April 7, 2008 (by Asif Shamim) - Two Italian AMI F-16s from 5º Stormo scrambled to intercept a Ukrainian Tupolev Tu-134/A which entered Italian airspace on Monday without permission.
AMI F-16A ADF #MM7243 from 23 gruppo is seen during take-off.
The F-16s from 23° Gruppo took off from Cervia AB at 13.55h local time and were vectored to the intercept. The Tu-134 was identified, contacted and then escorted out of Italian airspace.
This was second such incident this year in which the Italian Air Force have had to make an intercept. Currently F-16s from 5º Stormo & 37° Stormo carry out the role of intercepting unidentified aircraft.
From October, Eurofighter Typhoons from 36° Stormo based at Gioia del Colle will take over the role of defending Italian airspace.