Tag: Italian Air Force

‘Magnum!’ Flying A Wild Weasel Mission With The Tornado ECR And The F-35

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‘Magnum!’ Flying A Wild Weasel Mission With The Tornado ECR And The F-35
Tornado ECR
A Tornado ECR and an F-35A during a joint SEAD mission. (All images: Author)

We had the unique chance to see how the Italian Tornado ECRs team up with the F-35s to carry out a SEAD mission.

“Wild Weasel” is a code name given by the United States Air Force to an aircraft of any type, equipped with anti-radiation missiles and tasked with the SEAD (Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses) mission: destroying the radar and Surface-to-Air Missile installations of enemy air defense systems. Within the Italian Air Force, the Wild Weasel mission is assigned to the 155° Gruppo ETS (Electronic Warfare Tactical Suppression) “Pantere Nere” (“Black Panthers”) of the 6° Stormo (Wing) based in Ghedi Air Base, northern Italy. The squadron operates with the Tornado ECR MLU RET8.

Just like the IDS fleet, that will officially celebrate its 40th anniversary in September this year, the Tornado ECR have, over the years, been modernized since they were first inducted into active service. Between 2013 and 2018, 15 Tornado ECRs were upgraded to the RET8 standard as part of a Mid-Life Update that introduced new avionics sub-systems and a new mission software, and required changes to the weapons management system in order to expand the array of armaments and mission loads the aircraft can carry.

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Tornado ECR with two AGM-88 missiles.

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Tornado ECR with two AGM-88 missiles.

Along with the INS/GPSintegrated NAV system aided by a MMR (Multi-Mode Receiver), the Tornado ECR MLU RET8, designated EA-200D in accordance to the Italian MOD Mission Design Series, is equipped with an upgraded IFF system, and Data-link system, with a new NVG-compatible internal and external lighting systems as well as new MFDs (Multi-Function Displays) in both the pilot and navigator’s cockpits.

“Our primary role is SEAD (Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses) and DEAD (Destruction of Enemy Air Defenses), two kinds of mission we carry out with the Tornado ECR,” says Lt. Col. Michele, Commander of 155° Gruppo ETS, as he welcomes us in his office. “In terms of sensors, the ELS (Emitter Location System) is the onboard system that allows us to identify and geo-localise, in a pretty fast and accurate way, the ground radars that can be associated with the enemy anti-aircraft defenses.” Although somewhat similar, SEAD and DEAD missions are quite different: the missile used for SEAD missions can destroy an enemy radar making it unavailable for a certain period of time. However, if a replacement antenna is available, the air defense site can be restored and put back into service in a matter of a few days (if not hours). The DEAD mission aims at destroying both the radar and the launchers so that the SAM site is rendered inoperative for a longer period.

For DEAD missions, the Tornado’s arsenal has been expanded in 2016 with the addition of the GPS-guided GBU-32 JDAM (Joint Defense Air Munition) bombs that complemented the ARM (Anti Radiation Missiles) used for SEAD missions: the AGM-88B HARM and the AGM-88E AARGM (Advanced Anti Radiation Guided Missile). The latter is a follow-on variant of the HARM (High Speed Anti Radiation Missile), developed under a US and Italian joint acquisition programme led by the US Navy. It features new software, improved ability to geo-locate and neutralize the threats thanks to a multi-mode seeker that embeds a passive radar, and an active millimeter wave sensors coupled with a GPS-aided inertial navigation system.

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The 155° Gruppo, at that time belonging to the 50° Stormo, based at Piacenza, received the first Tornados for the Suppression of Enemy Air Defence (SEAD) role in 1993. Designated IDS-HARM, those aircraft were fitted with avionics for integrating the AGM-88B HARM. The current Tornado ECRs, started being delivered in 1998.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-14.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-3.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79866″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-3.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-3.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-14.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-15.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-16.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/ECR_160222_0479.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

The 155° Gruppo, at that time belonging to the 50° Stormo, based at Piacenza, received the first Tornados for the Suppression of Enemy Air Defence (SEAD) role in 1993. Designated IDS-HARM, those aircraft were fitted with avionics for integrating the AGM-88B HARM. The current Tornado ECRs, started being delivered in 1998.

The new missile was introduced after a successful Operational Test & Evaluation (OT&E) campaign, dubbed “Blazing Shield”, that saw four Tornado ECR deploy to Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, California, in April 2018, to undertake a series of tests and two live firing events. “Although we have received the new AGM-88E, the squadron retains a capability with the AGM-88B: we still maintain the Bravo version as it can be useful is certain scenarios. For this reason we train and fly with both types. For us, the missile is itself a sensor and this is the reason why we fly training missions usually carrying one or two AGM-88s”.

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Although the training is role-specific, Tornado of both variants can fly with mixed aircrews if needed: for instance, a pilot from 155° Gruppo and a navigator from 154° Gruppo on a Tornado ECR or vice versa, thanks to the standardized training provided by the Operational Conversion Unit.

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Although the training is role-specific, Tornado of both variants can fly with mixed aircrews if needed: for instance, a pilot from 155° Gruppo and a navigator from 154° Gruppo on a Tornado ECR or vice versa, thanks to the standardized training provided by the Operational Conversion Unit.

Although a phase-out date has not yet been officially confirmed, the Italian Air Force has already decided that the SEAD/DEAD mission will transition to the F-35A Lightning II when the Tornado ECR is retired.

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In a typical cooperative SEAD mission, data collected and fused by the F-35 is passed to the Tornado ECR by means of Link 16. The AM puts a lot of effort into improving the integration between 4th and 5th gen. assets.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-20.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-5.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79872″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-5.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-5.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-20.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-21.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-22.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/ECR_160222_0681.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

In a typical cooperative SEAD mission, data collected and fused by the F-35 is passed to the Tornado ECR by means of Link 16. The AM puts a lot of effort into improving the integration between 4th and 5th gen. assets.

“The current weapon system still allows us to carry out our mission in an effective way. But we have already started operating jointly with the F-35, that is the future of the Air Force: some of our pilots have already completed the transition to the F-35 and this is important because we are this means that we are pouring some of our experience into the Lightning line.” It’s worth remembering that while it has the ability to locate and track enemy forces, until the AARGM-ER (Extended Range) is integrated on the type, the F-35 still lacks a missile for SEAD missions, although it can use various stand-off weapons, including the GBU-39 SDBs (Small Diameter Bombs) that can be carried inside the weapons bays, to attack ground targets itself. During the transition of the SEAD mission, 155° Gruppo and 13° Gruppo (the squadron that flies the F-35A of 32° Stormo out of Amendola AB) are exploring new ways to exploit the best capabilities both aircraft are able to make available to the Wild Weasel mission.

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The Tornado ECRs of the 155° Gruppo regularly train alongside the 154° Gruppo, that flies the Tornado IDS in the attack role. Both units are assigned to the 6° Stormo at Ghedi Air Base, along with the 102° Gruppo OCU (Operational Conversion Unit).

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The Tornado ECRs of the 155° Gruppo regularly train alongside the 154° Gruppo, that flies the Tornado IDS in the attack role. Both units are assigned to the 6° Stormo at Ghedi Air Base, along with the 102° Gruppo OCU (Operational Conversion Unit).

More details about the 155° Gruppo can be found in the story by this Author “Italian Wild Weasels”, in the July 2022 issue of Combat Aircraft Journal, at newsagents now!

In order to see how the F-35 and the Tornado work together, we were given the opportunity to fly aboard a Tornado ECR during a SEAD mission that involved three Tornados (2 ECRs + 1 IDS) from Ghedi (callsigns PANTE 1-3) and two F-35A of the 13° Gruppo of the 32° Stormo from Amendola (FALCO 31-32). Here’s how it went.

Hunting radars with the Black Panthers

On Feb. 16, 2022 we flew a mission with the 155° Gruppo. The mission was planned to take place inside R48, a restricted airspace located above central Italy, more or less mid-way between the departure airbases of the “Tonkas” and the F-35 Lightnings that joined us to carry out a SEAD mission that could leverage the capabilities of both 4th and 5th generation aircraft. The take-off time was at 13.00Z (14.00LT) with a WALK to the aircraft at 12.00Z so we spent most of the morning in the planning of the mission that, unlike sorties flown with only local assets, also included a Secure Video Conference with the two F-35 pilots from Amendola AB to review the whole plan, including block levels, task sharing and safety measures. For instance, to ensure proper deconflictions, we were assigned block altitudes between FL130 and FL150 (with aircraft separated by 1,000 feet) whereas the F-35s were assigned the block FL160-180. The transit time to the operational area was about 30 minutes, then we had 30-45 minutes “play time” before the RTB phase (lasting another half an hour).

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Selfie in the backseat of the Tornado ECR.

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Selfie in the backseat of the Tornado ECR.

