A major IAF exercise continued this week in Israeli skies, where jets simulated
a variety of battle scenarios.
The drills began last week with a
simulation of long-distance strikes to prepare squadrons for the possibility of
attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities.
The various drills are part of a
single, very large aerial exercise. Defense officials said no further
information could be divulged at this stage.
Should Israel strike nuclear
sites in Iran, defense observers widely assume the IAF would also have to focus
its efforts on squelching rocket attacks from Tehran’s proxy in Lebanon,
Hezbollah, which could target air bases.
The IDF believes Iran has a
limited ability to hit Israel with ballistic missiles, and Arrow 2 and Patriot
air defense systems are in place to intercept any Iranian attacks.
week the army issued some of its most explicit warnings over the Islamic
Republic’s nuclear program to date, releasing video images of IAF jets
conducting midair refueling far from Israel.
“When one mentions that ‘all
options are on the table,’ it’s clear that military operations are also being
talked about,” the IDF Spokesman’s Office said. “The air force, which is the IDF’s long arm, is responsible for
realizing this option if necessary, and to that end squadrons are practicing and
strengthening the full range of their abilities, including long-range
The preparations are aimed at giving the air force the ability
to carry out both broad and pinpoint long-range missions.
added that the air force has carried out such training on a regular basis in
recent years, and tests all aspects of long-distance sorties, from the squadrons
in the air to the ability of its command and control center to manage the
Pilots who took part in the exercise said it tested their
powers of concentration over an extended period.