Tag: Icelandic Air Policing

The Italian Air Force Has Deployed Its Two F-35Bs To Iceland For The First Time

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The Italian Air Force Has Deployed Its Two F-35Bs To Iceland For The First Time
Main photo: data image of an Italian Air Force F-35B(Alessandro Fucito ). In packages: F-35s ops in Iceland(ItAF )Along with the 4 F-35As sustaining NATO’s

Icelandic Air Policing, the Italian Air Force has actually released its 2 F-35B STOVL(Short Take Off Vertical Landing)airplane for training in Iceland’s cool environment. For the 3rd time in the last 3 years, Italy has actually released its F-35 Lightning II airplane to Iceland, to sustain NATO’s Interim Air Policing objective “Airborne Surveillance as well as Interception Capabilities to fulfill Iceland’s Peacetime Preparedness Needs (ASIC-IPPN)”, much more generally referred to as Icelandic Air Policing. Sustained by greater than 130 armed forces as well as under the command of Col. Gianmarco Di Loreto, 4 F-35A coming from the 13 ° Gruppo(Squadron)of the 32 ° Stormo(Wing)of the Italian Air Force have actually accomplished QRA(Quick Reaction Alert)responsibilities from Keflavik International Airport: considering that the start of Operation Northern Lightning III, at the end of April 2022, the Italian F-35As have actually introduced 250 sorties, 28 T-Scramble (Training Alert separations)amounting to 433 trip hrs. F-35A of the Italian Air Force over Iceland.(All photos: ItAF unless mentioned)While releasing properties to Iceland is not brand-new to the Italians(this is the 3rd time the Italian F-35s run there as well as the 7th Italian involvement to the NATO Icelandic Air Policing goal overall), what is impressive is that the visibility of the Italian set in the High North for 60 days(the lengthiest in the nation)offered the possibility for the Italian Air Force to release its 2 F-35B STOVL (Short Take Off Vertical Landing)

airplane to Keflavik for the extremely very first time. Two F-35As of the 32 ° Stormo over Iceland. For one week, both F-35Bs of the Aeronautica Militare have actually run from Keflavik to perform training goals in remote locations and also with chilly environment. The Italian Air Force released both possessions autonomously, many thanks to a”path”sustained by a KC-767A vessel of the 14 ° Stormo from Pratica di Mare accompanied by one C-130J from the 46 ^ Brigata Aerea in nautical SAR(Search as well as Rescue)arrangement. Many thanks to the vessel assistance, the F-35Bs flew straight from Amendola, in southeastern Italy, to Iceland. The 2 Italian Air Force F-35B throughout a training goal over Iceland(screenshot from ANSA.it video clip)The Italian Air Force thinks about the F-35B and also its STOVL ability a vital element of a bigger expeditionary system that makes the Air Force qualified to task power. If the existing strategies are verified, Italy will acquire a total amount of 90 F-35s: 60 F-35As and also 30 F-35Bs. Out of those 30 F-35Bs, 15 will certainly most likely to the Navy and also 15 to the Air Force. For the minute, the Italian Air Force has actually obtained both airframes that participated in the release to Keflavik(MM7453/32 -14 and also MM7455/32 -18). Right here’s what the previous ItAF Chief of Staff, Gen. Alberto Rosso, stated throughout the discussion of the F-35B at Pantelleria in July 2020, when its initial F-35B participated in an Expeditionary PoC as well as, sustained by a KC-130J vessel, released to Pantelleria, a little island in the Mediterranean Sea, to show the capability of the flying force to task as well as make use of the 5th generation airplane much from house, in a semi-permissive atmosphere, on an austere/bare path typically not useful by various other standard airplane as well as with restricted Force Protection offered by the host nation.:” This capacity is incredibly vital to deal with brand-new circumstances or scenarios like the one we had throughout the Gulf War. Our Tornado jets were released to an airbase [Al Dhafra Air Base, UAE] that was far from the location of procedures: this indicated that our airplane needed to lug as well as fly numerous hrs out a number of airborne refuelings prior to reaching their targets. The capability to run from much shorter paths can enable the choice of a closer airbase and also resolve the trouble. In regards to adaptability, simply believe that in Africa there have to do with 100 paths that have a size in between 2,800 and also 3,000 meters however there are 20 times as lots of paths in between 1,000 and also 1,500 meters in size

