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The RAF selected the Tornado fighter bomber to replace some four types of aircraft in service, considerably rationalising its material resources for the attack and reconnaissance roles. In fact, the Tornado replaced the Avro Vulcan in the long range bomber role, the Canberra and Jaguar for the tactical reconnaissance and ground attack and the Buccaneer for maritime attack.

The first production aircraft for the RAF, a dual control aircraft, which under the British designation system was identified as GR.1, made its first flight on 10th July 1979 from the manufacture’s airfield at Warton, while the final aircraft was delivered 1993. The Tornado Air Defence Variant, designated F Mk 2 and Mk 3 replacing the Lightning aircraft in the interceptor role, was introduced into service commencing 1987 with the last F Mk 3 delivery in 1990.