Watch exclusive footage of an aerial refueling as performed in a special Israel Air Force training exercise. According to IAF officials, the exercise developed key operational capabilities.
This past week, fighter squadrons from the Israel Air Force conducted a special long-range flight exercise. The squadrons practiced refueling planes in midair and tested the ability of IAF aircraft to fly exceptionally long distances.
The Israel Air Force, known as the IDF (Zahal)’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.
The recent exercise is no different from training exercises conducted in the past few years. The exercise examines all aspects of a given situation, from its planning stages to the flight itself. This includes mid-flight refueling and the management of the air force control center.
One squadron commander who participated in the exercise, explained that challenges stemming from these long-range flights continue as the plane moves further from its point of origin. These challenges include difficult weather conditions, unfamiliar terrain and threats that could emerge during the flight.
Officials emphasized that the exercise strengthened the capabilities of the Israel Air Force and the connections between the participating squadrons. Pilots participating in the exercise explained that long-range flying demands several hours of concentration and exceptional physical preparation.