. Having the ability to utilize brief paths enables you to increase your capacity to release where required, in an easier as well as quicker way, particularly closer to the location of procedure. Having an airplane that can removing from much shorter paths permits extraordinary versatility also in those circumstances that are presently just hardly possible. In instance of dispute, airplane that have the ability to run from much shorter paths can likewise be distributed to raise their survivability. This versatility to run from bare/austere paths or perhaps freeways makes the air power extra uncertain as well as stands for an essential ability in any kind of circumstance. Therefore, after meticulously examining all the prices as well as circumstances, the Italian Air Force has actually recognized, as done by various other air arms, a combined fleet of F-35A and also B airplane, as one of the most reliable as well as financially hassle-free setup.”Procedure Northern Lighting III will certainly shut on Jul. 8, 2022.< img data-attachment-id="79942 "data-permalink=" https://theaviationist.com/2022/06/28/itaf-f-35b-deployed-iceland-first-time/f-35-iceland-new-3/"data-orig-file= "https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/F-35-Iceland-new-3.jpg"data-orig-size= "1024,658"data-comments-opened="0"data-image-meta =""aperture ":" 3.5", "credit rating":"","electronic camera": "NIKON D750","inscription ":"", "created_timestamp": "1653941378 ","copyright ":"","focal_length ":"14"," iso":"320","shutter_speed ":"0.003125", "title ":" ", "positioning":"1""data-image-title =" F-35 Iceland brand-new 3"data-image-description data-image-caption=" The Italian section of Operation Northern Lightning III"data-medium-file ="https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/the-italian-air-force-has-deployed-its-two-f-35bs-to-iceland-for-the-first-time-17.jpg "data-large-file ="https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/the-italian-air-force-has-deployed-its-two-f-35bs-to-iceland-for-the-first-time-5.jpg"loading ="careless "course= "size-large wp-image-79942 "src ="https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/the-italian-air-force-has-deployed-its-two-f-35bs-to-iceland-for-the-first-time-5.jpg"alt size="706 "elevation =" 454"srcset ="https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/the-italian-air-force-has-deployed-its-two-f-35bs-to-iceland-for-the-first-time-5.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/the-italian-air-force-has-deployed-its-two-f-35bs-to-iceland-for-the-first-time-17.jpg460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/the-italian-air-force-has-deployed-its-two-f-35bs-to-iceland-for-the-first-time-18.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/the-italian-air-force-has-deployed-its-two-f-35bs-to-iceland-for-the-first-time-19.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/F-35-Iceland-new-3.jpg 1024w”dimensions=”(max-width”: 706px )100vw,”706px”>”The Italian section of Operation Northern Lightning III About David Cenciotti David Cenciotti is an independent reporter based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and also Editor of”The Aviationist”, among the globe’s most renowned as well as review armed forces aeronautics blog sites. Given that 1996, he has actually composed for significant globally publications, consisting of Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, as well as numerous others, covering air travel, protection, battle, sector, cyberwar, criminal activity as well as knowledge. He has actually reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia as well as Syria, and also flown numerous battle aircrafts with various flying force. He is a previous 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, an exclusive pilot as well as a grad in Computer Engineering. He has actually created 5 publications as well as added to much more ones.

Italian Air Force F-35s Deploy To Iceland For Their Third NATO Icelandic Air Policing Mission

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Italian Air Force F-35s Deploy To Iceland For Their Third NATO Icelandic Air Policing Mission
File photo of two Italian Air Force F-35A fighters during a previous NATO Air Policing mission in Iceland. (Photo: David Cenciotti)

Four F-35A jets will operate from Keflavik for two months.

Four F-35A Lighting II aircraft of the Italian Air Force arrived in Keflavik, Iceland, on April 25, 2022, for a new contribution to NATO’s Interim Air Policing mission “Airborne Surveillance and Interception Capabilities to meet Iceland’s Peacetime Preparedness Needs (ASIC-IPPN)”, more commonly known as Icelandic Air Policing. This is the third time Italy deploys its F-35s in Iceland, alternating their presence with the Norwegian ones, and the seventh Italian participation to the NATO mission overall.

