Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentMilitary · 1 decade ago

Why did the Panavia Tornado performed much better than the F15E during 1991 Gulf War?

10 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Much better how?

    During the first week of the campaign the RAF Tornado GR.Mk1 accounted for just 4% of total coalition aircraft but 26% of the combat losses, with 5 being lost in nightime raids against Iraqi airfields employing the unexpectedly suicidal JP233. Of Italy's contribution of 8 Tornado IDS on their first mission of the war only 1 of the 8 managed to make it to the target and it was shot down. The Saudi's also lost 1 ADV in the first week.

    After the disasterous first week of low-level airfield attacks with JP233 the Tornado was forced into a switch to medium-altitude attacks with eight 454kg dumb bombs against battlefield targets. This could not have been hugely successful.

    The Tornado IDS in 1991 could not self-designate laser-guided bombs and had to rely initially on "buddy lazing" from hastily converted Buccaneers carrying the antiquated day-only Pave Spike designator. F-15E's had the day/night LANTIRN navigation and targeting system, though admittedly not every Eagle had LANTIRN in 1991. Only later did 4 Tornado's carrying the only 2 TIALD day/night laser designators in existence arrive in theater. The arrival of designator capability caused another change of mission back to airfield attacks and bridges. Warload was typically just 2 or 3 454kg Paveway II bombs per aircraft with two bombers to each designator plane and 1 target per aircraft.

    The F-15E was very new at the time of ODS. Only the 336th TFS had achieved IOC when Iraq invaded Kuwait and it and the 335th TFS were rushed to readiness and deployed in time for hostilities.

    Initially while the Tornado targetted airfields almost exclusively the Eagles hit communications hubs, bridges and also some airfields. Later many were used on CAP's to protect against both Iraqi fighters and to locate mobile Scud launchers. They also flew strikes deep into Iraq of course with both guided and unguided bombs, CAS sorties with Rockey cluster bombs, anti-armor sorties with AGM-65D Maverick missiles, CBU's and LGB's and Scud hunts. For attacks against a HAS (hardened aircraft shelter) the F-15E would typically employ a single GBU-10 or GBU-24 907kg Paveway LGB of which the aircraft can carry up to 4 where to with the Tornado a single aircraft needed to drop its entire load of 2 or 3 454kg Paveway II bombs to destroy a single HAS. Since the F-15E can self-designate its targets it could take up to 6 Tornado's to engage as many targets as one F-15E.

    Where you come up with the idea that the Tornado outperformed the Eagle in ODS I do not know. Both did valuable work but despite being brand new and rushed into the theater without all of its equipment the Eagle proved to be the more flexible aircraft. To give the Tornado credit, it is a much better aircraft at low-altitude. but then as ODS proved low-altitude is not a happy place to be against a reasonably well-equipped opponent.

  • Mark B
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    The Tornado was specifically designed and used for low level ingress/egress missions. Tornado squadrons were assigned missions that took advantage of the aircraft's strengths. These were pretty ballsy missions and some Tornados were lost as a result. The F-15Es were usually assigned different targets that took into account the advantages of that aircraft.

    I remember Brit reporters during press conferences really going after the Tornado when some were lost. It sounded like they were trying to pin the blame on poor equipment or poor training. It really came down to flying some very dangerous missions.

  • 1 decade ago

    They didn't really.

    Different targets , different missions.

    Tornado's are desgned for low level runs, like the old US F-111's were.

    While F-15's are designed for mid and high level missions.

    When they started going after the Iraqi divisions,

    Because of the ground to air threat

    They decided to use the Tornado, because of its low level ability.

    Tornado's have TFR ( terrain-following radar )

    Which the F-15's do not have.

  • AR
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    I don't believe it did. Seven Panavia Tornadoes were lost during the war while no F-15s were shot down. F-15s shot down more enemy aircraft than the Tornado.

    Source(s): 11B, US Army
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  • 5 years ago

    Kuwait is a tiny country compare to Iraq which was ten times bigger and the Iraqi Army was pretty battle-hardened in the Iraq-Iran War in the 1980s. However, you forget that the Kuwaitis were unprepared when the Iraqi Army invaded their country and overrun them in the matter of days.

  • 1 decade ago

    I have to agree with Mark B. The planes have very different missions and performances. The Tornado is used to attack airfields primarily.

  • 1 decade ago

    To what statistics are you referring?

    But, to those posters that think the F-15E shot down planes, think again. That was the F-15C...similar aircraft, different mission. The F-15C was 39-0 in Desert Shield / Desert Storm in the air-to-air arena. The F-15E is primarily an air-to-ground aircraft with some air-to-air capability.

  • Anonymous
    6 years ago

    Its now well out of date was always badly equipped and god fobid we ever get into an air war with russian latest fighters we will be shot out of the sky

  • 1 decade ago

    An American flown F15 has never been shot down in combat. Where are you getting your performance figures?

    Source(s): Desert Storm vet
  • 1 decade ago

    how so?

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