Air International 2007-06
R.Niccoli - New Capabilities for Italy's Tornados /Military/
Tornados first entered service with the Italian Air Force in August 1982 and are currently receiving mid-life upgrades to help keep the type combat effective until retirement in 2025. These two aircraft are from Ghedi-based 6“ Stormo.
One of weapons integrated onto the Tornado as part of the MLU work is the 2,000lb EGBU-24 Paveway III. The example in the foreground is based on a Mk.84 bomb, while the one in the background uses a BLU-109 body.
A photograph of the Italian Air Force personnel and Tornados that deployed to Overberg for the MLU weapons trials. A total of 30 missions were flown in South Africa by a joint team from the RSV and 154° Gruppo.
Italy also operates the ECR variant of the Tornado, which is used in the suppression of enemy air defences role. This aircraft is carrying a Highspeed Anti-Radiation Missile under the port wing, along with BOZ chaff and flare pods on the outer pylons. Under the fuselage are two fuel tanks. The ECRs are due to receive the full MLU upgrade around 2013-14.
This specially-painted 154” Gruppo aircraft was unveiled on April 26, 2007 during the squadron's annual reunion. The Tornado (MM.7006) was the first to be delivered by the unit on August 27, 1982, and received this unique livery to celebrate the type's 25th year of service with the Italian Air Force.
Pictured en route to South Africa are the three aircraft that were temporarily assigned to the RSV for the MLU trials at the Overberg range.
In the early 1990s the Italian Tornado fleet received the Thomson-CSF Combined Laser Designator Pod, an example of which is carried under the fuselage of this aircraft.
This Tornado is seen preparing to taxi for the only night mission of the Overberg deployment. It is carrying a Storm Shadow missile that was to undergo a test firing.