No stopping however for this Tornado. Wings fully back, low, fast and loud - as seen at Laage airbase in 2005. (Image © Elmer van Hest)

German Tornados on exotic live-fire safari

No stopping however for this Tornado. Wings fully back, low, fast and loud - as seen at Laage airbase in 2005. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
No stopping however for this Tornado. Wings fully back, low, fast and loud – as seen at Laage Airbase in 2005.
(Image © Elmer van Hest)

German Tornados are known to fly to the stars (and beyond?) from Holloman Air Force Base in the New Mexican desert, but the jets from Taktischen Luftwaffengeschwader 33 (Tactical Air Force Wing 33) find themselves in a total different spot these days: training area Overberg, located about 125 miles (200 km) southwest of Cape Town in South Africa.

Four of TaktLwG 33 swept-wing interdictor/strike aircraft, normally based at Büchel in Germany, are just a few minutes flying from the southernmost tip of the African continent, Cape Agulhas. It took them three days to get there, with stop-overs at Gando Airbase (Gran Canaria, Spain) and Royal Air Force Station Ascension in the Southern Atlantic. US Air Force tankers provided the necessary fuel in mid-air, while most of the 120 active, reserve and civilian personnel of TaktLwG 33 went south in a Luftwaffe Airbus. Materiel including ammo arrived per ship and rented civilian Antonov AN-124 Ruslan.

One of the highlights was the live-firing of a Taurus cruise missile, which hit its target after 20 minutes after a Luftwaffe Tornado released it in flight, according to the GAF’s press department. The South African training areas have become fairly popular. It was the third time already, and in 2017 the Luftwaffe will do it again.

Source: Luftwaffe (German Air Force)

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