Tag Archives: Royal Air Force

RAF Jaguar confiscated by the Italian Customs in Ancona

On Feb 6, a RAF Jaguar, was found by the Italian Guardia di Finanza in the Ancona harbour and blocked before being embarked on board a cargo ship with destination Patras, in Greece. The aircraft was not concealed, it was simply covered with cloth and divided into two parts: fuselage and wings. Although the aircraft should be destinated to a Museum or a private collection, it was blocked pending further investigation on the accompanying documentation by the Ministry of Defense. In fact, it is not the first time that Ancona is used as a port of call for a variety of weapons trafficking and the Italian authorities will have to shed light on the “mysterious” Jaguar. Since the aircraft seems to be perfectly airworthy the investigators will have to verify the actual purpose of the shipment and the authorizations provided by the Greek carrier. Wearing the markings of the 41 Sqn (as you can see from the picture published on the website of the Resto del Carlino newspaper: http://ilrestodelcarlino.ilsole24ore.com/ancona/2009/02/06/149691-caccia_bombardiere.shtml), according to some sources, the aircraft should be the XZ355/FJ stored after retirement at RAF Coltishall.
The 16(R) and 54 Squadrons disbanded in 2005, the 41(F) Squadron in 2006, 6 Squadron was expected to operate the Jaguar until Oct 31 2007 but the last operative sorties of the RAF Jaguars took place at Coningsby on Apr 30, 2007.

International Fighter 2008

On Nov. 5 and 6, the Istituto di Scienze Militari Aeronautiche (ISMA), Italian Air Force Institute of Military Aeronautical Sciences in Florence, as part of the celebrations for the 70th anniversary of the institute, will host the International Fighter 2008 conference. This event is the only one in Europe dedicated to the analysis of air defence and strike fighter developments around the world and it is specifically tailored for both the Military and Industry representatives. The main themes deals with the Next Generation Fighter Capabilities and Upgrades (how the various nations are equipping aircraft currently in serive to face the new generation threats, how they are going to upgrade aircraft equipments and airframes to enhance air-to-air and strike capabilities, how the 5th generation systems are going to redefine the concept of multi-role aircraft) and the fighter requirements. In particular, this year’s edition of the conference include:

  • Canadian Forces’ Next Generation Fighter Capability
  • Royal Danish Air Force programme and requirements for replacing the in-service F-16 aircraft
  • Romanian Air Force replacement plans for the MiG-21
  • Swiss Armed Force’s New Fighter Aircraft programme designed to replace the F-5E Tiger fleet

Exclusive updates on the following programmes will be provided:

  • Swedish Air Force’s Gripen NG
  • US Navy’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet
  • Polish Air Force’s F-16 Fighting Falcon
  • MiG-35 Fighter
  • F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter
  • Romania’s MiG-21
  • Italian Air Force’s Eurofighter Typhoon
  • Royal Air Force’s Eurofighter Typhoon

Other discussed topics are the challenges faced by the USAF bringing the 5th Generation F-22A Raptor into service with the Langley-based 1st Fighter Wing and how the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNlAF) F-16s have been employed as the Air Task Force of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

For more information, you can visit the following website http://www.site-members.com/EventWebsites/11610.002/index.html
or http://www.aeronautica.difesa.it/SitoAM/Default.asp?idsez=3314&idente=458

RAF Typhoons deployed to Grosseto

Four RAF Typhoons belonging to the 29 Sqn OCU of Coningsby are currently deployed to Grosseto to operate with the F-2000 of the 20° Gruppo OCU of the Aeronautica Militare. Adriano Bonelli took the following pictures on Jul 8 while the Eurofighters were returning to base after an air-to-air training mission in one of the operating areas used by the 4° Stormo.




A RAF C-130 intercepted by 2 ItAF F-16s

On June 20, a RAF C-130 flying from Lyneham to Cyprus, was intercepted by a flight of 2 F-16s of the 37° Stormo. The British aircraft had lost the radio contact with the Italian Air Traffic Control and, consequently, the COFA (Comando Operativo delle Forze Aeree)/CAOC 5 at Poggio Renatico ordered the “scramble” of the Southern QRA based in Trapani to intercept the aircraft. The two fighters, departed at 13.11L, reached the British Hercules over Rosarno (Reggio Calabria), Southern Italy, visually identified and escorted it until 13.34L when they were cleared to RTB (Return To Base). In the meanwhile, the C-130 had been able to established again a positive radio contact with the ATC and was cleared to destination via FPL (Flight Plan) route.
It was the 6th scramble of the 2008, a routine Air Defense mission that from the beginning of the year is flown again by two aircraft on H24 alert (for a certain period, the Air Defense duties involved only a single fighter for the Northern QRA and another one for the Southern one).
Unlike it happened some years ago (in the F-104 era during the Cold War), when there were many bases sharing the QRA duties in Northern and Southern Italy (at the end of the ’80s they were: Istrana, Cameri, Rimini, Grosseto, Grazzanise, Gioia del Colle, Trapani and Sigonella, where a cell was deployed on rotation) the current Italian Air Defense set up foresees two QRA (Norther and Southern), each made of a flight of 2 fighters ready for departure in 15 minutes: 2 fighters in either Grosseto (9° Gruppo, equipped with the F-2000 Typhoon) or Cervia (23° Gruppo, equipped with the F-16ADF); and 2 aircraft in Trapani (where two Squadrons share the alert shifts, the 10° and 18° Gruppo). It is still unclear how the Air Defense configuration will change in the 2009-2010 period, when the ItaF will leave Cervia and Trapani with the disbandment of both the 23° and 18° Gruppo and the relocation of the 10° Gruppo to Gioia del Colle. According to the current plans, there will only be two Eurofighter MOBs (Main Operating Bases) fulfilling the Air Defense duties with the Typhoon: Grosseto (9° Gruppo and 20 OCU) and Gioia del Colle (12° and 10° Gruppo).


Spotter Day 90th Anniversary 23° Gruppo – Cervia 20.06.08

The following aircraft were noted during the Spotter Day held in Cervia on June 20, to watch the arrivals of the Italian and foreign squadrons invited by the 23° Gruppo to celebrate its 90th Anniversary.
Here’s the log of the activity:

AT-21 Alpha Jet BAF but flown by EC2/8 of the FAF crews
AT-23 Alpha Jet BAF but flown by EC2/8 of the FAF crews
135 Red L-39 2 Sqn HuAF
C.14-38 14-20 Mir F.1 Esc 141 SpAF
C.14-10 14-05 Mir F.1 Esc 141 SpAF
E-180 F-16A-MLU Esk 727
ET-199 F-16B-MLU Esk 727
XX285 Hawk 100 Sqn RAF Special markings 90th Anniversary
XX284/CA Hawk 100 Sqn RAF
89-2047 F-16CG 510FS
89-2018 F-16CG 510FS
MM54514 “61-64” MB.339A 213 Gr
MM7059 “50-47” Tornado ECR 155 Gr
MM7078 “36-30” Tornado 156 Gr
MM7080 “6-33” Tornado 102 Gr Special Colour
MM6940 “5-30” F-104ASA-M preserved
MM7169 “51-66” AMX 132Gr
MM7239 F-16ADF 23 Gr
MM7251 F-16ADF 23 Gr Special Colour
MM7252 F-16ADF 23 Gr
MM7259 F-16ADF 23 Gr
MM7262 F-16ADF 23 Gr
MM7269 F-16B 18 Gr
MM7273 “36-02” F-2000 12 Gr
MM61970 “5-55” S208M 605SC
MM81343 “15-31” HH-3F 83 CSAR