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RAF Tornado Question


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5 hours ago, John Laidlaw said:

That's the Laser Range Finder and Marked Target Seeker for laser-guided munitions.

Its actually nothing to do with laser guided munitions, Its designed to provide a laser range for delivering unguided weapons and and also gives a visual cue in the HUD as to the location of a marked target  which is indicated  by a ground based troops using a laser marker, again to deliver unguided munitions.  A  LGB uses a different laser system that actually guides the bomb after release. This can be a aircraft laser designator or ground based. 

 

Selwyn

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8 hours ago, Steve McArthur said:

Laser Range Finder and Marked Target Seeker

 

Is it the same as on the Jaguar nose actually?  The GR5-9 Harrier  did have it as well, no? Or was that only a camera?

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2 hours ago, Selwyn said:

Its actually nothing to do with laser guided munitions, Its designed to provide a laser range for delivering unguided weapons and and also gives a visual cue in the HUD as to the location of a marked target  which is indicated  by a ground based troops using a laser marker, again to deliver unguided munitions.  A  LGB uses a different laser system that actually guides the bomb after release. This can be a aircraft laser designator or ground based. 

 

Selwyn

Thanks Selwyn! I live and learn 😁.

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2 hours ago, exdraken said:

Is it the same as on the Jaguar nose actually?  The GR5-9 Harrier  did have it as well, no? Or was that only a camera?

I don't know if it's the same system (e.g. same components) , but it serves the same functions.  Laser range finding and provides pilot indication of laser designated targets on the ground.  Same as in the GR.3 Harrier. 

 

I believe (and someone please correct me if I'm wrong) the Harrier II sensor is the ARBS (Angle Rate Bombing System) that was fitted to the US Marine Corps A-4Ms and AV-8Bs.  It's a more sophisticated system that uses a TV camera based system to let the pilot pick a target on the ground and then the ARBS computer does the math to provide cues in the HUD to guide the pilot to the weapons release point and I think it includes automated weapons release. It was also capable of sensing laser designated targets, but I'm not sure if it included a laser ranger of it's own, but I'd think it would need one.

 

There was a period of time in the '70s and '80s where the air controller (either on the ground or in the air) would use a laser designator to cue incoming attack planes to targets for dumb bomb delivery.  Laser designation supplemented traditional target designation like using rockets and smoke. Almost every ground attack plane of the era incorporated a marked target seeker to find targets in this kind of environment even if they never deployed laser guided weapons themselves. The Pave Penny pod served this function on the A-10.  Ubiquitous use of targeting pods in the late '90s and into this century made the LMRTS redundant as targeting pods can also fill the same function. 

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The topic seems to have drifted away a little bit from the question about the fairing under the port side of the fuselage which as Steve McArthur has mentioned was a FLIR and concentrated instead on the LRMTS on the port side which is not really visible in the photo originally posted.

 

FLIR was slightly longer , had a different shape to the LRMTS and was fitted as part of the GR.4 upgrade necessitating the loss of the port Mauser cannon (where applicable) and provided Forward Looking Infra-Red vision for the crew in the low-level Cold War role which the Tornado was initially intended for.

 

Here are a some images of one from November 2008 on ZA400/011 (originally a GR.4A) ‘Scud Hunters – Go Get Em Boys’ with sharkmouth then at RAF Lossiemouth while operating with No.14 Squadron carrying a form of its 2003 Operation Telic nose-art.

 

By that time the reconnaissance role had passed to podded systems such as Raptor carried on certain GR.4 but former GR.4A were distributed around the squadrons to reduce training hours on the fully operational fleet and according to my guide that day were not too popular on away trips because the recce gear had been kept in place to avoid centre of gravity issues and there was little to no room for essential tags , covers and turnround tools far less crew baggage. 

 

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10 hours ago, exdraken said:

Is it the same as on the Jaguar nose actually?  The GR5-9 Harrier  did have it as well, no? Or was that only a camera?

The LRMTS on Jaguar was the same equipment as fitted in the Harrier GR3 dolphin nose.  Not sure about the one fitted in the Tornado.

 

Selwyn

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