Tornado F.2T ZD904 of 229 Operational Conversion Unit (65 Reserve Squadron) out in the sunshine at RAF Coningsby in 1986. The F.2 was the first Air Defence Variant of the Tornado to enter service with the RAF and was only used for under two years before being replaced by the F.3. Compared with the F.3 the F.2 has slightly shorter jet nozzles and has two cannon in the nose. The F.3 has one cannon replaced by an in-flight refuelling probe. Delays with the AI radar meant that most F.2s were never fitted with this vital piece of equipment. Most RAF radars have code names containing a colour, for instance “green satin” or “red shrimp”. Since the F.2s carried a large chunk of concrete ballast where the AI scanner should be it became a standing RAF joke that the Tornado F.2s featured “blue circle” radar (Blue Circle is the name of a common brand of cement). The pictured aircraft is an F.2T, the T showing it can be fitted with twin controls for use as a conversion trainer.
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