Italian Eurofighter Units Gather For ‘Typhoon Flag 2024’ Exercise

Italian Eurofighter Units Gather For ‘Typhoon Flag 2024’ Exercise


An F-2000 of the ten° Gruppo takes off for a morning mission. (All pictures credit score: Stefano D’Urso / The Aviationist)

The train precedes the deployment of the Storm fleet to Crimson Flag – Akaska within the U.S.

The Italian Air Power is at the moment conducting Train “Storm Flag 2024”, from March 11 to 29, at Gioia del Colle Air Base, house of the 36° Stormo (Wing). In comparison with the earlier years, this yr’s version of Storm Flag was moved up because it was additionally practical to the Crimson Flag – Alaska train, one of many two most necessary workouts of the yr for the Italian Air Power Eurofighter fleet (the opposite being Ex. Pitch Black in Australia).

On Mar. 20, 2024, we took half within the second Spotters’ Day of “Storm Flag 2024” hosted by Gioia del Colle Air Base. Throughout the occasion we had the possibility to witness the flight operations all through a whole day and seize the images and movies you could find on this article.

F-2000As (as the one seater Typhoons are designated in Italy in accordance with the MOD’s Mission Design Collection – the two-seaters are designated TF-2000A) belonging to the 4° (from Grosseto), 36°, 37° (from Trapani) and 51° Stormo (from Istrana) flew collectively throughout each day advanced missions. All squadrons had been represented in the course of the train: 9° and 20° (TF-2000) Gruppo from Grosseto, 10° and 12° Gruppo from Gioia del Colle, 18° Gruppo from Trapani and 132° Gruppo from Istrana.

Typhoon Flag 2024
A Storm from 18° Gruppo lands on the finish of its coaching mission. 

Some missions additionally noticed the participation of the F-35s of the 32° Stormo from Amendola, to enhance the cooperation between 4th and fifth technology property. Supporting property had been represented by a KC-767 tanker, offering Air-to-Air Refueling, and a G550 CAEW (Conformal Airborne Early Warning), offering AEW-BM&C (Airborne Early Warning – Battlefield Administration and Communication), each belonging to the 14° Stormo.

Equally to different Giant Power Employment (LFE) workouts hosted just lately in Italy, just like the NATO Tiger Meet 2023 final yr, the areas assigned to the train spun from Apulia to the Tyrrhenian Sea and gave the members ample house to coach on all assigned duties. Particularly, the train used the massive airspace over the Tyrrhenian Sea east of Sardinia and the Salto di Quirra ranges, in addition to the airspace over the Ionian Sea and the Puglia, Calabria and Basilicata areas.

A pilot board its Storm assisted by the bottom crew earlier than a mission.

The train has the purpose of consolidating the standardization of all items flying with the Eurofighter whereas creating new Ways, Strategies, and Procedures associated to the brand new P2E(b) – Section 2 Enhancement bravo – software program and the brand new weapons. For an occasion, final yr the precise purpose of the drills was to develop – in a simulated means – superior ways for the use of the MBDA Meteor missile.

Actually, the brand new weapon is about to be launched in service, with the primary section of the Operational Testing and Analysis (OT&E) marketing campaign completed in late 2023. The marketing campaign additionally noticed the participation of the Weapons Instructors from the operational squadrons, whose expertise is being shared with the youthful pilots throughout every version of Storm Flag.

A Storm of the 132° Gruppo takes off within the afternoon.

The standardization among the many completely different items is essential to participate in NATO missions as a part of a Job Power with blended aircrews. Actually, the Italian Air Power usually deploys plane, aircrews and maintainers from all Storm items in Kuwait in support of Operation Inherent Resolve and within the Baltic area or Jap Europe in assist of the NATO Air Policing missions.

Two F-2000s taxi to runway.

We witnessed this interoperability in the course of the Spotters’ Day, with aircraft and pilots from different units launching collectively not solely as half as the identical mission bundle, but in addition as a part of the identical flight. Actually, except few missions scheduled exterior the train, all four-ship flights we noticed departing included plane from as much as three completely different squadrons.

An F-2000 of the 12° Gruppo takes off in entrance of the crowded flight line.

Storm Flag permits pilots to coach in all mission units of the Eurofighter Storm, together with each air-to-air and air-to floor, corresponding to Defensive Counter Air (DCA), Offensive Counter Air (OCA) and Swing Role. The employment of the weapons was simulated, with no precise ordnance (each actual and inert) launched at any level and the plane flying of their typical configuration with two exterior gas tanks and the Litening concentrating on pod, along with a captive IRIS-T missile.

A pilot performs pre-flight checks forward of a mission.

The F-35s participation to the train was additionally proven on the official patch of Storm Flag 2024, which featured each an F-2000 and an F-35. The fifth gen fighters, nonetheless, didn’t deploy to Gioia del Colle, flying as a substitute instantly from their home base in Amendola, which is positioned simply 72 nm (about 130 km) north-west of Gioia del Colle.

A Storm assigned to the 9° Gruppo departs for a day mission.

As we talked about earlier, Storm Flag additionally serves as a “warm-up” earlier than the Italian Air Power deploys to Alaska, the place it’s going to participate within the Crimson Flag – Alaska 24-1 train from April 18 to Could 3. The final time the service took half within the train was in 2010 when the service deployed there 12 Twister IDS and ECR plane for Red Flag – Alaska 10-3.

The final Crimson Flag train with Italian property was Red Flag 20-2 at Nellis Air Power Base, Nevada, which noticed the deployment of F-35s, F-2000s and a G-550 CAEW. Though solely the Storm’s participation has been acknowledged thus far, it’s doable an identical detachment will likely be deployed to Alaska, as already introduced for Pitch Black later this yr, anticipated to run from July 15 to August 1.

A pilot leaves his plane to the palms of the bottom crew after touchdown.

Stefano D’Urso is a contract journalist and contributor to TheAviationist primarily based in Lecce, Italy. A graduate in Industral Engineering he is additionally finding out to attain a Grasp Diploma in Aerospace Engineering. Digital Warfare, Loitering Munitions and OSINT strategies utilized to the world of army operations and present conflicts are amongst his areas of experience.


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