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Crews from the US, Germany, Italy, France, and the United Kingdom are in Israel to practice joint flights and operational missions alongside Israeli operators.

By TPS

“Blue Guardian,” the first international RPAV (Remotely Piloted Aerial Vehicle) exercise of its kind commenced Monday, led by the Israeli Air Force (IAF).

Crews from the US, Germany, Italy, France, and the United Kingdom are in Israel to practice joint flights and operational missions in Palmachim Air Force Base alongside IAF operators.

The historic two-week-long exercise will “enhance mutual learning between the participating nations and pave the way for future international cooperation in the revolutionary field of RPAVs,” the IDF stated.

The first week of training will focus on training international crews to operate the Israeli “Zik” (Hermes 450) RPAV.

The second week of the exercise will focus on drilling a simulated combat scenario between a coalition of allied nations against an enemy. The forces will fly in joint formations and cooperate with the IAF’s fighter and helicopter divisions as well as commando units.

“This exercise is of great significance to Israel and has a lot of international value”, said Commander of the IAF, Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin. “The State of Israel is a pioneer in the field of RPAVs and the exercise serves as a platform for mutual learning.”

“Israel is considered a world leader in the field of RPAV technology”, explained Lt. Col. L, commander of the leading squadron in the exercise – the 166th (“Fire Birds”), which operates the “Kochav” (Hermes 900) RPAV. “The advanced technology developed by the Israeli security industry, the hundreds of flight hours we’ve gathered over the past two decades, and the high competence of our operators have all resulted in high responsiveness from the countries we’ve invited to take part in this exercise.”

The IAF periodically hosts international drills.

The “Tri-Lightning 2” one-day joint exercise between the Israeli Air Force (IAF), the United States Marine Corps, and the Royal Air Force, was held in southern Israel at the end of June.

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