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RAF's Nimrod MR2 maritime patrol aircraft bids adieu

The Nimrod MR2 aircraft. An RAF Photo

LONDON (BNS): The Royal Air Force's Nimrod MR2 maritime patrol aircraft will make its last operation flight on Thursday, after rendering over 30 years of service to the British air force.

The aircraft will make its final flyby in the northern skies of Scotland on Thursday, the RAF said. The aircraft had flown over Guernsey and Woodford near Manchester on Wednesday.

Nimrod M2 is an upgraded version of its predecessor Nimrod MR1. The upgradation work began in 1975 when a total of 32 Nimrod MR1s were modernised and fitted with new electronic suite along with a provision for in-flight refuelling capacity. The aircraft's range and endurance was also enhanced.

The multi-role aircraft was designed to primarily carry out anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface unit warfare and search and rescue operations.

Weapons fitted on the MR2 include air-to-air AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles, and Nord AS 12, Martel, AGM-65 Maverick and AGM-84 Harpoon air-to-surface missiles. The aircraft can also carry nuclear bombs and air- dropped torpedoes.

The aircraft was operated by the 42(R), 120 and 201 squadrons of the British air force.

The RAF now looks forward to the arrival of MR4 the latest variant of the Nimrod class aircraft which is likely to enter service by 2012.

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