Italian Eurofighter Typhoon jets wilI carry out ISR (Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance) missions using the RecceLite pod.
Four Italian Air Force F-2000A jets are currently deployed to Ahmed Al Jaber airbase, Kuwait, to support the multinational campaign against Daesh in Iraq and Syria as part of “Prima Parthica”, as the Italian Armed Forces operation is dubbed at national level.
The Typhoons have replaced the four AMX that were deployed to Kuwait since Jun. 14, 2016: the TOA (Transfer Of Authority) between the personnel of the Task Forces occurred on Mar. 26, 2019. In little less than three years, the AMX ACOL jets have logged more than 6,000 FH.
What’s particularly interesting about the deployment is the role the Typhoons will carry out: Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance, a kind of mission that ratifies the fact that even the Italian Air Force considers the F-2000 a true multirole platform.
As you may remember, the Italians have started exploring the multirole capabilities of the Typhoons just recently: the ItAF Typhoon started the Operational Testing and Evaluation (OT&E) in the air-to-ground role in 2015. “Air superiority remains our primary mission,” told us Col. Enrico Pederzolli, then commander of 4° Stormo (Wing), in an exclusive interview. “However, last year, using the software releases that embed a significant air-to-surface potential we have started flying Swing Role missions with the aim to get a limited secondary air-to-ground capability.” Back then, the Italian Air Force did not plan to employ the Typhoon is the air-to-surface role except in particular scenarios: the swing role was being primarily developed to support the platform’s export capabilities and help the industry promoting the aircraft in particular regions. The deployment in support of OIR (Operation Inherent Resolve) in Syria and Iraq, marks a significant evolution for the Italian Typhoons that brings increased maneuverability, speed and operational ceiling to the theater.
The Italian Air Force’s tactical pod of choice to carry out ISR missions, is Rafael Reccelite reconnaissance pod, integrated on the Typhoon since 2015: the Reccelite is a Day/Night electro-optical pod able to provide real-time imagery collection. It is made of a stabilized turret, solid-state on board recorder that provides image collections in all directions, from high, medium and low altitudes.
The Reccelite reconnaissance pod is used to broadcast live video imagery via datalink to ground stations and to ROVER (Remote Operations Video Enhanced Receiver) tactical receivers in a range of about 100 miles.
The pod can also be carried by the Tornado IDS jet.
Also based in Kuwait as part of “Prima Parthica” are MQ-1C Predator A+ UAS from Amendola airbase and a KC-767 tanker belonging to the 14° Stormo from Pratica di Mare.