Aircraft

GAF

Lessons learned from the missions in NATO´s Combined Air Operations lead now to further mid-life modular upgrade programmes concerning “Combat Efficiency Enhancement” under the software cycle ASSTA 3.1. The integration of a tactical data link hardware and initial functionality (MIDS Link 16), the 500 lbs dual mode weapon LJDAM, SATURN secure radio and a Digital Video Data Recording were completed in 2012 and have since been rolled out into the fleet. This plays a key role in providing increased situational awareness resulting in optimised flexible response in the modern air-to-ground scenario. On top of this in 2016 integration of new coloured, multifunction navigator LCDs (replacing the former TV/TAB CRTs) together with a significant increase in MIDS functionality was completed and the first aircraft were modified to that standard. Furthermore, increased MIDS functionality is being developed for release to service. In addition a digitalized emitter locator system (ELS) is being implemented; a Future Dispenser System (FDS) equipped with a Missile Approach Warner and the intergration of the AARGM into the German fleet are under development. This continuous modernisation programme will allow the Luftwaffe to maintain its Tornado fleet in service until at least 2030.