The sensitivity of the mission and the type of assets involved in the sortie don’t allow us to disclose many details about the actual “kinetic” part of the sortie, but what we can say is that the mission was planned so that the F-35s used their sensor cooperating with ECRs in order to locate and ID the targets, share positions witihin platforms and allow Tornados to employ AGM-88: the two ECRs carried two inert Harm missiles, whereas the IDS, flown by a 155° Gruppo pilot, did not carry any armament but it took part in the mission flying the same mission profile as the rest of the ECR. The mission had a two-fold goal: put the SEAD/DEAD tactics to test and improve the 4th/5th generation cooperation. Among the various possible scenarios, a SEAD mission jointly carried out by the two types can see an initial phase where F-35s use their ESM (Electronic Support Measures) capabilities cooperating with ECRs to detect the emissions of the enemy radars, gather the EOB and pass the relevant targeting information to the Tornado ECRs in order to employ AGM-88 from outside the envelope of the SAM batteries. The traditional “Magnum” codeword (used since the first Gulf War by the SEAD aircraft upon firing their anti-radiation missiles) is radioed to announce the launch of an AGM-88.

As said, we can’t provide many more details about the mission other than saying that it was “successful”.

“The integration with the F-35 is crucial. We exploit the F-35’s sensor fusion and the ability of the 5th generation aircraft to disseminate the information to us via Link 16.” Lt. Col. Michele’s words are echoed by the F-35s pilots we had the opportunity to talk to: “The SEAD/DEAD capability is the F-35’s core business. The pilots of our squadron have already gained an enormous experience in the use of the aircraft in this kind of mission, that is part of the training of an F-35 pilot since the very early stages of the training process.” Simulated SEAD/DEAD missions that see the integration of the Tornado ECRs and the F-35s are flown quite frequently. “We train for this kind of mission with legacy assets whenever we have the opportunity. The training profile of the F-35 pilots includes a specific mission that embeds Fighter Integration tactics during which the two assets cooperate using two different air-to-surface weapons”.

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The Tornado ECR and IDS of the 6° Stormo regularly train with the F-35A of the 13° Gruppo/32° Stormo from Amendola: the 5th generation aircraft will replace both types in the future.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-30.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-8.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79870″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-8.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-8.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-30.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-31.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-32.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/ECR_160222_0905.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

The Tornado ECR and IDS of the 6° Stormo regularly train with the F-35A of the 13° Gruppo/32° Stormo from Amendola: the 5th generation aircraft will replace both types in the future.

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.

First F-35A Officially Delivered To The 6° Stormo At Ghedi Air Base

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First F-35A Officially Delivered To The 6° Stormo At Ghedi Air Base
F-35 Ghedi
The first F-35A of the 6° Stormo (All images: Luciano Zanini / The Aviationist)

The 6° Stormo is the second Italian Air Force wing to operate the F-35A Lightning II aircraft.

On Jun. 16, 2022, the F-35A Lightning II MM7366/6-01 (AL-16) was delivered to the 6° Stormo (Wing), at Ghedi Air Base. Escorted by three Tornados, the first Lightning II sporting the markings of the “Diavoli Rossi” (Red Devils) carried out a few flybys with the Tonkas and a low passage before landing at the base located near Brescia, in northern Italy.

The new aircraft was welcomed by the commander of the 6th Wing, Col. Giacomo Lacaita, along with Gen. Alberto Biavati, Commander of the Squadra Aerea (Air Fleet Command) and former pilot of the Red Devils at the time of Desert Storm; Gen. Francesco Vestito, Commander of the I Regione Aerea (1st Air Region) and former 6th Wing commander, as well as civilian authorities.

<img data-attachment-id="79832" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/06/16/f-35a-delivered-to-ghedi/le8c9998/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/First-F-35-for-the-6-Stormo-6-scaled.jpg" data-orig-size="2560,1707" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"8","credit":"","camera":"Canon EOS 5D Mark III","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"220","iso":"320","shutter_speed":"0.0008","title":"LE8C9998","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="F-35 Ghedi" data-image-description data-image-caption="

One of the flybys of the first F-35A of the 6° Stormo escorted by three Tornados.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/first-f-35a-officially-delivered-to-the-6-stormo-at-ghedi-air-base-8.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/first-f-35a-officially-delivered-to-the-6-stormo-at-ghedi-air-base-2.jpg” class=”size-large wp-image-79832″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/first-f-35a-officially-delivered-to-the-6-stormo-at-ghedi-air-base-2.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/first-f-35a-officially-delivered-to-the-6-stormo-at-ghedi-air-base-2.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/first-f-35a-officially-delivered-to-the-6-stormo-at-ghedi-air-base-8.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/first-f-35a-officially-delivered-to-the-6-stormo-at-ghedi-air-base-9.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/first-f-35a-officially-delivered-to-the-6-stormo-at-ghedi-air-base-10.jpg 768w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/first-f-35a-officially-delivered-to-the-6-stormo-at-ghedi-air-base-11.jpg 1536w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/First-F-35-for-the-6-Stormo-6-2048×1366.jpg 2048w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

One of the flybys of the first F-35A of the 6° Stormo escorted by three Tornados.

Our contributor Luciano Zanini was also at Ghedi AB where he took all the images you can find in this article.

With the arrival of the first aircraft (to be followed, in about one month, by a second airframe, MM7367/6-02) the 6° Stormo has become the second Italian Air Force Wing to operate the F-35A; the other one is the 32° Stormo, based at Amendola AB, whose child-unit, the 13° Gruppo (Squadron) has been operating with the 5th generation aircraft since 2016 and achieved IOC (Initial Operational Capability) in 2018.

<img data-attachment-id="79835" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/06/16/f-35a-delivered-to-ghedi/first-f-35-for-the-6-stormo-5/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/First-F-35-for-the-6-Stormo-5.jpg" data-orig-size="1024,683" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"8","credit":"","camera":"Canon EOS 5D Mark III","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1655373731","copyright":"","focal_length":"100","iso":"320","shutter_speed":"0.000625","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="First F-35 for the 6 Stormo 5" data-image-description data-image-caption="

The F-35A leading a formation of Tornados approaching Ghedi on Jun. 16, 2022.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/first-f-35a-officially-delivered-to-the-6-stormo-at-ghedi-air-base-12.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/first-f-35a-officially-delivered-to-the-6-stormo-at-ghedi-air-base-3.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79835″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/first-f-35a-officially-delivered-to-the-6-stormo-at-ghedi-air-base-3.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/first-f-35a-officially-delivered-to-the-6-stormo-at-ghedi-air-base-3.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/first-f-35a-officially-delivered-to-the-6-stormo-at-ghedi-air-base-12.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/first-f-35a-officially-delivered-to-the-6-stormo-at-ghedi-air-base-13.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/first-f-35a-officially-delivered-to-the-6-stormo-at-ghedi-air-base-14.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/First-F-35-for-the-6-Stormo-5.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

The F-35A leading a formation of Tornados approaching Ghedi on Jun. 16, 2022.

The official delivery to the 6° Stormo today was just symbolic though: initially, the first F-35s of the “Red Devils” will operate from Amendola, as part of a “pooled” fleet that will enable the aircrews to carry out the training activities on the type until the aircraft eventually relocate to Ghedi.

<img data-attachment-id="79834" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/06/16/f-35a-delivered-to-ghedi/patch-3/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Patch.jpg" data-orig-size="1024,683" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"8","credit":"","camera":"Canon EOS 5D Mark III","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1655377332","copyright":"","focal_length":"96","iso":"200","shutter_speed":"0.002","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="Patch" data-image-description data-image-caption="

The patch that celebrates the delivery of the first F-35 of 6° Stormo, coded 6-01.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/first-f-35a-officially-delivered-to-the-6-stormo-at-ghedi-air-base-15.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/first-f-35a-officially-delivered-to-the-6-stormo-at-ghedi-air-base-4.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79834″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/first-f-35a-officially-delivered-to-the-6-stormo-at-ghedi-air-base-4.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/first-f-35a-officially-delivered-to-the-6-stormo-at-ghedi-air-base-4.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/first-f-35a-officially-delivered-to-the-6-stormo-at-ghedi-air-base-15.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/first-f-35a-officially-delivered-to-the-6-stormo-at-ghedi-air-base-16.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/first-f-35a-officially-delivered-to-the-6-stormo-at-ghedi-air-base-17.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Patch.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

The patch that celebrates the delivery of the first F-35 of 6° Stormo, coded 6-01.

The Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II will gradually replace the Tornado fleet that this year celebrates 40 years of Italian Air Force service: the IDS variant will be retired first (by 2025 according to the rumors as no official plan has been announced yet), followed, at a later stage, by the Tornado ECR. Both the IDS and ECR operate at Ghedi with the 6° Stormo and its three squadrons: the 102º Gruppo [that is the Tornado OCU (Operational Conversion Unit)], the 154º Gruppo, equipped with the Tornado IDS, and 155º Gruppo equipped with the Tornado ECR.

<img data-attachment-id="79833" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/06/16/f-35a-delivered-to-ghedi/first-f-35-for-the-6-stormo-2/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/First-F-35-for-the-6-Stormo-2-scaled.jpg" data-orig-size="2560,1706" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"8","credit":"","camera":"Canon EOS 5D Mark III","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"28","iso":"200","shutter_speed":"0.001","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="First F-35 for the 6 Stormo 2" data-image-description data-image-caption="

The F-35A MM7366 and a Tornado ECR of the 155° Gruppo.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/first-f-35a-officially-delivered-to-the-6-stormo-at-ghedi-air-base-18.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/first-f-35a-officially-delivered-to-the-6-stormo-at-ghedi-air-base-5.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79833″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/first-f-35a-officially-delivered-to-the-6-stormo-at-ghedi-air-base-5.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/first-f-35a-officially-delivered-to-the-6-stormo-at-ghedi-air-base-5.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/first-f-35a-officially-delivered-to-the-6-stormo-at-ghedi-air-base-18.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/first-f-35a-officially-delivered-to-the-6-stormo-at-ghedi-air-base-19.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/first-f-35a-officially-delivered-to-the-6-stormo-at-ghedi-air-base-20.jpg 768w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/first-f-35a-officially-delivered-to-the-6-stormo-at-ghedi-air-base-21.jpg 1536w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/First-F-35-for-the-6-Stormo-2-2048×1365.jpg 2048w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

The F-35A MM7366 and a Tornado ECR of the 155° Gruppo.

