Eurofighter TYPHOONs from the Italian Air Force will take over Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) duties in Bulgaria at Graf Ignatievo Airbase, close to the town of Plovdiv, not having been in country since 2013. During their three months deployment, starting this July, the Italian TYPHOONs will patrol the Black Sea region as part of NATO's Southern Air Policing mission.
For the Air Defence mission the TYPHOON can load two 1,500l drop-tanks, four Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missiles (ASRAAM), four AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) and an internal Mauser BK-27 27mm cannon.
NATO air policing missions carried out by Eurofighter TYPHOONs so far include Albania, the Baltic states, Iceland and Slovenia. These sit under the oversight and guidance of Allied Air Command (AIRCOM) at Ramstein in Germany, with two Combined Air Operations Centres (CAOC) at Uedem in Germany and Torrejon in Spain executing the missions. Uedem covers northern Europe above the Alps, Torrejon is responsible for southern Europe below the Alps (including the Black Sea and the Mediterranean).
Eurofighter TYPHOON is one of the most advanced new generation swing-role combat aircraft currently available, boasting best-in-class combat effectiveness, amply demonstrated in numerous international tactical air combat training regimes including, ATLC, Red Flag, Green Flag and Indradhanush. 599 aircraft have been ordered by 8 nations (Italy, Germany, Spain, UK, Austria, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Kuwait), and 512 have been delivered to seveb nations (Italy, Germany, Spain, UK, Austria, Saudi Arabia and Oman).
The aircraft is continuing its capability development programme with the integration of new weapons and sensors to maintain its current performance edge for many years to come. Through a series of enhancement steps, new capabilities are being added to the aircraft, with test and integration activity currently underway for METEOR advanced beyond visual range air-to-air missile , the STORM SHADOW precision guided cruise missile and the BRIMSTONE precision attack missile, all by MBDA.