The Italian detachment will operate from Keflavik for two months, thanks to more than 130 women and men of the Aeronautica Militare, including pilots, ground crew, support and force protection personnel that accompany the jets. According to the Reykjavik Grapevine, the F-35s will also perform exercises at Akureyri and Egilsstaðir airports from April 26 to May 6, 2022.

While in Quick Reaction Alert duty, the authority over interceptor aircraft will rest with NATO’s Allied Air Command, while the Northern Combined Air Operations Centre at Uedem, Germany, will tactically control detachment operations and tie them into the Alliance’s collective security arrangements. The Italian F-35s will replace the detachment of Portuguese F-16s that provided interceptor capabilities during their two-month deployment which ended on March 31.

“After being the first Ally to deploy fifth generation fighters on a NATO mission abroad, Italy demonstrates a sustained capability to provide modern fighter aircraft to Alliance operations,” said Colonel Gianmarco Di Loreto, Commander of the Italian F-35A Task Force Air in Iceland. Our F-35A aircraft have already gained considerable international experience by participating in NATO’s Air Policing missions in Iceland, but also Estonia. Staffs have also executed the national QRA duty from their home base and will continue to train crews to protect national and Alliance skies,” added  Colonel Di Loreto.

According to the Icelandic Coast Guard leadership, “the ongoing NATO operation in Iceland is specific and unique. Given its geographical location, Allies, in conjunction with the Icelandic authorities, have agreed that the appropriate arrangement to help keeping Icelandic airspace safe and secure is to maintain a periodic presence of NATO fighter aircraft based at NATO Keflavik Air Base.” The focus of the scheduled “peacetime preparedness mission” is to carry out routine flying training and exercises for the Alliance to meet Iceland’s requirements and needs to stay prepared, to monitor and to manage its airspace in peacetime.

<img data-attachment-id="79475" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/04/27/italian-air-force-f-35s-deploy-to-iceland-for-their-third-nato-icelandic-air-policing-mission/f-35_third_iceland_deployment_2/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/F-35_Third_Iceland_Deployment_2.jpg" data-orig-size="1024,576" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="F-35_Third_Iceland_Deployment_2" data-image-description data-image-caption="

An Italian F-35 in Quick Reaction Alert. Notice the AIM-120 in weapon bay. (Photo: Italian Air Force)

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/italian-air-force-f-35s-deploy-to-iceland-for-their-third-nato-icelandic-air-policing-mission-5.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/italian-air-force-f-35s-deploy-to-iceland-for-their-third-nato-icelandic-air-policing-mission-2.jpg” class=”size-large wp-image-79475″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/italian-air-force-f-35s-deploy-to-iceland-for-their-third-nato-icelandic-air-policing-mission-2.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”397″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/italian-air-force-f-35s-deploy-to-iceland-for-their-third-nato-icelandic-air-policing-mission-2.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/italian-air-force-f-35s-deploy-to-iceland-for-their-third-nato-icelandic-air-policing-mission-5.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/italian-air-force-f-35s-deploy-to-iceland-for-their-third-nato-icelandic-air-policing-mission-6.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/italian-air-force-f-35s-deploy-to-iceland-for-their-third-nato-icelandic-air-policing-mission-7.jpg 768w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/italian-air-force-f-35s-deploy-to-iceland-for-their-third-nato-icelandic-air-policing-mission-8.jpg 678w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/F-35_Third_Iceland_Deployment_2.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

An Italian F-35 in Quick Reaction Alert. Notice the AIM-120 in weapon bay. (Photo: Italian Air Force)

The F-35s, belonging to the 13° Gruppo (Squadron) of the 32° Stormo (Wing), departed from their homebase at Amendola Air Base, in the morning on April 25, before meeting two KC-767 tankers over Northern Italy for a first air-to-air refueling. Flight tracking websites showed that one of the tankers returned home after topping off the fighters, while the second one accompanied them all the way to Iceland before returning back.

