Royal Air Force Tornado and Typhoon aircraft conducted a number of armed reconnaissance patrols over Libya yesterday, as NATO maintained its successful efforts to enforce UNSCR 1973.
Major General Nick Pope, the Chief of the Defence Staff’s Communications Officer, said that, during the morning, two formations of aircraft identified concentrations of Colonel Gaddafi’s forces in and around the city of Sirte, where they continue to repress the local population.
The RAF aircraft mounted a series of precision attacks using Paveway and Brimstone guided ordnance, and successfully destroyed four main battle tanks, three armoured personnel carriers, a self-propelled gun, two other armoured vehicles and an artillery piece.
Major General Pope said:
As ever, these and other NATO fast jet missions were made possible by the large fleet of combat support aircraft available to NATO, including RAF VC10 and TriStar tankers, and Sentry and Sentinel surveillance platforms.
While RAF aircraft continue to strike against Colonel Gaddafi’s remnant forces, RAF air transport aircraft provide extensive logistic support to the deployed bases in Italy, Sicily and the Sovereign Base Areas in Cyprus.
Off Tripoli, HMS Liverpool and other NATO vessels maintain their long-standing watch along the Libyan coast protecting shipping.
Major General Pope continued:
On Monday evening [5 September 2011], Royal Air Force Tornados on patrol to the east of Sirte identified a group of three former regime armed pick-up trucks. Close observation revealed that they were acting as a command group for a dug-in artillery piece which had recently been in action; a single Paveway guided bomb destroyed all three vehicles.