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.

Sweden Might Acquire Second-Hand C-130Js From Italy

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Sweden Might Acquire Second-Hand C-130Js From Italy
C-130J
File photo of an Italian C-130J during a takeoff from an austere runway. (Photo: Aeronautica Militare)

The aircraft would replace the Swedish Air Force’s old C-130Hs

Sweden is looking to replace its six old C-130Hs (Tp84 according to the Swedish MoD designation) with four second-hand C-130Js from Italy, as the procurement of the latter has been judged as a better option than an upgrade program. While this has not yet been officially confirmed from the two countries, Air Forces Monthly reported the news after an interview with the Swedish Air Force Chief of Staff.

“We are buying the first two from the Italian Air Force, which will be modified at a later stage”, said Major General Carl-Johan Edström. “We hope to acquire six and the second pair will also come from Italy. So, replacing all six C-130Hs with six C-130Js.” In fact, it is being reported that the Italian government has put six C-130s on sale.

Before the decision to completely replace the C-130H fleet, Sweden has been looking at ways to upgrade the aircraft currently in service. However, the upgrade program would have reduced the number of the operational aircraft for the time being. “We decided not to modernise our C-130Hs, because it meant the fleet numbers would drop for several years while they were away being modified, which would take six to nine months at a time”, said Major General Edström.

According to AFM’s interview, the first two aircraft might be delivered already next year, while the complete replacement of the C-130H fleet might happen by 2025. The acquisition of the C-130J has been judged a perfect choice by Major General Edström: “It’s a great decision to go for the C-130Js. They can fulfil the needs of the special forces, army and air force – it’s the perfect design for the Armed Forces.”

The Aeronautica Militare received 12 C-130Js and ten longer C-130J-30s, which were delivered between May 2000 and February 2005 and assigned to the 46^ Brigata Aerea (Air Brigade) at Pisa-San Giusto airport. Several of these aircraft are reportedly in storage, with Scramble reporting at least three aircraft noted stored at Pisa and around five aircraft at Venice-Tessera airport. The numbers seem to add up with the reports about six aircraft being up for sale.

Three of the Italian C-130Js have been converted to KC-130J tankers, although the Italian Air Force originally acquired six air-to-air refueling kits. One of the six  Swedish C-130Hs is a tanker aircraft (Tp84T) that is used to keep the Gripen pilotshttps://theaviationist.com/2018/07/25/swedish-air-force-jas-39-gripen-c-jet-dropped-gbu-12-bomb-to-cut-forest-fire-near-military-range-in-sweden/ current in the air-to-air refueling qualification. It is unclear at this time if the aircraft will be replaced by a KC-130J or by a standard C-130J and later upgraded with the air-to-air refueling kit.

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.

‘Follow Me, You’re In A Prohibited Area’: A Slow Mover Intercept As Seen From The Target’s Point Of View

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‘Follow Me, You’re In A Prohibited Area’: A Slow Mover Intercept As Seen From The Target’s Point Of View
Slow Mover Intercept
An F-2000 in clean configuration as it catches up with the slow mover. In the box, an HH-139 helicopter appears through the starboard side window as he closely monitor the zombie. (All photos: Stefano D’Urso/The Aviationist)

We have taken part in a scheduled Slow Mover Intercept exercise during which we were intercepted by Eurofighter F-2000 fighter jets and HH-139 helicopters. Here’s how it went.

When one thinks about Air Defense and the Quick Reaction Alert nowadays, the thought immediately goes to big airliners that might be hijacked, not responding to radios and so on, with the worst-case scenario being 9/11. However, there is an even more subtle threat, which is presented by small general aviation aircraft and ultralight aircraft who usually fly low and slow and thus harder to detect. Aircraft with these characteristics are usually described as “Slow Movers”.

To counter this threat, the Slow Mover Intercept mission was introduced and air forces around the world regularly train for it as the flight envelope of these small fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters presents some challenges for the pilots of fighter jets trying to intercept them. More often than not, these aircraft fly at very low altitude and speeds that might be slower than the stall speed of fighter aircraft, requiring specific procedures for a safe interception.

<img data-attachment-id="79695" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/05/31/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view/slow_mover_intercept_exercise_1/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Slow_Mover_Intercept_Exercise_1.jpg" data-orig-size="1024,571" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"9","credit":"Stefano D'Urso","camera":"Canon EOS 80D","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1651068567","copyright":"Stefano D'Urso","focal_length":"67","iso":"200","shutter_speed":"0.002","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="Slow_Mover_Intercept_Exercise_1" data-image-description data-image-caption="

The HH-139A helicopter flying on the zombie’s left wing as it shows a panel to order the pilots to follow the interceptor.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view-11.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view-2.jpg” class=”size-large wp-image-79695″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view-2.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”394″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view-2.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view-11.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view-12.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view-13.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Slow_Mover_Intercept_Exercise_1.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

The HH-139A helicopter flying on the zombie’s left wing as it shows a panel to order the pilots to follow the interceptor.

Because of this, helicopters might get involved in the QRA missions to assist fighter jets and take over once they arrive on scene. The Italian Air Force (Aeronautica Militare) is among those using both fighters and helicopters for SMI scenarios, deploying them to protect no-fly zones for important events since the early 2000s. During standard QRA missions from their homebases, usually the fighters take the precedence for the SMI scenarios but, if needed, helicopters can also be scrambled.

The Slow Mover Intercept capability was also provided by the F-16ADF which were leased as stopgap solution until the Eurofighter Typhoon (F-2000A in accordance to Italy’s MOD Mission Design Series) became operational, assisted by HH-3F CSAR helicopters. Our Editor David Cenciotti took part in a SMI training scenario in 2009 with the F-16s from the X Gruppo Caccia (10th Fighter Squadron), when the unit was still based at Trapani Air Base.

<img data-attachment-id="79688" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/05/31/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view/slow_mover_intercept_exercise_2/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Slow_Mover_Intercept_Exercise_2.jpg" data-orig-size="1024,660" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"5.6","credit":"Stefano D'Urso","camera":"Canon EOS 80D","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1651065508","copyright":"Stefano D'Urso","focal_length":"50","iso":"200","shutter_speed":"0.0008","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="Slow_Mover_Intercept_Exercise_2" data-image-description data-image-caption="

An Eurofighter F-2000A flies by the U-208’s wing during the intercept.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view-14.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view-3.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79688″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view-3.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”455″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view-3.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view-14.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view-15.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view-16.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Slow_Mover_Intercept_Exercise_2.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

An Eurofighter F-2000A flies by the U-208’s wing during the intercept.

Since then, the assets and procedures for these missions has changed. For some years, even before the F-16s were committed to the mission, the XII Gruppo Caccia (12th Fighter Squadron) was assigned the SMI role and was equipped with the MB-339CD trainer (FT-339C in accordance to Italy’s MOD Mission Design Series) until it received the first Eurofighters. The MB-339CD was given this secondary mission since it has a slower stall speed compared to fighter jets (below 100 kt, depending on the configuration) and it can also be armed with AIM-9L air-to-air missiles and 30 mm gunpods.

The Slow Mover Intercept mission’s responsibility has now been transferred to the Eurofighter units, supported by HH-139 helicopters. The Italian Air Force regularly trains for this mission, with periodic exercises which sometimes also involve F-35 5th gen fighter jets and HH-101 helicopters. In fact, as the F-2000s, the F-35s are part of the SSSA (Servizio Sorveglianza Spazio Aereo – Air Space Surveillance Service) and the NATO QRA, so they can be assigned QRA duties too, both in Italy and abroad.

We had a chance to take part in a scheduled Slow Mover Intercept exercise, on April 27, 2022, at Gioia del Colle Air Base, in southeastern Italy, home of the 36° Stormo (Wing). During the exercise, this Author flew in the SIAI-Marchetti S.208M liaison and glider-towing aircraft of the 60° Stormo (Wing), based at Guidonia, which was deployed to Gioia del Colle to act as the “zombie” (as an unidentified aircraft that triggers a QRA launch is called in the interceptors’ lingo).

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Two HH-139s shadow the “zombie” as they perform the Visual IDentification ) VID.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view-17.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view-4.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79689″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view-4.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”414″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view-4.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view-17.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view-18.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view-19.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Slow_Mover_Intercept_Exercise_3.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

Two HH-139s shadow the “zombie” as they perform the Visual IDentification ) VID.

The S.208M (U-208A in accordance to Italy’s MOD Mission Design Series) is the military variant of the S.205, a low wing, single engine, four-seater general aviation aircraft designed in the 1960s. The S.208 is in the same class of aircraft like the Beechcraft Bonanza and the Piper PA-24 Comanche, so it’s perfectly suited to simulate general aviation aircraft during SMI scenarios. Also, its camouflage paint scheme makes it even harder to visually acquire the S.208 at low altitude during the interception.

