The Italian Air Force Has Carried Out Over Iraq Its Longest Sortie With The Eurofighter Typhoon

Italian Eurofighter
An Italian Air Force F-2000A deployed to Kuwait. (Image credit: ItAF)

The Italian Air Force F-2000s have successfully completed a +8-hour mission in support of the anti-Daesh coalition in Iraq and Syria.

On Apr. 14, 2022, during a mission in support of Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR), the U.S.-led multinational campaign against ISIL in Iraq and Syria, two Italian Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft set a new record for the service, flying for more than 8 hours during an ISR (Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance) mission over Iraq: to date, the longest operational flight for the Italian Typhoon fleet.

Four Eurofighter Typhoon jets, belonging to the Aeronautica Militare (Italian Air Force) are currently deployed to Ali Al Salem Air Base (west of Kuwait City), Kuwait, since April 2021, to support Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR), 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 F-2000A aircraft (as the single seater Typhoons are designated by the Italian MOD Mission Design Series), operate within the Task Group Typhoon under the Italian National Contingent Command – Air in Kuwait, and carry out Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance missions using the Rafael RecceLite II pod.

The Rafael Reccelite reconnaissance pod, integrated on the Typhoon since 2015, is the Italian Air Force’s tactical pod of choice to carry out ISR missions: the it 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.

Close up on the cockpit of an Italian Typhoon. (ItAF)

It’s not the first time the Italian Typhoons deploy to Kuwait: during their previous tour of duty in support of OIR, from Mar. 26, 2019 to Aug. 12, 2020, the Italian Eurofighters were stationed at Ahmed Al Jaber airbase (located to the south of Kuwait City). Other Italian Air Force assets deployed to the region in support of OIR in the past years have been the AMX and the Tornado.

After the first 6 months of their current tour to Ali Al Salem, the Italian Typhoons had flown 1,000 flight hours covering approximately 3,500 targets/points of interest. Besides the operational activity carried out in support of OIR, the Italian Eurofighters regularly cooperate with the U.S. military during Joint Reconnaissance and Close Air Support exercises at the local firing range, where they cooperate with U.S. JTACs (Joint Tactical Attack Controllers).

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.