Air International 2007-09
D.Carrara, P.Stevens - Italy on Typhoon Alert /Military/
Four-hundred-hour maintenance inspections of F2000s are carried out at Cameri in northern Italy, while less intensive work is undertaken at Grosseto, where these two aircraft are pictured. The arrival of the Air Force's newest fighter led to the implementation of a new system where aircraft are not allocated to a particular squadron, but rather to a maintenance unit on each base that generates sufficient airworthy aircraft to meet the flying schedule.
Italy has stated that it intends to buy 121 Eurofighter F2000s and to date 23 aircraft have been delivered. These aircraft are operated by IX" and XX" Gruppo, part of 4” Stormo, and are based at Grosseto.
Italy's Air Force was first to approve its F2000s to stand quick reaction alert duty. Since December 16, 2005 the type has been on alert and has helped to protect a number of high profile events such as the Winter Olympic Games in February 2006. These two aircraft are carrying AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles.
A 4° Stormo F2000 just prior to touchdown at Decimomannu during Exercise Spring Flag in May 2007, with Italian Air Force AMXs awaiting departure and a Hercules in the distance. This F2000 is carrying an IRIS-T air-to-air missile, which is undergoing operational testing and will replace the Sidewinder.
Of the 15 two-seat trainers that the Italian Air Force has indicated it requires, eight have been delivered to date. XX" Gruppo is the operational conversion unit for the type and thus makes regular use of this variant.