Another mid-morning take off from Brindisi airport. This time I'm carrying the 300 gallon drop tank instead of the big two mammoth ones I hauled yesterday. I'm flying with just a wingman. The F/A-18s have been fitted with AGM-88 missiles (high speed anti-radiation missiles that almost drive themselves towards enemy radars) at Lecce airbase and they should be airborne by now.
|Climbing after taking off from Brindisi airport (in the background). For one I don't have to wait for a full flight of four to form up, so I climb slowly and the wingman rejoins quickly.|
|Buddy spike! The F/A18's radar emissions are caught by my RWR (yellow arrow). Good to know these guys are on their way to take out the aerial defenses near our target.|
|This is the view over my shoulder somewhere in our way towards steerpoint 2. The big aircraft is my wingman and the other two dots (yellow arrows) are part of the F/A-18s SEAD flight. [Note to self: awesome gaming moment!]|
Somehow comforted by the sight of those F/A-18s ahead of my flight, I start to work on target acquisition. The range is a bit high for the ground radar to pick up anything yet. The mountains don't help either.
|Around 50 miles from the target area, the ground radar (ground moving target mode) picks up two strong signals (left MFD). Time to power and warm up the AGM-65's!|
|Turning for another tank-killing pass.|
|RTB. I can't take out of my mind that poor F/A-18 pilot. The weather on the Italian coast is ... Foggy ... Again.|
|Another tricky instrument landing at Brindisi airport.|