The Tornado F3 was developed as an interceptor version of the multi-role Tornado. Replacing the Lightning and Phantom in RAF service, the Tornado served the RAF as a front line interceptor for over 25 years, finally being retired in March 2011 and replaced by the Eurofighter Typhoon. The ground attack version of the Tornado continues to fly in UK skies.
The F3 has a longer fuselage than its sister GR4, which permits greater internal fuel stowage.
An important feature of the F3 was its ability to patrol at long distance from its base, supported by air-to-air refuelling.