Tag Archives: Eurofighter Typhoon

F-35 arrival at NAS Patuxent River after first transatlantic crossing B-roll and pilot interview

Interesting video with pilot interview provides some interesting details about the F-35’s first transatlantic crossing.

On Feb. 5, the Italian Air Force’s first F-35, dubbed AL-1 and serialled MM7332 (with code “32-01” and markings of the 32° Stormo – Wing)  landed at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Mariland, at the end of the JSF’s first ever transatlantic flight.

The aircraft was piloted by one of the two ItAF test pilots, belonging to the Reparto Sperimentale Volo (Test Wing) from Pratica di Mare, who successfully completed the training at Luke AFB in November last year.

The following B-roll (H/T to @JamesDrewNews) shows the aircraft, landing at Pax River along with one of the supporting KC-767s (the F-35 was supported by 2x KC-767s, 2x C-130Js and 2x Typhoons).

After chasing the F-35 for most of its transatlantic flight, the two-seater Typhoon and its own supporting KC-767 landed at Pease ANGB, in New Hampshire, from where they will fly to Nellis AFB, in Nevada, in anticipation of the first participation of the Italian Typhoons to a Red Flag exercise.

Interestingly, the F-35 refueled 7 times from Italy to the U.S. and most of the refueling took place in bad weather: nevertheless, there were no problems nor disconnection as the F-35 is extremely stable (so as the KC-767).

 

The Italian Air Force has successfully accomplished the F-35’s first transatlantic crossing

The Italian Air Force made the history by successfully accomplishing the F-35’s first transatlantic crossing.

On Feb. 5, the first Italian Air Force F-35, the first JSF built outside the U.S., landed at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Mariland, at the end of a 7-hour transatlantic flight from Lajes Air Base, in Portugal.

The aircraft, dubbed AL-1 and serialled MM7332 departed from Cameri on Feb. 3 and was scheduled to land in the U.S. on the following day but the trip was delayed due to strong winds over the Atlantic Ocean.

The aircraft was piloted by one of the two ItAF pilots who successfully completed the training at Luke AFB last year.

F-35 ground

F-35 left side

The aircraft arrived at Pax River, where it will be involved in testing activities before moving to Luke Air Force Base, was accompanied by two KC-767 tankers, two C-130Js for logistical and SAR support, and one two-seater Eurofighter Typhoon acting as chase plane. One of F-2000B remained at Lajes as spare, and will wait until all return from the States within a couple of days (except for the JSF).

C-130J

Typhoon B

Typhoon B 2

The pictures in this post show the formation arriving a Lajes: noteworthy, the stopover marked the first landing of an F-35 in Portugal.

Image credit: APS – Associação Portugal Spotters

 

Stratospheric selfie in a Eurofighter Typhoon

Here’s what it looks like to fly at stratospheric altitudes in a modern combat plane.

Taken with a GoPro camera on Jan. 28, this photo shows what it is like when you are in a Eurofighter Typhoon of the Italian Air Force flying at about 46,000 feet during a 4 vs 3 supersonic training mission of the 9th Gruppo (Squadron) belonging to the 4th Stormo (Wing) from Grosseto.

I will soon write a detailed report, with plenty of pictures, about the mission I took part (in the lead aircraft of the “Red Air”), for the moment here’s just a shot from the backseat of the F-2000B about to “commit” for another air-to-air engagement!

 

GoPro video: aboard French Rafale dogfighting alongside RAF Typhoons and US F-22s during TrilatEx

Join a French Air Force Dassault Rafale during a Trilateral Exercise sortie.

Underway from Dec. 2 to 18, the inaugural Trilateral anti-access/area denial exercise sees U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor, Royal Air Force Eurofighter Typhoons and French Air Force Dassault Rafale, teaming to improve the way allied air forces can fight in a highly-contested scenario made of layered long-range air defenses (like the super-Missile Engagement Zone established by the Russians in Syria…)

The TrilatEx also features some Red Air forces, i.e. “Bad Guys” in the form of U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles and the Langley-based T-38 Talons that always train against the Raptor stealth fighter).

Note: the Rafales operate without external fuel tanks, that would limit the maximum load factor to 5.5 g, moreover, during the engagements, one of the French “omnirole” planes can be seen releasing flares to deceive a (simulated) IR-guided air-to-air missile.

Here are some interesting details about RAF Tornados first air strike on ISIS in Syria

RAF Tornados, supported by Voyager tanker and a Reaper UAV, have extended the UK’s airstrikes to Syria.

Hours after the UK parliament approved to extend the airstrikes to include Syria, Royal Air Force Tornado attack planes, deployed to Akrotiri, Cyprus, flew their first raid on terrorist targets inside Syria, early in the morning on Dec. 3.

The Tornados, supported by a Voyager tanker and a Reaper drone, dropped their Paveway IV guided bombs against six targets on an oilfield at Omar, “one of the ISIS’s largest and most important oilfields,” according to the MoD.

The six British “Tonkas” committed to Operation Shader flew their first mission against ISIS on Sept. 27, 2014 destroying the first ISIS target, a “technical” (an armed pick-up truck), in Iraq, on Sept. 30. Since then the RAF Tornado jets, have carried out hundreds of strike (and armed reconnaissance) missions against Daesh targets.

Although the payload may vary according to the type of mission the RAF Tornado GR4s have often carried a mixed load out with a single rack of three Brimstones and two Paveway IV 226kg bombs along with the Rafael Litening III targeting pod.

The Brimstone, is a fire-and-forget anti-armour missile, optimized for use against fast-moving platforms, first fielded during 2008 after an urgent operational requirement and used on the RAF Harriers during operations over Afghanistan.

With a warhead of 9 kg and a range of 7.5 miles, the Brimstones are an extensive redevelopment of the AGM-114 Hellfire and can be used on fast jets, helicopters and UAVs. They use a millimeter wave (mmW) radar seeker with a semi-active laser (SAL) that enables final guidance to the target by either the launching platform or another plane, and are perfect to destroy a vehicle with very low collateral damage risk, and an accuracy of about 1 – 2 meters. That’s why these small guided missiles have become the RAF weapons of choice since the Air War over Libya back in 2011.

Interestingly, one of the 8 RAF Tornados deployed at Akrotiri could be regularly tracked online during its transit from Cyprus to Iraq via Israel, Jordan, accompanied by a Voyager tanker: the example #ZA556 (the only “visible” aircraft in a formation of at least two planes) can be often spotted on Flightardar24.com as it flies into Israel, then into the Jordanian airspace before turning its transponder off to enter the Iraqi airspace.

Here are some of the latest logs:

With the air strikes now covering both Iraq and Syria, the UK has reinforced its contingent at Akrotiri with 10 Tornados and 6 (+3 spares) Eurofighter Typhoon, that have arrived in Cyprus on Dec. 3. The Typhoon FGR4 multirole planes (with their squadron markings stripped off..) belong to the Tranche 2: they can drop Paveway LGBs, but neither the Brimstones nor Storm Shadows yet.

RAF Marham depart Syria

Image credit: Crown Copyright