Germany will end its Tornado reconnaissance flights against the so-called Islamic State (IS) on 31 March, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on 11 March after the federal government extended the mandate of other German forces in Iraq. Four Luftwaffe Tornado reconnaissance aircraft have been operating from Al-Azraq in Jordan in support of the coalition since July 2017 after previously having conducted the mission from Incirlik, Turkey.
The German MoD said the reconnaissance mission would be taken over by Italy, which deployed Eurofighters to Al Mubarak in Kuwait early last year, taking over the reconnaissance mission from AMX aircraft in March 2019. The Eurofighters are fitted with the Reccelite II reconnaissance pod, complementing the Italian Predator unmanned aerial vehicles also deployed to Al Mubarak.
The Luftwaffe will continue to provide aerial refuelling to the anti-IS coalition. This mission has been conducted from Al-Azraq since July 2017 by a Luftwaffe Airbus A310 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT), which was joined by an A400M air-to-air refuelling version in July 2019.
Germany is also providing an air surveillance radar giving an operational picture of the area.
German support to coalition operations and training in Iraq will be expanded to include protected air transport.
In addition, Germany will continue its training and mentoring mission in central Iraq and Kurdistan under Operation 'Inherent Resolve' and extend it to include the NATO Mission in Iraq (NMI).
Want to read more? For analysis on this article and access to Jane's unrivalled data and insight, learn more about our subscription options at janes.com/products