Blue Flag exercise
Blue Flag exerciseIDF Spokesperson

The international "Blue Flag" exercise, held at Uvda Air Force Base with the participation of seven air forces from around the world, will begin on Sunday, October 17th, and last until Thursday, October 28th.

The current "Blue Flag" exercise is Israel's largest and most advanced aerial exercise ever. The goal of the exercise is to strengthen strategic international cooperation through shared learning about the integration of fourth and fifth-generation aircraft in complex operational scenarios, with a focus on broadening and enhancing the operational capabilities of the participating forces. The exercise provides the opportunity to conduct joint tactical flights against a variety of threats using advanced technology. Throughout the exercise, the participating forces will drill air-to-air and air-to-ground combat, advanced surface-to-air missiles (SAM) threats, and various operational scenarios in enemy territory.
Taking part in this year's exercise are Germany, Italy, Britain, France, India, Greece and the United States. This is the first deployment of a British fighter squadron in Israel since the establishment of the country, as well as the first-ever deployment of an Indian "Mirage" fighter squadron in Israel, and the first deployment of a French "Rafale" fighter squadron in Israel.

On the first day of the exercise, an honorary flyover will take place in Israeli skies. Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin, Commander of the Israeli Air Force, will lead the flyover in a "Baz" (F-15) alongside an Israeli "Adir" (F-35I). Lieutenant General Ingo Gerhartz, Commander of the German Air Force, will fly alongside them in the "Eagle Star" Eurofighter, which has been specially painted with the Israeli and German flags.

Commander of the Israeli Air Force, Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin said: "We are living in a very complicated region, and the threats to the State of Israel from the Gaza Strip, Lebanon, Syria, and Iran are only increasing. Holding an international exercise in this current reality, while continuing our overt and covert operational activities on all fronts, is of utmost strategic importance and has extensive impact over the Israeli Air Force, the IDF, and the State of Israel. This exercise is groundbreaking in terms of technology, quality of training, and the number of participating nations. It illustrates the partnership and strong bond between the nation's air forces and acts as a stepping-stone toward regional and international cooperation."