Pilots and engineers at the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) testing station at Boscombe Down in Wiltshire, England, are testing every item of aircraft equipment used on operations in Afghanistan.

The RAF engineers at Boscombe Down work jointly with BAE, QinetiQ, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory to test new equipment entering service or upgrades to existing kit, some as urgent operational requirements (UORs).

In 2009, the unit completed 30 major aircraft-related UORs, including fitting machine guns, defensive aids and countermeasures, radios, displays and sensors to helicopters.

The unit also carried out capability enhancements to the Tornado GR4 fleet being deployed on Operation Herrick.

During the programme, the Tornado aircraft was upgraded with a defensive aid suite, software improvements and to use a greater variety of precision weapons.