steman
Posts: 1406
Joined: Wed Aug 09, 2000 4:55 pm

Italian F-104s Intercept A Lybian Cargo.

Mon Oct 29, 2001 11:09 pm

Hi guys,
have you heard of what happened last Saturday in Italy?
A Fokker F50 of a Lybian Company entered the Italian air space at 13:45 CET.
As the ATC found some discrepancies with the Reg. No. and the flight plane immediately an emergency action has been initiated by the Italian Air Defence Command.
Two F-104S (actually ASA-M) Starfighters from the 4th Stormo (wing) of the Italian Air Force, intercepted the plane at 13:55, only ten minutes after it entered the National airspace and 7 minutes after the alarm had been launched.
Two more fighters escorted the Fokker to let it exit from the Italian air space.
At the end the Fokker resulted a normal flight but probably there was an error in the transcription of the Reg.No in the flight plan.

This fact demonstratesa couple of things in my opinion: first, ENAV (Italian Civil Av. Auth.) and Air Force demonstrated a perfect coordination job, even more important after 9/11.
Second: the venerable F-104 showed once more what it can do while more modern fighters can't: being in the air 5 minutes after alarm, at high altitude and already in sight of the target. Yes, it hasn't BVR capability nor it is suited for a modern interoperability scenario but it still has something to say in the Air Defence role!

Long live the Starfighter

Ciao

Stefano
 
Soren-a
Posts: 223
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2001 10:13 pm

RE: Italian F-104s Intercept A Lybian Cargo.

Mon Oct 29, 2001 11:24 pm

Hi

This has happend a few times lately.

Here is a link to a BBC news feed about a Turkish MD-88 that was intercepted by Austrian fighters on Tuesday the 16th of October, after radio contact was lost:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/uk/scotland/newsid_1602000/1602077.stm

They also had another story the other day about a passanger plane being interceptet by French Air force fighters after radio contact was lost, but I cant find the artcile right now.

Regards
Søren Augustesen
 
Soren-a
Posts: 223
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2001 10:13 pm

RE: Italian F-104s Intercept A Lybian Cargo.

Mon Oct 29, 2001 11:39 pm

Hi

Found the second link on BBC:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/uk/newsid_1611000/1611935.stm

On the 26st French air force Mirage F.1s intercepted a Go airliner over france after radio contact was lost.

The article have a nice picture of a Mirage - unfortunatly it is of a -2000 and not a F.1.....

Regards
Søren Augustesen
 
jwenting
Posts: 9973
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2001 10:12 pm

RE: Italian F-104s Intercept A Lybian Cargo.

Tue Oct 30, 2001 4:26 am

Any current fighter can do this, if the procedures at base are good (and the range and course of the target are favourable).
The problem in the US at 9/11 was that due to the feeling of "nothing is going to hurt us" of the last decade reaction times of air defense units had slipped from seconds or minutes to tens of minutes. Fighters that would have been sitting on the runway with engines running 24/7 10 years ago were in their shelters with everything shut down while the pilots were having breakfast.
Reaction time was 25 minutes, not 5 or less as it used to be. The Italian air force is and always has been on guard for Lybian incursions. They are still on +5 on several bases, as should be the normal practice of all NATO air defense units IMO.
I wish I were flying
 
flyhigh@tom
Posts: 345
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2001 7:58 pm

RE: Italian F-104s Intercept A Lybian Cargo.

Tue Oct 30, 2001 2:58 pm

Fighter readiness was very much present during the cold war era. In the earstwhile Soviet Republic Readiness 1 will mean that the pilot will sit in the cockpit all night, readiness 2 will mean that the pilot will be dressed in the usual G equipment etc and ready to go, readiness 3 would mean that the pilot will be in the usual uniform only. They used to have atleast 1 man in the readiness 1 position.

I guess this is the case in most of the air forces...but as Jwenting said, after the cold war the USAF squads within the US became a bit too complacent (after all there was no war like situation in the country), who would dare to attack them in their country...sadly they were wrong.

Anyway Kudos to the Italian airforce  Big thumbs up

Cheers
Thomas.
 
gregoire
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2007 1:36 am

RE: Italian F-104s Intercept A Lybian Cargo.

Tue Oct 30, 2001 3:47 pm

Soren

I have read an article about it it was quite fun the journalist was talking of 2000 and the picture was one of mirage F1 what was funny is that after having etablished radio contact the airliner pilot have asked the mirage pilot to go and fly in the other side of the liner so all the passenger could have a good look at the mirage. (I do not know if the mirage did so)
 
Turin_airport
Posts: 273
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2001 5:29 pm

RE: Italian F-104s Intercept A Lybian Cargo.

Tue Oct 30, 2001 5:53 pm

Any current fighter can do this, if the procedures at base are good (and the range and course of the target are favourable).

I'm not sure it's true. I recently red that one of the main reason why Italian Airforce dislikes the Tornado ADV (and will replace them with the F16) is because they need too much time to intercept an intruder starting from the ground, compared to the F104. I don't know if it's true, but I belive it.

Regards.

T_a
 
steman
Posts: 1406
Joined: Wed Aug 09, 2000 4:55 pm

RE: Italian F-104s Intercept A Lybian Cargo.

Tue Oct 30, 2001 6:14 pm

It's true because modern fighters need a lot of time to startup all their avionics system. 15 minutes are required only to align the INS.
Moreover Tornado ADV don't have the same climb speed as Starfighters.

Anyway the ASA-M upgrade of the F-104 has the same NAV/COM system of the Tornado IDS and AMX fleet, including the GPS/INS system which requires more time than the previous one so I am wondering if they have made some changes to the procedures or if they have always some planes ready in 5' like in the Cold War peak operations.

Ciao

STefano
 
Soren-a
Posts: 223
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2001 10:13 pm

RE: Italian F-104s Intercept A Lybian Cargo.

Tue Oct 30, 2001 7:12 pm


I would not mind being on an airliner that was intercepted by Italian F-104 or Frence Mirages (as long as the reason was just a broken radio or something like that). Think about the photos you could get  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

Regards
Søren Augustesen
 
jwenting
Posts: 9973
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2001 10:12 pm

RE: Italian F-104s Intercept A Lybian Cargo.

Tue Oct 30, 2001 7:16 pm

Turin, a Tornado could do it if it were sitting on the ramp with engines running (like the RAF used to have them in Scotland to intercept Bears in the GIUK gap), in other words on +1 alert. At present, +15 is the alert used most often, and apparently +5 in southern Italy.
Comparison: fighters in the Washington DC area took 25 minutes to get airborne on 11/09...
I wish I were flying
 
Turin_airport
Posts: 273
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2001 5:29 pm

RE: Italian F-104s Intercept A Lybian Cargo.

Tue Oct 30, 2001 11:10 pm

Jwenting, I don't think that Italian Air Force ever used to have a/c on the ramp with engines running. They keep them in the shelters, ready to fly, with pilots in their rooms. Probably, in this given situation the F104 is quicker then many others figthers (for the reasons Steman posted). After all, I think they built it with these kind of missions in mind: its shape (more a rocket than a plane), its power and its speed are meant to reach a potential enemy as soon as possible (instead, its little wings are not so good in close combat).

Just my thoughts.

T_a

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