Our morning in Gioia del Colle began with the mission briefing with all the crews involved in the exercise, which involved our SIAI U-208A, three Eurofighter F-2000 (one of those was a twin-seater TF-2000) of the X Gruppo Caccia and two HH-139A helicopters of the 84° Centro CSAR. A great emphasis goes to the safety of the flight, as the aircraft would have to fly very close to each other and the Eurofighters are flying near the lower limits of their flight envelope, so it is important to thoroughly discuss minimum speeds, deconfliction and which maneuvers to avoid.

As you would expect, during these complex exercises, a particular focus goes on maximizing the training value of the mission. Because of this, multiple intercepts were planned during the same flight, so every pilot could get a chance to train in the SMI role. A key point during the planning was the speed of the intercepted aircraft, as it needed to be high enough to be safe for the fighters while also keeping the fuel consumption under control in order to provide the longest vul time (vulnerability time – the period of time when an aircraft is vulnerable to harm) possible for multiple intercepts.

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“Smile, you’re on camera!”. A Eurofighter pilot takes a photo as the aircraft passes by the port side of the U-208.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view-20.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view-5.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79690″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view-5.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”427″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view-5.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view-20.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view-21.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view-22.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Slow_Mover_Intercept_Exercise_4.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

“Smile, you’re on camera!”. A Eurofighter pilot takes a photo as the aircraft passes by the port side of the U-208.

Our flight, which was expected to last approximatively one hour and 50 minutes, was divided in three different training scenarios, which were then followed by a simulated forced landing. Since we were flying as the zombie, we were the first to take off and departed from Gioia del Colle’s runway 32L at 13:48LT with the callsign “VENTO 30”. Since our plan was to fly low and slow, there wasn’t much need to climb and we leveled off at 2,000 ft while heading towards the Gulf of Taranto, where we began orbiting over the coast.

In the meanwhile, the Eurofighters were being scrambled to find us with the help of the Ground Controlled Interception (GCI) operators. Here comes the first complication for the fighter pilots, courtesy of the doppler radar: usually a doppler radar ignores the contacts with a speed equal to or lower than the one of the interceptor aircraft, as it might consider them as background noise from radar waves reflected by the ground. If the intercepted aircraft is not built with metal, the situation gets worse, underlining the need to practice the visual interception of such targets.

We already mentioned the second complication, the low speed. Slow Mover Intercept missions are a challenging task as fast jets are not designed as slow as general aviation or ultralight aircraft. In this type of mission profile, the pilot needs to balance the speed of his fighter jet to the target’s speed in order to keep it safe while also being able to give all the details concerning the identification of the intercepted aircraft.

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An F-2000 in clean configuration as it catches up with the slow mover.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view-23.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view-6.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79691″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view-6.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”414″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view-6.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view-23.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view-24.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view-25.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Slow_Mover_Intercept_Exercise_5.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

An F-2000 in clean configuration as it catches up with the slow mover.

Based on the target’s speed, the pilot might face two different scenarios: the intercepted aircraft is flying at a speed comparable with the minimum safe speed for the fighter jet or a much lower speed. In the former case, the fighter jets are still able to get in formation with the “zombie” and fly alongside it, even if this requires an attitude with an high AOA (Angle Of Attack). However, that’s not always the case.

Most of the times, like during our mission, the Slow Mover aircraft is flying at a speed lower than the fighter jet’s minimum speed, so the interceptors use a special procedure. When this happens, the two fighters set up a “racetrack” pattern where one fighter is on the inbound side of the pattern while the second one is on the outbound side, so that at each stage of the intercept the zombie is always in the sights of the interceptors.

During this maneuver, the fighters pass the intercepted aircraft on the port side while keeping a safe lateral separation. As they “overtake” the zombie, the pilots check for the aircraft registration, that they will later pass to the GCI along with all the info useful for the identification and for the decision-making process on the prosecution of the intercept.

So, as we’re flying at 2,000 ft and 130 kts over the coast, we look behind our shoulders and we find the first F-2000 slowly catching up on us as the pilot relays back the info regarding our VID (Visual IDentification), followed seconds later by the second fighter. As the two single-seater Typhoons of the “Picca” flight break away, the two HH-139s of the “Duffy” flight appear at our 10 o’clock, ready to form up in a shadowing position slightly behind our left wing.

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The second HH-139 helicopter appears through the starboard side window as he closely monitor the zombie.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view-26.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view-7.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79692″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view-7.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”427″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view-7.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view-26.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view-27.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view-28.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Slow_Mover_Intercept_Exercise_6.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

The second HH-139 helicopter appears through the starboard side window as he closely monitor the zombie.

The helicopters continue to shadow us for some minutes, keeping the zombie under surveillance, before breaking away and clearing the airspace for the second scenario. While the first training scenario was over the sea, the second one was over land. Just as before, after a few orbits, the Eurofighters appeared through our rear windows, slowly catching up on us. This time one of the single seaters swapped place with the twin seater and both fighters continued to fly by us until the helicopters appeared at our 1 o’clock and were ready to intercept us.

This second training scenario, in fact, included the entire procedure and not only the interception and VID. Again, the HH-139s got in a shadowing position, one on each wing, and began identifying us with the help of their nose-mounted Electro-Optical/InfraRed sensor (EO/IR). Once the helicopters relayed all info for the VID, they moved forward to get in visual contact with the pilots of the zombie. In fact, if the radio contact is not successful, the helicopters’ pilots work to get the attention of the intercepted aircraft’s pilots while the crew in the back exposes some panels to help the communication.

Among the panels, you can find: “Prohibited area”, meaning that the zombie Is flying in a no fly zone or, more generally, a restricted area; “Follow me”, which is self-explanatory and orders the zombie to follow the interceptors out of the restricted area; “Contact 121.5 MHz”, another self-explanatory message ordering the intercepted aircraft to switch to the international guard frequency to communicate with the helicopters.

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The helicopter flies on the U-208’s wing as it shows a “Prohibited area” panel to the pilots.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view-29.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view-8.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79693″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view-8.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”427″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view-8.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view-29.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view-30.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view-31.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Slow_Mover_Intercept_Exercise_7.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

The helicopter flies on the U-208’s wing as it shows a “Prohibited area” panel to the pilots.

While they were not present during this exercise, usually Slow Mover Interceptor Operators (SMIO) are on board the helicopters. SMIO are both pararescuemen of the CSAR center or Fucilieri dell’Aria (Air Riflemen) of the 16° Stormo, trained in the use of precision weapons (both marksman and sniper rifles) from aerial platforms, ready to provide an air-to-air engagement capability, should the need arise, to stop a rogue aircraft. For this role they will use precision weapons like the recently introduced ARX-200 7.62 x 51 mm Designated Marksman Rifle.

We then transitioned to the third scenario, where our three-ship formation became even more unusual as two Eurofighters joined us again. We became, in fact, the leader of a five-ship V-shaped formation with our U-208, two HH-139s and two F-2000s. Having used most of their fuel, the fighters were now able to stay in formation almost effortlessly without the need to use the racetrack pattern.

As our vul time approached the end, the fighters broke the formation while we headed back to Gioia del Colle. We were still escorted by the helicopters, simulating a forced landing as it would happen if further checks are needed after the VID. This phase of the flight is where the helicopters really come in handy, as they can easily stay on our wing until the touchdown on the runway at around 60 kts.

<img data-attachment-id="79694" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/05/31/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view/slow_mover_intercept_exercise_8b/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Slow_Mover_Intercept_Exercise_8b.jpg" data-orig-size="1024,682" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"9","credit":"Stefano D'Urso","camera":"Canon EOS 80D","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1651068752","copyright":"Stefano D'Urso","focal_length":"35","iso":"200","shutter_speed":"0.0015625","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="Slow_Mover_Intercept_Exercise_8b" data-image-description data-image-caption="

A HH-139 helicopter and a F-2000 fighter jet fly in formation beside the U-208.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view-32.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view-9.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79694″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view-9.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”470″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view-9.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view-32.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view-33.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/follow-me-youre-in-a-prohibited-area-a-slow-mover-intercept-as-seen-from-the-targets-point-of-view-34.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Slow_Mover_Intercept_Exercise_8b.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

A HH-139 helicopter and a F-2000 fighter jet fly in formation beside the U-208.

After vacating runway 32R after a 1h 40 min- flight, we then returned to our parking spot where, in a real SMI forced landing, we would be met by the force protection or law enforcement for further checks. This Is what happened, for an instance, a couple of months ago in France, when a stolen Cessna 172 was intercepted by a Mirage 2000 and forced to land, with law enforcement agencies waiting on the ground to take over.

Slow Mover Intercept missions are among the most complex air defense missions, requiring perfect coordination between a large number of assets during the Quick Reaction Alert launch. This is why such missions are practiced periodically, so pilot can train and maintain their proficiency in this complex scenario, as well as validating the procedures during these exercises, designed to be as challenging and as realistic as possible, to better counter the asymmetric threat brought by slow movers.

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.

