoke to a job that Canada/Neths/Belgium (Norway, Denmark...etc) did not do.

So, the A to OP's Q - what is my alternative, is that there was none. Nothing, then or now, could go deep <200ft, in winter and EW noise, with half a chance of doing the business. US pitched to FRG with everything that did fly and some that did not (F-17, F-20). US offered noble work (strong R&D innovation, technology transfer) and got nowhere, because none did the job. FRG would have to change its Tasks, if F-15G, or F-16G, or F-anythinG were taken...unless or except...F-111E/F, which was the comparable that was deployed by USAFE. So that would be the A to the Q, if FRG had chosen to forego the industrial/techno flow from Tornado. She could have had, presumably, the spec, cost and time of RAAF F-111C. But successive FRG policos, all 3 main Parties, chose to take the home product (42.5% of Tornado R&D and production work-allocation, was by FRG) if industry demonstrated its graduation from juvenile games of cheat and lie. Which it did.
 

Pioneer

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My dear Mr Van
Can I just challange your notion that
the fighter aircraft became huge bomber//reconnaissance/Combat aircraft with two pilots
:eek:
I would be more inclined to say that the fighter became a somewhat larger, heavier and more complex bomber//reconnaissance/Combat aircraft with two pilots ;)
After all I think the program was very successful in keeping the design as a whole very small and compact. Infact it would prove to be some too small and compact, in terms of fuel/range in its actual operational combat experiance.

Regards
Pioneer
 

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alertken
I've always seen the the two-engine varient of the Dassault Mirage G / G8 as the basis for a joint European strike-fighter.
Although the prime issue I percieved would have been:
- French want to be the prominent controling partner within any consortium!
- The French would more than likely specified the needs and wants of the design to reflect export potential, rather than the actual needs of the consortium's air forces.
- The morals and ethics of the other European consortium would have undoubtedly made the French Government/business very difficult to sell this 'joint developed aircraft' to the traditional customer-base of French arms sales - aka - anyone and everyone that had hard cash :mad:

Saying this, seeing that the Mirage G/G8 was in essence originally a French design, there's all the possibility that Dassualt might have marketed, built and sold 'monkey' models of this 'joint European' combat aircraft!

Regards
Pioneer
 

JohnR

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I have often wondered how the ADV airframe would have operated in the IDS role. Would the enlarged airframe have allowed for an increase in range?

Regards
 

Pioneer

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JohnR said:
I have often wondered how the ADV airframe would have operated in the IDS role. Would the enlarged airframe have allowed for an increase in range?

Regards
I too my friend have pondered this notion!
Infact, when people had advocated that the RAAF buy Tornado's to replace its F-111 (which I thought was rediculous on the grounds of range differnce in the two designs!). I thought if this was to have happenend, then the RAAF Tornado IDS, would at minimum, have to be based on the ADV airframe/engine configuration! Infact, I'll go as far as going as stating, at minimum the ADV airframed/engine configuration should have always been what the Tornado IDS should have been from day one!!

P.S. I've always been interested to learn what the fuel/range equation of using the ADV fuselage/engine arrangement in the strike role would equate to? ??? ? Anyone got the skill or notion to have a crack at it??

Regards
Pioneer
 
M

MilwaukeeRoad

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alertken
I've always seen the the two-engine varient of the Dassault Mirage G / G8 as the basis for a joint European strike-fighter.
Although the prime issue I percieved would have been:
- French want to be the prominent controling partner within any consortium!
- The French would more than likely specified the needs and wants of the design to reflect export potential, rather than the actual needs of the consortium's air forces.
- The morals and ethics of the other European consortium would have undoubtedly made the French Government/business very difficult to sell this 'joint developed aircraft' to the traditional customer-base of French arms sales - aka - anyone and everyone that had hard cash :mad:

Saying this, seeing that the Mirage G/G8 was in essence originally a French design, there's all the possibility that Dassualt might have marketed, built and sold 'monkey' models of this 'joint European' combat aircraft!

Regards
Pioneer
I request moderator to delete those francophobe and prejudiced comments, full of hatred. Those comments on morals and ethics are especially disgusting. Who do you believe you are?
 

overscan

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Pioneer said:
alertken
I've always seen the the two-engine varient of the Dassault Mirage G / G8 as the basis for a joint European strike-fighter.
Although the prime issue I percieved would have been:
- French want to be the prominent controling partner within any consortium!
- The French would more than likely specified the needs and wants of the design to reflect export potential, rather than the actual needs of the consortium's air forces.
- The morals and ethics of the other European consortium would have undoubtedly made the French Government/business very difficult to sell this 'joint developed aircraft' to the traditional customer-base of French arms sales - aka - anyone and everyone that had hard cash :mad:

Saying this, seeing that the Mirage G/G8 was in essence originally a French design, there's all the possibility that Dassualt might have marketed, built and sold 'monkey' models of this 'joint European' combat aircraft!

