8 countries took part in Israel’s largest-ever air drill — here are the impressive photos

An Israeli pilot climbs into an Israeli F15 fighter jet during a joint international aerial training exercise hosted by Israel and dubbed

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An Israeli pilot climbs into an Israeli F15 fighter jet during a joint international aerial training exercise hosted by Israel and dubbed “Blue Flag 2017” at Ovda military air base in southern Israel November 8, 2017.
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REUTERS/Amir Cohen

The largest air drill in the Israeli Air Force’s history, “Blue Flag 2017” at the Israel’s Ouvda Air Force Base in Southern Israel concluded last week.

With some 1,000 personnel from eight countries, the exercises are meant “to simulate extreme combat scenarios and coalition flights as realistically as possible,” and involved jets, drones, helicopters, and air defenses, as well as ground units.

Blue Flag 2017 was marked with a number of firsts, including the participation of the German, Indian, and French Air Forces for the first time, who joined past participants Israel, the United States, Poland, Italy, and Greece.

The base’s Israeli commander noted the meaning ul nature of Germany’s participation in the drill, given the European country’s role in the Holocaust.

“Seeing the Luftwaffe airplanes entering our hangars – it’s something I’ll always remember,” Col. Itamar told the Times of Israel.

Here’s the impressive pictures of the eight Air Forces:


Blue Flag 2017 is the largest air drill in Israel’s history.


Blue Flag 2017 is meant to simulate realistic aerial combat and defensive situations against air defenses.


The drill is not limited to air operations. Here, commandos from India’s “Garud” Commando Force train with IDF counterparts.

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Israeli Air Force

Attending for the first time are the air forces of Germany, India, and France. Here, three German Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets fly over Ovda airbase.


French pilots were also able to show the capabilities of their Mirage 2000D jet fighters.


Here’s another shot of the Mirage 2000.

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REUTERS/Amir Cohen

The United States, Poland, Italy, and Greece also made an appearance. Below, an F-16 fighter jet from the US Air Force.

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Reuters

Of course, the largest contingent was from the IAF.


Here, Israeli F-16s are lined up in preparation for upcoming drills.