NATO’s pillar member – Germany, under the direction of its Chancellor Angela Markel has dispatched the first batch of Tornado fighter jets to Turkey. These jets will support the global forces in war against the dreaded ISIL in Syria and Iraq. The dispatched batch consists of six Tornado jets and a support staff of forty personnel. The jets will operate from Jagel military airbase and will at the present be used for reconnaissance missions only. Germany has also dispatched a lone A310 MRT aerial refuelling jet to the Incirlik airbase in Southern Turkey. This aircraft will enable the fighter jet to increase their reconnaissance envelope.
The dispatched Tornado aircraft have all been fitted with advanced surveillance systems. High resolution cameras on-board the aircraft can capture images and transmit them to ground stations. State-of-the-art infrared cameras will enable the jets to record in adverse weather and can be operated 24/7. The transmitted data is processed and then relied back to attack aircraft flying in the region. These systems go a long way in minimizing the collateral civilian causality.
Germany had recently cleared the deployment of up to 1,200 personnel and multiple aircraft to be part of the multi-national military operations against the ISIS. The plan was expedited after the unfortunate November 13 Paris attacks. Germany will now join her allies – France, Britain and USA which have been playing an active role in diminishing the rise of ISIS in the region.
France soon after the Paris attack had dispatched additional aircraft, naval ships. Compounding its support to ‘Operation Irresolute’, France’s lone aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle arrived in the Arabian Sea last week itself. France had called upon its allies to back its fight against terrorism and this has been positively answered upon by Germany. France interestingly aligned herself with Russian Federation forces. The France and Russian fleets have agreed upon to sail square by square and help de-root ISIS at the earliest. Plans are afloat at Berlin to dispatch a frigate to sail closely along with this flotilla. German may have to co-operate with Russia to annihilate ISIL.
The airspace over Syria and Iraq is highly contested with jets from NATO, Russia and Syrian forces flying dangerously close. All these nations have failed to draw up a collaborated and planned air activity and risk being shot down by other jets. The recent incident of Turkey shooting down a Russian Su-24 aircraft has flared up the situation in the region. It has to be seen how well will the German aircraft fly in these contested airspace and yet maintaining their primary mission.