During Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday (13.02.19) Witney MP, Robert Courts, asked the Prime Minister to join him in paying tribute to the RAF’s Tornado jet, which is due to retire from service next month, as well as the crews who have worked with it over the years.
Robert, who went to visit the Tornado at its home of RAF Marham along with fellow MPs on the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme, described it as a “remarkable jet” which has given 40 years’ service “from the Cold War to the mountains in Afghanistan.” He noted that whilst we should pay tribute to the jet itself, we must also champion “the men and women who have flown and maintained her”.
The Prime Minister eagerly joined Robert is paying tribute to the Tornado and its crews, stating that “it is with a heavy heart but enormous pride that we bid farewell to the Tornado from operations.” She thanked the crews who have worked with the jet and “kept Britain and our allies safe”, before noting that the Tornado will be replaced by “very worthy successors in the improved Typhoon and the new F-35s”.
Speaking afterwards, Robert said: “Delighted to have been joined by the Prime Minister in paying tribute to this incredible jet and all those who have flown and maintained it in its many years of service – including the tanker crews at RAF Brize Norton who have supported the Tornado for so long.
“The Prime Minister was right to point out that the Tornado is being replaced with worthy successors and I look forward to continuing to work with Ministers to develop the Combat Air Strategy, ensuring the UK takes a leading role in the next generation of air power.”