Regards
Pioneer

I find the tone of this rather unjustly anti-French and anti-Dassault.
 

Pioneer

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MilwaukeeRoad said:
Pioneer said:
alertken
I've always seen the the two-engine varient of the Dassault Mirage G / G8 as the basis for a joint European strike-fighter.
Although the prime issue I percieved would have been:
- French want to be the prominent controling partner within any consortium!
- The French would more than likely specified the needs and wants of the design to reflect export potential, rather than the actual needs of the consortium's air forces.
- The morals and ethics of the other European consortium would have undoubtedly made the French Government/business very difficult to sell this 'joint developed aircraft' to the traditional customer-base of French arms sales - aka - anyone and everyone that had hard cash :mad:

Saying this, seeing that the Mirage G/G8 was in essence originally a French design, there's all the possibility that Dassualt might have marketed, built and sold 'monkey' models of this 'joint European' combat aircraft!

Regards
Pioneer
I request moderator to delete those francophobe and prejudiced comments, full of hatred. Those comments on morals and ethics are especially disgusting. Who do you believe you are? The French vous emmerdent, connard.
Oh please.....are you for real my friend?
Im far from "franophobe" nor prejudiced, let alone spreading hate!
I have based my comments on historic fact. Do you deny that the French sold weapons to questionable States and dictators, when the rest of the West refused or question doing so?

I'm sorry to divert off topic, I'm sorry if my comments have been distorted by some. It was not my intention!
But I must say some of my fellow forum members need to get over themselves!

Regards
Pioneer
 

Pioneer

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PaulMM (Overscan) said:
Pioneer said:
alertken
I've always seen the the two-engine varient of the Dassault Mirage G / G8 as the basis for a joint European strike-fighter.
Although the prime issue I percieved would have been:
- French want to be the prominent controling partner within any consortium!
- The French would more than likely specified the needs and wants of the design to reflect export potential, rather than the actual needs of the consortium's air forces.
- The morals and ethics of the other European consortium would have undoubtedly made the French Government/business very difficult to sell this 'joint developed aircraft' to the traditional customer-base of French arms sales - aka - anyone and everyone that had hard cash :mad:

Saying this, seeing that the Mirage G/G8 was in essence originally a French design, there's all the possibility that Dassualt might have marketed, built and sold 'monkey' models of this 'joint European' combat aircraft!

Regards
Pioneer

I find the tone of this rather unjustly anti-French and anti-Dassault.
Sorry Overscan, but you have misinterpreted and twisted what I have said and what I meant! I have not insinuated any anti-French or Dassault rhetoric. I have just stated historic fact that the French Government has sold weapons to very dubious States and dictators that other Western countries and governments have questioned!
If it was a 'What If' story about the Western European's developing a weapons system with the Russian's, I would say the same historic fact about the Russian's wiliness to sell arms to dubious States and dictators!

I quote from a dubiously titled book The French Betrayal of America (Itself an oxymoron in itself, as America saying the French betrayed them, is like the kettle calling the pot black, as far as I'm concerned! - woops am I allowed to say that :eek:), itself published by a dubious religious publisher that's pushing its own questionable a gender! But the fact its states are/is historic facts.
"When de Gaulle imposed an arms embargo on Israel in 1968, Dassault flipped his vest and sold the same planes to Libya, Iraq, South Africa and Chile. Dassault's foreign sales were in the national interest, whether they helped democrats or dictators. French arms sales meant jobs.......
At the peak of the relationship [between French and Iraq], in 1983 Iraq alone bought 51.5 percent of all French arms exports.....
[/i] [/i]. Was this moral and ethical? I'd say no. Just as I question the weapons sales of Russia and China to dubious States and murderous dictatorships!

P.S. As a point of order I personally liked the Mirage G/G-8 and am sorry it never went into operational service! Now does that mean I'm anti American, because my Air Force bought American aircraft instead of the likes of Mirage G/G-8?
Please :-\

Regards
Pioneer
 

CJGibson

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Francophobe? You should read what DJ Harper of the UK Controller, Aircraft office said about the ACF. See page 186 of Battle Flight.

