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The Long Arm Of Britannia
by James Dunnigan
September 20, 2011

Although most British bombing missions over Libya are flown from bases in Italy, some special ones are flown from Britain. On August 10th, six Tornado GR4 fighter bombers took off from an air base in southern Britain, flew 2,400 kilometers (1,500 miles) to Libya, and launched a dozen Storm Shadow stealth cruise missiles at key targets. The Storm Shadow air launched stealthy cruise missile got its first combat experience over Iraq eight years ago. The 5.2 meter (16 foot) long, 1.3 ton missile has a 250 kilometer range and carries a penetrating warhead. The missile is a British modified version of the French Apache missile and entered service in late 2002, costing about $1.2 million each.

The round-trip mission from Britain took eight hours, with aerial refueling aircraft available over the Mediterranean to provide sufficient fuel to get back to Britain.


 

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