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Tornado GR1 (Hardback)

An Operational History

Aviation Photographic Books Colour Books Royal Air Force Cold War

By Michael John W Napier
Imprint: Pen & Sword Aviation
Pages: 251
ISBN: 9781473873025
Published: 23rd August 2017



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Replacing the Vulcan, Buccaneer and Jaguar in the front line of the Cold War, the remarkable “swing-winged” Tornado GR1 provided Britain’s strike capability in the last years of the Cold War in the 1980s, equipping some 10 RAF squadrons. During the Gulf War, Tornado GR1 crews led Britain’s contribution to Coalition operations against Iraq, and in the subsequent years Tornado GR1s were involved almost continuously in operations over Iraq. In 1999 the Tornado GR1 force carried out offensive missions over Kosovo as part of NATO operations in the Balkans.

The Tornado GR1’s Terrain Following Radar gave the aircraft a unique capability: it was the first RAF aircraft to have the ability to operate at low-level at night and in all-weathers. The incredible flexibility of both the aircraft and its crews was demonstrated by the successful switch to medium-level operations using laser-guided weapons after the Cold War.

Produced in the same style format as Javelin: An Operational History (which approaches the subject from the perspective of the RAF squadrons which operated the aircraft), Tornado GR1: An Operational History describes in detail the accomplishments and day-to-day workings of the operational RAF Tornado GR1 units in the UK, Germany, the Middle East and across the globe. The book is underpinned by research from original official documents, augmented by the personal accounts by Tornado air- and ground-crews. It is richly illustrated throughout with photographs of the aircraft.

This is the definitive book for anyone interested in the operational history of this remarkable and combat proven aircraft.

It packs alot of information and facts from the early days through to its last flight and it written in a way that appeals to novices or seasoned aircraft veteran enthusiasts.

You will only need this book about the aircraft as it is without a doubt the best book on the market relating to the jet.

Amazon Customer, Richard Domoney-Saunders

This operational history of the Tornado GR1 is a detailed and engrossing view of the challenges faced by aircrews and the tactics developed during NATO exercises and ‘real world’ combat missions from Bosnia to the Middle East.

Air Forces Monthly, February 2018 – reviewed by Glenn Sands

Michael Napier's fifth book looks at the Tornado GR1, the first comprehensive account of its role as a nuclear bomber.
Official records have not yet been released in to the public domain, and this book has some of the best photographs of Tornados, crews, low-level flying and bombing missions that I have seen.

Journal of the British Airline Pilot's Association

The latest in Pen and Sword's brilliant fighter aircraft series looks at the Tornado in all its glory, and with a superb set of commemorative photographs. Amazing!

Books Monthly

The author is a former Tornado pilot who has researched and spoken with former comrades to produce an excellent and unique account of the Tornado GR1 and its part in the 1990-1991 Gulf War. The Tornado was born as a multi-role swing-wing combat aircraft for use in Europe against any Soviet threats. Later marks are still in frontline service but the story of the GR1 has not previously been told well – Highly Recommended.

Read the complete review here.


As featured in

RAF NEWS, Friday October 6th 2017

About Michael John W Napier

The elder son of an army officer, Michael Napier joined the RAF in 1978 and served with 14 Squadron as a Tornado pilot in the late 1980s and again in the early 1990s. These two tours engendered a deep interest in 14 Squadron’s distinguished history. He was appointed as Honorary Secretary of the 14 Squadron Association in 2003 and since then has carried out extensive research into the Squadron’s heritage. He is the author of Winged Crusaders: 14 Squadron RFC and RAF 1915-1945, Blue Diamonds: The Exploits of 14 Squadron RAF 1945-2015, Tornado Over the Tigris: Recollections of a Fast Jet Pilot and Gloster Javelin: An Operational History all published by Pen and Sword Books. Now an airline captain, he lives in the Cotswolds with his wife and two children.

Perfect Partner

The Panavia Tornado: A Photographic Tribute (Hardback)

Through a collection of dramatic and informative photographs, supplemented by cutaway illustrations, this book highlights the agility and flexibility of this dedicated RAF aircraft. Throughout the course of its career, it has formed the backbone of the RAF across its many different theaters of operation. Utilized in a strike, anti-aircraft, air superiority, air defense, reconnaissance, electronic warfare and fighter-bomber capacity, this aircraft type has enjoyed an immensely varied career. Each aspect is illustrated in this photographic celebration. The book includes photographs by the author…

By Michael Leek

Click here to buy both titles for £47.50
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