11 April 2018, Decimomannu Air Base
Last March saw the redeployment of Decimomannu on the basis of the first rate of Lockheed Martin F 35A Lightning II Air Force. I 4 specimens, currently in force at the 13th Group of the 32 ° Basic Flock to Amendola, landed on the airport the Sardinian 7 March and returned in Puglia between 22 and the 23 the same month. In this period they are drilled, along with other structures, using polygons located on the island. Clearly we do not know what was contained in the interior holds stealth aircraft.
All other aircraft present at the Tenth, as you can see from the photos below, they were “equipped” with throwing weapons and air-to-ground and fall, in all probability (also considering the vocation of the new aircraft) exercises may have preferred this side. It is true that the 1 Last March, the PM said that the F 35 They are officially integrated into the National Air Defense System but it is also true that Italy has adopted these aircraft to replace the AMX and Tornado in the roles of attack and bombardment as, as regards Air Defense, The Typhoon of Grosseto, Gioia del Colle and Trapani (with an alarm permanently couple to Istrana) can cover well enough the needs. Surely the Lightning II are equipped with advanced sensors that allow profitable air-to-air engagements, but we do not believe that this will be their main job in Italy.
Returning to visit in Sardinia we can add that this was not the first official visit. Already last October, during exercise Joint amphibious Star 2017, a couple had made the appearance on the troops engaged in landing and in the same month at least one copy had already visited the airport. But this was the first occasion on which a substantial portion of the aircraft was rischierata for a significant period of time, carrying out activities. This also demonstrates the increasing maturity of the most advanced aircraft and its management.
The other aircraft present at the RSSTA (Department of Experimental and Standardization to shoot Plane) were A 11 (AMX), T 339 (MB 339) e T 346 (M 346) that, with various arms and loads (LGB bombs, pod rocket launchers and grenade launchers, pod cannons and CLDP designation pod) They have made several flights.
Thanks to the corresponding Aviaspotter island we can document all activity with pictures of armed aircraft during landing and takeoff movements. The controversial gray airplane (are all gray…..but the F 35A is more “Grey” other) It is certainly invisible to radar but it is a bit’ less than a Nikon with a telephoto lens mounted.
We thank Roberto Zanda for the extraordinary photo shoot: it happens rarely to see our Air Force planes with these loads.
To you photos