The Italian Air Force (Aeronautica Militare) has deployed four fighter jets to conduct air defence training with Standing Nato Maritime Group Two (SNMG2).

The training programme was carried out in the Mediterranean Sea.

During the exercise, two Italian Eurofighters were assigned to play a friendly role. They provided defence to the SNMG2’s maritime units.

The airforce deployed two Tornado aircraft in attack role. The Tornados carried out different attacks by simulating missile profiles or bombers.

SNMG2 commander rear admiral Manuel Aguirre Aldereguía said: “The assets provided for the air defence exercise were outstanding, challenging my team and providing valuable training as well as a unique opportunity to improve interoperability between allies.”

SNMG2 is one of the two standing frigate groups of Nato and comprises two task units.

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The multinational integrated maritime force offers high readiness capability to the Nato Response Force.

The first unit is made of the ESPS Cristobal Colon and replenishment ship ESPS Patino. The other task unit includes the FGS Brandenburg and Turkish and Greek patrol boats.

The second unit is deployed in the Aegean Sea to aid the efforts of the international community in controlling the illegal traffic of people.

Prior to the air defence exercise, SNMG2 was involved in training activities with other Allied navies in the Mediterranean.

Last week, the Italian Air Force’s F-35A and F-35B aircraft operated in ‘beast mode’ for the first time.