IAF Gearing Up for Iran Strike

An Israeli Air Force F-35I Adir. (Deror Avi)

An Israeli military strike on Iranian nuclear targets appeared to be a step closer on Thursday as the Israeli Air Force reportedly resumed training for such a mission.

According to Channel 12 news, IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi ordered the air force to train “intensely” in simulations of a strike on Iran, and that budgetary allocations be made to provide for it, after a two-year hiatus.

The orders were reportedly given during a meeting Kohavi held at his office in recent days.

The report did not cite a source and there was no comment from military officials.

Meanwhile, both Israel and Iran held aerial exercises.\

Israel is hosting Blue Flag 2021, with Germany, Italy, Britain, France, India, Greece and the U.S. air forces participating.

This year’s drills will focus on the integration of fourth- and fifth-generation aircraft, including the F-35 Adir in complex operational scenarios, the Israeli military said.

The two-week drill, centered in the Negev desert at Uvda Airbase, marks the first time that a British fighter squadron has been deployed to Israel since the establishment of the state, as well as the first time that India has sent a Mirage fighter squadron to Israel and that France has deployed a Rafael squadron here.

Meanwhile, Iran’s Air Force began its own maneuvers, called Modafe’an Aseman-e Velayat 1400 (Guardians of ‘Velayat Sky’ 1400), on Thursday.

According to the Iranian Fars News Agency, the drill will test indigenous and upgraded systems and weapons, including heavy and semi-heavy smart bombs, a variety of laser technologies, thermal, radar missiles, rockets and bombs.

Iranian F-4, F-5 and F-7 fighter aircraft as well as Sukhoi Su-27s, F-14s, Mirage F1s, and MiG-29s, are all involved, it said.