The fourth biennial Blue Flag aerial exercise hosted by the Israeli Air Force was launched today (Sunday) at the Uvda Air Force Base in southern Israel.
According to the IAF, this is the first international “fifth-generation” exercise taking place in Israel involving the F-35 aircraft.
Over 1,000 people are said to participate in the 12-day exercise. The US, Greece, Germany, and Italy sent aircrews to Israel ahead of the exercise. Other countries were also planning to send smaller teams to observe the drill, the IDF said.
As part of the exercise, dozens of aircraft will practice air-to-air and air-to-ground combat scenarios, dealing with advanced SAM threats as well as enemy combat scenarios.
“The Blue Flag exercise is of paramount strategic importance and will have a significant impact on the Air Force, the IDF, and the State of Israel,” the IAF said. “The cooperation will enable high-quality international training, mutual learning, and study of flight techniques, providing an opportunity to strengthen relations between the participating countries.”