Eurofighter Typhoons from the Italian Air Force will take over QRA duties in Bulgaria at Graf Ignatievo Airbase, close to the town of Plovdiv.
During their 3 months deployment, starting from July, the Italian Typhoons will patrol the Black Sea region as part of NATO's Southern Air Policing mission.
For the Air Defence mission the Typhoon can load two 1,000 litre drop-tanks, four Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missiles (ASRAAMs or IRIS-T), four AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAMs), and an internal Mauser BK-27 27 mm cannon.
NATO air policing missions carried out by Eurofighter so far include Albania, the Baltic states; Iceland; and Slovenia. These sit under the oversight and guidance of Allied Air Command (AIRCOM) at Ramstein in Germany, with two Combined Air Operations Centres (CAOCs) at Uedem in Germany and Torrejon in Spain executing the missions. Uedem covers northern Europe above the Alps, Torrejon is responsible for southern Europe below the Alps (including the Black Sea and the Mediterranean).
This is the first time Italian Air Force Eurofighter Typhoons have been in Bulgaria since 2013.
Eurofighter Typhoon is the most advanced new generation swing-role combat aircraft currently available on the world market. It boasts best-in-class combat effectiveness, that’s been amply demonstrated in numerous international tactical air combat training regimes including, ATLC, Red Flag, Green Flag, and Indradhanush.
Eurofighter Typhoon is Europe’s largest defence programme. 599 aircraft have been ordered by 8 nations (Italy, Germany, Spain, UK, Austria, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Kuwait), and 512 have been delivered to 7 nations (Italy, Germany, Spain, UK, Austria, Saudi Arabia and Oman).
The aircraft is continuing its capability development programme with the integration of new weapons and sensors to maintain its current performance edge for many years to come.