The IAF, USAF and Royal Air Force conducted a joint drill held on Tuesday over the eastern Mediterranean; Exercise “demonstration of the interoperability between the US, UK, and Israel.”
The United States, UK, and Israel conducted a joint air force exercise on Tuesday, the first of its kind. The training, organized by the United States Air Force, was referred to as “Tri-Lightning” and was the first air force drill using F-35 stealth jets from multiple countries. The exercise fell on the commemoration of the Israel Air Force (IAF), which was established 71 years ago.
The exercise was conducted over the eastern Mediterranean Sea and included three different F-35 Lighting II fighter jets, the UK’s Royal Air Force F-35B, Israel’s F-351 (Adir) and the United States’ 35A. The exercise was only disclosed to the public on Wednesday, the United States Army Air Force confirming the event, stating, “This exercise is a demonstration of the interoperability between the US, UK, and Israel using the F-35A, F-35B, and F-35I, respectively”. Britain’s Permanent Joint Headquarters (PJHQ) was the first to confirm the exercise, stating, “Earlier today UK F35s joined [the] US and Israeli F-35’s for a routine, long-planned, training exercise to further develop the capabilities of this impressive aircraft.”
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) confirmed the drill on Twitter on Wednesday, releasing a photo of all three state’s jets in action. It stated, “In the skies of the Middle East, the United States, Israel, and UK aircraft fly side by side as part of the Tri-Lightning exercise led by the United States Air Force that took place this week.”