UK MoD update on Libya operations
Yesterday (Tuesday 5 April), in support of the UK’s ongoing commitment to NATO to enforce United Nations Security Resolution 1973 to protect civilians, RAF Tornado GR4s deployed from Gioia del Colle to conduct armed air reconnaissance and over watch patrols over Libya.
In the course of this action, a number of Paveway IV and Brimstone missiles were launched at military targets in the areas of Misratah and Sirte. A total of 12 targets were hit – six armoured fighting vehicles and six battle tanks.
Two Typhoon aircraft also flew from Gioia del Colle to police the No Fly Zone. Two RAF VC10 aircraft supported these operations providing air to air refuelling.
In agreement with NATO, the UK has today agreed to move four RAF Typhoons from an air defence role, policing the No Fly Zone, to a ground attack role – further bolstering NATO’s ground attack capability. This follows the deployment of four additional RAF Tornados announced earlier this week. The UK currently has 16 Ground Attack aircraft under NATO command which meets NATO’s current requirements.
As a result the total number of UK fast jets deployed in Southern Italy, including those under UK command on standby to support operations, currently stands at 20.
The Royal Navy continues to play a vital role in the NATO maritime element of Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR. HMS Brocklesby and HMS Cumberland are both enforcing the arms embargo to Libya.