The Italian Air Force Celebrates 20 Years Of Eurofighter Operations With New Special Color


Eurofighter special color
The new special color presented by the Italian Air Force on Mar. 18, 2024.

The new special color is a two-seater TF-2000A, unveiled at Grosseto Air Base today.

Chased by two special colored F-104 Starfighters (the “black beauty” F-104S/ASA-M of the 9° Gruppo and the TF-104G-M of the 20° Gruppo OCU), the first Eurofighter Typhoon destined to the 4° Stormo (Wing) of the Aeronautica Militare (Italian Air Force) landed at Grosseto Air Base, on Mar. 16, 2004.

The aircraft was a two seater (designated TF-2000A within the Italian Air Force, in accordance with Italy’s Mission Design Series) sporting registration MM55093 (c/n IT 002) and no individual codes.

The arrival of the first Eurofighter 20 years ago marked the beginning of the “renaissance” for the Italian Air Defense whose manned interceptors force, at that time, was based on three different types: the F-104 Starfighter and two “gap fillers”, the ex-RAF Tornado F.3 and the F-16 ADF leased to support the air defense needs until the Typhoon was mature enough to take over the task.

The first TF-2000As were assigned to the 20° Gruppo, the Typhoon Operational Conversion Unit, whereas the single seaters (F-2000A) were flown by the 9° Gruppo that carried out its first alert shift on Dec. 16, 2005, when, first among all the partner nations, the 4° Stormo undertook the first QRA alert duty with the new aircraft. Since then, the Wing has become the first to achieve the NATO Quick Response Force certification, has flown hundred alert scrambles, has supported NATO operations in Iceland and the Baltic States, and enforced NFZs (No Fly Zones) during several highly-sensitive events, including the Turin 2006 Winter Games and Davos World Economic Forums, and has also taken part to Operation Unified Protector, flying sweep and escort missions over Libya.

In 20 years, the Italian Air Force has logged more than 80,000 flight hours with the type, that now equips six squadrons (9°, 10°, 12°, 18°, 20° and 132° Gruppo) on four bases (Grosseto, Gioia del Colle, Trapani and Istrana) and supports round-the-clock QRA service both at home and abroad, and is regularly deployed where’s needed to carry out a variety of roles.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary since the delivery of the first Eurofighter at Grosseto, the very same aircraft, MM55093/4-31, was given a special livery that was officially unveiled on Mar. 18, 2024.

The special colored TF-2000A flew over Grosseto as part of a 5-ship formation during a ceremony held in Grosseto to mark the 20th anniversary since the first landing at the base.

David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


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