Deliveries of the British Aerospace/McDonnell Douglas Harrier GR Mk 5 to the RAF began recently, introducing a new weapon, the 25-mm Aden, and yet another calibre of gun, to join those of 20-mm, 27-mm and 30-mm already in service. The Harrier GR Mk 5 (to become the GR Mk 7 when given night capability in the early ’nineties) is a candidate for new air-to-surface missiles, the need for which the author argues in this article.
ALARM defence suppression missile, carried on a Tornado GR Mk 1, took place on 13 February 1985, at Warton, Lancs. The Tornado was carrying the maximum of nine ALARM missiles and the flight was to assess the handling of the aircraft in this new configuration.
The RAF has now declared to NATO as fully operational its first squadron of Tornado F Mk 3 air defence fighters. Their initial armament mix, shown here on test for the first time, comprises four Sky Flash missiles and four Sidewinders, the latter on the wing pylons that also carry drop tanks.