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