Italian Kinetics

Riccardo Niccoli provides an overview of how Eurofighter partner nation Italy tests and employs weapons for its Typhoon fighter

Aeronautica Militare munition troops load a live 2,000lb GBU-10 laser-guided bomb on to station 10 of a Typhoon.

Like all Eurofighter partner nation air arms, Italy’s Aeronautica Militare (Italian Air Force) started to operate its Typhoon fleet in the air defence/ air superiority role only, declaring initial operational capability on December 16, 2005. Initially, the only weapons cleared for the Typhoon were the AIM-120B AMRAAM radar-guided and AIM-9L Sidewinder IRguided missiles, and the 27mm Mauser Bk27 cannon. The AIM-2000 IRIS-T IR-guided missile, a much more capable and advanced missile for short-range engagements, was added to the Typhoon’s arsenal, gradually replacing the Sidewinder. Later, medium to long-range interception capability was improved with the introduction of the AIM-120C-5 model of the AMRAAM missile, though the journey to enlarge and complete the aircraft’s arsenal of weapons was still years away.

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