Tag Archives: Austrian Air Force

Swiss Hornets and Austrian Typhoons provide Davos World Economic Forum 2017 Air Cover

Swiss F-18 Hornets and Austrian Eurofighters provided Davos World Economic Forum 2017 Air Defense.

From Jan. 16 to 20, Swiss and Austrian Air Force jets contributed to the security of the WEF international conference at Davos, Switzerland.

This year’s Swiss Air Force MOB (Main Operating Base) was Sion airbase, in southwestern Switzerland, with Meiringen airfield being its alternate.

The Aviationist’s contributor Alessandro Fucito went to Sion and took the stunning photographs in this post.

The Hornet jets taking part in the air policing missions to enforce the NFZ (No Fly Zone) over Davos carried 2 live AIM-9X Sidewinders at the wingtips and either two live AIM-120 AMRAAM (Advanced Medium Range Air to Air Missiles) or one AIM-120 and the ATFLIR (Advanced Targeting Forward Looking Infra Red) pod, particularly useful to perform long-range visual IDs (as shown by the U.S. Navy in Syria…)

All the Hornets had the text “STBY 121.5” message on their 1,200 lt centerline external fuel tank: a message to any intercepted aircraft to switch their radio to the international VHF emergency frequency 121.5 MHz to get instructions from the interceptor and the air defense radar.

Although several F-5E Tigers from Fliegerstaffel 19 operated from Sion during WEF, unlike the past years, neither of these seemed to carry live AIM-9P Sidewinder IR-guided AAMs (Air-to-Air Missiles) at the wingtips meaning that they were either flying with their 20mm gun only or were not actively taking part in the air cover of the Davos conference.

Dealing with the Austrian Air Force, the Eurofighter Typhoons based at Zeltweg (and usually deployed to Innsbruck to fly air policing missions with a single IRIS-T missile and two fuel tanks), supported the WEF 2017 air cover as part of this year’s airspace security operation dubbed “Daedalus 17.”

Image credit: Alessandro Fucito



Eurofighters invade Sardinia: 40 Austrian, German and Italian Typhoons at Decimomannu

More than 40 Typhoons belonging to three European Air Forces have deployed to Decimomannu airbase in the last few weeks to take advantage of the local ACMI (Air Combat Maneuvering Installation) ranges.

Since mid June, more than 40 Eurofighter Typhoons belonging to the German, Italian and Austrian Air Force have deployed to Decimomannu airbase, in Italy, to undertake training activities in the large training ranges surrounding Sardinia island.

Typhoon take off

Decimomannu is the home of the AWTI (Air Weapons Training Installation) established 55 years ago by the NATO partnership of Italy, Germany, Great Britain and Canada. The AWTI exploits an ACMI (Air Combat Maneuvering Instrumentation) range where air-to-air missions and DACT (Dissimilar Air Combat Training) are remotely monitored and recorded, and an air-to-ground bombing range at Capo Frasca, where pilots can train dropping both dumb and smart weaponry.

GAF Typhoon take off

Currently, the base is mainly used by the aircraft belonging to the Italian and German Air Force but it often hosts aircraft of other air forces involved in training campaigns and multinational exercises.

Two seat Typhoon take off

From Jun. 12 to 26 the Luftwaffe deployed 23 Typhoons (including four two-seaters) from Taktisches Luftwaffengeschwader 73 “Steinhoff” from Laage. Some 8 Typhoons are still operating from “Deci.”

GAF Typhoon landing

Along with the GAF Typhoons, BAE and GFD deployed two A-4 Skyhawks (N431FS white and N262WL camo) and two Learjets (Learjet 31A and Learjet 35A) to support the firing training of the Eurofighters.

Typhoon two seat close up

Flying with the AACMI (Autonomous ACMI) pods, the Germans have conducted Combat Air Patrol, air interception and aerial combat training, operating also with the Italian Typhoons.

Typhoon lineup

From Jun. 12 to Jul. 3, Italian Air Force has deployed 13 Typhoons belonging to the 4°, 36° and 37° Stormo (Wing) – the units of the Aeronautica Militare equipped with the European fighter jet – to undertake air-to-air combat training.

This was not the first time the Italian Air Force simultaneously deployed all its currently equipped squadrons to Deci: last year the 9° Gruppo (Squadron) and 20° OCU (Operational Conversion Unit) of the 4° Stormo at Grosseto, the 10° and 12° Gruppo of the 36° Stormo at Gioia del Colle and the 18° Gruppo of the 37° Stormo at Trapani took advantage of the ACMI range to improve their skills in the air defense field.

ItAF Typhoon lined up for take off

Five Austrian Typhoons are currently based at Deci. The aircraft, belonging to the Austrian Air Surveillance Wing from Zeltweg, have arrived on Jul. 9.

