New Eurofighter Typhoon Squadron activated at Trapani airbase, Italy

Although it has not (officially) received its first plane yet, the 18° Gruppo (Squadron) of the 37° Stormo (Wing) at Trapani airbase, in Sicily, is the more recent Italian Air Force unit to operate the Eurofighter Typhoon.

Last Squadron to operate the leased U.S. F-16 ADF fighter jets, returned last summer to the AMARG, the 18° Gruppo was initially destined to be disbanded, with Trapani planed to be “downgraded” to DOB (Deployment Operating Base) of the Typhoon fleet: in other words although not permanently hosting any active F-2000 squadron it would maintain trained personnel and equipments to support and handle cells of temporarily deployed Eurofighters.

However, the renewed role of Trapani airbase, strategically located in Sicily, few minutes flight time from North Africa, and a significant amount of available planes (96 between operative and on order ones) persuaded the Air Force to keep the 37° Stormo alive rendering its 18° Gruppo, the fifth Typhoon squadron of the Aeronautica Militare.

Filmed in the month of October, the following video shows the pilots of the 18° Gruppo closely working with the crews and IPs of the 4° Stormo, based at Grosseto, whose 20° Gruppo is the type’s Operational Conversion Unit, to convert to the new Gen. 4+ fighter plane.

The 18° Gruppo should officially be delivered its first plane on Oct. 18, 2012.

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.