As explained on a previous post, on Jun. 11 (a day after it was originally planned), Italian Eurofighter with 4°, 36° and 37° Stormo (Wings) deployed to Keflavik Airbase, Iceland to provide a NATO air defense capability to the Northern European country that does not operate autonomous airspace surveillance aircraft.
“Operation Icy Skies” includes maintenance and support personnel as well as air defence controllers from GRCDA (Air Surveillance Squadron), 21st and 22nd Radar Squadron, respectively, based in Poggio Renatico (Ferrara), Poggio Ballone (Grosseto) e Licola (Naples), that provide reporting and control services and airspace surveillance services within the Iceland AOR (area of responsability).
The Italian involvement in Iceland’s air defense is a clear example of the new NATO strategic concept that encourages asset and cost sharing, as well as capability pooling.
Two KC-767A aerial tankers (MM62227 and MM62228) ferried the Italian Typhoons to Iceland on 11 June, in two flights; both departed the following day.
The following images were taken by Eggert Norðdahl at Keflavik, as the Typhoons (F-2000A according to the Italian Mission Design Series) performed the first orientation and dedicated training sorties required for the subsequent NATO validation of the Italian Air Force assets.
Image credit: Eggert Norðdahl