Italian Air Force begins training for MQ-9A Block 5 Reaper dronesNews
June 22, 2023
PARIS, France. The Italian Air Force has begun training first group of pilots and sensor operators for MQ-9A Block 5 Reaper uncrewed aerial systems (UAS) at General Atomics' Flight Test & Training Center (FTTC) in Grand Forks, N.D., the company announced in a statement.
The forthcoming delivery of the first MQ-9A Block 5 to the Italian Air Force will be among the initial series of Block 5 units to expand the Italian fleet, the statement reads.
The initial phase of the training involved the Instructor Difference Training (IDT) for current Italian instructors from the 32 STORMO Squadron based at Amendola Air Base. The program plans to train 31 aircrew members, including 14 pilots and 17 sensor operators, from various Italian squadrons through a series of courses that covers transition from MQ-9 Block 1 to Block 5, the company says.
The comprehensive training program emphasizes the operation of the Block 5 air vehicle and its corresponding equipment, such as the Multi-Spectral Targeting System (MTS), Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), Mission Intelligence Station (MIS), and System for Tasking and Real-Time Exploitation (STARE). It also covers normal and emergency operations in Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) systems, instrument flying, and Automatic Takeoff and Landing Capability (ATLC), the statement reads.