RAPTOR

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For protein threading software, see RAPTOR (software).

Reconnaissance Airborne Pod Tornado (RAPTOR) is a reconnaissance pod used by the Royal Air Force on its fleet of Tornado GR.4A and GR.4 aircraft. RAPTOR is manufactured by the Goodrich Corporation.

The RAPTOR contains a DB-110 reconnaissance sensor, an imagery data recording system and an air-to-ground data link system. The sensor is electro-optical and infrared, allowing day or night missions. The data link allows imagery to be exploited almost instantly.

No. II (AC) Sqn and 13 Sqn are the RAF's two specialist Tornado reconnaissance units, but with the RAPTOR pod any GR4 squadron can undertake reconnaissance missions. The RAF has procured eight RAPTOR units and two ground stations. RAPTOR achieved its operational debut during Operation Telic, the UK contribution to the 2003 Iraq War.

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