Chris
 

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Pioneer said:
But the fact its states are/is historic facts.
"When de Gaulle imposed an arms embargo on Israel in 1968, Dassault flipped his vest and sold the same planes to Libya, Iraq, South Africa and Chile. Dassault's foreign sales were in the national interest, whether they helped democrats or dictators. French arms sales meant jobs.......
At the peak of the relationship [between French and Iraq], in 1983 Iraq alone bought 51.5 percent of all French arms exports.....
[/i] [/i]. Was this moral and ethical? I'd say no. Just as I question the weapons sales of Russia and China to dubious States and murderous dictatorships!

Pioneer
i don't think the ethical arms deals argument works for any country. For example, at the same time as your example re Israel (c1968) Britain was involved in trying to sell chieftain tanks to Israel, Libya and Jordan at the same time. The inconsistency of that was noted by the prime minister.

I do not the politics of selling to dictators had any bearing in the Tonka decisions.

In answer to the original post, three letters, a punctuation mark and a number...


T

S

R

-

2

:)
 

covert_shores

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Pioneer said:
But the fact its states are/is historic facts.
"When de Gaulle imposed an arms embargo on Israel in 1968, Dassault flipped his vest and sold the same planes to Libya, Iraq, South Africa and Chile. Dassault's foreign sales were in the national interest, whether they helped democrats or dictators. French arms sales meant jobs.......
At the peak of the relationship [between French and Iraq], in 1983 Iraq alone bought 51.5 percent of all French arms exports.....
[/i] [/i]. Was this moral and ethical? I'd say no. Just as I question the weapons sales of Russia and China to dubious States and murderous dictatorships!

Pioneer
i don't think the ethical arms deals argument works for any country. For example, at the same time as your example re Israel (c1968) Britain was involved in trying to sell chieftain tanks to Israel, Libya and Jordan at the same time. The inconsistency of that was noted by the prime minister.

I do not the politics of selling to dictators had any bearing in the Tonka decisions.

In answer to the original post, three letters, a punctuation mark and a number...


T

S

R

-

2

:)
 

Grey Havoc

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covert_shores said:
In answer to the original post, three letters, a punctuation mark and a number...


T

S

R

-

2

:)

Quite.
 

CJGibson

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Nah, don't agree. I suspect UK75's original question applies to a post-TSR.2 era of solid-state digital electronics and quick-change engines. So apart from the tiresome stock answer of TSR.2, what would have been a Tornado alternative?

if you want to stick with an early 1960s design why not the HS.1017 or HS APD.1022? Or for the 70s Warton's fixed-wing MRCA?

Chris
 

Grey Havoc

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For something out of left field, what about a 'heavy' design based on the HS.1101 / HSA proposal for ASR 381?
 

covert_shores

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Or even further out, a heavier/longer ranged two-seat SAAB Viggen? Now there's an aircraft which never achieved it's potential due to politics.
 

CJGibson

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HS1011? A proper bomber and now you have my attention.

Perhaps, a variant of the Phantom? Air Staff looked at upgrading it for the ADV role, so why not a similar upgrade for IDS?

Worked for everyone else, so why not?

Chris
 

Pioneer

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Ah ha ....that's funny, you better tell this to my French wife!!

Regards
Pioneer
 

JFC Fuller

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I have to concur with the notion that there was not really any alternative to the Tornado, and I am glad its starting to get the respect and recognition it deserves- had it have not been for the cancellation of the 8th production lot at the end of the Cold War it would have a production run of over 1,000 airframes. Its difficult to find another post-war European aircraft programme that had such success.

The reason why i doubt there is an alternative is that Tornado was designed for a very specific role, to fly very low in order to penetrate defended airspace in Europe and deliver bombs on target. With the technology available at the time building anything to that requirement would have produced something very similar to Tornado.
 

SpudmanWP

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JFC Fuller said:
production run of over 1,000 airframes. Its difficult to find another post-war aircraft programme that had such success.
Mig-21 14k
F-4 5k
Mig-23 5k
F-16 4k
F-15 1k+
A-7 1k+

By "post-war", did you mean "Cold War"?
 

JFC Fuller

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Meant to say European, proof reading fail on my part. Post edited.
 

SpudmanWP

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Mirage3 - 1400+
Mirage 2000 - 600+
Mirage F1 - 700+
 

JFC Fuller

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Mirage III/V/50 would be the only one I would count. Tornado as it was managed 992 even with the early nineties cancellations. And Tornado was a much heavier, more complex and more expensive aircraft- by a considerable margin.
 

SpudmanWP

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JFC Fuller said:
Mirage III/V/50 would be the only one I would count. Tornado as it was managed 992 even with the early nineties cancellations. And Tornado was a much heavier, more complex and more expensive aircraft- by a considerable margin.
No slight on them, they were a great program.
 

