AirRyan
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Didn't Know Italy Had F-16's Now...

Sat Apr 09, 2005 12:56 am

I'm sure you all heard about the Italian F-16's that intercepted the LearJet after the Pope's funeral today, and I hadn't realized that Italy were now operating F-16's. Turns out the delays in the EuroFighter program and evidently a non-desire to continue operating Tornado ADV's led to the 4+4 year F-16 lease.

Quote:
The government of Italy signed a letter of agreement in March to lease thirty-four F-16s from the USAF inventory. The F-16s will replace the Tornado Air Defense Version aircraft and F-104s, both operated in the air defense role. The first F-16s will be delivered in mid-2003.
The Italian Air Force will receive thirty single-seat F-16 aircraft in the Block 15 Air Defense Fighter configuration and four two-seat F-16B Block 10 OCU ( Operational Capabilities Upgrade ) aircraft. Italy will be the twenty-first country to operate the F-16, and the sixth country to acquire Fighting Falcons from USAF inventory. The five-year lease is renewable for a second five-year period. The LOA and lease value is approximately $777 million over 10 years. The 34 refurbished F-16 fighters for lease by the Italian air force will be powered by Pratt & Whitney engines. The fighter engines will be upgraded from the current F100-PW-200 engines to the more powerful PW-220E.

The deal also includes the training of the pilots and ground engineers at the 162nd FW of Arizona ANG, logistical support, and a guaranteed minimum serviceability level permitting 12 sorties daily for each of the three Gruppi ( Squadrons ) to receive the Falcon. The Falcons will enable the Italian Air Force to begin withdrawing the F-104S-ASA-M and return the 24 leased Tornado ADVs to the UK.

http://homepage.eircom.net/~steven/italian_air_force.htm
 
curlyheadboy
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RE: Didn't Know Italy Had F-16's Now...

Sat Apr 09, 2005 4:23 am

The F-104s were a flying museum, a great sight and sound, but keeping them in active duty was simply insane. The F-16 is a very good fighter while we wait for the Eurofighter to enter service.
If God had wanted men to fly he would have given them more money...
 
curlyheadboy
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RE: Didn't Know Italy Had F-16's Now...

Sat Apr 09, 2005 4:36 am

Oh, by the way, we already crashed one...  blush 
If God had wanted men to fly he would have given them more money...
 
AirRyan
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RE: Didn't Know Italy Had F-16's Now...

Sat Apr 09, 2005 6:03 am

That's interesting about the Tornado ADV, I heard the Saudi's have been nothing but dissapointed in the Torndao as an interceptor as well. I wonder if Italy had an option to continue the lease on the Torando ADV's or they just wanted to go with the F-16's instead?
 
bsergonomics
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RE: Didn't Know Italy Had F-16's Now...

Sat Apr 09, 2005 6:40 am

The main intention for the F-16 deal was as a stop-gap until the EF2000 becomes fully operational in the air-to-air role (which will be happening very shortly). The offer that the IT MoD were given made more (financial) sense if the decision was also made to ditch the extra ADV squadrons and get a reasonable number of F-16s (remembering that a weapon system is not only the aircraft, but also training, maintenance, ILS etc).

The end result: the Italian F-16 squadrons. They also have the short-term benefit of plenty of Lockheed Martin engineers in-country as well as current existing contacts with ALM Antillean Airlines (Netherlands Antilles)">LM, such as on the C-27J programme.

From the pilots' perspective, it's also the best toy that they'll get to play with until the Typhoon hits the streets in real numbers...
The definition of a 'Pessimist': an Optimist with experience...
 
bsergonomics
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RE: Didn't Know Italy Had F-16's Now...

Sat Apr 09, 2005 6:43 am

Request for edit:

The "LM" in the second paragraph of my previous post was supposed to mean "Lockheed Martin". I don't think that the, "AALM Antillean Airlines (Netherlands Antilles)">LM Antillean Airlines" operates the F-16, let alone designs/builds it...
The definition of a 'Pessimist': an Optimist with experience...
 
curlyheadboy
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RE: Didn't Know Italy Had F-16's Now...

Sat Apr 09, 2005 6:44 am

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 3):
I wonder if Italy had an option to continue the lease on the Torando ADV's or they just wanted to go with the F-16's instead?

