The tour brought the Italian jets belonging to the Reparto Sperimentale Volo (Italian Air Force Test Wing) and the Frecce Tricolori display team to Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait.
With the display of the T-346A Master and Eurofighter F-2000A of the 311° Gruppo (Squadron) of the Reparto Sperimentale Volo (RSV – Test Wing) and the grand finale with the 10x MB.339A/PAN of the Frecce Tricolori, the Aeronautica Militare (Italian Air Force), has completed its tour of the Middle East.
The tour, sponsored by Leonardo company, has brought the Italian jets to Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait, promoting the Italian aerospace and capabilities across the Persian Gulf region.
It was also the very first time the T-346 took part in such a long trip. The Master pilots, belonging to the RSV and the 212° Gruppo of the 61° Stormo (Wing) from Lecce, have flown from Pratica di Mare to Al Udeid, Qatar, along with two F-2000A jets, thanks to the support of a KC-767 tanker from the 14° Stormo: five aerial refuelings and 6 flying hours were required to move the aircraft to Qatar non-stop.
The first part of the tour saw the Italian aircraft take part in an air show over Doha on Nov. 10 and 11 but, during their stay in Qatar, the RSV also carried out demo and orientation flights for the Qatar Emiri Air Force and Qatar Air Academy aircrews.
From Nov. 14-16, the Frecce Tricolori display team attended the “Bahrain International Air Show”: it was the very first time since it was formed in 1961, that the Italian team flew to Bahrain.
The last leg of the tour reached Kuwait City where the airshow opened the Italian week in Kuwait organised by the local Italian Embassy. The event was also attended by the Italian Air Force Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Alberto Rosso, who was involved in bilateral talks with the Kuwait’s Army Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Mohammed Khaled Al Khader and the Air Force Commander Maj. Gen. Tayyar Adnan Al-Fadhli.
The main topic of the talks was jet training: Kuwait is among the partner nations represented at the 61° Stormo, the international Flight School based in Lecce Galatina, southeastern Italy where, next week, some Kuwaiti students will graduate “Military Pilots” after a training process that included flying with the T-346A LIFT (Lead-In to Fighter Trainer), one of the world’s most advanced jet trainers, selected by Italy, Poland, Israel and Singapore for advanced pre-operative training.
Image credit: Troupe Azzurra Italian Air Force