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I am lookingh into converting a Tornado F.3 Kit into an EF-3 Variant (SEAD), and look for some information on this plane as there seems to be precious little info about it.

 

- When was the EF-3 introduced, when was is phased out?

- Which Squadrons fielded it? (Individual Airfram numbers would be a cherry on top)

 

As far as the loadout goes - I found one picture on the web showing 2x 1500l Tanks, 2x ALARM Missiles and 4 ASRAAM Missiles, a Sky Shadow and a BOZ-107 pod.

I imagine the ASRAAM could be also subsituted with a Sidewinder if required.

 

- Could and would the aircraft carry the 2250l Hindenburg tanks?

 

 

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As far as I know it was a trial although a few aircraft were converted, being operated by 11 Sqn. Tornado S.I.G maybe of some help. www.tornadosig.com/

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Not operational in the end but trialed for the comming 2003 Iraq war. some said the GR comunity interveened...some said the EF.3 threat location capability was better than the GR.4s...

 

You can build this one e.g.

 

f3_alarm.jpg

https://hushkit.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/f3_alarm.jpg

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Thanks for the image @exdraken I have not seen it as crisp yet!

 

This is more or less what I intend to build, though I intend to use the Hindenburg tanks. Alsothe d ecals I intend to use are depicting machines from the eighties. Which slightly predates the ALARM service entrance *not to mention thier installation on the F.3!

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The role was put forward early in 2003 as an Urgent Operational Requirement (UOR) which like all such provided funding for one year after which if no further funding was made available the project was shelved which is what happened here.     The Tornado F.3 involved were all operated by No.11 Squadron then based at RAF Leeming and adaptions were completed , crews trained and declared operational by 1st. March 2003.      Although ready to deploy to the Gulf for Operation Telic and like the Jaguar Force which was ready to deploy to Turkey for the same after a slight diplomatic delay they were never called upon to do so which some at the time and since have claimed was influenced by former Tornado GR.1/4 personnel in high places protecting that fleet from the inevitable process of cuts that would follow.     

 

At the time there were suggestions that with the gradual draw-down of the Tornado F.3 fleet  they could easily perform some GR.4 roles such as SEAD and Reconnaissance using podded systems easing the strain on bomber resources and it would seem that the positioning of RHAWS on the F.3 and its use of the JTIDS datalink was considered more effective in the former role.

 

EF.3 would seem to have been an unofficial description , the aircraft involved were Tornado F.3 before , during and after the twelve month UOR ended.

 

By early 2003 during the brief lifetime of the SEAD UOR ASRAAM had replaced the AIM-9 on the F.3 , 1500 Litre droptanks seem to have been more common on the F.3 for Air Defence missions during Operation Telic while  the GR.4 favoured the larger 2,250 Litre droptanks however what an F.3 conducting a GR.4 mission might have carried operationally is anyone's guess.     The images above show a flat ended ballast weight BOZ shape on the Port outer wing pylon , operationally this would have either been a live BOZ Dispenser Pod or the same converted into a TRD as carried by Air Defence F.3 during the same campaign.

 

Speaking to an F.3 pilot after the event the four pylon Air Defence fit was apparently commonly known as 'Pig Fit' because of the effect it had on handling so presumably having a couple of ALARM hanging down below made matters worse , likewise the presence of the bulky TRD on the outer pylon earned it the nickname of 'Turd' for much the same reason.

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We received i think it was two of these when we ( 111 F SQN ) were on Op Resinate South just before it turned to Op Telic as we increased our aircraft numbers because of the increase in ops. But it was only flown as the F3 with the air to air load out.

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