Italian F-35 Bs Perform Austere Runway Exercise In Sardinia

F-35B Alghero
Some images revealing the austere runway drills at Alghero on Aug. 31,2022 (All images: Alessandro Borsetti/ The Aviationist)

Italian Air Force and Navy F-35 B STOVL (Short Take Off Vertical Landing) airplane performed a joint expeditionary drill at Alghero Airport.

After performing a number of expeditionary workouts on the small island of Pantelleria where the regional airfield has actually been utilized as a forward running base for F-35 Bs of the Aeronautica Militare (Italian Air Force), Marina Militare (Italian Navy) (and likewise the Royal Air Force) the Italian Defense has actually moved Alghero, on the northwestern coast of Sardinia, to perform the current ALARP (Air Landed Aircraft Refuelling Point) drill.

In truth, on Aug. 31, 2022, an F-35 B of the and among the Marina Militare released to the Sardinian airport, where an austere runway (essentially implying a brief runway situated in a semi-permissive environment with minimal ground assistance offered) was simulated, performed a hot-pit refueling with a KC-130 J of the 46 ^ Brigata Aerea (Air Brigade) from Pisa, and removed once again to participate in an objective inside PISQ (Poligono Interforze Salto di Quirra– Salto di Quirra Joint Range), a big EW variety situated over central-east Sardinia, that likewise included 2 F-35 As and 2 Eurofighters.

Aeroporto di #Alghero, Sardegna

Addestramento congiunto Alarp (Air Landed Aircraft Refuelling Point) di #AeronauticaMilitare e #MarinaMilitare con 2 #F35 B appartenenti alle 2 #ForzeArmate

Un’ ulteriore occasione per accrescere l’interoperabilità interforze #UnaForzaperilPaese

— Forze Armate StatoMaggioreDifesa (@SM_Difesa) August 31, 2022

There are numerous reasons the Alghero occasion deserved of remark.

The KC-130 J and the 2 F-35 Bs on the ground at Alghero.

First of all, as currently stated, it was the very first time the activities were performed at Alghero, an airport usually utilized for industrial flights just.

Second, it reveals that the” marital relationship” in between the Italian Air Force and Navy is still quite strong, after the stress of the past: after the very first landing of an Italian Air Force F-35 B on the Italian Navy warship Cavour in November2021 the 2 services have actually currently run together in a previous joint austere runway workout on Pantelleria previously this year.

Third, it reveals the Italian Air Force is wagering huge on expeditionary operations, as likewise verified by the brief release of the 2 F-35 Bs the service has actually currently gotten( out of an overall of15), to Keflavik, Iceland, throughout the F-35A rotation in assistance of NATO’s Icelandic Air Policing, in June this year.

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The ItAF F-35 B throughout the hotpit refueling.

” data-image-title=” F-35 B Alghero 3″ data-large-file=” F-35B-Alghero-3- 706 x471 jpg” data-lazy-sizes=”( max-width:706px)100 vw,706 px” data-lazy-src=” F-35 B-Alghero-3-706 x471 jpg?is -pending-load= 1″ data-lazy-srcset=” 2022/ 09/ F -35 B-Alghero-3-706 x471 jpg 706 w, 2022/09/ F-35 B-Alghero-3 -460×307 jpg460 w, F-35 B-Alghero-3- 128 The ItAF F -35 B throughout the hotpit refueling.

The Italian Air Force thinks about the F-35 B and its STOVL ability an essential part of a bigger expeditionary system that makes the service capable to task power far from house, in a semi-permissive environment, on an austere/bare runways generally not functional by other standard airplane and with minimal Force Protection offered by the host country. “In Africa there have to do with100 runways that have a length in between 2,800 and 3,000 meters however there are20 times as lots of runways in between 1,000 and 1,500 meters in length,” Gen. Alberto Rosso, previous Chief of Staff informed in2020, when dealing with the media at Pantelleria throughout the F -35 B’s Expeditionary Proof of Concept. “Being able to utilize brief runways permits you to increase your capability to release where required, in an easier and much faster way, specifically closer to the location of operation. Having an airplane that can removing from much shorter runways permits amazing versatility even in those situations that are presently just hardly imaginable. In case of dispute, airplane that have the ability to run from much shorter runways can likewise be distributed to increase their survivability.”

While there will not be a Lightning Force( i.e. a joint Squadron geared up with F -35 Bs collectively flown and kept from the 2 services– as carried out in the UK by the RAF and Royal Navy), the Italians target at a “joint ability” with the Italian Air Force and Navy running their own airplane in their own systems at their particular homebases( Amendola for the Air Force and Grottaglie for the Navy). When required, the F – 35 Bs of both services will incorporate and run under a single chain of command from land-bases or from an airplane provider or landing helicopter dock (like the LHD Trieste that will be prepared to accommodate the airplane next year) by methods of a TOA (Transfer Of Authority).

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The Italian Navy F – 35 B is refueled utilizing the ALARP system.

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The Italian Navy F – 35 B is refueled utilizing the ALARP system.

If the present strategies are validated, the Aeronautica Militare and Marina Militare will run 15 F – 35 Bs each: while the Air Force will utilize the Lightning II to field this brand-new tactical expeditionary ability and likewise change the AMX (quickly to be retired), the Navy will utilize the F – 35 B to change the AV-8B + Harrier II (whose retirement is prepared for 2024 – 2025– at that time the marine service must be geared up with a minimum of 8 F – 35 Bs).


David Cenciotti is a reporter based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, among the world’s most popular and check out military air travel blog sites. Considering That 1996, he has actually composed for significant around the world publications, consisting of Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and numerous others, covering air travel, defense, war, market, intelligence, criminal activity and cyberwar. He has actually reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown a number of fight airplanes with various flying force. He is a previous 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a personal pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has actually composed 5 books and added to a lot more ones.

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