The Italian F-35s will carry out the QRA service in Iceland with the same configuration used to support the domestic SSSA (Servizio Sorveglianza Spazio Aereo – Air Space Surveillance Service) on a rotational basis, where the SCL (Standard Conventional Load) includes two AIM-120C5 AMRAAM (Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile) missiles in the internal weapons bay. The Italian jets fly in this “lighter” configuration, compared to Norwegian ones, as they don’t have a short-range air-to-air missile, but this will change soon as AIM-9X Sidewinder AAMs (Air-to-Air Missiles) have been ordered by the Italian Air Force.

As we mentioned earlier, this is the third deployment of Italian fifth generation fighters to Iceland after 2019 and 2020. Before that, Italy supported the mission with the Eurofighter Typhoon fighters to safeguard the airspace above the Ally in the High North in 2013, 2017, 2018 and 2019.

About Stefano D’Urso
Stefano D’Urso is a freelance journalist and contributor to TheAviationist based in Lecce, Italy. A graduate in Industral Engineering he’s also studying to achieve a Master Degree in Aerospace Engineering. Electronic Warfare, Loitering Munitions and OSINT techniques applied to the world of military operations and current conflicts are among his areas of expertise.

Polish Air Force F-16s About to Deploy To Iceland For the First Time

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File photo of a Polish Air Force F-16.
(NATO photo/SSgt Ian Houlding GBR Army)

For the first time, the Polish F-16 will patrol the ‘High North’ in support of NATO’s Icelandic Air Policing.

According to Polska-Zbrojna, the Polish Air Force is readying its Łask-based F-16s to deploy to Iceland, to support NATO’s Icelandic Air Policing. The deployment of the Polish aircraft is to begin as of August this year.

Lt. Col. Michał Kras, Detachment Commander hailing from the Polish Air Force, referred to the deployment, in the interview for Polska Zbrojna, as a demonstration of allied solidarity. The Polish Aircraft would be engaged in air policing efforts in the North Atlantic.

Icelandic Air Policing, operationally speaking, is a mission that is very similar to the Baltic Air Policing operation held in Estonia, or in Lithuania. Iceland, however, seemingly has a much higher strategic value. Another analogy can be drawn from the circumstances in which Air Policing support is required. Neither Iceland nor the Baltic States have relevant military aviation assets at their disposal which means that external assets are needed to maintain air policing continuity, geographically. It may be said that the air policing initiatives held by NATO act as the gap fillers in the integrated air defense system maintained by the Alliance.

The Icelandic Air Policing dates back to 2006. Back then, Iceland requested that its NATO allies periodically deploy fighter aircraft to Keflavik Air Base to provide protection of its airspace. The first deployment took place in 2008.

Polish Air Force F-16s would take over the Air Policing duty high north from the USAF’s 493rd Fighter Squadron, 48th Fighter Wing flying the  F-15C Eagles.

Notably, the first Polish Icelandic deployment was to take place back in 2010. However, following the ramifications of the financial crisis, Poland resigned from the deployment back then, due to budgetary constraints.

Standing contributor for TheAviationist. Aviation photojournalist. Co-Founder of DefensePhoto.com. Expert in linguistics, Cold War discourse, Cold War history and policy and media communications.

Italian F-35As Perform First Alert Scramble From Iceland To Monitor Activity Of Three Russian Tu-142 Bear F/J Aircraft

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Two ItAF F-35s deployed to Keflavik (Photo: Italian Ministry of Defense)

On Jul. 3, 2020, three Northern Fleet Tu-142 aircraft flew a 12-hour mission across the Barents and Norwegian Sea, and over the northeastern Atlantic Ocean. The 7,000 km trip was supported by at least one Russian Air Force Il-78 tanker aircraft, that refueled the Tu-142 Bear F/J along the way, and by an unspecified number of MiG-31 interceptors that provided fighter escort to the ASW and maritime patrol aircraft. NATO has confirmed us that MiG-31, Tu-142 Bear F, Tu-142 Bear J and Il-78 were the Russian assets involved in the mission.

