The RAF has stepped up it attacks on Col Gaddafi’s forces carrying out its biggest ever raid on Libya, destroying more than 20 targets in a day.
By Thomas Harding, Defence Correspondent
4:55PM BST 16 Sep 2011
The strikes come as defence sources suggest that a “final push” is beginning to develop to remove the former Libyan regime troops from their last strongholds.
SAS troops are now operating close to the front line helping coordinate attacks on the last four areas held by Gaddafi’s troops.
They are also operating alongside MI6 and CIA officers who are attempting to hunt down Col Gaddafi, his sons and other former regime leaders.
As part of the intensifying attacks for the first time the RAF used a salvo of two dozen Brimstone missiles firing on multiple targets.
A flight of RAF Tornado GR4s was sent to carry out a dawn raid on laden with dozens of the tank-killing missiles that are normally only fired individually.
“Brimstone has the capacity to be fired in a large salvo utilising millimetric radar to simultaneously guide each missile to a separate target,” said Major Gen Nick Pope, the Armed Forces spokesman.
“Since a large concentration of former regime armoured vehicles had been located by Nato, this mission saw the salvo firing technique used for the very first time in action, with some two dozen missiles fired.” At least eight tank and armoured vehicles were seen to be on fire with several others severely damaged.
The assault came hours after another formation of Tornados took off from RAF Marham in Norfolk, loaded with Storm Shadow cruise missiles which were fired on a military vehicle depot and military buildings.
“Surveillance analysis by Nato had confirmed were in use as a base for those Qaddafi troops and mercenaries who continue to suppress the local population,” the MoD said.
As rebel ground forces continue to move towards the coastal town of Sirte their progress has been helped by a joint forces of Typhoons and Tornados that used Paveway and Brimstone bombs to destroy one tank, four multiple rocket launchers and four other armed vehicles.