Tornado is powered by two RB 199 three-spool re-heated turbofan engines which were specifically designed for the aircraft and specially tailored to meet its propulsion requirements. The RB199 is a product of the partner companies Rolls-Royce, MTU Aero Engines and Avio. 2500 engines have been delivered since 1979 to the armed forces, which have accumulated more than 5 million flying hours. The RB199 was designed to give the Tornado outstanding performance. In order to meet the many different mission requirements of the Tornado, in particular extreme low-level missions, a 3-shaft design with afterburner and thrust reverser was selected. The Digital Engine Control Unit (DECU) reduces the pilot’s workload during operation and supports on-condition maintenance.
The fact that the RB199 is still a very modern combat engine with future growth potential is a confirmation of its advanced design. Modular construction allows damaged modules to be changed within the minimum turn-around time, thus ensuring greater availability of the aircraft. Its unprecedented reliability has not only been demonstrated in hostile environmental conditions but also in combat. The most recent production standard, MK105, powers the German ECR (Electronic Combat Reconnaissance) Tornado.