The Italian Air Force is deploying four more Eurofighter Typhoons to Romania to support NATO’s enhanced Air Policing.
“Beginning tomorrow Italy will strengthen the its presence in Romania, doubling the number of aircraft already supporting the Air Policing mission” Italy Minister of Defense Lorenzo Guerini said. In other words, four additional Eurofighter Typhoon jets will deploy to Mihail Kogalniceanu airbase bringing to 8 the total number of Italian Air Force fighters supporting NATO’s eAPA-S (Enhanced Air Policing Area South).
“Italy is contributing with speed and confidence to the decisions taken within NATO, and yesterday the government approved a series of significant measures
which provide for the strengthening of the military posture on the Eastern Flank of NATO as a result of the unacceptable and unjustified Russian aggression to Ukraine.”
In fact, the Italian Air Force took over the leading role of the eAPA-S from the Royal Canadian Air Force on Dec. 15, 2021. Since the detachment has started the QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) service in Romania, the Italians have carried out a whopping 14 scrambles to respond to unknown aircraft approaching or skirting NATO airspace. The aircraft, under NATO command, are frequently launched to establish CAP (Combat Air Patrol) over the Black Sea and perform VIDs (Visual Identifications) of non-NATO aircraft approaching the alliance’s airspace.
Under the lead of the 36° Stormo (Wing), the Task Force Black Storm is supported by personnel from all the Italian Air Force air defense wings: the 4° Stormo from Grosseto, the 36° Stormo from Gioia del Colle, the 37° from Trapani and the 51° from Istrana.
After a decree approved the deployment of additional aircraft, the Italian Government is working on a new measure that could be coming in the next few days that would give the go ahead to the delivery of material that allows the Ukrainians to defend themselves from the Russian attack. According to the Italian media outlets, the list of aid (that would include anti-tank weapons, anti-aircraft weapons and machine guns) is being defined in these hours and before it is sent to the Kyiv, it will be discussed in the Parliament.
The delivery of military aid would align Italy to the position already taken by other states of the European Union, which have already supplied Ukraine with weapons and equipment.
Meanwhile, the Government has already given the green light to the delivery of “non-lethal” materials that will be supplied to Kyiv “free of charge”. These are “equipment for the individual protection and more in general for the protection of the civilian population from the effects of the ongoing conflict”, including helmets and bulletproof vests but also Counter-IED technology for the detection of explosive devices as well as demining systems, material worth 12 million Euro.