Tag Archives: Iceland

The Italian Typhoons Have Deployed To Iceland To Take Over NATO’s Icelandic Air Policing Duty

For the third time, the Italian F-2000A jets have deployed to Keflavik to ensure the safety of Iceland’s airspace.

On Sept. 4, four Italian Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon jets deployed to Keflavik Air Base, Iceland, to contribute to NATO’s enforcement of Iceland’s sovereignty.

Over the next few weeks, the Italian pilots will undertake QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) duties, providing intercept capabilities for Iceland, a NATO ally that does not have a full range of air defence assets. Along with the standard air policing activities, the Italian Typhoons will also conduct joint training activities together with the Icelandic Coast Guard and the NATO Control and Reporting Centre.

This is the third time, after 2013 and 2017, the Italians deploy to Keflavik for NATO’s Icelandic Air Policing.

According to NATO, over the past ten years, nine Allies – Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Portugal and the United States – have deployed fighter aircraft on the mission in Iceland.

Over the last few years, the Italian Typhoons have contributed to the enhanced air policing across all Europe, including Bulgaria, Montenegro and the Baltic States. From January to April 2018, when four Italian F-2000 Typhoons were deployed to Amari, Estonia, as part of the Enhanced Air Policing North Baltic Eagle, the Italian Air Force was securing the airspaces of six nations [Italy, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Slovenia and Albania (on a rotational basis with effort shared with the Hellenic Air Force)]. A record within NATO.

Join the Swedish Air Force on a reconnaissance sortie with a Gripen during IAM2014

A series of photos will bring you aboard a Swedish Gripen during a IAM2014 mission over Iceland.

As we reported last week, from Feb. 3 to 21, Iceland Air Meet 2014 saw fighter planes from Sweden, Norway and Finland fly two to three daily waves in Iceland’s airspace, launching from Keflavik, the main operating base of the exercise.

The following photos, provided by the Swedish Air Force’s 212 Squadron, bring you aboard one of the seven JAS-39 Gripens the Swedish deployed to Keflavik, during some of the reconnaissance missions flown during IAM2014.

During such missions the Swedish Gripens carried the Reccelite pod as done during the Libya Air War in 2011 when the JAS-39 operated from Sigonella airbase in Sicily.

Colt 21 linedup

“Colt 21” flight of two lined up on runway 11 for take-off.

Colt 21 enroute

“Colt 21” heading for the CAP (Combat Air Patrol) station over the Atlantic after topping off the tanks with Swedish C-130 tanker “Esso 32”.

IAM2014 formation

A 3-ship formation with a Gripen as the leader, overhead Keflavik.

Snickers

Time for some snacks!

Image credit: Swedish Armed Forces, 212 Fighter Squadron

 

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These are the first images of the Italian Typhoons providing NATO air defense capability to Iceland

As explained on a previous post, on Jun. 11 (a day after it was originally planned), Italian Eurofighter with 4°, 36° and 37° Stormo (Wings)  deployed to Keflavik Airbase, Iceland to provide a NATO air defense capability to the Northern European country that does not operate autonomous airspace surveillance aircraft.

“Operation Icy Skies” includes maintenance and support personnel as well as air defence controllers from GRCDA (Air Surveillance Squadron), 21st and 22nd Radar Squadron, respectively, based in Poggio Renatico (Ferrara), Poggio Ballone (Grosseto)  e Licola (Naples), that provide reporting and control services and airspace surveillance services within the Iceland AOR (area of responsability).

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The Italian involvement in Iceland’s air defense is a clear example of the new NATO strategic concept that encourages asset and cost sharing, as well as capability pooling.

Two KC-767A aerial tankers (MM62227 and MM62228) ferried the Italian Typhoons to Iceland on 11 June, in two flights; both departed the following day.

The following images were taken by Eggert Norðdahl at Keflavik, as the Typhoons (F-2000A according to the Italian Mission Design Series) performed the first orientation and dedicated training sorties required for the subsequent NATO validation of the Italian Air Force assets.

F-2000 ground

Image credit: Eggert Norðdahl

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Italy’s Typhoon fighter jets secure airspace of Iceland

On Jun. 10, six Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets of the Italian Air Force deployed to Iceland to provide air policing of the airspace around the northern European island.

Supported by two KC-767A aerial refuelers and a C-130J cargo plane, the Italian jets will provide QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) duties for the NATO from Keflavik airbase.

About 150 military deployed to Iceland within Operation Icelandic Air Policing 2013.

The Italian Air Force, that already provides air policing of Slovenia and Albania airspaces, will take over the control of the airspace in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia in January-April 2015.

Image credit: The Aviationist/Alessandro Fucito

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Photo: C-17 creates a huge cyclonic twist during NASA test

There’s a certain interest in technologies capable to detect volcanic ash in flight since, in April 2010, the European airspace was almost paralyzed as a consequence of the eruption of the volcano Eyjafsallajokull, in Iceland.

Many airports were closed and thousands commercial flights cancelled whereas, on Apr. 15, melted ash was found on the inside surfaces of some Finnish Air Force F-18 Hornets  involved in a training mission few hours before the imposition of airspace restriction caused by the huge ash cloud.

Volcanic ash is extremely dangerous for both propeller and jet aircraft: volcanic dust is extremely fine and can easily invade the spaces between rotating machinery and jam it; furthermore, the silica melts at about 1.100° C and fuses on to the turbine blades and nozzle guide vanes (another part of the turbine assembly) which in modern aircraft operate at 1.400° C, with catastrophic effects.

When a volcano erupts, training activities are postponed, exercises are cancelled or scaled-down, but security air traffic, such as air policing and Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) sorties must be flown. With some risks.

That’s why, as done by other companies and air forces, NASA has partnered with the U.S. Air Force and Pratt & Whitney to develop and test technology for improved sensors that can detect changes in vibration, speed, temperature and emissions which are symptomatic of engine glitches and can alert pilots to the presence of destructive volcanic ash particles, before the engine is damaged.

During one of these health monitoring tests, water was intentionally sucked by a U.S. Air Force C-17 (tail #87-0025) with the impressive results you can see in the image below.

Next step is to “inject” cereal and crayons in the engines: they will leave a colorful trail of grains and wax that can be studied to evaluate if the sensors work properly.

Image credit: NASA / Tony Landis