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Germany has deployed four additional Tornado reconnaissance jets to the Turkish air base at Incirlik, in a bid to support Operation Inherent Resolve carried out by the US-led coalition forces.

The aircraft are expected to launch their first sorties tomorrow. The move comes as Germany strengthened its involvement in the fight against ISIS in the Middle East.

Two aircraft from the Air Force Tactical Squadron 51 in Jagel and the Air Force Tactical Squadron 33 in Buchel have joined the forces already. Another two are expected to join by 12 January.

Germany had sent two Tornado aircraft in mid-December to Turkey, bringing the total aircraft currently deployed to the Incirlik Air Base to six.

German contigent Incirlik commander brigadier general Andreas Schick was quoted by Anadolu news agency as saying: "With the two other Tornado jets expected to arrive in Turkey on 12 January, a total of six aircraft will be ready for the surveillance mission.

"Our goal is to reach full operational capability in mid-January."

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By GlobalData
"Our goal is to reach full operational capability in mid-January."

The low-level, high-speed reconnaissance Tornado GR 1A in service with the German Air Force provides real-time reconnaissance, with facilities for in-flight review of reconnaissance data, recording for post-flight analysis and instant ground access to recorded imagery.

The electro-optical suite comprises three internally mounted infrared sensors linked to a video recording system, providing 24-hour, horizon-to-horizon surveillance coverage.

In a separate development, the German cabinet has approved plans to send up to 650 soldiers to Mali and northern Iraq as a part of UN peacekeeping mission.


Image: German GR-4 ornado undergoing maintenance during Cooperative Cope Thunder 2004. Photo: courtesy of SMSGT Chris Drudge.