Armour Collection B11E403 German Panavia Tornado ECR Fighter-Bomber - Tiger Meet 2001-2002 (1:48 Scale)
"Obsolete weapons do not deter."
- British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
During the late 1960's a number of European countries examined ways to replace their existing fleet of combat aircraft using next-generation design techniques. Several countries looked at variable geometry wing configurations as a means of making a plane perform well throughout a wider flight envelope. Variable geometry allows the pilot and/or fly by wire system to adapt the aircraft's wing shape to the optimal settings dependent on its height, speed, and load. The Tornado takes this one step further and incorporates swiveling weapons pylons that always ensure the stores are parallel to the airframe, thus minimizing drag and improving airflow across the entire surface of the aircraft especially at low altitudes.
Britain and France joined forces on a variable geometry aircraft project, called the Anglo French Variable Geometry (AFVG) project. France was already in the process of developing a variable geometry airframe of its own. In 1968, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Italy, and Canada formed a working group to look at replacements for the aging F-104. The outcome was initially called the Multi-Role Aircraft (MRA) project, which was later changed to the Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MCRA). Britain later joined this group on the strength of its variable geometry design.
Pictured here is a stunning 1:48 scale diecast replica of a Panavia Tornado ECR fighter-bomber flown by the German Luftwaffe during the 2001-'02 NATO Tiger Meet. Sold Out!
Historical Account: "Forged in Fire" - The Treaty of Brussels, signed on March 17th, 1948 by Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, and the United Kingdom, is considered the precursor to the NATO agreement. This treaty established a military alliance, later to become the Western European Union. However, American participation was thought necessary in order to counter the military power of the Soviet Union, and therefore talks for a new military alliance began almost immediately.
These talks resulted in the North Atlantic Treaty, which was signed in Washington, DC on April 4th, 1949.
It included the five Treaty of Brussels states, as well as the United States, Canada, Portugal, Italy, Norway, Denmark and Iceland. Three years later, on February 18th, 1952, Greece and Turkey also joined.
Because of geography, Australia and New Zealand missed out on membership. In place of this, the ANZUS agreement was made by the United States with these nations.p>
In 1954, the Soviet Union suggested that it should join NATO to preserve peace in Europe. The NATO countries rejected this, seeing it as an attempt to subvert NATO from within.
The incorporation of West Germany into the organization on May 9th, 1955 was described as "a decisive turning point in the history of our continent" by Halvard Lange, Foreign Minister of Norway at the time. Indeed, one of its immediate results was the creation of the Warsaw Pact, signed on May 14th, 1955, by the Soviet Union and its satellite states as a formal response to this event, firmly establishing the two opposing sides of the Cold War.