Eurofighter Typhoons from the Italian Air Force will take over Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) duties at Graf Ignatievo Airbase in Bulgaria.
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 1,500 litre drop-tanks, four Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missiles (ASRAAMs), 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.
About Eurofighter Typhoon:
Eurofighter Typhoon is a twin-engine, canard-delta wing, multirole fighter designed and manufactured by Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH consortium. The consortium includes Alenia Aermacchi (Leonardo since 2017), Airbus Group, and BAE Systems.
The first prototype of the finalised Eurofighter made its first flight on 27 March 1994.
The Eurofighter Typhoon is a highly agile aircraft, designed to be a supremely effective dogfighter in combat. Later production aircraft have been increasingly better equipped to undertake air-to-surface strike missions and to be compatible with an increasing number of different armaments and equipment, including Storm Shadow and the RAF’s Brimstone missiles.
The Typhoon had its combat debut during the 2011 military intervention in Libya with the Royal Air Force and the Italian Air Force, performing aerial reconnaissance and ground-strike missions.
The Typhoon entered operational service in 2003 and is operated by the air forces of Austria, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain, and Saudi Arabia. The air forces of Oman and Kuwait are export customers, bringing the procurement total to 599 aircraft as of 2016.
Source: Eurofighter Gmbh