2 German Pilots Have Just Graduated At The International Flight Training School

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2 German Pilots Have Just Graduated At The International Flight Training School
IFTS
IFTS M-346 at Decimomannu Air Base (Image credit score: ItAF)The 2 German Air Force pilots have actually come to be the very first global grads of the IFTS. The IFTS(International Flight Training School), a joint endeavor in between the Aeronautica Militare(Italian Air Force)and also Leonardo in partnership with CAE, finished the very first worldwide pupil pilots. After 9 months of training at the Italian trip institution, 2 German Air Force (Luftwaffe) pilots have actually simply finished the Phase IV (Advanced/Lead-In to Fighter Training– LIFT) training course, one of the most tough and also sophisticated section of the competitor pilots’ training throughout which students embarking on cutting edge multirole training are phoned call to do air-to-air in addition to air-to-ground sorties with numerous risks and also complicated establish.

The flying tasks happened at the 61 ° Stormo (Wing) at Galatina Air Base, in southeastern Italy, where the IFTS is headquartered till it can transfer at the school being constructed at Decimomannu Air Base, Sardinia, (where a groundbreaking event was kept in December 2020 to note the start of the building and construction functions). When finished, it will certainly be a trip academy with the ability of holding trainees and also technological team, along with holiday accommodation, leisure locations, a snack bar, sporting activities centers. A whole structure will certainly be residence to the GBTS (Ground-Based Training System), with class as well as the setup of a contemporary training system, which is based upon the current generation of simulation gadgets.

IFTS has actually not completely relocated there yet, the last component of the LIFT program took area in “Deci”, that is residence to the AWTI (Air Weapons Training Installation), a totally incorporated training setup with air-to-ground and also air-to-air as well as an EW (Electronic Warfare) variety. Remarkably, the pictures launched by the Italian Air Force as well as Leonardo reveal the German pilots that simply finished at the IFTS positioning beside M-346s lugging BRD 4-250 (Bomb and also Rockets Training Dispenser), made use of to fill 4 Low-drag BDU-33D/ B bombs for usage in the varieties.

A GAF pupil pilot with an ItAF teacher pilot(IP)in the cabin of an ItAF M-346(T-346A).(Image credit scores: ItAF)The IFTS will certainly run a fleet of 22 M-346 jets: 4 Leonardo possessed airplane( the latter of those was provided in October 2019)and also 18 Italian Air Force T-346A s(as the M-346 is marked by the Italian MOD Mission Design Series). Educating at the IFTS is supplied by a staff of active-duty Italian Air Force and also very skilled global previous armed forces trainer pilots. Together with the German Air Force, the Qatar Emiri Air Force as well as the JapanAir Self Defense Force have actually currently chosen to send out pilots to the Italian IFTS. 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 and also check out army air travel blog sites. Given that 1996, he has actually created for significant globally publications, consisting of Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, as well as several others, covering air travel, protection, battle, sector, criminal activity, knowledge and also cyberwar. He has actually reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and also Syria, and also flown numerous fight 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 and also added to a lot more ones.

Up Close And Personal With The Italian Special Color Eurofighter Typhoon For NTM 2022

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Up Close And Personal With The Italian Special Color Eurofighter Typhoon For NTM 2022
Eurofighter Tiger Meet
The special color Eurofighter F-2000 in the hangar at night. (All photos: Stefano D’Urso / The Aviationist)

We take a closer look at the special livery prepared by the XII Gruppo of the Italian Air Force for The NATO Tiger Meet.

As we reported a few days ago, on May 6, 2022, at Gioia del Colle Air Base, in southeastern Italy, home of the 36° Stormo (Wing), the Italian Air Force unveiled a Eurofighter Typhoon in Special Color scheme that was prepared for this year’s edition of the Tiger Meet, the international exercise attended by all the NATO flying units that have a tiger as their emblem.

This Eurofighter Typhoon (F-2000A in accordance to Italy’s MOD Mission Design Series) is assigned to the XII Gruppo Caccia (Fighter Squadron), which is one of the two Italian units usually taking part in NTM, with the other being the 21° Gruppo (Squadron) of the 9° Stormo, based at Grazzanise, which flies HH-101 Caesar and HH-212 helicopters. However, this year, only the 12° Gruppo will attend the exercise at Araxos Air Base, Greece.

The 12° Gruppo is a particular case in the NATO Tiger Association, as its emblem does not feature a tiger, but instead features the famous prancing horse of Francesco Baracca. Since 1968, the only Italian unit in the NTA was the 21° Gruppo, whose emblem features the tiger. In 2001, the squadron was disbanded and one of its subordinate units, the 351^ Squadriglia (Flight) “Tigri Bianche” (White Tigers), was reassigned to the 12° Gruppo which was therefore issued NTA Full Member status immediately.

Every unit usually prepares a specially painted aircraft for the Tiger Meet. The XII Gruppo unveiled its special livery on the day the Eurofighters departed for Araxos, preceded by a test flight to check that all the vinyl stickers worked as intended. The Italian detachment for the exercise is composed by a total of five aircraft, four single seaters and one twin-seater (TF-2000A).

<img data-attachment-id="79596" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/05/16/up-close-with-the-italian-special-f2000-ntm-2022/ntm22_special_color_xii_gruppo_1/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/NTM22_Special_Color_XII_Gruppo_1.jpg" data-orig-size="1024,571" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"7.1","credit":"Stefano D'Urso","camera":"Canon EOS 80D","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1651745082","copyright":"Stefano D'Urso","focal_length":"170","iso":"250","shutter_speed":"0.0008","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="NTM22_Special_Color_XII_Gruppo_1" data-image-description data-image-caption="

The special color Eurofighter F-2000 performs a flyby over Gioia del Colle.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/up-close-and-personal-with-the-italian-special-color-eurofighter-typhoon-for-ntm-2022-11.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/up-close-and-personal-with-the-italian-special-color-eurofighter-typhoon-for-ntm-2022-2.jpg” class=”size-large wp-image-79596″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/up-close-and-personal-with-the-italian-special-color-eurofighter-typhoon-for-ntm-2022-2.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”394″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/up-close-and-personal-with-the-italian-special-color-eurofighter-typhoon-for-ntm-2022-2.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/up-close-and-personal-with-the-italian-special-color-eurofighter-typhoon-for-ntm-2022-11.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/up-close-and-personal-with-the-italian-special-color-eurofighter-typhoon-for-ntm-2022-12.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/up-close-and-personal-with-the-italian-special-color-eurofighter-typhoon-for-ntm-2022-13.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/NTM22_Special_Color_XII_Gruppo_1.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

The special color Eurofighter F-2000 performs a flyby over Gioia del Colle.

The special color F-2000 features multiple images. Beginning from the foreplanes (as are technically called the Eurofighter’s canards), we can see the traditional tiger eyes, which are best seen from above or when the foreplanes are in the “rest” position on the ground. The airbrake features the 351^ Squadriglia’s emblem with its white tiger, which is then expanded on the tail.

The tail, in fact, shows a large three-quarter angle of a white tiger’s head, which is over imposed on the scratches from the tiger’s claws. Near the tail’s root there is the inscription with the Flight’s name, 351 Sq., while in the angle of the tail’s upper tip there is also the 12° Gruppo emblem, which features a red bow and arrow and a black prancing horse.

The images from the tail are expanded in the main drawing of this special color, which is made to be observed from a top view. In the center, spanning on the wings across the fuselage, there is a large front angle view of the white tiger, while near the right wingtip there is again the squadron’s emblem, with more detailed bow, arrow and prancing horse.

<img data-attachment-id="79598" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/05/16/up-close-with-the-italian-special-f2000-ntm-2022/ntm22_special_color_xii_gruppo_3/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/NTM22_Special_Color_XII_Gruppo_3.jpg" data-orig-size="1024,682" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"7.1","credit":"Stefano D'Urso","camera":"Canon EOS 80D","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1651848269","copyright":"Stefano D'Urso","focal_length":"175","iso":"400","shutter_speed":"0.0003125","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="NTM22_Special_Color_XII_Gruppo_3" data-image-description data-image-caption="

A view of the aircraft, showing the white tiger painted over the wings and fuselage.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/up-close-and-personal-with-the-italian-special-color-eurofighter-typhoon-for-ntm-2022-14.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/up-close-and-personal-with-the-italian-special-color-eurofighter-typhoon-for-ntm-2022-3.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79598″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/up-close-and-personal-with-the-italian-special-color-eurofighter-typhoon-for-ntm-2022-3.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”470″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/up-close-and-personal-with-the-italian-special-color-eurofighter-typhoon-for-ntm-2022-3.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/up-close-and-personal-with-the-italian-special-color-eurofighter-typhoon-for-ntm-2022-14.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/up-close-and-personal-with-the-italian-special-color-eurofighter-typhoon-for-ntm-2022-15.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/up-close-and-personal-with-the-italian-special-color-eurofighter-typhoon-for-ntm-2022-16.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/NTM22_Special_Color_XII_Gruppo_3.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

A view of the aircraft, showing the white tiger painted over the wings and fuselage.

This special color, dubbed the “Dark Tiger”, has been designed by one of the pilots, Capt. Luca P., which is also a skilled static scale modeler and builds models and dioramas in his spare time. You can find some of his work at his Instagram page @italianscale. While in Gioia del Colle, we were able to talk to Luca and he provided us with some insights about the creation process of this livery.

The initial idea for the project originated in December 2021. The tiger comes from a photo which was first converted in black and white and then adapted with the use of Photoshop. After this first adaptation was complete, the image was then converted to vectorial graphic in Corel Draw and adapted as a stencil. As for the squadron’s emblem, the work started from an handmade drawing which was then processed exactly as the tiger’s image.

