Iranian air force to hold major exercise

Maneuver will reportedly include "long-distance flights of around 3,600 km" and aerial refueling.

f-14 tomcat 248 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
f-14 tomcat 248 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The Iranian air force is expected to begin an extensive exercise in the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman on Monday to raise "its operational and support capability." "In this maneuver, there will be long-distance flights of around 3,600 kilometers along with aerial refueling from tanker to fighter jet and from fighter jet to fighter jet," Reuters quoted the official IRNA news agency as saying on Sunday. The exercise will also reportedly include Iranian jets flying at low altitudes over the waters of the Gulf to a distance of 700 km. On April 18, Iran staged the largest air show in its history as a demonstration of its military prowess. The exhibition took place on Iran's Army Day, and included 140 fighter jets. In addition, all units in the Iranian army were represented in the exercise. The show was a symbol of the army's "preparedness in defending the country," a senior Iranian air force commander said. The Iranian air force is currently the only air force in the world to maintain an active fleet of F-14s, a model that has effectively been rendered obsolete by the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. AP contributed to this report.