By Arie Egozi
(Photo: F-35 By Amit Agronov – IAF Magazine)
Tel Aviv. The Israeli Air Force (IAF) F-35 stealth fighters are participating for the first time in an international exercise. The “Falcon Strike” Exercise is held in Italy with the participation of fighter jets from the Italian, British, and United States air forces.
During the exercise, the IAF will be simulating various aerial scenarios with other air forces in an unfamiliar environment. Among the scenarios are defence missions, air-to-air combat, aerial strikes, countering surface-to-air (SAM) missile battery threats, air support to ground forces, and other scenarios over enemy territory. The IAF has deployed to Amendola Airbase in Italy with six “Adir” (F-35i) fighter jets, two Re’em (Boeing 707) tankers, and a “Nachshon Eitam” (G550) control aircraft.
As part of the exercise, the IAF’s F-35 “Adir” Squadron has been deployed overseas for the first time, a breakthrough in terms of the squadron’s future operational activity. Throughout the deployment, the IAF is simulating a wide variety of operational scenarios alongside F-35 aircraft from several allied nations. According to the IAF magazine the “Falcon Strike” Exercise is of great strategic importance and will have a significant impact on the IAF, IDF, and the entire State of Israel. According to the magazine, the IAF will continue to strengthen cooperation with air forces from around the world all while enhancing relations and mutual interests, operational readiness, and shared learning.
IAF Commander, Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin said that the cooperation with European nations and with the United States, allows the Israeli Air Force to enhance its operational capabilities in a new and distant area, in an unfamiliar environment. “This is the first time that the IAF’s ‘Adir’ squadron is being deployed beyond Israel’s borders, which brings us another step forward in the process of broadening and strengthening the IAF’s capabilities”.
-The writer is an International Roving Correspondent of the publication. Views expressed are personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of Raksha Anirveda