Air Tactics Centre (Kentro Aeroporikis Taktikis – KEAT)
Andravida Air Base
March 27 to April 6
Act with Awareness
Iniohos 2017 is a multi-national invitational exercise (INVITEX) run by the Hellenic Air Force’s (HAFs) Air Tactics Centre (Kentro Aeroporikis Taktikis – KEAT) from Andravida airbase. The Iniohos (charioteer) exercise is in its fourth year and continues to expand with more nation’s air forces attending.
This time six HAF units were flying with twelve Israeli Air Force Lockheed Martin F-16C Block 40 Barak, four Italian Air Force AMXs, six United Arab Emirates Air Force F-16E Block 60 Desert Falcons and twelve US Air Force Reserve F-16C Block 30 Fighting Falcons. Iniohos planners aim to expand the exercise each year with more participating nations being tested by complex scenarios representing a virtual crisis with escalating tensions. Cooperation between nations sharing expertise for their mutual benefit is the way forward, the HAF ultimate objective is to create the best training centre in Europe.
|Media Day flypast with HAF F-4E (AUP) Phantom II leading four HAF F-16s and four Isael Air Force F-16s|
Day 1 / Mission 1 ‘Interdiction of Air Defence System (IADS) involved 132 aircraft flying to attack and degrade targets on the eastern cost of Greece defended by Hawk, Velos and Patriot ground to air missile defence systems. 70 fighter aircraft and a UAV ‘Pegasus’ and EMB-145 (AEW) were prided by the HAF and eight AH-64 Apache by the Hellenic Army. The remaining COMAO forces was made up of USAF, UAE and Israeli F-16s and Italian AMX.
Day 2/ Mission 2 involved attacking airfields in southern Greece, this time utilising a force of 124 aircraft. Each day the scenario and the missions changed. Under KEAT is the Tactical Weapons School (Scholio Oplon Taktikis – SOT) their resident instructors are on hand to assist participating pilots with their mission planning and tactics. SOT instructors will also act as ‘red air’ flying missions alongside HAF Mirage 2000 and F-16 aircraft based elsewhere to add confusion to an already complex situation.
Israel Air Force once again for Iniohos flew their Gulfstream Aerospace G-V-SP Gulfstream G550 Nachshon 'Eitam' Conformal Airborne Early Warning (CAEW) as their 'eye in the sky' and during the exercise provided airborne air traffic control. The Nachshon is with 122 Squadron 'The Dakota Squadron' and based at Nevatim air base. It is fitted with the Israel Aerospace Industries/Elta EL/W-2085 multi-band phased array radar providing 360 degree coverage combined with advanced electronic support measures, electronic intelligence and communications intelligence suite. False or 'spoofing' information broadcast from the AEW&C aircraft is designed to confuse pilots who already have much to contend with when engaging their opponents.
With expertise, hardware, terrain and air space for all types of challenging mission scenarios the Hellenic military are offering a very valuable resource for nations invited to take up the challenge of the Iniohos exercise as it goes from strength to strength each year.
| Left to right: Hellenic Air Force F-16C Block 52+ (015) from 333/336 Mira at Araxos.
F-16C Fighting Falcon Block 52+ (521) of 340 Mira 'Fox' 115 PM based at Souda with yellow and black chequered fin tips.
F-16C Block 50 Fighting Falcon (068) of 341 Mira 'Aces' 111 PM based at Néa Anghialos with red and black chequered fin tips.
| Left to right: F-16C Block 50 Fighting Falcon (065) of 347 Mira 'Perseus' 111 PM based at Néa Anghialos, with winged sword tail markings.
F-16C Block 52+ Fighting Falcons (500) of 340 Mira ‘Fox’ 115 PM based at Souda, with blue band yellow stars on fin tips.
Mirage 2000-5EG (509) from 331 Mira based at Tanagra.
|Blue Air from which mission planners can select the aircraft required for the task
Hellenic Air Force
F-16 Block 50 Fighting Falcons from 341 and 347 Mira based at Nea Anchialos,
F-16 Block 52+ Fighting Falcons from 340 and 343 Mira based at Souda, Crete,
F-16 Block 52+ Fighting Falcons from 335 and 336 Mira based at nearby Araxos,
F-4E (AUP) Phantoms from 338 and 339 Mira based at Andravida,
Mirage 2000-5EGs from 331 Mira based at Tanagra.
Israeli Air Force
The 12 F-16C/D Block 40 Barak 2020 deployed from 101 ‘First Fighter’ and 105 ‘Scorpion’ Squadron based at Hatzor.
A Gulfstream Aerospace G-V-SP Gulfstream G550 Nachshon (Eitam) Conformal Airborne Early Warning (CAEW) from 122 Squadron based at Nevatim were their 'eye in the sky' providing air traffic control for all participating nations.
United Arab Emirates Air Force
6 F-16E Block 60 Desert Falcons were from the 1st and 2nd Shaheen Squadrons based at Al Dhafra.
Last August these aircraft participated in a Red Flag Exercise at Nellis AFB.
Italian Air Force (Aeronautica Militare)
4 AMX from 51º Stormo, 132º Gruppo based at Instrana.
US Air Force Reserve
12 F-16C Block 30 Fighting Falcons 482nd Fighter Wing, 93rd Fighter Squadron ‘Makos’ based at Homestead Air Reserve Base in Florida. This unit were returning to the after completing deployment in Afghanistan.
|Once again at Iniohos 117PM at Andravida utilised their F-4E (AUP) Phantom IIs from both 338 Mira and 339 Mira. These fighter aircraft flew as Blue and Red air and were assigned various roles from Offensive and Defensive Counter Air Operations, fighter sweep, anti-surface force air operations (ASFAO).
F-4E (AUP) Phantom II (01528) touching down at then end of an afternoon mission.
|Left to right: F-4E(AUP) Phantom IIs.
|F-16C Block 30 Fighting Falcon (87-233 'FM') with the 482nd Fighter Wing, 93rd Fighter Squadron ‘Makos’ based at Homestead Air Reserve Base in Florida. The 93rd FS were returning to the after completing deployment in Afghanistan.
|Left to right: AMX (MM7170 '51-30, MM7186 '51-50' and MM7164 '51-40') from 51º Stormo, 132º Gruppo based at Instrana.
| Based on the F-16C/D Block 50/52, the F-16E Block 60 Desert Falcon features improved radar and avionics and conformal fuel tanks; it has only been sold to the United Arab Emirates. Like the F-35, the Block 60 F-16 has a built in FLIR/laser targeting system rather than using a dedicated pod that would occupy a hardpoint, increase drag and radar cross section.
Left to right: F-16E Block 60 Desert Falcons (3027, 3060, 3045 and 3048) from the 1st and 2nd Shaheen Squadrons based at Al Dhafra.
|This F-16D Block 40 Barak (687) from 105 ‘Scorpion’ Squadron Israel Air Force based at Hatzor. As it roars down the runway for an evening sortie it is equipped with two Delilah AGM-142 Popeye cruise missile on its outer under-wing pylons.
|Left to right: F-16C Block 40 Barak (519) from 101 ‘First Fighter’ Squadron Israel Air Force based at Hatzor.
F-16D Block 40 Baraks (676, 687 and 664 with 651) from 105 ‘Scorpion’ Squadron also based at Hatzor.