Several NATO aircraft were scrambled to intercept or monitor the Russian Naval Aviation activity. Among them, the Italian Air Force F-35A jets currently deployed to Iceland, for Operation Northern Lighting II, their second tour of duty in support of NATO’s Icelandic Air Policing mission. According to NATO, the Italian 5th generation aircraft, belonging to th Task Group “Falco” of the Task Force Air 32nd Wing, in QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) at Keflavik, were scrambled to intercept the Russian aircraft on their way to their operating area south of Iceland. The A-Scramble (Alert-Scramble), marked the first time an F-35A of any partner nation was scrambled under NATO command for a real-world mission from Iceland.

A second pair of F-35A jets was then scrambled to establish a CAP (Combat Air Patrol) and monitor the activity of the Russian ASW aircraft on their way back.

Interestingly, a similar activity of Russian Tu-142s was also recorded on Mar. 7, 2020. Back then, the NATO fighters intercepted both Tu-142MK (Bear F) and one Tu-142MR variant (Bear J) that was escorted by at least one MiG-31 Foxhound. While the Tu-142MK is designed to perform ASW and its goal is to search and destroy submarines in distant patrol areas, the Tu-142MR “Bear J” is a VLF band radio communications relay platform whose mission is similar in concept to the one of US E-6A TACAMO: it provides a communications relay capability to submerged SSBNs, SSGNs and SSNs. The Bear J is based on the Bear F airframe but has a ventral fairing containing the VLF antenna cable reel and unique nose radome and antenna on the vertical tail. NATO

The two types of Tu-142s often team up during long-range training missions carried out along the borders of NATO’s airspace.

Dealing with Iceland, as already explained in several article here at The Aviationist, on a rotational basis, three times a year, allied nations contribute, for three or four weeks, to the Interim Air Policing in Iceland, a country that does not have autonomous air defence assets and capabilities but is strategically located close to the Arctic. For the sixth time in total since 2013 and the second with the F-35 in less than one year (read our full report about the first deployment here) the Italian Air Force is securing the skies over Iceland, supporting NATO’s Airborne Surveillance and Interception Capabilities to meet Iceland’s Peacetime Preparedness Needs (ASIC IPPN) mission. The purpose of the NATO mission, initiated in 2008, after the withdrawal of US forces from the island, is to provide air surveillance and interception coverage over Iceland, in order to maintain the integrity of the NATO airspace.

An Italian Air Force F-35A sits in front of the shelter at Keflavik. Note the AIM-120 missile visibile in the weapon bay. (Image credit: Author)

Here are some details about the F-35’s QRA I provided in an article published after visiting the Italian detachment in Keflavik. They still apply:

The Italian F-35s carry out the QRA service in Iceland with the same configuration used to support the domestic SSSA (Servizio Sorveglianza Spazio Aereo – Air Space Surveillance Service) on a rotational basis, where the SCL (Standard Conventional Load) includes two AIM-120C5 AMRAAM (Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile) missiles in the internal weapons bay.

One may wonder why the F-35, that is not a “pure” interceptor, is committed to such an air defense mission. Well, the reason is quite simple: deploying the 5th gen. stealth aircraft under NATO command allows the service (in this case, the Italian Air Force) to test the asset as part of a different chain of command, with different procedures, on a different base, and in different (sometimes adverse/austere) weather conditions. The peacetime air policing mission requires the aircraft in QRA to scramble with live air-to-air missiles when there is the need to intercept, identify and escort, aircraft approaching or “skirting” NATO Ally’s sovereign airspace: a task that an F-35 is more than able to conduct. Moreover, the deployment on a NATO mission is one of the milestones the Italian Air Force has set along the path to achieve the type’s FOC ( BTW, it’s worth remembering that, first in Europe, the Italians declared the F-35’s IOC on Nov. 30, 2018).

An Italian F-35 flying over Iceland in October 2019 during Operation Northern Lightning, the first mission in support of NATO’s Icelandic Air Policing. (Image credit: Author)

One last remark: the one on Jul. 3, 2020 is also the first ever A-Scramble for the Italian Air Force F-35A Lightning II fleet.