Syria air strikes: The high-tech weapons Britain could use to destroy Isis

The best military hardware the RAF brings to the fight as it extends air strikes into Syria

Jeremy Wilson
Thursday 03 December 2015 15:29
The RAF Tornado GR4 has a reputation for great reliability and carries all​ the latest weapons systems
The RAF Tornado GR4 has a reputation for great reliability and carries all​ the latest weapons systems

British warplanes have launched their first air strikes against Isis militants in Syria after Parliament authorised an extension of bombing to the country. The RAF was already targeting Isis in Iraq.

Now that Britain has joined countries like the United States and France in extending its military operations to Syria, here is some of the best military hardware the RAF can bring to the fight:

The Tornado GR4 jet was designed in the 1960s but is still the UK's principal ground-attack aircraft. It has a reputation for great reliability and carries all​ the latest weapons systems.

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The Tornado will carry Brimstone missiles that are capable of hitting fast-moving targets such as cars with great accuracy. They are reputed to be better than the air-to-ground missiles being used by the other countries currently fighting ISIS.


It might not look like much, but the Raptor Reconnaissance Airborne Pod underneath the Tornado is really important; it can provide a highly detailed live video feed of day or night. This information can be shared with other militaries.

The Brimstone missile is possessed only by the UK and Saudi Arabia

The Eurofighter Typhoon is one of the world's most advanced multirole combat aircraft. It has an impressive air-to-air capability and is now able to strike ground targets with laser-guided bombs.

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Paveway IV bombs are British-made bombs that can by dropped from the Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft. They combine laser guidance with GPS navigation to hit their target.

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The huge Boeing RC-135W is an American-made plane used by the RAF for electronic surveillance. It can snoop in on phone conversations and pinpoint enemies​ with great accuracy.

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The British military can call on the services of several special-forces regiments to help coordinate the bombing campaign from the ground. Personnel from the Special Air Service and Special Reconnaissance Regiment could already be in Syria.

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The gun in the middle of the picture below is the British-made Accuracy International sniper rifle. It holds the record distance for a confirmed​ kill and is used by British special forces.

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If special forces are sent in on the ground, they will be supported by the Joint Special Forces Aviation Wing with helicopters such as the Chinook. The Chinook is great at quickly moving small numbers of troops around difficult terrain.

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The RAF also uses the American-made MQ-9 Predator drones. These unmanned aircraft can remain in the air for hours, providing surveillance without risking the life of a pilot.

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Reaper drones aren't just for surveillance, as they can carry the American-made Hellfire missile. It is believed that the notorious British ISIS member Jihadi John was killed by a Hellfire missile fired from a drone.

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Read more:

• First pictures of RAF jets preparing to bomb Syria​
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