Posted by John McHaleFARNBOROUGH, England, 23 July 2010. BAE Systems is supporting England's Royal air force (RAF) Tornado GR4s on deployed operations in Afghanistan by working in close partnership with the RAF to deliver Urgent Operational Requirements (UORs) and capability upgrades. The aircraft in Afghanistan are currently providing vital close air support to troops on the ground.BAE Systems upgraded Tornado's Stores Management System (SMS) -- which controls the release of weapons from the aircraft -- increased flexibility by enabling pre-programming from the ground. At the same time Design Authority advice was provided to allow an expanded clearance for the Advanced Infrared Counter Measures (AIRCM) pod. This has allowed the RAF to clear the pod for a flying hour life of 1,000 hours. By September 2010, more work will have been undertaken on the AIRCM pod to extend the life even further.BAE Systems is also making improvements to the Navigators Hand Controller which will allow increased exploitation of the functionality of the rear cockpit systems, reducing the workload in the cockpit. This work is expected to be completed and delivered into service in 2012.Other work includes the introduction of a repeat function on the Pilots Multi Functional Display (PMFD) and RMDP (radar and map display processor) which will allow the pilot and navigator to view the same data simultaneously. Once again work is expected to be completed and delivered into service in 2012.