Israeli Air Force and RAF to conduct historic joint exercise over UK skies

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Israeli Air Force and RAF to conduct historic joint exercise over UK skies

Exercise Cobra Warrior based at Waddington in Lincolnshire is expected to last until 20 September, in three-week multi-national coordination effort

F-35I Adir accompanied by a Negev Squadron F-16I Sufa (Wikipedia/Israeli Air Force/Major Ofer, Israeli Air Force רס"ן עופר, חיל האוויר הישראלי)
F-35I Adir accompanied by a Negev Squadron F-16I Sufa (Wikipedia/Israeli Air Force/Major Ofer, Israeli Air Force רס"ן עופר, חיל האוויר הישראלי)

Israeli military aircraft will be flying over the UK in a joint exercise for the first time ever this week, as part of a three week multi-national coordination effort with Britain’s Royal Air Force as well as German, Italian and US planes.

For UK-Israel defence cooperation, Exercise Cobra Warrior marks a landmark moment, and the training based at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire is expected to last until 20 September.

The five nations possess some of the most advanced fighters in the world and the RAF described the exercise as “high intensity large force tactical training” involving around 50 aircraft, which the Israeli delegation said would be a great help.

“We are happy and proud to participate in the Cobra Warrior exercise,” said Brigadier General Amnon Ein-Dar, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) head of training.

“This is the first time IAF fighter aircraft are deployed to and flying in Britain. The deployment will help improve IAF readiness and capability. We view this exercise as the highest standard of training, an excellent opportunity for mutual learning and bolstering cooperation between partners.”

The exercise “develops the tactical leadership of aircrew and supporting elements within a complex air environment” and allows the teams to develop, plan and practice tactics and procedures during war-like scenarios.

Israeli aircraft have reportedly been in action over Syria, Iraq and Lebanon in recent weeks, and Britain this week welcomed the input of other nations as a learning opportunity.

“The RAF welcomes the participation of our Air Force colleagues from other nations,” said Group Captain Robert Barrett. “We welcome the opportunity to train alongside all of the participating nations’ forces on this challenging exercise.”

The UK and Israel already spend hundreds of millions of pounds purchasing each other’s defence equipment, and next year the military partnership looks set to solidify, as Israel hosts RAF pilots taking part in Blue Flag 2020, Israel’s largest international air exercise. It will be the first time that RAF jets will have trained in Israeli airspace.

Several Israeli combat pilots took part in a joint training seminar with RAF Typhoon pilots last year, and in 2017 senior RAF personnel toured Israeli bases.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: