Tag Archives: Decimomannu

Flying activity at one of the busiest airbases in Europe

With several European air forces forced to ground squadrons, reduce flying activity (with significant impact on their preparedness to react to the surge of Russian air force bombers and spyplanes missions) and cut hours destined to the aircrew training just like happening in the U.S. as a consequence, of sequestration cuts, there are few airbases where aircraft enthusiasts can still spot some intense flying activity (but the few that are hosting a large exercise).

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One of them is Decimomannu airbase, in Sardinia, where aircraft belonging to several Italian and foreign services (including U.S. ones, sporadically) deploy to undertake air-to-air and air-to-surface live firing activities.

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Few weeks ago, we published the images of the Eurofighter Typhoons belonging to all the Italian Air Force squadrons equipped with the European fighter jet, deployed at “Deci”.

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The images in this post, taken by The Aviationist’s contributors Gian Luca Onnis and Alessandro Caglieri, show some of the aircraft recently deployed in the Sardinian base.

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Noteworthy, along with the Italian Air Force AMX and German Air Force Tornado fighter bombers, Decimomannu has hosted in April the last detachment of the WTD-61’s F-4 Phantoms.

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The F-4 is going to be retired by the GAF later this year.

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Image credit: Gian Luca Onnis, Alessandro Caglieri

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All Italian Air Force’s Eurofighter Typhoon units simultaneously deployed to Decimomannu

Eurofighter Typhoons, belonging to the 4°, 36° and 37° Stormo (Wing), the Italian Air Force units equipped with the European fighter jet recently deployed to Decimomannu to undertake air-to-air combat training.

The Typhoon currently equips 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.

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Considered that the 18° Gruppo, from Trapani airbase, was the last squadron to be equipped with the Typhoon, previously flying U.S. F-16s, this is the very first time that F-2000s (that’s the designation used by the Aeronautica Militare) belonging to three different Wings are simultaneously deployed to “Deci” for joint ACMI (Air Combat Maneuvering Installation) drills.

It’s also safe to believe that some Instructor Pilots of the OCU accompanied the front-line fighter pilots in Sardinia, making the deployment the first to feature not only all the Wings but also all ItAF squadrons flying the Typhoon.

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Noteworthy, one of the aircraft involved in the deployment suffered a landing incident on Mar. 1, 2013.

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Gian Luca Onnis took the interesting pictures of the Typhoons operating from Decimomannu airbase that you can find in this post, including that of a 18° Gruppo F-2000A with the traditional checkered tail.

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Image credit: Gian Luca Onnis

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[Photo] An unusual visitor at Decimomannu airbase: German Air Force A319CJ

The image below, taken by Alessandro Caglieri on Jan. 29, depicts the German Air Force Airbus A319CJ “15+01” landing at Decimomannu airbase, Italy.

The VIP aircraft, one of the two such planes in service with the Luftwaffe, is an unusual visitor for the base, which regularly hosts Eurofighter Typhoon, Tornado and Phantom jets involved in air-to-air and air-to-ground training activity in the Sardinian ranges.

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Image credit: Alessandro Caglieri

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Photo: NATO E-3A AWACS landing at dusk

Taken at Decimomannu, Sardinia, Italy, where the plane was temporarily based, the following picture shows a NATO E-3 AWACS returning from a local sortie on Oct. 18.

Image credit: Giovanni Maduli

M-346 advanced combat trainer flying with a pair of Sidewinder air-to-air missiles

Taken at Decimomannu airbase last week, the following picture shows an M-346 “Master” advanced combat trainer with two dummy AIM-9L Sidewinder air-to-air missiles at the wing tip launchers.

Serialled CP X617, the first IPA (Initial Production Aircraft) is involved in a testing campaign which follows the one conducted last April at Decimomannu airbase when the aircraft flew with BRD (Bombs and Rocket Dispencer) for Mk-106s thin-cased cylindrical bombs used to simulate the high-drag (retarded) Mk-82 Snakeye bombs.

The M-346 has been selected by the Italian Air Force, the Republic of Singapore Air Force and  the Israeli Air Force that will use the “Master” to replace the A-4 Skyhawks.

[Read also: Here’s the M-346 in Israeli Air Force colors]

Image credit: Gianni Maduli