Here is where the experience grown as a scale modeler came in handy, as a 1:72 scale model of a Eurofighter 2000 was used as prototype to check and compensate for the deformation that the shape of the fuselage would cause to the tiger’s image as seen from the top, so it could be seen correctly once applied to the real aircraft.

Once the desired visual impact was achieved, with all the fuselage-induced deformations accounted for and without gaps in the final image due to the assembly process, the graphics were printed on vinyl thanks to the help of a specialized local company, WeMakers, and the sponsorship from Leonardo. The whole printing and application process on the aircraft took about two days of work.

<img data-attachment-id="79599" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/05/16/up-close-with-the-italian-special-f2000-ntm-2022/ntm22_special_color_xii_gruppo_4/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/NTM22_Special_Color_XII_Gruppo_4.jpg" data-orig-size="1024,682" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"9","credit":"Stefano D'Urso","camera":"Canon EOS 80D","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1651752096","copyright":"Stefano D'Urso","focal_length":"53","iso":"100","shutter_speed":"0.004","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="NTM22_Special_Color_XII_Gruppo_4" data-image-description data-image-caption="

The tail of the special color.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/up-close-and-personal-with-the-italian-special-color-eurofighter-typhoon-for-ntm-2022-17.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/up-close-and-personal-with-the-italian-special-color-eurofighter-typhoon-for-ntm-2022-4.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79599″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/up-close-and-personal-with-the-italian-special-color-eurofighter-typhoon-for-ntm-2022-4.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”470″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/up-close-and-personal-with-the-italian-special-color-eurofighter-typhoon-for-ntm-2022-4.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/up-close-and-personal-with-the-italian-special-color-eurofighter-typhoon-for-ntm-2022-17.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/up-close-and-personal-with-the-italian-special-color-eurofighter-typhoon-for-ntm-2022-18.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/up-close-and-personal-with-the-italian-special-color-eurofighter-typhoon-for-ntm-2022-19.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/NTM22_Special_Color_XII_Gruppo_4.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

The tail of the special color.

This year’s edition of the multinational exercise, which is hosted by Hellenic Air Force 335 Mira (Squadron) for the first time since its NATO Tiger Association membership, is slated to go from May 9 to 20. The live-fly event will see more than 60 fighter jets, helicopters, Airborne Early Warning aircraft and 1,000 personnel from Allied and Partner Air Forces from across Europe working together daily.

“It is an honour for 335 Squadron to host the NATO Tiger Meet for the first time,” said Lieutenant Colonel Ntanos Ioannis, Officer Commanding 335 Squadron. “Conducting high intensity, joint training with colleagues from different nations is essential to sharpen our skills and build a collective understanding for the execution of air operations.”

Let’s not forget that this is the second multinational exercise hosted by Grece in a little more than a month, following the Iniochos 2022 exercise which lasted from March 28 to April 7. The exercise was held at Andravida airbase and, among the others, saw the participation of the Italian Air Force with a detachment of Tornado aircraft.

<img data-attachment-id="79600" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/05/16/up-close-with-the-italian-special-f2000-ntm-2022/ntm22_special_color_xii_gruppo_5/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/NTM22_Special_Color_XII_Gruppo_5.jpg" data-orig-size="1024,682" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"9","credit":"Stefano D'Urso","camera":"Canon EOS 80D","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1651751894","copyright":"Stefano D'Urso","focal_length":"15","iso":"200","shutter_speed":"0.0015625","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="NTM22_Special_Color_XII_Gruppo_5" data-image-description data-image-caption="

The special color as seen from above.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/up-close-and-personal-with-the-italian-special-color-eurofighter-typhoon-for-ntm-2022-20.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/up-close-and-personal-with-the-italian-special-color-eurofighter-typhoon-for-ntm-2022-5.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79600″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/up-close-and-personal-with-the-italian-special-color-eurofighter-typhoon-for-ntm-2022-5.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”470″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/up-close-and-personal-with-the-italian-special-color-eurofighter-typhoon-for-ntm-2022-5.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/up-close-and-personal-with-the-italian-special-color-eurofighter-typhoon-for-ntm-2022-20.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/up-close-and-personal-with-the-italian-special-color-eurofighter-typhoon-for-ntm-2022-21.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/up-close-and-personal-with-the-italian-special-color-eurofighter-typhoon-for-ntm-2022-22.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/NTM22_Special_Color_XII_Gruppo_5.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

The special color as seen from above.

This multinational environment provides a unique opportunity to all participants, offering high quality operational training under the concept ‘Train as you Fight’, improving tactics, techniques and procedures, and taking interoperability to the next level, while also tightening the bonds of friendship and promote the long living NATO Tiger Association’s traditions.

The first Tiger Meet dates back to 1961, when the 79th Tactical Fighter Squadron of the United States Air Force in Europe, the No.74 Squadron of the Royal Air Force and EC 1/12 Squadron of the French Armée de l`Air met at Woodbridge in England. The three squadrons had something in common, a tiger’s head in their squadron crest, which stands as a symbol of strength, speed and hunting prowess.

Due to the success of this first meet, it was decided that future meets would be held annually. At the second Tiger Meet, the squadrons formulated three aims which still remain valid to this day: the improvement of solidarity between NATO members; the creation and maintenance of team-spirit and camaraderie between the participating members; the exchange of experiences and cooperation in line with the military goals of NATO.

<img data-attachment-id="79601" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/05/16/up-close-with-the-italian-special-f2000-ntm-2022/ntm22_special_color_xii_gruppo_6/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/NTM22_Special_Color_XII_Gruppo_6.jpg" data-orig-size="1024,682" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"6.3","credit":"Stefano D'Urso","camera":"Canon EOS 80D","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1651778233","copyright":"Stefano D'Urso","focal_length":"24","iso":"1000","shutter_speed":"0.2","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="NTM22_Special_Color_XII_Gruppo_6" data-image-description data-image-caption="

A night photoshoot with the special color aircraft illuminated by the spotlights.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/up-close-and-personal-with-the-italian-special-color-eurofighter-typhoon-for-ntm-2022-23.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/up-close-and-personal-with-the-italian-special-color-eurofighter-typhoon-for-ntm-2022-6.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79601″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/up-close-and-personal-with-the-italian-special-color-eurofighter-typhoon-for-ntm-2022-6.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”470″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/up-close-and-personal-with-the-italian-special-color-eurofighter-typhoon-for-ntm-2022-6.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/up-close-and-personal-with-the-italian-special-color-eurofighter-typhoon-for-ntm-2022-23.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/up-close-and-personal-with-the-italian-special-color-eurofighter-typhoon-for-ntm-2022-24.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/up-close-and-personal-with-the-italian-special-color-eurofighter-typhoon-for-ntm-2022-25.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/NTM22_Special_Color_XII_Gruppo_6.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

A night photoshoot with the special color aircraft illuminated by the spotlights.

Since then, Tiger Meets evolved into a first-class military exercise where the participants fly Composite Air Operation (COMAO) missions encompassing the entire spectrum of military operations. Alongside low altitude flying, the emphasis is also placed on air to air refueling, air combat, the use of weapon ranges, etc.

The exchange of experiences between aircrews from different nations is not to be underestimated, with each squadron always trying to bring at least one two-seater aircraft to the Tiger Meet and trade backseat rides. These rides expose aircrews to the way things gets done by different nations, showing either different ways to perform the assigned missions among units flying the same aircraft or, if the units fly different aircraft, how to better integrate during joint missions.

The typical program of the 12 days NATO exercise, which generates not less than 800 flight sorties, starts with the arrival of the participants, briefings, familiarization flights and an opening ceremony were flags of all participating nations are raised. As we already mentioned, the exercise is also the right occasion to tighten social strengths between all participating units and, at the end of the first week, the Tiger Games, mainly a mix of fun and sports, are held.

<img data-attachment-id="79602" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/05/16/up-close-with-the-italian-special-f2000-ntm-2022/ntm22_special_color_xii_gruppo_7/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/NTM22_Special_Color_XII_Gruppo_7.jpg" data-orig-size="1024,682" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"7.1","credit":"Stefano D'Urso","camera":"Canon EOS 80D","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1651847210","copyright":"Stefano D'Urso","focal_length":"50","iso":"400","shutter_speed":"0.0003125","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="NTM22_Special_Color_XII_Gruppo_7" data-image-description data-image-caption="

The Eurofighters leaving their hangars as they prepare to deploy for the Tiger Meet 2022.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/up-close-and-personal-with-the-italian-special-color-eurofighter-typhoon-for-ntm-2022-26.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/up-close-and-personal-with-the-italian-special-color-eurofighter-typhoon-for-ntm-2022-7.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79602″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/up-close-and-personal-with-the-italian-special-color-eurofighter-typhoon-for-ntm-2022-7.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”470″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/up-close-and-personal-with-the-italian-special-color-eurofighter-typhoon-for-ntm-2022-7.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/up-close-and-personal-with-the-italian-special-color-eurofighter-typhoon-for-ntm-2022-26.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/up-close-and-personal-with-the-italian-special-color-eurofighter-typhoon-for-ntm-2022-27.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/up-close-and-personal-with-the-italian-special-color-eurofighter-typhoon-for-ntm-2022-28.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/NTM22_Special_Color_XII_Gruppo_7.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

The Eurofighters leaving their hangars as they prepare to deploy for the Tiger Meet 2022.

