Italian Air Force celebrates its centenary at RIAT 2023

Italian Air Force RIAT 2023
Italian Air Force T-346A advanced trainer aircraft.

The Italian Air Force is taking part in this year’s Royal International Air Tattoo (Fairford, UK, 14-16 July) with a massive presence of different assets as part of the celebrations for the 100th anniversary of its establishment as an autonomous armed force, in 1923.

The Italian Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. Luca Goretti said: “The significant participation of the Italian Air Force at the Royal International Air Tattoo 2023 is a chance to celebrate our first 100 years of history at one of the most prestigious air shows in the world, and it is also a great opportunity to underline again the successful collaboration between Italy and the United Kingdom: two countries, among the few in the world with Air Forces that are 100 or more years old and which are among the most advanced on the international scene.”

Italian Air Force RIAT 2023

The themed area called “ITAF100”, set up by the RIAT organisation, hosts some of the Air Force’s key assets, including the G-550 CAEW, the P-72A, the C-130J, the U-208, the Tornado, the AMX and the C-27J. The presence of the KC-767A – which makes the Italian Air Force one of the few in the world with in-flight refuelling capability – and the HH-101 – a helicopter capable of being refuelled in flight and thus more projectable and effective in operational contexts – fit of RIAT’s celebrations to mark 100 years since the first air-to-air refuelling. ITAF100 also includes aircraft that are part of Italian Air Force history and which have been loaned by private individuals. These include the De Havilland Vampire FB.52 and the FIAT G.46.

Among the flight displays, the 15th Wing will perform, for the first time outside Italy, a demonstration of a Search And Rescue (SAR) mission with an HH-139 helicopter. On the other hand, the Experimental and Test Flight Department (Reparto Sperimentale Volo - RSV) will return with displays of the Eurofighter Typhoon and the T-346A. In 2022, the RIAT organisation awarded the C-27J team from RSV with “The Sir Douglas Bader Trophy” for the best solo-performance.

Italian Air Force RIAT 2023

The Italian Air Force and the Royal Air Force have a long-standing collaboration that was recently strengthened with the signing last May of an agreement that provides the training (Phase IV) of student pilots and instructor pilots at the International Flight Training School (IFTS) in Decimomannu (Sardinia). The IFTS is internationally recognised as a centre of excellence and a reference point for the advanced training of pilots for 4th and 5th generation fighters, and draws on the experience and tradition of the Italian Air Force and Italian technological capabilities, represented by the syllabus of the integrated training system based on the T-346A.

Source, Images: ITAF

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