The Italian Air Force has received the Tornado IS86 (MM 7087) from Alenia Aeronautica, the series-lead of 15 aircraft envisaged by the Air Force’s IT Basic Full MLU (RET 7) retrofit contract.

The RET 7 programme, involving the second tranche of airplanes due to undergo retrofitting, is part of the mid-life upgrade (MLU) development programme.

The RET 7 contract has introduced night-vision goggle capability, emergency locator transmitter, multi-mode receiver and the multi-information distribution system, allowing the aircraft to operate in a net-centric manner.

The new MLU Tornados are capable of operating more effectively in support of out-of-area operations, fully integrating with the allied reconnaissance forces and air reaction.

The shipment of the last unit is scheduled to take place by the end of the first semester of 2012.