From Ovda With Love: Here Are The Israeli And Foreign Combat Aircraft Taking Part in Blue Flag Exercise

F-16 Barak of the 115th Squadron “Flying Dragon”, the IAF aggressor squadron. (All images credit: Avi Scharf)

Take a look at these shots of the aircraft, from 8 nations, taking part in Blue Flag 2021.

Blue Flag 2021 is the fifth iteration of Israel’s main aerial exercise, organized every two years at Ovda Air Base, in the southern Negev desert, Israel. As already reported in detail here, this year’s edition, attended by dozens aircraft, hundreds of pilots and over 1,000 ground personnel from 8 nations, is the largest international air exercise Israel has ever hosted.

Along with the Israeli aircraft, including the F-35I Adir of the 116th “Lions Of The South” squadron, the second IAF unit (after the 140th “Golden Eagle” squadron) to operate the 5th generation aircraft; the F-15D Baz of the 106th “Spearhead” squadron and the F-16Cs “Barak” of the 115th Squadron “Flying Dragon”, the aggressor squadron of the Israeli Air Force; Blue Flag 2011 sees the participation of the RAF Typhoon FGR4 and German Air Force Eurofighters; the Hellenic Air Force F-16s; the Indian Air Force Mirage 2000I; the French Air Force Rafales; the U.S. Air Force F-16CMs of the 480th Fighter Squadron from Spangdahlem as well as the Italian Air Force F-35As and G.550 CAEW (Conformal Airborne Early Warning), that also took part in Blue Flag 2019.

Blue Flag always provides a great opportunity for journalists and photographers to observe some pretty intense flying activity. Our friend Avi Scharf had the opportunity to attend the Media Day of exercise on Sunday Oct. 24, 2021 and take the shots of the participating aircraft you can find in this post.

Blue Flag 2021 is underway until Thursday Oct. 28, 2021.

Blue Flag 2021
German Air Force Eurofighter “Eagle Star”, a special colored jet sporting the Israeli and German flags.
Two F-15s right after take off from Ovda AB.
F-15D Baz
Indian Mirage 2000
Blue Flag 2021
An F-35I takes off. Two G550 can be seen in the background.
Blue Flag 2021
Israeli Air Force F-35I Adir.
Two F-35s during taxi
IAF F-35I landing
F-16 Barak
IAF Aggressor pilot
Indian Air Force Mirage 2000I
French Air Force Rafale
Italian Air Force F-35A
Close up on the nose of an F-35I Adir.
German Eurofighter.
RAF Typhoon FGR4
U.S. F-16CM of the 480th FS taking off.
480th FS F-16CM landing at Ovda
480th FS pilot
Blue Flag 2021
Two Eurofighters right after take off from Ovda


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.