File Photo: An Israeli F35 aircraft is seen on the runway during "Blue Flag", an aerial exercise hosted by Israel with the participation of foreign air force crews, at Ovda military air base, southern Israel November 11, 2019. REUTERS
Israel's air force has launched a surprise exercise simulating combat in the country's northern borders with Syria and Lebanon, the military said on Monday.
A military spokesperson said in a statement that the drill, launched on Sunday, simulates combat scenarios in northern Israel and is designed to "improve Air Force readiness for combat in the northern arena."
It tests "all components in the Air Force's core missions, including maintaining aerial superiority, protecting the country's skies, as well as attacking and gathering intelligence," according to the statement.
It will examine the planning, control and execution processes of military combat missions, as well as end-to-end logistics and technological capabilities, "with an emphasis on maintaining aerial freedom of action and full functional continuity," the statement read.
During the exercise, an increased level of military aircrafts, jets and helicopter traffic will be felt across the country, and a number of explosions may be heard in northern Israel, said the spokesperson.
The surprise exercise, dubbed "Vered Hagalil" in Hebrew which means "Rose of the Galilee," is carried out under the directive of the Commanding Officer of the Israeli Air Force, Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin, the military said.