Israeli Air Force Holds Large-scale Joint Exercise in Bulgaria

42 Israeli aircraft said to take part, while Bulgaria contributes S-300 missile system of the type deployed in Syria and Iran

Israeli air force F-15 jets are fuelled in the air during an exhibition as part of a pilot graduation ceremony at the Hatzerim air base, southern Israel June 25, 2009. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
Israeli air force F-15 jets are fuelled in the air during an exhibition as part of a pilot graduation ceremony at the Hatzerim air base, southern Israel June 25, 2009. REUTERS/Amir Cohen REUTERS

Israeli and Bulgarian air forces are holding a joint exercise over Bulgaria, the Xinhua news agency reported.  

Bulgaria will commit MiG-29 fighter aircraft and land-based air defense systems – likely the S-300 system that Iran has just received from Russia, and that Russia has deployed in Syria. 42 Israeli aircraft, including F-15 and F-16 fighters, will also take part.

The Bulgarian defense ministry said the exercise "will lead to increased interoperability and expansion of military co-operation between the armed forces of Bulgaria and Israel, as well as to the improvement of the preparation of the units of the Bulgarian Air Force."

Israel's army is currently holding its largest drill in 20 years in the north of the country, one that encompass all forces: ground, air, sea and intelligence. Thousands of reserve soldiers are taking part in the exercise, which includes mock terrorist infiltrations, evacuation of Israeli border towns and an attack on Lebanon with the aim of 'vanquishing Hezbollah.'