Italy deploys Eurofighter Typhoons for Red Flag-16
The Italian Air Force has deployed Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft for a national air-to-air combat training exercise, code-named Red Flag 16-1, at the Nellis Air Force Base (AFB) in Nevada, US, for the first time.
Eight Italian Eurofighter Typhoons are taking part in a series of exercises along with 76 other aircraft.
Designed to train pilots and other flight crew members from the US, Nato, and other allied countries for real air combat situations, the Red Flag 16-1 involved a battle space recreation to enable the air force personnel to display their abilities in a deployed scenario.
The three-week long exercise will witness participation from more than 130 aircraft and 3,000 aircrew, including air battle managers, intelligence and support staff.
The exercise is part of a series of advanced training programmes administered at Nellis AFB and on the Nevada Test and Training Range by organisations assigned to the US Air Force Warfare Center.
Divided into two teams, Blue Forces and Red Forces, the participants will perform counter air, precision strike and offensive air support in packages of up to 100 aircraft during each exercise.
Built by a consortium of Finmeccanica, Airbus Group and BAE Systems, the Typhoon's development is Europe's largest multinational military collaboration managed by the Nato Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency (NETMA).
Since 2003, a total of 444 Eurofighters have been delivered to Germany, the UK, Italy, Spain, Austria and Saudi Arabia.
Image: Italian Eurofighter Typhoons at Nellis. Photo: courtesy of Copyright Eurofighter.