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Tornado Weapon Control Panel 2

Technical Information

Catalogue No: C1065
Category: Stores/Weapon Management
Object Type: Control/Data Entry
Object Name: Tornado Weapon Control Panel 2
Part No: 26-005-02
Serial No: 0187
Manufacturer: Marconi Avionics
Division: Instrument Systems [ISD]
Platform(s): Tornado
Year of Manufacture: circa 1985
Dimensions: Width (mm): 145
Height (mm): 75
Depth (mm): 260
Weight (g): 1,466
Location: Rack RAA04 [Main Store]

Marconi Avionics
Weapon Control Panel 2
Part No 26-005-02
Serial No 0187
Spec No SP-P-80012-00P
Design Code K0656
Mfg Code K0656
NATO Stock No
Mod Record -


The Stores-Management System (SMS) on the Tornado GR. Mk1 controls the selection, arming, and release of the aircraft’s bombs, rockets, guns and guided weapons and times the release in accordance with target data, wind, type of weapon, and other inputs.. Emergency and selective jettison facilities are also provided.

The system consists of four distinct unit types, which are interconnected by means of digital data transmission. The SMS comprises:

• 1 Weapon Programming Unit (WPU)
• 1 Weapon Control Panel 1 (WCP-1)
• 1 Weapon Control Panel 2 (WCP-2)
• Up to 7 Pylon Decoder Units (PDU), the actual number depends on the number of available pylons and the configuration loading

The armourers tell the stores management system, via a Weapon Programming Unit (WPU), what weapons are loaded and on which pylons. In the rear cockpit the Navigator/Weapon System Officer (WSO) then operates the Weapon Control Panel 1 (WCP-1). It has a multi-line display and programmable soft keys. He can enter the configuration loading, define weapon packages and select a weapon package for release, all before flight. A weapons package consists of the type of and number of weapons to be released, whether singly, in pairs, or in salvo. If a stick of bombs is to be dropped the desired interval is set in metres. Finally fusing is allocated. The WCP-1 also features selection keys for jettisoning single or multiple stores.

In the front cockpit the pilot operates the Weapon Control Panel 2 (WCP-2). It contains function keys and indicators for operating the self-defence A/A missiles and the guns which can also be used for attacking targets on the ground.

Each pylon may contain one or more  Pylon Decoder Units (PDU). The PDU comprises all power electronics to produce the power signals for stores release and monitoring circuitry for the stores. There is a special digital data link between a PDU and the WPU. In addition there are wing mounted Pilot Indicator Ordnance Release units.

The Power Interface Unit conditions the aircraft power for the SMS.

Crew workload is minimised by eliminating from the weapon package selection process both safety critical and non-applicable options.

The system can handle 26 types of weapon, controlling arming, fusing, firing or release functions from its 35 outputs. The system also initiates the timed and sequenced emergency and selective jettison of all weapons and other stores such as fuel and equipment pods.

This is a controlled output of 29 pulses over 2.2 seconds. A comprehensive bogus weapon inventory is also included for training purposes.

Among the principal design aims of the Tornado Stores Management system were: meeting the specified rates of safety, jettison availability and mission success, an unprecedented degree of electromagnetic compatibility hardness and a significant reduction in crew workload. The system was also engineered to provide a minimum of interconnect wiring between the twelve units.

To achieve these targets, the Company developed a dual channel digital architecture system employing mini-computers and a digital data transmission system to provide the required integrity. Wherever possible CMOS circuitry was used on account of its low power consumption, elimination of  the need for cooling and to meet the electromagnetic compatibility specification. Both channels are fully synchronized and perform in a consolidated mode until channel unserviceability is detected, when authority is given to the serviceable channel to proceed independently.

The level of redundancy ensures that the channels only close down for safety critical failures and that the emergency jettison system is not only separated from processor control but made duplex to avoid any consolidation requirements. The system is basically a duplicate, “both on line” arrangement and is highly self-monitored. A release is only permitted if both lanes agree, or if, on disagreement, the faulty lane is detected by its monitoring.

The need for safety and mission success has been the prime consideration in formulating system philosophy, design and implementation.

The contract was work shared with Selenia in Rome with the majority of the design carried out by Marconi-Elliott Avionic Systems Limited with Selenia responsible for manufacturing most of the later development phase hardware. An upgraded system was developed for the GR.Mk4

The Tornado originally came in two variants; the Interdictor Strike Version (IDS) for the German, Air Force and Navy, Italian Air Force, and the Royal Air Force, and the Air Defence Variant (ADV) for the Royal Air Force only. Marconi-Elliott Avionic Systems provided a wide range of equipment for both variants.

• Digital Autopilot Flight Director System (AFDS)in conjunction with Aeritalia, Italy
• Command Stability Augmentation System (CSAS)  in conjunction with Bodenseewerk, Germany
• Quadruplex Actuator Integrated into Fairey Hydraulics power control unit
• Stores Management System (SMS) in conjunction with Selenia, Italy
• Fuel Flowmeter System in conjunction with Teldix, Germany and OMI, Italy
• TV Tabular Display System in conjunction with AEG Telefunken, Germany
• Combined Radar and Projected Map Display (CRPMD) from Ferranti
• E-Scope Display System
• Triplex Transducer Unit
• Central Suppression Unit
• Engine Control Unit

By 1980 the Enhanced E-Scope Display (EESD) was under development. This was was a digital design with a frame store, rather than the analogue design and long persistence phosphor CRT of the original E-Scope Display (ESD). The EESD part number was 79-061-xx and this version was probably fitted to the majority of Tornado IDS aircraft.

RAF IDS variants were initially designated the Tornado GR1 with two variants called the Tornado GR1A and Tornado GR1B; the Tornado F3 was yet another version.

The contract covering the development and production investment for the Royal Air Force's mid-life update (MLU) for their 229 Tornado GRl and F3 aircraft was signed in April 1989. The upgrade included the following:

• Introduction of a new avionics architecture built around a 1553 databus.
• New sensors & Displays consisting of a Forward Looking Infra-red sensor, a Pilot's Multi-Function Display with digital map, wide angle HUD, Computer Symbol Generator, Video recording System and a Computer loading System.
• New Armament Control System consisting of a Stores Management System, a Weapon Interface Unit linked to a 1553 databus within a 1760 interface.
• A Night Vision Goggle compatible cockpit and the aircraft is also equipped with Forward Looking InfraRed (FLIR)
• Terrain Reference Navigation /Terrain Following Display/Terrain Following Switching & Logic Unit /Covert RadAlt.

Ferranti won the contract for the new HUD, Active Matrix Liquid Crystal Displays (AMLCD) to replace the TV Tabs, EHDD and E-scope. To support the new avionics a new Computer Signal Generator (CSG), with several times the computing capacity of the original Tornado main computer, and using the new high level ADA progamming language was procured

The Ferranti Nite-Op jettisonable NVGs were also procured under a separate contract.

In the event the MLU project stalled. In March 1993 a new Mid-Life Upgrade (MLU) project was launched and in1994 the UK signed a contract for MLU of GR1/GR1A/GR1Bs to GR4/GR4A standard.

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