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First upgraded Tornado ECR delivered to Italian Air Force

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Tornado ECR. Photo: Alenia Aermacchi

ROME (BNS): The first upgraded Tornado ECR (Electronic Combat/Reconnaissance) has been delivered to the Italian Air Force.

Alenia Aermacchi, as technical and programme leader, is in the process of upgrading the avionics and systems of 15 Tornado ECR.

The Tornado ECR MLU is the upgrade of the ECR version currently in use by the Italian Air Force. Its main function is to localize and suppress hostile air defence radar emitter sources by anti-radar missiles.

The aircraft upgrade includes several subsystems and functionality additions as well as modifications to the on-board systems, avionics equipment and mission software.

The Tornado ECR MLU features an integrated IN-GPS navigation system supported by a Multi-Mode Receiver (MMR) system for approaches and ILS blind landings.

The new communication and identification system embodies the latest standards of secure communication capacities as well as a data transmission/reception capacity via Data-Link (MIDS), which integrates TACAN navigation functionalities.

The pilot and navigator cockpits feature new multifunction display suites that improve man-machine interface and reduce crew workload; the navigator cockpit features new TVTAB LCD colour displays that replace former monochromatic display and the internal and external lighting systems are compatible with NVG night vision goggles.

The electronic recce capacity, a crucial component of the Tornado ECR operating mission, has also been improved through new functionalities connected with the threat identification and localization (ELS multi-ship ranging).

The new aircraft’s software allow the integration of new sensors and avionic systems and enables also the integration of a new version of anti-radiation missiles (HARM) and also the possibility of dropping GPS precision-guided weapons (JDAM).

The aircraft is built by Alenia Aermacchi, in collaboration with BAE Systems and Cassidian, its Panavia consortium partners.

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