Italian Air Force start the year with record in operational availability

The Grosseto based 4th Air Wing of the Italian Air Force got off to a flying start this January by setting a new record. The wing achieved 200 sorties and amassed 260 flying hours in January, 130 of which were accomplished during the last week of the month.

These facts are tangible proof that the two Squadrons of the Grosseto' 4th Stormo have successfully brought the operational availability of their Typhoons up to a very high level. This has largely been attributed to the effective integration of the 904th GEA, Gruppo Efficienza Aeromobili, the unit that has the responsibility to keep the Grosseto’s Typhoons operational at the higher level, with the flying Squadrons. Colonel Achille Cazzaniga, 4th Stormo Wing Commander, expressed his satisfaction concerning this month’s achievements. He stressed how impressed he was by both the unconditional availability of the Eurofighter Typhoon and the motivation of the personnel. The 4th Stormo is made up by the 9th Squadron, which fly the Eurofighter Typhoon in air policing and on Quick Reaction Alert duty, and of the 20th Squadron, which is the operational conversion unit for all Italian Air Force Typhoon pilots. The 4th Air Wing was the first Italian Air Force unit to receive the Typhoon in 2004. On the 21st of June 2009, the Air Wing obtained NATO’s certification to accomplish out-of-area missions in support of peace within the NATO Response Force and last October reached the impressive milestone of 10,000 flying hours.

Background information:

Eurofighter Typhoon is the world's most advanced new generation real multi-role/swing-role combat aircraft available on the market and has been ordered by six nations (Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, Austria and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia). With 707 aircraft under contract, it is Europe’s largest military collaborative programme and delivers leading-edge technology, strengthening Europe’s aerospace industry in the global competition. More than 100,000 jobs in 400 companies are secured by the programme. Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH manages the programme on behalf of the Eurofighter Partner Companies: Alenia Aeronautica/Finmeccanica, BAE Systems, EADS CASA and EADS Deutschland, Europe’s foremost aerospace companies with a total turnover of approx. €88 billion (2008). Attached is a photograph of Italian Eurofighter Typhoon Jets (Photo copyright: Italian Air Force).