The UK Royal Air Force has awarded phase 2 of a mid-life fatigue programme contract to Panavia to support the RAF’s Tornado fleet through to 2025, when it is put out of service.

The Tornado is a ground attack platform that features enhanced avionics, defensive aids, precision weapons and reconnaissance systems.

The Phase 2 programme will include technical demonstrations to assess the best ways of dealing with aircraft fatigue issues identified during routine monitoring in phase 1.

The outcome will determine phase 3, which will seek approval to roll out the programme across the entire 138 aircraft fleet, thus extending the fatigue life of key areas of the aircraft’s front and centre fuselage

Phase 2 is worth about £28m and phase 3, if approved, will be valued at £207m.

BAE Systems will carry out the work on the project for Panavia.