Eurofighter in training intercepts civil aircraft that does not respond to radio communications

(To air Force)

The interception of a private civil aircraft - a Socata TBM 700 - of French nationality which left Athens en route to Palermo and which, having arrived in Italian airspace, did not respond to the expected radio communications, concluded in the early hours of this afternoon - in technical jargon Comloss – with the bodies responsible for air traffic control, thus triggering the alarm and interception procedure.

The Air Force aircraft, an F-2000 fighter Euro Fighter of the 37th wing of Trapani, already in flight since 14 pm for training activity but ready to intervene in case of real emergency, immediately responded to the request for activation by the Italian air defense control agencies and, under the guidance of the 22nd radar group of Licola (Na), reached the civil aircraft around 15 pm, at approximately 29.000 feet (approximately 10.000 meters high).

Executed as expected visual identification (VID) to ascertain that there were no emergency conditions or threats to safety, the French single-engine aircraft correctly restored radio communications and continued its route. At this point also theEuro Fighter it resumed its activity to return to the 37th wing around 15.40 pm.

The Air Force ensures seamless surveillance of the national airspace. The Air Defense system against the military threat, since peacetime, has been under the control of NATO which, through Combined Air Operation Center (CAOC) of Torrejon (Spain), carries out the surveillance of the airspace south of the Alps, from the Canary Islands to Turkey and from the Azores Islands to Romania.

The service is guaranteed – for the surveillance, identification and control part – by the 11th group Integrated Missile Air Defense (DAMI) of Poggio Renatico (Fe) and by the 22nd radar group of Licola (Na), while the in-flight intervention is ensured by four bases: 4th wing of Grosseto, 36th wing of Gioia del Colle, 37th wing of of Trapani Birgi and 51st wing of Istrana, the latter permanently starting from April 2020. All the wings mentioned are equipped with fourth generation fighter aircraft Euro Fighter.

Furthermore, since March 2018, the F-35A aircraft of the 32nd wing of Amendola have also been integrated into the national air defense system, which contribute, with specific operational capabilities and latest generation technology, to the defense of the Italian skies and which have been the first 5th generation airplanes to have been used by NATO to monitor the Alliance's airspace in a NATO combat operation Air Policing.