F-35 jets launched from HMS Queen Elizabeth took part an exercise alongside Israeli and Italian jets.
According to the U.S. Air Force, F-35s from four nations came together in a large-scale exercise in Italy, during which the fifth-generation fighters will fly alongside several fourth-generation jets.
“Falcon Strike 21 is a joint multinational exercise with participants from the United States, Israel, Italy, and the United Kingdom. The exercise optimizes the integration between fourth-generation and fifth-generation aircraft, increases the level of cooperation in the F-35 logistics and expeditionary fields, and strengthens interoperability of allied and partner air forces during joint operations.
This year’s exercise is hosted by Italy and will provide multinational forces the opportunity to test and improve shared technical and tactical knowledge, while conducting complex air operations in a multinational, joint force environment. Amendola Air Base is the main operating base for Falcon Strike 21 and all training scenarios will take place in Italian air space.”
U.S. Air Force F-35s from Hill Air Force Base, Utah, and F-16s from Aviano Air Base, Italy, are flying in exercise Falcon Strike 21 at Amendola Air Base, Italy, June 7-15. They will join U.S. Marine Corps F-35Bs, along with F-35As and F-35Bs from the Italian Air Force, F-35Bs from the United Kingdom Royal Air Force, and F-35Is from the Israeli Air Force.
Additional participating aircraft include the Italian Gulfstream G550, F-2000 Eurofighter Typhoon, Panavia Tornado, AMX International aircraft, Alenia Aermacchi T-346, and MQ-1s.
The Italian-hosted exercise “will provide multinational forces the opportunity to test and improve shared technical and tactical knowledge, while conducting complex air operations in a multinational, joint force environment,” U.S. Air Forces in Europe said in a release.