Preparation for War?: Israel, US and UK Conduct First Joint F-35 Drills Over Mediterranean

June 27, 2019

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(June 27, 2019 / JNS) Israeli F-35 fighter jets participated this week in an international exercise alongside F-35s from the United States and United Kingdom, the Israel Defense Forces announced on Wednesday.

The exercise, the first of its kind, was dubbed “Tri-Lightning” (a reference to the aircraft’s official designation: Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II) and took place above the Mediterranean Sea. It involved F-35s from all three nations simulating combat against advanced aircraft and previous-generation fighters, in multiple scenarios, with the purpose of improving interoperability and coordination in air operations among the three countries.

Most of the exercise played out situations in which the three nations were friendly, with other aircraft being used as “enemies,” according to U.S. Air Force press release.

According to IAF Chief of Air Staff Brig. Gen. Amnon Ein-Dar, the exercise reflects “the close cooperation between the forces” of the three countries. “International cooperation between Israel, the U.S. and Britain strengthens common interests and new and exclusive capabilities in the Middle East,” he said.

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