search

IAF, French fighter jets hold joint strike drills over Israel’s skies

During ‘Eastern Breeze’ exercise, Israeli F-16s fly alongside French Rafales, which took off from aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

French Rafale fighter jets fly alongside an IAF F-16i aircraft over the Mediterranean Sea during a drill, December 6, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)
French Rafale fighter jets fly alongside an IAF F-16i aircraft over the Mediterranean Sea during a drill, December 6, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)

Israeli and French aircraft held a joint aerial exercise this week over Israel’s skies that simulated airstrikes and combating aerial threats, the Israeli Air Force said Tuesday.

During the drill, dubbed “Eastern Breeze,” four French Navy Rafale fighter jets flew alongside IAF F-16i aircraft over Israel’s skies.

The French aircraft arrived on a Navy carrier strike group in the Mediterranean Sea.

The Israeli military said in a statement that the aircrews “flew ‘wing-to-wing’ while practicing joint strikes and counteracting aerial threats in an effort to share knowledge and benefit from one another.”

“The exercise was an important milestone in the development of the strategic cooperation between the IAF and the [French military] and improved the forces’ readiness,” it added.

The Israel Defense Forces said the drill was part of a series of international exercises that have taken place this year. Last week, the military held a joint drill with the US, simulating strikes against Iran and its regional terror proxies.

French Rafale fighter jets fly alongside an IAF F-16i aircraft over Israel during a drill, December 6, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)

The last time the French military held a joint drill with the IAF was in early 2020.

IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi visited France in September to discuss the threat of Iran and the Lebanese Hezbollah terror group.

Paris and Beirut have historically close relations, as Lebanon was ruled by France for over two decades in the early 20th century.

At the time of Kohavi’s trip, tensions were high between Israel and the Iran-backed Lebanese terror group, as the latter has threatened Israeli gas installations amid US-mediated talks over a maritime border dispute, which has since been resolved.

read more:
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed
image
Register for free
and continue reading
Registering also lets you comment on articles and helps us improve your experience. It takes just a few seconds.
Already registered? Enter your email to sign in.
Please use the following structure: example@domain.com
Or Continue with
By registering you agree to the terms and conditions. Once registered, you’ll receive our Daily Edition email for free.
Register to continue
Or Continue with
Log in to continue
Sign in or Register
Or Continue with
check your email
Check your email
We sent an email to you at .
It has a link that will sign you in.