Two Italian Air Force Eurofighter Typhoons from the 4th Stormo intercepted a civil aircraft flying from Italy into Switzerland yesterday as it was not complying with air space rules.
A potentially dangerous scenario was resolved quickly thanks to the effective collaboration between the Italian and Swiss Air Forces who have developed common procedures and task management for such occasions.
The two Italian fighters took off from Grosseto air base in central Italy and intercepted the aircraft as it reached the border of the two nations. They were able to verify its identify in full coordination with the air defence system of Switzerland and escorted the aircraft safely across the border when it came under the control of the Swiss F/A-18â€™s. Following the interception, the two Typhoons landed at one of the Swiss Air Forceâ€™s main bases Payerne.
The exercise was part of a bilateral agreement recently signed between the two counties which aims to strengthen their partnership in air defence and air policing and demonstrates clearly the flexibility and interoperability of the Typhoon able to work effectively alongside all air forces, including non-NATO countries.
Air policing is a vital role which is ideally suited to the capabilities of the Eurofighter. A Typhoon can take off and climb to the typical cruise altitude of an airliner in less than two minutes. The sensors on board the aircraft easily detect the target aircraft in every meteorological condition, a pre-requisite for visual identification. Air Forces around the world must be capable of performing air policing tasks at short notice, as highlighted by various events in the recent past with airliners being used in terrorist attacks. The Eurofighter Typhoon now has five of its six air forces Quick Reaction Alert capable.