PANAVIA Tornado GR.1, ZA447/EA 'MiG Eater' RAF No.15 Squadron, Operation Granby, 1991
The RAF aircraft that took part in the 1991 Gulf War are the subject of great interest and continue to captivate modellers and collectors alike. Painted in a distinctive desert pink camouflage over-wash, PANAVIA Tornado GR.1 ZA447/EA carries attractive nose art decoration, which was a feature of many of the Gulf War serving RAF aircraft. Carrying the name 'MiG Eater', complete with fearsome shark teeth artwork, this aircraft was thought to have destroyed an Iraqi Air Force MiG-29 fighter (hence the name), whilst completing an airfield denial mission, over Iraq. It was later discovered that it was actually a Mirage F.1, but ZA447 was one of the busiest Tornados over the Gulf, completing 40 combat missions for coalition air forces. It later went on to be one of the star exhibits at the 1991 Mildenhall Air Fete.
As one of the most effective low level, all weather strike aircraft in the world, the PANAVIA Tornado was the product of a successful collaboration between the aircraft industries of Britain, West Germany and Italy. Entering RAF service in 1979, the Tornado has provided interdictor strike, reconnaissance and electronic countermeasure support since that date and has seen plenty of action in major overseas operations during this time. With the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990, coalition air forces were charged with the initial international military response to this outrage and the Tornado was to be a significant contributor. The Gulf War saw Tornado GR.1 aircraft attacking Iraqi airfields with their JP233 airfield denial weapon, which was to prove particularly effective in eradicating any Iraqi Air Force threat to coalition forces.