Italian Eurofighters Complete ‘Typhoon Flag 2024’

Typhoon Flag
An F-2000 of the 9° Gruppo (Squadron) takes off for a mission. (All images credit: Stefano D’Urso / The Aviationist)

The three-week exercise was preparatory for Red Flag Alaska 24-1 and also saw the participation of the F-35 fleet.

The Italian Air Force successfully completed Exercise “Typhoon Flag 2024”, the main national exercise of the Italian Eurofighter Typhoon fleet. The exercise ended on March 29 at Gioia del Colle Air Base, after three weeks of training which involved aircraft, pilots and personnel from all the Wings equipped with the Typhoon.

As we mentioned in our report last week, this year’s edition allowed the participants to train for the forthcoming Red Flag – Alaska 24-1, one of the two most important exercises of the year for the Italian Eurofighter fleet (the other being Ex. Pitch Black in Australia). The exercise will see the return of the Italian Air Force in Alaska after the last participation in 2010, when Tornado IDS and ECR took part in the Red Flag – Alaska 10-3.

“Typhoon Flag 2024” involved eight F-2000As (as the single seater Typhoons are designated in Italy in accordance with the MOD’s Mission Design Series), which were deployed to Gioia del Colle, and four F-35s of the 6° and 32° Stormo (Wing), flying from their home base. A Gulfstream E-550A CAEW (Conformal Airborne Early Warning) and a KC-767A, assigned to the 14° Stormo, supported the exercise.

Similarly to other Large Force Employment (LFE) exercises hosted recently in Italy, like the NATO Tiger Meet 2023 last year, the areas assigned to the exercise spun from Apulia to the Tyrrhenian Sea and gave the participants ample space to train on all assigned tasks. Specifically, the exercise used the large airspace over the Tyrrhenian Sea east of Sardinia and the Salto di Quirra ranges, as well as the airspace over the Ionian Sea and the Puglia, Calabria and Basilicata regions.

A 10° Gruppo pilot salutes the spotters while taxiing to the runway.

The service confirmed that the Salto di Quirra Joint Range has been activated for the exercise, simulating highly representative and complex operational scenarios. Also, the Mobile Command and Control Unit has been deployed to Gioia del Colle with an operations room to monitor and manage the flight missions.

An F-2000 of the 18° Gruppo departs for an afternoon mission.

The exercise has the goal of consolidating the standardization of all units flying with the Eurofighter while developing new Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures related to the new P2E(b) – Phase 2 Enhancement bravo – software and the new weapons. The standardization among the different units is crucial to take part in NATO missions as part of a Task Force with mixed aircrews.

A Typhoon from the 12° Gruppo returns from a training mission.

Typhoon Flag allows pilots to train in all mission sets of the Eurofighter Typhoon, including both air-to-air and air-to ground, such as Defensive Counter Air (DCA), Offensive Counter Air (OCA) and Swing Role. In addition to that, aircrews practiced cooperation between 4th and 5th generation assets thanks to the presence of the F-35.

Two Typhoons lining up on the runway, ready to takeoff.
About Stefano D'Urso
Stefano D'Urso is a freelance journalist and contributor to TheAviationist based in Lecce, Italy. A graduate in Industral Engineering he's also studying to achieve a Master Degree in Aerospace Engineering. Electronic Warfare, Loitering Munitions and OSINT techniques applied to the world of military operations and current conflicts are among his areas of expertise.