NATO’s Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR has maintained an air presence over those areas of Libya where conflict continues, particularly Bani Walid and Sirte, with RAF aircraft still making a significant contribution.
On Thursday evening, an armed reconnaissance patrol of Tornado GR4s identified one of Colonel Gaddafi’s main battle tanks near Bani Walid and destroyed the vehicle with a Brimstone precision guided missile.
During the course of Friday afternoon, two formations of RAF Tornados conducted strikes against a firing position and supply point which had been located by NATO surveillance analysis within the area of Sirte. Eight Paveway guided bombs were successfully dropped by our aircraft onto the target.
RAF jets were again tasked by NATO to conduct a precision strike on a vehicle supply point in Sirte on Saturday and struck their target accurately with four Paveway guided bombs.
Our aircraft also continued to play an active part in the patrols over Bani Walid, and on Sunday morning they spotted two armed pick-up trucks being used by former regime forces to fire on a civilian compound.
Brimstone missiles were able to destroy both vehicles without any collateral damage to surrounding property. A follow-up patrol later in the day located a third armed truck in the vicinity of Bani Walid and destroyed it with a Paveway bomb.
Royal Navy ships meanwhile maintain their patrols off the Libyan coast, with HMS Liverpool providing security and reassurance to merchant shipping as the ports and harbours liberated by the new Libyan authorities seek to return to normal operation.
UK missions over Libya are undertaken as part of NATO’s Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR to enforce UNSCRs 1970 and 1973 and protect Libyan civilians at risk of attack.
UK forces currently deployed on this operation include:
- RAF Tornado GR4 aircraft based at Gioia del Colle in Italy
- RAF VC10 and TriStar air-to-air refuelling tankers based in Sicily and the UK
- RAF Sentry and Sentinel surveillance aircraft based in Sicily and Cyprus
- HMS Liverpool (Type 42 destroyer)
- HMS Bangor (Sandown Class minehunter)
- RAF air transport aircraft provide extensive logistic support to the deployed bases in Italy, Sicily and the Sovereign Base Areas in Cyprus.
RAF air transport aircraft provide extensive logistic support to the deployed bases in Italy, Sicily and the Sovereign Base Areas in Cyprus.