Retirement at age 45, it was the stuff of dreams, especially in the UK. The Royal Air Force (RAF) has set the withdrawal of its last Tornado in March 2019, 45 years after the first flight of the venerable fighter aircraft produced by the European consortium Panavia. It will then be replaced by the F-35 of the American Lockheed Martin, as well as the Eurofighter Typhoon. The Tornado was every British conflict since the first Gulf War.
The news was first broadcast during the interim results of BAE Systems, a member of the Panavia consortium, August 2. The British industrial group revealed that the date had been confirmed by the Ministry of Defence (MoD). The next day the announcement was taken by the British Forces Broadcasting Service.
Since 1 June 2011, the RAF no longer than five squadrons of frontline Tornado GR4 - last British version of the device - in mid-2011, a total of 136 devices. It is his only ground attack aircraft all-weather tactical reconnaissance and really felt until the F-35 that will enter service in 2018, or a rise of the Eurofighter in the air-ground.
The exact number of F-35B (short takeoff version and vertical landing - STOVL) that will receive the United Kingdom (RAF and Royal Navy) is not known, but currently runs around fifty copies. Low total due to cuts performed by the British government in the defense budget. The first F-35B was delivered in the UK on July 19 for evaluation.Asian Defence News