The Italian Air Force employs the JSF in the QRA role in addition to the main bomber and reconnaissance ones.

Italian F-35 defend national airspace
Italian F-35 begins to defend national airspace (The inscription on the orange background means "Armed Aircraft").

The Italian Air Force F-35A JSF assigned to the 32nd Wing at Amendola AFB have become part of the National Air Defense system, March 1. The fifth generation fighter jets have been entered operationally in the Air Space Surveillance Service (S.S.S.A.). Air defense is one of the main tasks of the Air Force.

The F-35's Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) capability was obtained through an intense and complex aircrew training and several tests carried out together with the other Squadrons involved in the air defense.

This goal confirms the ability of the F-35 to perform many types of air operations. It has the unique ability to receive and release an extraordinary flow of information essential for achieving the Inormation Superiority and make a difference in complex aerial operations.

Thanks to this new operational capability, the JSF will play a crucial role in the defense of national airspace. It's an important step for the Italian F-35 considering that the Air Force has acquired the fighter mainly to replace the current reconnaissance and bomber aircraft.

The 32nd Wing was the first Department to receive and operate the JSF in Europe. It also carries out operational, training and technical activities with the Predator unmanned aircraft to acquire and maintain the ability to perform ISTAR operations woldwide. In addition, it provides for the training of the APR pilots with the MB-339 aircraft.

Written by Matteo Sanzani
Source, Images: Italian Air Force

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