Usually, during flying days, in the morning most participants fly local missions among each other, also called Shadow Waves, while the afternoon is reserved for the COMAOs of increasing difficulty. Composite Air Operations cover a wide spectrum of the modern air warfare, such as Defensive/Offensive Counter Air, Air Interdiction, Dynamic Targeting, TST Targeting, Suppression – Destruction of Enemy Air Defense, APCLO, APCMO.

Due to the growing helicopter force within the NTA members and their heavy use in today’s conflicts, they are integrated within the COMAO mission as Forward Air Controllers, insertion and extraction of ground forces, support of Special Ops, Combat Search And Rescue and so on. Among the helicopters involved in these missions there are the Italian HH-212 and HH-101 and the Czech Mi-24 Hind attack helicopters.

At the end of the second week of the exercise, there is the traditional farewell party during which various awards are handed out, with the Silver Tiger Trophy being the most important one. During last year’s edition, which was held at Beja Airbase in Portugal, the 12° Gruppo won both the Silver Tiger Trophy and the Best Uniform trophy, while the Portuguese Esq 301, the hosting unit, won the Best Tiger Aircraft and Best OPS trophies.

<img data-attachment-id="79603" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/05/16/up-close-with-the-italian-special-f2000-ntm-2022/ntm22_special_color_xii_gruppo_8/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/NTM22_Special_Color_XII_Gruppo_8.jpg" data-orig-size="1024,409" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"7.1","credit":"Stefano D'Urso","camera":"Canon EOS 80D","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1651847435","copyright":"Stefano D'Urso","focal_length":"29","iso":"400","shutter_speed":"0.0004","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="NTM22_Special_Color_XII_Gruppo_8" data-image-description data-image-caption="

A wide angle view of the five aircraft ready to depart for Araxos.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/up-close-and-personal-with-the-italian-special-color-eurofighter-typhoon-for-ntm-2022-29.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/up-close-and-personal-with-the-italian-special-color-eurofighter-typhoon-for-ntm-2022-8.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79603″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/up-close-and-personal-with-the-italian-special-color-eurofighter-typhoon-for-ntm-2022-8.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”282″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/up-close-and-personal-with-the-italian-special-color-eurofighter-typhoon-for-ntm-2022-8.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/up-close-and-personal-with-the-italian-special-color-eurofighter-typhoon-for-ntm-2022-29.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/up-close-and-personal-with-the-italian-special-color-eurofighter-typhoon-for-ntm-2022-30.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/up-close-and-personal-with-the-italian-special-color-eurofighter-typhoon-for-ntm-2022-31.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/NTM22_Special_Color_XII_Gruppo_8.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

A wide angle view of the five aircraft ready to depart for Araxos.

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.

The Italian Air Force Has Unveiled A Eurofighter In New Special Color Scheme For NATO Tiger Meet 2022 825670622 173The Special Colored Eurofighter F-2000 parked before the particular welcome wall surface at Gioia del Colle Air Base, Italy.( Photo: Stefano D’Urso/ The Aviationist )The Special livery includes the White Tiger of the 351 ^ Squadriglia of the 12 ° Gruppo Caccia. On May 6, 2022, at Gioia del Colle Air Base, in southeastern Italy, house of the 36 ° Stormo (Wing ), the Italian Air Force introduced a Eurofighter Typhoon in Special Color plan that was gotten ready for this year’s version of the Tiger Meet, the global workout gone to by all the NATO flying devices that have a tiger as their symbol. 2 Italian systems typically participate in NTM: the 21 ° Gruppo(Squadron) of the 9 ° Stormo, based at Grazzanise, which flies HH-101 Caesar as well as HH-212 helicopters; and also the 12 ° Gruppo Caccia (Fighter Squadron) of the 36 ° Stormo, based at Gioia, which flies the Eurofighter Typhoon(F-2000 in conformity to Italy’s MOD Mission Design Series ). This year, just the 12 ° Gruppo will certainly go to the workout at Araxos Air Base, Greece. While the Squadron’s symbol does not include a tiger, among the subservient devices of the 12 ° Gruppo does: the 351 ^ Squadriglia (Flight) “Tigri Bianche” (White Tigers). The white tiger is included mainly on the black history of the airplane’s tail as well as wing, along with the armada’s symbol. The unique shade livery was maintained under covers up until the very first examination trip prior to the airplane was released to Araxos along with 4 various other Eurofighters. In 2015, the 12 ° Gruppo won the Silver Tiger Trophy, the reward for the device that differentiates itself amongst the various other individuals throughout the two-week workout. This year’s version is arranged to happen from May 9 to 20, with a loads systems welcomed and also several Hellenic Air Force systems sustaining the workout as exterior individuals. We will certainly release quickly a complete record regarding the very first trip of this Special Color airplane and also the separation for the workout, so remain tuned! Another sight of Special Color Eurofighter 2000 at Gioia del Colle Air Base.(Photo: Stefano D’Urso/ The Aviationist) About Stefano D’Urso Stefano D’Urso is a self-employed reporter and also factor to TheAviationist based in Lecce, Italy. A grad in Industral Engineering he’s additionally examining to accomplish a Master Degree in Aerospace Engineering. Digital Warfare, Loitering Munitions as well as OSINT strategies related to the globe of present disputes as well as army procedures are amongst his locations of knowledge.

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The Italian Air Force Has Unveiled A Eurofighter In New Special Color Scheme For NATO Tiger Meet 2022 825670622 173The Special Colored Eurofighter F-2000 parked before the particular welcome wall surface at Gioia del Colle Air Base, Italy.( Photo: Stefano D'Urso/ The Aviationist )The Special livery includes the White Tiger of the 351 ^ Squadriglia of the 12 ° Gruppo Caccia. On <a href="https://theaviationist.com/2021/05/05/ntm21/">May 6, 2022, at Gioia del Colle Air Base, in southeastern Italy, house of the 36 ° Stormo (Wing ), the Italian Air Force introduced a Eurofighter Typhoon in Special Color plan that was gotten ready for this year's version of the Tiger Meet, the global workout gone to by all the NATO flying devices that have a tiger as their symbol. 2 Italian systems typically participate in NTM: the 21 ° Gruppo(Squadron) of the 9 ° Stormo, based at Grazzanise, which flies HH-101 Caesar as well as HH-212 helicopters; and also the 12 ° Gruppo Caccia (Fighter Squadron) of the 36 ° Stormo, based at Gioia, which flies the Eurofighter Typhoon(F-2000 in conformity to Italy's MOD Mission Design Series ). This year, just the 12 ° Gruppo will certainly go to the workout at Araxos Air Base, Greece.
While the Squadron's symbol does not include a tiger, among the subservient devices of the 12 ° Gruppo does: the 351 ^ Squadriglia (Flight) "Tigri Bianche" (White Tigers). The white tiger is included mainly on the black history of the airplane's tail as well as wing, along with the armada's symbol. The <a href="https://theaviationist.com/2021/05/13/ntm-21-spotter-day/">unique shade livery</a> was maintained under covers up until the very first examination trip prior to the airplane was released to Araxos along with 4 various other Eurofighters.
In 2015, the 12 ° Gruppo won the Silver Tiger Trophy, the reward for the device that differentiates itself amongst the various other individuals throughout the two-week workout. This year's version is arranged to happen from May 9 to 20, with a loads systems welcomed and also several <a href="https://theaviationist.com/2022/04/11/iniochos-2022/">Hellenic Air Force systems sustaining the workout</a> as exterior individuals.
We will certainly release quickly a complete record regarding the very first trip of this Special Color airplane and also the separation for the workout, so remain tuned!
<a href="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Eurofighter_Special_NTM22_2.jpg"> Another sight of Special Color Eurofighter 2000 at Gioia del Colle Air Base.(Photo: Stefano D'Urso/ The Aviationist) About Stefano D'Urso Stefano D'Urso is a self-employed reporter and also factor to TheAviationist based in Lecce, Italy. A grad in Industral Engineering he's additionally examining to accomplish a Master Degree in Aerospace Engineering. Digital Warfare, Loitering Munitions as well as OSINT strategies related to the globe of present disputes as well as army procedures are amongst his locations of knowledge.

“The Special livery includes the White Tiger of the 351 ^ Squadriglia of the 12 ° Gruppo Caccia. On May 6, 2022, at Gioia del Colle Air Base>, in southeastern Italy, house of the 36 ° Stormo(Wing), […] The blog post The Italian Air Force Has Unveiled A Eurofighter In New Special Color Scheme<For NATO Tiger Meet 2022 showed up initially on The Aviationist.

