Bomb-laden Tornado fighter jets depart RAF airbase

March 22, 2011 | by | 1 Comment

Several Tornado GR4 jet fighters fully loaded with bombs took off from RAF Marham, Norfolk, this morning.

Bomb-laden Tornado fighter jets depart RAF airbase

Two of the grey fighter planes left the air base at 11.45am today with each carrying a number of bombs and missiles.

A spokesman for the base refused to confirm whether the planes are heading for the Gioia del Colle base in Italy or to Libya.

On Monday the GR4 Tornado warplanes headed to Libya on a reconnaissance manoeuvre to protect the civilian population from attacks by Colonel Gaddafi’s ground forces.

This was in contrast to the GR4s’ attack-minded weekend missions which were focussed on Colonel Gaddafi’s military command, control facilities and air defence infrastructure.

Meanwhile, Major General John Lorimer, the Chief of the Defence Staff’s Strategic Communications Officer, refused to comment on the coalition’s overall performance since operations began at the weekend.

But he admitted the missions have so far been a success as they have prevented Colonel Gaddafi from committing atrocities inside the city of Benghazi.

Bomb-laden Tornado fighter jets depart RAF airbase

Speaking from the MOD’s Main Building in London, Major General Lorimer said: “On a broader level, we have the best possible indication that this operation is having a very real effect; namely the protection of Benghazi from Colonel Gaddafi’s forces.

“Last Friday, you will recall that regime troops were on the outskirts of Benghazi, the second largest city in Libya and home to more than 670,000 civilians.

“Colonel Gaddafi vowed that his men would be going from house to house, room to room, to burn out the opposition. Libyan troops were reportedly committing atrocities in outlying areas of the city.

“The military intervention to enforce UNSCR 1973 has stopped that attack in its tracks.

“That is not to say that all threat to innocent life in and around Benghazi, or other cities for that matter, has been wholly removed. It has not.

Bomb-laden Tornado fighter jets depart RAF airbase

“But the very fact that many media organizations are still able to have correspondents reporting freely in the heart of Benghazi is in itself testament to the immediate effect that this operation has had in blunting Colonel Gaddafi’s assault on his own people.”

Major General Lorimer also confirmed RAF Typhoon Eurofighters, which had been forward based in Italy at Gioia del Colle, yesterday mounted their first ever “mission in hostile airspace” as they patrolled the Libyan no fly zone.

The US Air Force lost its first aircraft during the operation this morning after an F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jet crashed in a Libyan field.

Both crew member suffered minor injuries and have been recovered from the area. The US has denied the plane was shot down, claiming the crash was due to a mechanical fault.

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Comments (1)

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  1. Bob0234 says:

    “Two of the grey fighter planes left the air base at 11.45am today with each carrying eight bombs and missiles.”
    I don’t think so! Two are drop fuel tanks and one is a jamming pod . Do your research.

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