Well, There was of course a need to have a good and modern interceptor to replace the F-104s, and the ADVs were at the end of their leasing period. So it is quite logic to go for one type to replace both. Note that our Tornadoes were not as updated as the RAF ones. Also you have to consider that one of the requirements for the "interim" fighter was the ability to scramble quickly. The F-16 can be ready within 10-15 minutes from the alarm (though the 'ol F-104 could be ready for takeoff in just 5 minutes!!!). The Falcon combined the required abilities and was the cheapest compromise available.
If God had wanted men to fly he would have given them more money...
 
Contact_tower
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RE: Didn't Know Italy Had F-16's Now...

Sat Apr 09, 2005 1:42 pm

If you keep the F-16 at max readiness, with pilots dressed in the cockpit, you can launch within 5 minutes, no problem.

I have seen scramble from Q building, pilots pilots putting on thermals, immersion suite and harness before transport 400m with car to Q-sheds, with gear up on lead in 8 minutes flat. (Taxi distance to rynway approx 300m from Q-sheds)
 
curlyheadboy
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RE: Didn't Know Italy Had F-16's Now...

Sat Apr 09, 2005 11:49 pm

Quoting Contact_tower (Reply 7):
If you keep the F-16 at max readiness, with pilots dressed in the cockpit, you can launch within 5 minutes, no problem.

Of course you can, the amazing thing about the F-104 was that you could takeoff within 5 minutes with the pilot sleeping in his barrack, Italian Air Force F-104 pilots hopped on the plane without even wearing their G-suits, something you can't even think about when it comes to the F-16...!
If God had wanted men to fly he would have given them more money...
 
AFHokie
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RE: Didn't Know Italy Had F-16's Now...

Sun Apr 10, 2005 2:11 am

Quoting CURLYHEADBOY (Reply 8):
Of course you can, the amazing thing about the F-104 was that you could takeoff within 5 minutes with the pilot sleeping in his barrack, Italian Air Force F-104 pilots hopped on the plane without even wearing their G-suits, something you can't even think about when it comes to the F-16...!

Yes you can. The G suit only gives you the ability to tolerate approximately one more G. What gives you the ability to resist G's is the flex and straining of all your lower muscles. IMO, the G suit is most valuable in reminding that if its inflating, you should be straining.
 
Contact_tower
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RE: Didn't Know Italy Had F-16's Now...

Sun Apr 10, 2005 7:58 am

Well, it's not the G-suit that is the critical item for many Nato QRA flights, it's the immersion suit and thermal gear. (a bit fiddely to don). The G-suit is optional, but the you have to remember to bring a plug for the airhose port in the immersion suit. Starting the manned rocked (104! Big grin ) in 5 is fairly straight forward, since it has so few systems. (Very few preflight checks on startup  Wink )
 
curlyheadboy
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RE: Didn't Know Italy Had F-16's Now...

Sun Apr 10, 2005 8:29 am

Quoting Contact_tower (Reply 10):
Starting the manned rocked (104! ) in 5 is fairly straight forward, since it has so few systems. (Very few preflight checks on startup )

Indeed, you started that old piece of junk just turning the key  Wink

I read an interesting interview with an Italian pilot about what he thought about the F-16 compared to the F-104, two things I found interesting: he says "the first thing I noticed was the sidestick, it felt so strange in the beginning, but after 5 minutes of flying I asked myself why the hell they still design planes with a control bar between the legs". The second interesting thing he says is that he misses the F-104 on a personal note, it had an impressing climb performance and he loved that 'kick in the butt' it gave you on takeoff. All the rest is about how wonderful the F-16 is, but I didn't expect to hear him tell he missed the old "spillone"... When I changed my old car I wasn't sad at all...

OK, probably you need to be a pilot to understand and I'm not one...  Smile
If God had wanted men to fly he would have given them more money...
 
dl021
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RE: Didn't Know Italy Had F-16's Now...

Mon Apr 11, 2005 2:21 am

Heck....I'm not even a pilot but I miss the F-104..... It was a huge thrill to see on in Italy taking off or flying overhead. They just looked like what you expect a very fast airplane to look like.

I know that the Italians are better served by the F-16s, but a part of me wished the combo ADVhigh/Starfighterlow would have really worked and maintenance costs weren't an issue.
Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?

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