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May 24: Eurofighter Typhoons of the Italian Air Force (ItAF) have replaced the last of the air force’s F-16 jets on Quick Reaction Alert (QRA).
The Typhoon is now solely responsible for the defence of Italian airspace. It is operational with four squadrons (Gruppi) across both northern and southern Italy - two at Grosseto air base and two at Gioia del Colle.
The ItAF leased 34 F-16s from the USAF for a period of five years, followed by an additional five under the programme ‘Peace Caesar’. The aircraft has been effectively used to fill the gap during the transition from the F-104 to the Eurofighter.
To date 62 Typhoons have been delivered to the ItAF and during operations over Libya in 2011 the fleet completed over 200 missions and flew 1,294 flying hours from their forward operating base in Trapani, Sicily.
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