Following Iraq's invasion Kuwait and as part of the Coalition build up of forces
in the region, Italy would deploy a composite squadron of Panavia IDS Tornado
aircraft. This deployment to Al Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab
Emirates, was known as Operazione Locusta The second night of the war
would be the first time since World War II that the Aeronautica Militare
Italiano went to war.
The first combat mission for the AMI in the 91 Gulf War would involve eight
Tornados. However, due to refueling problems only one Tornado proceeded to
the target. This lone aircraft proceeded to the target, dropped their
bombs, but in the process of disengagement they were hit by Iraqi anti-aircraft
fire and the crew ejected. Gianmarco Bellini and Maurizio Cocciolone would
be captured and held prisoner until the end of the war. This loss would be the
only one for the Italians for the duration of the war.
During the course of the war, the Locusta Tornado detachment would fly 226
sorties including approximately 589 hours of flight.
images below to see larger images
the box, the Italeri Tornado does not look very appealing. However,
with all the resin aftermarket material available, a very nice Tornado can
be built with the kit. My build utilizes: Neomega IDS cockpit set,
Eduard photoetch, Paragon bulged wheels, pylons, exhausts, standard fuel
tanks, and fin correction set. The Paragon fuselage pylons had to be
modified to represent those carried by Italian aircraft. Italian
Tornados also had two antennas mounted on the fuselage not present in the
Italeri kit. I fashioned these from plastic rod and glued one on the
topside behind the cockpit and the other on the bottom below the cockpit.
I also cut into the rear of the fin and inserted some plastic rod to
represent a fairing below the rear radar warning receiver.
standard load for Italian Tornados during the war was two AIM-9
Sidewinders, five Mk83 bombs, two fuel tanks, and two BOZ-107 chaff/flare
dispenser pods. I used the Hasegawa Weapons Sets for the missiles
and bombs, Paragon fuel tanks, and kit BOZ-107 pods.
Painting was done with airbrushing Lifecolor UA107 "Italian Sand Light
Stone" on the topside, and Tamiya Aluminum mixed with some Tamiya Gray for
the underside. After spraying with Future, weathering was done by brush
The decals are a combination of the kit decals and Model Alliance MA-48174
"Tornado At War, Desert Storm 1990-91". Each sheet has some
inaccuracies. The kit decals have the numerals on the front gear door and
fin over-sized. The Model Alliance sheet has the green of the roundels too
dark in my opinion. Once the decals were in placed, the topside decals
were lightly over sprayed with Italian Sand.