Italian Eurofighter Typhoons escorted the hijacked plane and handed over to the French Air Force because the Swiss Air Force was outside working hours.
On Feb. 17, an Ethiopian Boeing 767 from Addis Abeba to Rome Fiumicino was hijacked by the copilot while the pilot was in the toilet, and eventually landed at Geneva airport.
The aircraft, flying as ET 702 was escorted on its route by two Eurofighter Typhoons of the 36° Stormo on QRA (Quick Reaction Alert).
The two F-2000s (this is the designation of the Typhoon within the Italian Air Force) were scrambled from Gioia del Colle, in Southeastern Italy, where 36° Stormo’s 12° and 10° Gruppo (Squadron) are based. Once in the air within the standard 15-minute timeframe, the two armed fighter jets headed westbound, vectored by the Air Defense Radar to intercept the hijacked plane.
The two Typhoons reached the Boeing 767 off Sicily, identified and shadowed it along its way across the Italian airspace.
When the Ethiopian flight reached the boundaries of the French airspace it was handed over to the French Air Force. whose Mirage fighter jets escorted it until landing in Geneva: noteworthy, the hijacked liner was accompanied until landing by the French jets because instead of Swiss interceptors because the entire interception took place early in the morning, outside the working hours (08.00 – 12 and 13.30 – 17.00) of the Swiss F-18 Hornets!
If you plan to attack Switzerland, opt for non-working hours.
World Economic Forum 2014, in Davos, from Jan. 22 to 25, was secured by a complex airspace surveillance operation.
As happened in the last years, both the Austrian Air Force and the Swiss Air Force contributed to the security of the international conference held in Switzerland.
As part of what was dubbed “Operation Daedalus 2014″, Austrian Eurofighter Typhoons as well as Swiss F/A-18 Hornets and F-5E Tigers flew daily missions to enforce a No-Fly Zone over the famous ski resort in the Alps.
Dealing with the Typhoons, the Austrian Air Force is equipped with 15 examples which have gone through a planned upgrade programme and are equipped with performance-enhanced hardware and software (“Tranche 1″ aircraft). The Austrian fighter jets involved in WEF Air Defense operated from Zeltweg airbase.
For what concerns the Swiss contribution, each year one of three main air bases in Switzerland (Payerne, Sion and Meiringen) is selected to host the assets involved in WEF air defense activities.
This year Sion got the task to host the armed Hornets and Tigers.
Interestingly, even an F-5 in the Swiss display team “Patrouille Suisse” livery was committed to the “Operation Daedalus 2014″.
The exercise, organized and conducted by the 414th Combat Training Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base and on the Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR), a military training area of more than 12,000 square miles of airspace and 2.9 million acres of land where about 2,000 possible targets and anti-aircraft systems are dispersed to simulate a realistic battlefield, aims to train pilots from the U.S. and allied air forces to operate, survive and win together in a modern war.
Around 150 aircraft are scheduled to attend this year’s first Red Flag that, as usual, will feature two daily “waves” lasting up to five hours. Once again, along with the most important U.S. assets, including the F-22 Raptor stealth fighters and F-15E Strike Eagles, Nellis Air Force Base is hosting some allied contingents.
Among them, the Royal Australian Air Force, withi its F-18s and E-7, as well as the Royal Air Force with the Tornado GR4s from 9 Sqn at Marham, one E-3D Sentry from 8 Sqn at RAF Waddington and Eurofighter Typhoons FGR4s from 6 Squadron based at RAF Leuchars that will operate in the swing role.
Image credit: U.S. Air Force / RAF Crown Copyright
This video, that is particularly interesting because it is commented “live” by the pilot Flight Lieutenant Jamie Norris, 2013 Royal Air Force Typhoon Display Pilot, is currently showing at the London Science Museum.
The first flight took place at the Manching Military Air Systems Center, north of Munich, and involved Instrumented Production Aircraft 7 (IPA7), flown by Eurofighter Project Pilot Chris Worning.
Taurus KEPD 350 is a German/Swedish missile that is manufactured by Taurus Systems GmbH, a partnership between MBDA Germany and Saab Dynamics. The missile has a range of +500 kilometres (300 mi), a speed of Mach 0.8-0.9 and stealth features.
The first flight came after the successful ground tests and taxi tests; the flying activities, taking place within the Storm Shadow integration program, will focus on flutter tests, air data system large store interference assessment and aerodynamic data gathering.
According to Airbus Defense and Space (a newly formed division of Airbus Group combining the business activities of Cassidian, Astrium and Airbus Military) concurrent testing of the two similar missiles “optimises the Storm Shadow integration and facilitates the future airframe integration of Taurus.”