Israel will join the RAF’s Cobra Warrior exercise in September along with aircraft from Germany and Italy.
An MoD spokesperson told the UK Defence Journal:
“The Israeli Air Force will be participating Exercise Cobra Warrior in Sep 2019. This is the culminating event for the UK’s Weapons Instructor qualification course.
The exercise will be run out of RAF Waddington.
The Israeli Air Force role, basing and footprint during Ex Cobra Warrior is yet to be determined. Israel are planning to bring an, as yet, unspecified number of F15 aircraft with appropriate support personnel.
Other participants in Ex Cobra Warrior 19 include Germany and Italy.”
It has since been confirmed that RAF Waddington will be the basing location.
The Cobra Warrior exercise traditionally includes crew and aircraft from other allied air forces that train together with their British counterparts in complex combat scenarios.
In 2018, the RAF invited German and Italian aircraft to take part in the exercise, this year they will be joined by Israeli jets.
Formerly named the Combined Qualified Weapons Instructor, Cobra Warrior is focussed on providing the combined assessment phase for the RAF’s Weapons Instructors.
The Royal Air Force is expected to take part in Blue Flag 2020, which would be the first time British aircraft have trained in Israeli airspace however, some commentators point out that British aircraft routinely transit through Israeli airspace and on occasion in the past, have flown from RAF Akrotiri to help with forest fires.
Last year, Israeli combat pilots attended a joint training seminar with the Typhoon aircrew at RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland, but reportedly did not arrive with their own aircraft.
Recently, Israeli firm Elbit Systems announced that its subsidiary, Elbit Systems UK Ltd, was awarded an initial contract of circa £10 million and a potential maximum value of £40 million, from the UK Ministry of Defence.
The contract is to provide the MORPHEUS Battlefield Management Application. The initial contract will be performed over a three-year period.
Under the contract Elbit Systems UK will provide the British Army with an operationally proven battle management application for both headquarters and tactical units, based on TORC2 H™, Elbit Systems’ command and control platform that has been delivered to many customers worldwide, including to the Australian Defence Forces as part of its Land 200 Tranche 2 battle management system.
Last year, Type 45 Destroyer HMS Duncan and a Spanish frigate docked in the Israeli port city of Haifa.
For the Royal Navy this was the third visit in as many years, recently sold helicopter carrier HMS Ocean, then flagship of the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2, docked in Haifa in 2017.
The visit reportedly included meetings between senior NATO officers and their Israeli counterparts, as well as a joint NATO-Israel naval exercise.
“The exercise underscores NATO’s commitment to the strategic relationship with the Israeli Navy and to the maintenance of stability in the region,” the IDF said.
NATO cooperates and discusses its activities with numerous other non-NATO members. The Mediterranean Dialogue was established in 1994 to coordinate in a similar way with Israel and countries in North Africa.