Italy’s desert wind

The Italian Air Force’s versatile AMX fighter-bomber is now found solely at Istrana air base, in the north of the country. Roy van Sonsbeek, Robin Coenders and Niels Roman visited the home of the ‘Ghibli’ and the 51° Stormo.

AMX at Istrana

Single-seat AMXs MM7194 ‘51-67’ and MM7189 ‘51-71’ dump infrared flares during a training sortie from Istrana. Both these jets underwent the upgrade to ACOL standard, emerging as A-11Bs under the Italian military designation system. Gian Carlo Vecchi

In Italian service, the AMX International AMX is unofficially nicknamed ‘Ghibli’ – after the hot desert wind of the Sahara. It entered service with the official series designation A-11A, or TA-11A in two-seat form.

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