Photo: This is what being intercepted inside a No-Fly Zone by an F-16 fighter jet looks like

Aug 11 2012 - 1 Comment

I took the following picture few years ago while flying a so-called SMI (Slow Mover Interception) exercise from Trapani airbase, in Sicily, Italy.

On board a slow moving Siai 208 single engine light plane, whose task was to simulate a renegade aircraft violating a No-Fly Zone guarded by F-16 fighter jets on CAP (Combat Air Patrol).

The two Italian Air Force F-16 ADFs, intercepted us at 3,000 feet over the sea between the northeast coast of Sicily and Favignana island, using their APG-66 radars, and escorted us outside the (fictional) NFZ.

Here’s what I saw from the right hand seat as the fighters (belonging to the Trapani-based 18° Gruppo) moved from the astern to the abeam position.

Small planes violate temporary restricted airspace quite often in the U.S. and they get intercepted by USAF F-16s and F-15s.

The Italian Air Force has recently returned its Libya Air War veteran F-16s leased from the U.S. The 18° Gruppo at Trapani, is about to get its first Eurofighter Typhoons.

  • E B

    What did the Italian AF pilots think of the F-16 ADF, enjoy flying it? Any current legacy pilots that will have been on active duty on all three platforms, from the F-104S to the Eurofighter?