The Italian Air Force Has Unveiled A Eurofighter In New Special Color Scheme For NATO Tiger Meet 2022 825670622 173

Eurofighter Special Color
The Special Colored Eurofighter F-2000 parked in front of the characteristic welcome particular at Gioia del Colle Air Base, Italy., the global workout participated in by all the NATO flying devices that have a tiger as their symbol. The white tiger is included mainly on the black history of the airplane’s tail and also wing, with each other with the armada’s symbol.(Photo: Stefano D’Urso/ The Aviationist)”data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/the-italian-air-force-has-unveiled-a-eurofighter-in-new-special-color-scheme-for-nato-tiger-meet-2022-5.jpg”data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/the-italian-air-force-has-unveiled-a-eurofighter-in-new-special-color-scheme-for-nato-tiger-meet-2022-2.jpg”course=”size-large wp-image-79548″src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/the-italian-air-force-has-unveiled-a-eurofighter-in-new-special-color-scheme-for-nato-tiger-meet-2022-2.jpg” alt size=”706″elevation=”470″srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/the-italian-air-force-has-unveiled-a-eurofighter-in-new-special-color-scheme-for-nato-tiger-meet-2022-2.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/the-italian-air-force-has-unveiled-a-eurofighter-in-new-special-color-scheme-for-nato-tiger-meet-2022-5.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/the-italian-air-force-has-unveiled-a-eurofighter-in-new-special-color-scheme-for-nato-tiger-meet-2022-6.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/the-italian-air-force-has-unveiled-a-eurofighter-in-new-special-color-scheme-for-nato-tiger-meet-2022-7.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Eurofighter_Special_NTM22_2.jpg 1024w”dimensions=”(max-width: 706px)100vw, 706px”> Another sight of Special Color Eurofighter 2000 at Gioia del Colle Air Base. Stefano D’Urso is a self-employed reporter and also factor to TheAviationist based in Lecce, Italy.

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
F-35 Iceland
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.

The Italian Air Force Has Carried Out Over Iraq Its Longest Sortie With The Eurofighter Typhoon

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The Italian Air Force Has Carried Out Over Iraq Its Longest Sortie With The Eurofighter Typhoon
Italian Eurofighter
An Italian Air Force F-2000A released to Kuwait.(Image credit rating: ItAF)The Italian Air Force F-2000s have actually effectively finished a +8- hr goal on behalf of the anti-Daesh union in Iraq and also Syria. On Apr. 14, 2022, throughout an objective on behalf of Operation Inherent Resolve(OIR), the U.S.-led international war ISIL in Iraq and also Syria, 2 Italian Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon airplane established a brand-new document for the solution, flying for greater than 8 hrs throughout an ISR (Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance) objective over Iraq: to day, the lengthiest functional trip for the Italian Typhoon fleet.

4 Eurofighter Typhoon jets, coming from the Aeronautica Militare (Italian Air Force) are presently released to Ali Al Salem Air Base (west of Kuwait City), Kuwait, considering that April 2021, to sustain Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR), the international war Daesh in Iraq and also Syria, as component of “Prima Parthica”, as the Italian Armed Forces procedure is referred to as at nationwide degree.

The F-2000A airplane (as the solitary seater Typhoons are marked by the Italian MOD Mission Design Series), run within the Task Group Typhoon under the Italian National Contingent Command– Air in Kuwait, and also execute Intelligence Surveillance and also Reconnaissance goals utilizing the Rafael RecceLite II shuck.

The Rafael Reccelite reconnaissance sheathing, incorporated on the Typhoon because 2015, is the Italian Air Force’s tactical shuck of selection to perform ISR objectives: the it is a Day/Night electro-optical shell able to supply real-time images collection. It is constructed from a maintained turret, solid-state aboard recorder that offers photo collections in all instructions, from high, tool and also reduced elevations. The Reccelite reconnaissance husk is utilized to transmit real-time video clip images by means of datalink to ground terminals as well as to ROVER (Remote Operations Video Enhanced Receiver) tactical receivers in a variety of regarding 100 miles.

Close up on the cabin of an Italian Typhoon.(ItAF)It’s not the very first time the Italian Typhoons release to Kuwait: throughout their previous scenic tour of obligation on behalf of OIR, from Mar. 26,
2019 to Aug. 12, 2020, the Italian Eurofighters were pointed at Ahmed Al Jaber airbase (situated to the south of Kuwait City). Various Other Italian Air Force possessions released to the area on behalf of OIR in the previous years have actually been the AMX as well as the Tornado. After the initial 6 months of their present scenic tour to Ali Al Salem, the Italian Typhoons had actually flown 1,000 trip hrs covering around 3,500 targets/points of rate of interest. The functional task brought out in assistance of OIR, the Italian Eurofighters consistently comply with the U.S. armed force throughout Joint Reconnaissance and also Close Air Support works out at the regional shooting array

, where they accept U.S. JTACs (Joint Tactical Attack Controllers). 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 and also review armed forces air travel blog sites. Because 1996, he has actually composed for significant around the world publications, consisting of Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, as well as lots of others, covering air travel, protection, battle, market, cyberwar, knowledge as well as criminal activity. He has actually reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia as well as Syria, and also flown numerous battle airplanes with various flying force. He is a previous 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a personal pilot as well as a grad in Computer Engineering. He has actually created 5 publications and also added to a lot more ones.

Hellenic Air Force Multinational Iniochos 2022 Exercise At Andravida Air Base

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Hellenic Air Force Multinational Iniochos 2022 Exercise At Andravida Air Base
Iniochos 22
One of the F-16I Sufa airplane of the IAF.(All pictures

: Alessandro Fucito)This year’s version of the Greek international workout saw the engagement of Israeli, Italian, French, Hellenic, Slovenian as well as U.S. possessions. Running in between Mar. 28 and also Apr. 8, 2022, the yearly Hellenic Air Force”Iniochos 22″ medium-scale workout held by the Hellenic Air Force at the centers of the ATC(Air Tactics Center)at Andravida Air Base, Greece, saw the engagement of allied airplane releasing to the Northwest Peloponnese from France, Greece, Italy, Israel, Slovenia as well as the United States. Amongst the airplane participating in Iniochos this year, there were likewise 11x F-16I Sufa coming from the 201 as well as 253 Sqn of the Israeli Air Force’s Sufa Division at Ramon Abdominal; 7x Tornado (4x IDS as well as 3x ECR variations) from the 6th Stormo, Italian Air Force, based in Ghedi abdominal muscle; 9x F-15E Strike Eagles coming from the 492nd as well as 494th Fighter Squadron of the 48th Fighter Wing from RAF Lakenheath, UK; 2x Slovenian PC-9M from the Air Force Military School at Letalska Sola; a Cypriot AW-139, in addition to a variety of F-16Cs, F-4Es, 6x Mirage 2000-5BGs coming from numerous armadas of the HAF.

U.S. Air Force Strike Eagle. HAF F-16 taxiing cab at Andravida abdominal muscle. The workout”consists of the complete range of objectives that sees teams running in a facility and also overloaded air setting. These consist of Air procedures versus an Integrated Air Defence System, Anti-Surface Warfare and also Combat

Search and also Rescue. Taking part employees are subjected to an extensive fight rhythm with tough situations with numerous modern-day hazards as well as real-time online injects which enhance interoperability, while developing a more powerful and also a lot more nimble Alliance,”states the NATO Allied Air Command workout. Mirage 2000-5BG Iniochos 22 consisted of Offensive Counter Air Operations(OCA), Air Defence Operations( ADO), Counter Surface Force Operations(CSFO)consisting of Air Power Contribution to Land Ops(APCLO)and also Air Power Contribution to Maritime Ops(APCMO), Reconnaissance objectives, CSAR(Combat SAR)and also High Value Airborne Asset Escort objectives. Particularly, the drills additionally focused on boosting multi-domain procedures on behalf of land and also maritime pressures. Because of this, the airplane educated along with the ships as well as airplane

that are running from the French and also the United States Navy Carrier Strike Groups presently released in the Ionian and also the Aegean Sea. HAF F-4E(AUP) “INIOCHOS 22 combines thousands of individuals in one-on-one rundown, debriefing and also preparation, therefore optimizing training advantages as well as advertising collaboration and also exchange of suggestions on techniques, in between individuals with various experience,”stated Brig. Gen. Nikoloas Kokkonis, Hellenic Air Tactics Center leader. Slovenian PC-9M Educating with allies as well as local companions permits integrated and also ready actions to local safety and security dangers globally backup procedures.”The workout subjects the individuals to a several risk atmosphere such as Anti-Access Area rejection, where lengthy array surface area based Air Defense Systems, 4th generation RED airplane and also Tactical Ballistics Missiles, develop a multi-layer difficulty for Allied pressures,”Kokkonis included. Italian Air Force”Tonka”with a GBU-32(V)/ B Joint Direct Attack Munition(JDAM). Not just were the going to airplane intriguing to the digital photographers and also watchmans that collected at Andravida abdominal for the workout: the existence of some fascinating site visitors, like the brand-new HAF Rafale F3-R boxer jets designated to the 332 MPK(Mira Pantos Kerou or All Weather Squadron)”Geraki”(Hawk). The airplane have actually shown up in Greece at the start of the year: the really initial set of 6 Rafales, 4 single-seat C-models and also 2 double-seat B-models, flew from Istres to Tanagra Air Base on Jan. 19, 2022, after their main handover in July 2021 One of”the single-seat Rafales at Andravida Abdominal throughout Iniochos 22 workout.” 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 well-known as well as check out armed forces aeronautics blog sites. Because 1996, he has actually created for significant globally publications, consisting of Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and also several others, covering air travel, protection, battle, sector, criminal activity, cyberwar as well as knowledge. He has actually reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia as well as Syria, as well as flown a number of fight aircrafts with various flying force. He is a previous 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, an exclusive pilot and also a grad in Computer Engineering. He has actually composed 5 publications and also added to much more ones.