The Tri-National Tornado Training Establishment is celebrating it’s 35th anniversary at the Air Tattoo this weekend.
A joint enterprise between the Royal Air Force, the German Luftwaffe and the Bundesmarine and the Italian Aeronatica Militare, the programme, which trained thousands of aircrew to fly the Tornado began on 1st July 1980, when the first two aircraft arrived at RAF Cottesmore.
The TTTE was set up as to bring together and train the aircrew from all three nations, this included pilots, navigators and weapons systems operators.
For the duration of the programme the aircrews from the three nations were mixed together, across three flying squadrons known as A,B and C, commanded by German, a British and Italian officer respectively and with a deputy from a different nation. Although a complex arrangement the mix of nationalities and experience proved to be one of the TTTE’s strengths.
From late 1985, the three nations we joined by the Royal Saudi Air Force, who sent a number of crews to be converted onto the Panavia Tornado.
The TTTE was officially closed in 1999, due to falling demand for the new Tornado pilots and national updates to the Tornados increasing the differences between the three fleets.
The Tornado’s used by the Three countries maintained their national identities but carried the TTTE badge on their fin. To celebrate the 35th anniversary the three static display tornado’s will be showing off special fin decals, which were applied upon their arrival at RAF Fairford.
The Royal International Air Tattoo is proud to be celebrating the 35th anniversary of the Tri-National Tornado Training Establishment.