Tornado Aircraft

Defence written question – answered on 27th March 2014.

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Photo of Angus Robertson Angus Robertson Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Defence), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Office), Shadow SNP Westminster Group Leader

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what criteria were applied when evaluating the suitability of the automatic wing sweep for installation on the Tornado F3.

Photo of Philip Dunne Philip Dunne The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence

I will write to the hon. Member shortly.

Substantive answer from Philip Dunne to Angus Robertson:

I undertook to write to you in answer to your Parliamentary Question on 10th March 2014 (Official Report, column 33W) about the automatic wing sweep system of the Tornado F3 aircraft.

During the development of the Tornado aircraft Air Defence Variant (ADV) in the early 1980s a requirement was identified for the aircraft variable wing sweep function to be automated. The requirement was intended to reduce pilot workload, optimise aircraft performance and improve fuel duration.

The criteria applied to evaluate the suitability of an automatic wing sweep system were that installation of the new equipment should be as simple as possible, i.e. a ‘bolt on’ addition; that reversion to manual control should be possible in the event of a failure of the automatic system, and that no existing aircraft system should be changed.

The automatic wing sweep system was embodied under a number of aircraft modifications during early Tornado ADV manufacture, which included manufacture of the Tornado F3.

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