Watch Israeli Air Force warplanes performing aerial refueling during long-range air strike training

Carried out in the western Peloponnese and the Myrtoon Pelagos, the first of two exercises focusing on long-range air strike and cooperation between Israeli F-15s and F-16s and Greek aircraft and naval units has taken place on Oct. 8 and 9.

According to the Israeli Air Force, the drills are an opportunity to test “the ability of IAF aircraft to fly exceptionally long distances. The Israel Air Force, known as the IDF’s “long arm”, plays a central role in carrying out Israel’s military option if necessary. For this reason, the squadron is exercising and strengthening its range of capabilities through long-range flights as well as other exercises. The IAF must develop these capabilities as appropriate — whether for focused missions or broad operations.”

IAF has also released an interesting (and rare) video showing both F-15Is and F-16Is refueling from a B-707 tanker.

IAF has a long tradition of long (as well as medium) range attacks.

Even if the IDF blog says that the drill “is no different from training exercises conducted in the past few years […] and includes mid-flight refueling and the management of the air force control center,” Israeli media outlets highlighted that the fact the excercise was widely publicized on the Israel Defense Forces and IAF websites, hinted that it was related to Iran.

Indeed, whereas Iran and the so-called P5+1 countries will begin talks in Geneva about Tehran’s nuclear program in the next few days, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently urged to mobilize European public opinion against easing sanctions on Iran.

Israel has always said that all options are on the table to stop Iran’s nuclear program. Including the use of force.

Image credit: IAF

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About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. The Greek-Israeli joint exercise called “Andromeda 2013” has taken place on Oct. 8 and 10 (postponed by one day) with 12 hellenic F-16C/D, 24 israeli F-16I and F-15I, and B-707 tankers. On Oct. 10 they flew against two Hellenic Navy frigates and one FAC.
    This week (15-16 Oct.) is scheduled a more advanced exercise called “Minoan Star” in Crete with 6 Hellenic Army’s AH-64DHA Longbow Apache and 1 CH-47SD Chinook to cooperate with IAF’s UH-60, C-12, CH-53,C-130. I think it’s the fifth exercise between Hellenic Army Aviation and Israeli Air Force in the last three years. It has become obvious that in the Eastern Mediterranean a new axis is developing, consisting of Israel, Cyprus, and Greece.

  2. That f16 (855) @ the 14 second mark is hardly recognizable to me; presumably those are conformal fuel tanks on the side and top?

  3. Nothing to do with Iran,the joint exercise focused on the “threats” that already exist in the area. Aint suprising, the fact that theTurkish Navy send a corvette Heybeliada to interrupt the drill.

  4. EL AVIV — Turkey has been challenging Israel’s military throughout the Mediterranean.

    Military sources said Turkey has used its Navy and Air Force to
    disrupt Israeli operations around the Mediterranean. They said the
    Turkish Air Force and Navy harassed Israeli warplanes during patrols and
    exercises over the last six months.

    “They are trying to provoke an incident with us that could have strategic repercussions,” a source said.

    The sources said the Turkish military was ordered by Prime Minister
    Recep Erdogan to disrupt Israeli operation near waters or air space
    claimed by Ankara, including those around the Republic of Cyprus. They
    said this has hampered recent exercises in the eastern Mediterranean
    with Greece, including one that took place earlier this month.

    “The Turks view us as they do the Greeks, which means that the
    Turkish military flexes its muscles at every opportunity it gets,” the
    source said. “In the air, Turkish warplanes are playing a game of
    chicken with our forces.”

    The sources said Ankara has been dismayed by Israel’s growing military

    cooperation with Greece. They said the Israeli cooperation, which included

    military exercises, training and arms projects, replaced Turkey with Greece

    as a leading defense partner of the Jewish state. In November, Israel plans

    to host three NATO members in the largest international exercise in the


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