On 6 July 2012, the first two TORNADO Series Aircraft converted to the newest capability standard ASSTA 3.0 (Avionics System Software Tornado Ada) were delivered to the German Air Force by the Federal Office of Defense Technology and Procurement (BWB).
After several months of conversion, certification and acceptance at the Bundeswehr Technical and Airworthiness Center for Aircraft (WTD 61) and at CASSIDIAN in Manching, the aircraft were now returned to Fighter Bomber Wing 33 in Büchel.
The delivery was performed at a handover ceremony attended by Air Force, BWB and industry representatives. Thanks to the conversion to ASSTA 3.0, the German TORNADO fleet will be able to meet the Armed Forces´ current requirements with regard to all weather, precision and network capability.
Conversion to this standard is planned for all 85 TORNADO belonging to the future fleet of the Air Force by 2018. Among other things, ASSTA 3.0 includes the integration of the following state-of-the-art sub systems:
* Integration of a new Tornado Defense Aids Sub System (TDASS, radar warning equipment),
* Integration of the network-compatible data communications system MIDS (Multifunctional Information Distribution System / Link 16),
* Installation of a modern VHF/UHF radio set (so-called SATURN Radio),
* Integration of a digital video and data recorder (DVDR) and
* Integration of LJDAM precision ammunition (Laser Joint Direct Attack Munition) which can be directed into the target by means of satellite navigation as well as by laser.
In parallel to the ASSTA 3.0 activities, the further development towards ASSTA 3.1 is already underway. In this context, the monochrome CRT monitors in the rear cockpit will be replaced by color screens and the functionality of the MIDS will be extended considerably. For the realization of the ASSTA 3.0 and ASSTA 3.1 project elements, the BWB is in charge in cooperation with WTD 61. In this way, the TORNADO will maintain its operational capability and remain state-of-the-art beyond the year 2025.