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One last day with XXV(F) Squadron
RAF Leeming
February 13, 2008
 
Just days before their final deployment to Oman I was invited to RAF Leeming to spend a day with XXV(F) Squadron and their Tornado F.3s. Six weeks later the squadron is to disband and their aircraft transferred to RAF Leuchars if not scrapped. 
Whilst everyone I met appeared to be in good spirits, many must have been reticent about disbanding and to be dispersed around three or more air bases. At least one pilot was to join a civilian company to fly executive jets for VIP's. Undoubtedly those involved were looking forward to a few days in Cyprus where the squadron will prepare for the deployment to Oman. The Squadron will return on March 18 and following a spotter-day will formally disband on April 4, 2008. XXV(F) have been flying the Tornado since 1989 when they reformed at Leeming.
Departing Tornado F.3 pair (ZG780 'XXV' and ZE982 'FR') 
on a combined sortie for crews to test their wits against a FRA Falcon 20 jamming aircraft. 
Tornado F.3 (ZE165 'GE') engine maintenance in the Hardened Air Shelter (HAS).
Engine testing Tornado F.3 (ZE165 'GE').
The crew of Tornado F.3 (ZE728 'FZ') assisted by groundcrew on their return.
Left to right: groundcrew make safe Tornado F.3 (ZE728 'FZ') before giving it a thorough check prior to pushing it back into the HAS.
Ground and aircrew working together to get 'XXV', the 25(F) Squadron special, out for the day's sortie.
Tornado F.3 (ZG780 'XXV') waiting for the aircrew to arrive 30 minutes before start-up.
Emerging from HAS '13' Tornado F.3 (ZG780 'XXV').
Left to right: Tornado F.3 (ZG780 'XXV') returning to it's HAS. Tornado F.3 (ZE982 'FR') being refuelled after returning to HAS following an afternoon sortie.

A number of surplus Tornado F.3s were being broken up by a BAE Systems Reduce To Produce (RTP) team currently resident at RAF Leeming.
41(R) Squadron Tornado GR.4 at Coningsby in April 2011.
You can see that a panel under the cockpit has been replaced by one salvaged from a Tornado F.3!