Israel stealth combat F-35s to fly over Cyprus

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Israel’s combat aircraft F-35s will fly over Cyprus during a three-day joint military exercise with the Republic’s armed forces taking place in Limassol and Paphos between 17 -19 November.

It is said to be the first time that Israel will deploy its fifth-generation stealth fighter jets in a joint exercise with Cyprus.

This is an important development for the National Guard as it will be given a first-class opportunity to test its anti-aircraft system against one of the best combat aircrafts available.

Israel will be deploying its F-15, F-16 and F-35 fighter jets, which, according to the exercise scenario, will not be landing, but will only carry out a virtual attack on targets from medium and high altitudes.

The Ministry of Defence said the planned exercise is to be carried out under the codename “ONISILOS-GIDEON”.

Cyprus will activate the National Guard’s air defence systems to virtually target the planes.

“The exercise, to be conducted within the Nicosia FIR, is part of the agreed program of Bilateral Defence Cooperation with Israel and is considered to be a result of closer cooperation between the two neighbours in the fields of energy and security,” said a ministry statement.

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is an American family of single-seat, single-engine, all-weather stealth multirole combat aircraft intended to perform both air superiority and strike missions.

It is also able to provide electronic warfare and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities.