On Sunday, January 15, a German politician named Gauke Schulz announced on Twitter that Ukraine would never receive Tornado fighter jets, which are scheduled to be decommissioned in the near future. His remarks were in response to the demand made by Andriy Melnyk, who serves as the Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine, that the country is supplied with 93 Tornado fighters.
Melnyk previously tweeted a “creative proposal” addressed to Germany: “The Bundeswehr has 93 Tornado multirole fighter jets that will soon be retired and replaced by F-35s,” Ukraine’s current Deputy Foreign Minister wrote on Twitter. “It’s an old jet fighter, but still very powerful. Why don’t you send those tornadoes to Ukraine, @Bundeskanzler?” He linked Olaf Scholz’s official account.
“You will never get a Tornado. They protect us in Germany and will not lead us to war with Russia,” Schultz said.
The German politician said that members of his entourage who work with these specific types of fighters are opposed to Kyiv’s illegal seizing of this equipment.
At the same time, another German politician is in favour of the proposal. The CDU foreign politician Roderich Kiesewetter tweets that Tornado multirole combat aircraft from German stocks are to be delivered to Ukraine. He made the request in direct response to a similar request from former Ukrainian ambassador Andriy Melnyk. “Yes,” Kiesewetter wrote to Melnyk, “we should deliver the tornado!” And further: “Everything that contributes to the victory of Ukraine. Everything that we would also use in NATO. Even with that, we will not become a war party.”
German is a part of NATO’s Nuclear Sharing Tactical Bombs Program, and the nuclear bombs are delivered by Tornado IDS strike aircraft from the German elite 33rd Squadron JaBoG (Jagdbombergeschwader 33) headquartered at Büchel in Rhineland-Palatinate. JaBoG has 46 Tornados. However, they will reach the end of their service life between 2025 and 2030.
German fighter-bomber Panavia “Tornado” IDS
The Tornado IDS aircraft is a two-seat, all-metal, high-wing monoplane with changeable geometry and two turbojet engines.
The beam-stringer aircraft’s fuselage consists of three sections: the nose, the centre, and the tail. The bow compartment has a radar station, a pressurised cockpit, a niche for the nose landing gear, an electronic equipment compartment, and two weapons. In the fuselage’s central compartment are integrated fuel tank compartments, niches for the main landing gear, and engine air ducts. A centrepiece containing drives for the rotary portions of the wing is joined to the fuselage’s central section from above, and movable side scoop-type air intakes are attached to the sides of the fuselage. The power plant compartment with two engines and fuel tanks is located in the rear fuselage. The tail segment is joined to the tail unit.
The variable geometry wing, with a range of sweep angles from 240 to 650 degrees, is composed of three pieces: a central section and two consoles, which were the wing’s turning parts. There are sectional slats, double-slotted flaps, and spoilers on the wing consoles. Under the wing are fitted flight-oriented pylons for the suspension of weaponry and auxiliary fuel tanks.
The classical tail unit comprises a fin with a rudder and an all-moving stabiliser at the mid-position. The keel of the caisson houses a fuel tank compartment.
Landing gear for a tricycle with a steerable front wheel. All landing gear retracts into fuselage-mounted recesses during flight. A braking hook is installed on the aircraft.
Two Rolls-Royce/MTU RB bypass turbojet engines are the aircraft’s propulsion system. 199-34 4R Mk.103 with axial fan and low and high-pressure compressors force at takeoff at 4380 kgf (7675 kgf afterburner). The aircraft is equipped with an auxiliary petrol turbine power plant positioned on the right side of the power plant compartment.
The fighter is armed with two 27-millimetre Mauser IWKA cannons with 360 rounds of ammunition located in the lower portion of the forward fuselage compartment, along with bombs and rockets weighing a total of 8,100 kilograms.
“Tornado” IDS is a serial tactical fighter bomber of the Air Force and Aviation of the German Navy. During serial production, 279 fighter bombers were manufactured.
“Tornado” GR.Mk.1 is a serial tactical strike fighter of the Royal Air Force, UK.
“Tornado” ECR is a serial tactical electronic countermeasures aircraft. A total of 35 aircraft were manufactured.
Pressurising Germany to provide offensive weapons to Ukraine
On January 10, it was revealed that France and Poland were attempting to influence Germany’s decision to transfer Leopard tanks to the Ukrainian Armed Forces (AFU). French President Emmanuel Macron announced the deployment of French armoured fighting vehicles to the Ukrainian side in order to “break the taboo” of moving Western tanks to Ukraine so that “the Germans move.” Warsaw plans to form a broad alliance in the West in order to send German-made tanks to Kyiv.
Jakub Kumoch, a representative of the Polish president’s office, stated on January 9 that Warsaw has the possibility to deliver a symbolic number of Leopard tanks to Kyiv. Moreover, the subject of the transfer itself is still being considered, he said, adding that if Poland transfers Leopards to Ukraine, their number cannot be assessed in the dozens.
Two days ago, the British announced the transfer of its obsolete Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine.