Tag Archives: Decimomannu

These are the most awesome pictures of Italy’s largest military exercise

As already explained in the report about the Air-to-Air Refueling mission we took part,  Ex. Star Vega is this year’s largest Italian exercise.

Centered on two Main Operating Bases, Decimomannu and Trapani, were the tactical planes were based; Star Vega 2013 saw the participation of all the types of assets of the Italian Air Force, including the C-130J and C-27J cargos from Pisa, the KC-767s from Pratica di Mare; and the Italian UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) from Amendola.

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The following images were taken by Alessandro Caglieri and Gian Luca Onnis at Decimomannu airbase where the attack planes were based.

Tornado ECR of the 50° Stormo from Piacenza:

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Star Vage 2013 AC_68

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Tornado IDS of the 6° Stormo, from Ghedi:

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AMX of the 51° Stormo, from Istrana:

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Lockheed Martin “Dragon Star” Airborne Multi-Intelligence Laboratory (more on this platform will be published in a future piece):

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C-27J of the 46^ Brigata Aerea from Pisa:

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Image credit: Alessandro Caglieri and Gian Luca Onnis

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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.


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