Tornados bomb Libya again from RAF Marham in Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 09:33 12 August 2011 | UPDATED: 11:14 12 August 2011

A  Tornado GR4 aircraft lands at Gioia Del Colle, Italy, after a mission over Libya. Picture: Cpl babs Robinson/MOD

A Tornado GR4 aircraft lands at Gioia Del Colle, Italy, after a mission over Libya. Picture: Cpl babs Robinson/MOD


RAF Tornado jets have flown further 3,000 mile sorties from the Norfolk base to attack Col Gaddafi’s forces, it emerged last night.

MoD on Storm Shadow

Storm Shadow is equipped with a powerful UK-developed warhead and is designed to attack important hardened targets and infrastructure, such as buried and protected command centres.

Mission data, including target details, is loaded into the weapon’s main computer before the aircraft leaves on its mission. After release, the wings deploy and the weapon navigates its way to the target at low level using terrain profile matching and an integrated Global Positioning System.

On final approach to the target the missile climbs, discards its nose cone and uses an advanced infrared seeker to match the target area with stored imagery. This process is repeated as the missile dives onto the target, using higher-resolution imagery, to ensure the maximum accuracy.

Supported by VC10 and TriStar aerial refuelling tankers, the warplanes flew south across Europe and the Mediterranean to launch a “large salvo” of Storm Shadow precision guided missiles at command bunkers near Sebha, 700km south of Tripoli, out in the Sahara.

The Weapons use a sophisticated GPS tracking system and terrain matching technology to locate their targets.

The MoD said the aircraft landed at Gioia del Colle after a mission lasting seven hours, and will return to Marham.

In the early hours of Monday morning, RAF Tornado and Typhoon aircraft conducted precision strikes on an ammunition and vehicle depot, and a military communications facility, both near Zlitan.

An armed reconnaissance patrol over Brega, in the east of the country, was also identified and two armed pick-up trucks destroyed.

On Monday night and the early hours of Tuesday, RAF jets successfully bombed a Libyan frigate in Tripoli harbour.

The ship had been damaged previously by NATO air strikes, but damage assessment showed it retained an offensive capability.

The RAF strike inflicted further serious damage and left the vessel taking on water.

UK aircraft also attacked a command and control node and a weapons depot in Bir al-Ghanam in the Djebel Nafousa, and a staging post in Zlitan.

On Tuesday night, an RAF patrol returned to Zlitan and conducted a precision strike on a barracks and military staging post.

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