Austrian Typhoon

The Aviationist’s contributor Alessandro Caglieri has visited the airbase several times during the last few weeks, taking all the photographs you can find in this post.

Austrian Typhoons landing

All images by Alessandro Caglieri



Davos’s World Economic Forum Air Defense

World Economic Forum 2014, in Davos, from Jan. 22 to 25, was secured by a complex airspace surveillance operation.

As happened in the last years, both the Austrian Air Force and the Swiss Air Force contributed to the security of the international conference held in Switzerland.

As part of what was dubbed “Operation Daedalus 2014”, Austrian Eurofighter Typhoons as well as Swiss F/A-18 Hornets and F-5E Tigers flew daily missions to enforce a No-Fly Zone over the famous ski resort in the Alps.

Dealing with the Typhoons, the Austrian Air Force is equipped with 15 examples which have gone through a planned upgrade programme and are equipped with performance-enhanced hardware and software (“Tranche 1” aircraft). The Austrian fighter jets involved in WEF Air Defense operated from Zeltweg airbase.

WEF 2014 (Eurofighter in Austria - Lake and Snow)

For what concerns the Swiss contribution, each year one of three main air bases in Switzerland (Payerne, Sion and Meiringen) is selected to host the assets involved in WEF air defense activities.

This year Sion got the task to host the armed Hornets and Tigers.

WEF 2014 Tiger

Interestingly, even an F-5 in the Swiss display team “Patrouille Suisse” livery was committed to the “Operation Daedalus 2014”.

WEF 2014 Tiger PS

Top image credit: Eurofighter. All other images credit: Giorgio Varisco


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Austrian Eurofighter Typhoons equipped with latest capability standard for Tranche 1 aircraft

All the Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft in service with the Austrian Armed Forces have been upgraded and equipped with enhanced hardware and software capability.

The aircraft were upgraded within a two-year program that saw the 15 Austrian Typhoons receive the Service Release Proposal 4.3 standard software, as well as new radios, GPS (Global Positioning System) and IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) systems.

The Austrian Air Force’s fighter jets are used for air defense purposes, with a Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) cell ready to scramble for air-policing purposes at Zeltweg airbase.

Since delivery of the first Eurofighter to Austria in July 2007, the 15 Austrian Typhoons have logged more than 5,000 out of a overall +200,000 flying hours accumulated by the whole Eurofighter fleet of six countries (Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Spain, Austria and Saudi Arabia).

Image credit: Eurofighter

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Eurofighter Typhoon takes the stage at the Zeltweg airshow among several interesting participants

On Jun. 28 and 29 Zeltweg airbase hosted Air Power 2013, Austria’s main air show.

Even if several planes took part in the airshow, the Eurofighter Typhoon emerged as the highlight of this year’s Air Power.

Indeed, a Typhoon belonging to the Austrian Air Force performed a solo display; then, two Austrian Eurofighters performed a simulated alert take off to intercept a C-130; finally, four Typhoons belonging to four different Air Forces were in static display.

Zeltweg 2013 Airshow II Giorno 161

One was an Italian F-2000A (as the fighter is called according to the Italian Mission Design Series) of the 37° Stormo from Trapani; another one belonged to the Austrian Air Force; a third one was an FGR.4 of the RAF 3rd Squadron based at RAF Coningsby; and the fourth one was a Spanish twin seater Eurofighter of the Ala 11 of the Ejercito de l’ Aire (Spanish Air Force) form Morón Airbase .

Static Display

Image credit: Elio Taraborelli

Typhoon aircrews were particularly chatty: so, whereas the Italian Typhoon driver explained that “The F-2000A is a stunning air to air platform” the RAF pilot said that the fighter “is equally capable in both air-to-air and air-to-ground roles, an absolutely lethal aircraft.”

Zeltweg 2013 Airshow II Giorno 015

Still, maybe the most interesting chat was with the Spanish pilots who said that “when strictly compared to the EF-18 (the Spanish version of the F/A-18 Hornet) the Typhoon has got a better radar with greater range and a far superior thrust of its engines, which make of the Eurofighter a really badass fighter.”

Although the Typhoons of several European air forces took the stage, other interesting aircraft took part in the Air Power airshow; among them, the SAAB Gripen, the Soko G-2 Galeb, the Su-22 Fitter and the only flying Italian MB-326 warbird.

All images by The Aviationist’s photographer Alessandro Fucito, unless stated

Zeltweg 2013 Airshow II Giorno 207

Zeltweg 2013 Arrivi & Prove 033

Zeltweg 2013 Arrivi & Prove 088

Zeltweg 2013 Arrivi & Prove 003

Written with David Cenciotti

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