News Local British forces in Cyprus bid farewell to the Tornado GR4 jet (video)

British forces in Cyprus bid farewell to the Tornado GR4 jet (video)

After four decades of service, RAF Tornado GR4s have returned to Britain from operations in the Middle East, as the aircraft is being retired by the RAF which seeks to move to more advanced and modern capability.

On Tuesday, the homecoming Tornados landed at RAF Marham in Norfolk, with personnel and their families watching on to celebrate the end of an era.

“It is with a heavy heart, but enormous pride, that we bid farewell to the Tornado from operations. This truly is the end of an era, having played a vital role in keeping Britain and its allies safe for four decades,”’ Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said.

The final air strikes by Tornado fighters were launched over Syria on January 31 as part of Operation Shader.

The UK Ministry of Defence said a pair of GR4s flew a patrol lasting more than six hours and returned to RAF Akrotiri at 1400 GMT.


According to the Tornado was build by Britain, France and Italy and first entered service in 1979.

Its swept-wing design was considered cutting edge at the time and it was the first European jet to use fly-by-wire controls.

The Tornado first saw combat in the First Gulf War where it flew low-level bombing missions in Iraq. However, the RAF decided to switch to medium missions, after six were lost.

The rise of ISIS saw eight GR4s relocated to RAF Akrotiri where they flew daily missions over Iraq and Syria as part of Operation Shader.

Read more:

Top Stories

Puppy with green fur born in Sardinia

Pistachio, a puppy who was born with green fur, is seen on the day he was born on a farm on the island of...

Masks in Cyprus mandatory for all in outdoor public spaces as of Friday

Masks in Cyprus are mandatory in all outdoor public spaces - in addition to indoors - for all over the age of 12 as...

Cyprus remains on UK’s “green” travel list despite rising covid cases

Cyprus has remained in the UK Government’s “green” Travel Corridors list despite a rise in coronavirus cases on the island. This means that travellers from...

In final Trump-Biden showdown, less chaos but plenty of clashes

U.S. President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden offered sharply contrasting views on the still-raging coronavirus pandemic at Thursday's final presidential debate, seeking...

Mainly fine on Friday, 32 C inland

Mainly fine on Friday with local cloud developing in the afternoon inland and in the mountains. Winds will be light to moderate, force 3 to...


Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...


No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...