TURIN, Italy --- Alenia Aeronautica’s Flight Test Centre reached a significant milestone in November when Commander Mario Mutti and Weapon Systems’ Officer Marcello Battaglia made the 1,000th test flight with the Tornado fighter-bomber developed by Alenia, BAE Systems and EADS which forms the “backbone” of the Italian, German, British and Saudi air forces.
The 1,000th flight took off from Turin-Caselle airport, where Alenia Aeronautica’s Flight Test Centre is based, for a one-hour test for the integration of a new TACAN (Tactical Air Navigation) system and the MIDS (Multifunctional Information Distribution System) datalink system. The aircraft landed at Decimomannu Italian Air Force base, where it will complete testing of the new equipment.
This 1,000th flight represents a milestone for the activity which Alenia Aeronautica began in 1993 and has gone through several test phases to progressively integrate new systems in the aircraft. These include, among others, the:
-- GBU-16, GBU-24, JDAM, E-GBU-24, Storm Shadow
-- CLDP target designation pod
-- RECCE-LITE battlefield reconnaissance pod
-- Mid Life Update, 1st Upgrade, in-flight development and check for the Italian Tornado fleet
-- MIDS system for IDS Tornadoes
The results obtained during the long flying activity have been transferred to serving aircraft, allowing Alenia Aeronautica to ensure that the Italian Air Force operates an up-to-date “state-of-the-art” platform, capable of successfully meeting the evolving requirements faced by operational aircraft during their service life.
Alenia Aeronautica, a Finmeccanica Company, is the largest Italian aeronautic player which operates world-wide in the commercial and military aviation, unmanned aerial vehicles and aerostructures. Alenia Aeronautica also coordinates the activities of Alenia Aermacchi and Alenia Aeronavali. With its joint ventures ATR and SuperJet International, Alenia Aeronautica is the world leader in the regional turboprop market and a top player in the regional jet sector. In 2007 Alenia Aeronautica reported revenues of 2,306 million Euros, backlog for 8,248 million Euros and orders for 3,104 million Euros. The total workforce is 13.301.