Pioneer

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JFC Fuller said:
I have to concur with the notion that there was not really any alternative to the Tornado, and I am glad its starting to get the respect and recognition it deserves- had it have not been for the cancellation of the 8th production lot at the end of the Cold War it would have a production run of over 1,000 airframes. Its difficult to find another post-war European aircraft programme that had such success.

The reason why i doubt there is an alternative is that Tornado was designed for a very specific role, to fly very low in order to penetrate defended airspace in Europe and deliver bombs on target. With the technology available at the time building anything to that requirement would have produced something very similar to Tornado.
I agree with this analogy my friend! The Tornado in its entirity was designed for a spacific type of warfighting in a spacific theatre of ops.

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Pioneer
 

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I think a refined P.45 would have suited the German and Italian requirements just fine, as they didn't need the range the RAF did.
 

harrier

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The proper alternative is always V/STOL:


http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,11736.msg112969.html ;D


For the origins of the Tornado in the UK the best online source is:


http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/documents/Research/RAF-Historical-Society-Journals/Journal-27A-Seminar-Birth-of-Tornado.pdf


From Jock Heron's section (p.11-12) it is clear there were a number of contenders. Interestingly, the 250/400 nm sortie radius is almost the same as that for the P1154, albeit with twice the bomb load (4k, not 2k) but without the need for M0.92 all the way - best range cruise for the bit over friendly territory, so that probably balances it out.


So, the real alternative was not the TSR2, it was the P1154. Discuss! :eek:
 

JFC Fuller

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On one level that's rather unsurprising. The Tornado requirement having been an evolved version of the one P.1154 was meant for which was to fly in low and deliver nuclear weapons in the Soviet's tactical rear.
 

harrier

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For the RAF the P1154 was meant to fly recce in Germany, and conventional ground attack East of Suez. Nuclear was the TSR2's thing, although P1154 was to be capable of it (WE177A).


Of course the nuclear strike role was what NBMR3 was all about, and Tornado was in many ways a spiritual successor to that.
 

JFC Fuller

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IIRC It's Hennessy, The Secret State, where the P.1154 is specifically listed as a nuclear capable assets though without weapons allocation at that time (1964). Recce was a key requirement for Tornado as well, with 2 squadrons ultimately given the GR.1A for the role.
 

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PaulMM (Overscan) said:
I think a refined P.45 would have suited the German and Italian requirements just fine, as they didn't need the range the RAF did.
What was the estimate combat range of the P.45 Overscan?
It's just my opinion, but I've always seen the Tornado IDS as struggling for range as it is. By my own admission the P.45 seems even smaller than the Tornado, so I'd be concerned about the P.45 range.
P.S. One thing that I've always appreciated and respected with the fundamental Tornado IDS design, was its productive and sensible use of its under-fuselage use for its principle weapons carriage. If the P.45 did not have the inbuilt (internal fuel capacity), it means its already limited principle wing-pylon carriage of weapons would have to be sacrificed for drop tanks to achieve the range requirements! As I've already alluded too, I think the Tornado design was just on, if not under the size limited truly and realistically required.

Just putting it out there.....but what about a re-hashed and modernised English Electric / Vickers P17A? Not a TSR.2, but a simpler = cheaper derivative :eek:

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Germany originally didn't even want fuel in the Tornado's wings, leaving aside the vertical fin tank that only RAF machines had, and kept wanting a smaller, single engine design.
 

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uk 75 said:
I have become belatedly a fan of the Tornado (aka The Fin) as the most successful European aircraft programme of the 70s and 80s.

It was, however, a close run thing as the Germans in particular flirted with a number of alternatives and the UK might have followed the Jaguar with AFVG if France had been more clear sighted.

Anyone have their alternatives?

From UK options


Well just prior in '67 Brough office had stopped its efforts in the P.141 study Next Generation Tactical Aircraft. Fixed wing, twin engines, modular construction. Aimed at replacing Bucccaneer, Lighting and Phantom II.
In essence its a sort of interim creature between copying the Phantom II and the emergence of the Tornado type designs. Think of it as sort of Jaguar's bigger cousin.
Had it continued, its logical to see it moving to the 'new' RB.199 engines and other Tornado features.


Post that Brough was working on a backup design in the event the P1127 wasn't good enough. P.146, using blow to achive good STOL characteristics. Single engine being a 'developed' RB.199 or Spey.
Albeit a bit short ranged, a fusilage stretch might incorporate sufficient fuel and avionics.
 
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