The Israel Air Force fighter jet F-16C Barak is to take part later this month in a training exercise with the U.S. Air Force at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. At the same time, Israel Air Force C130 (Hercules) Karnaf transport planes will participate in Rodeo 2009, the annual competition hosted by the U.S. Air Force Mobility Command at McChord Air Force Base in the state of Washington.
The firing ranges and testing grounds at Nellis, whose area equals that of the entire State of Israel, are considered the most advanced in the world. During the training exercise, dubbed Red Flag, which takes place four times a year, dog fights and ground attacks are simulated. An American statement said that an undisclosed number of Israeli F-16Cs will be among the 62 planes taking part in the exercise. The Israeli aircraft will simulate preemptive strikes on advanced enemy forces together with F-16s belonging to the U.S. Air National Guard.
During the simulated dog fights the "reds" - F-16s and F-15s from Nellis - will face off against the "blues," F-15s from a base in Ohio. F-16s from another base, in South Carolina, will suppress air defenses. Refueling planes will also be involved in the exercise.
According to the American statement, it may be understood that the IAF preferred this time to leave its most advanced aircraft at home, the F16I (Sufa) and F-15I (Ra'am), which practice the more challenging and distant tasks of the IAF.
Among the competitive events at Rodeo 2009 are supply drops and operating supply aircrafts in battle. Dozens of countries have been invited to Rodeo 2009, including Saudi Arabia, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Tunisia and Algeria.
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