German photographer says: Jordan flew in IDF aerial drill

A German military photographer on Friday posted two images of Jordanian fighter jets taking part in this month’s massive Blue Flag aerial exercise on social media on Friday, apparently inadvertently revealing that the kingdom had participated in the Israeli-organized drill.

Until the cameraman, Falk Bärwald, posted the photos on his Instagram account, Jordan’s participation in the two-week exercise had been officially kept secret.

In one photo, a Jordanian F-16 fighter jet can be seen traveling along an airstrip at the Israeli Air Force’s Ovda base, just north of Eilat, as a French Rafale plane flies over it. In the second, a Jordanian F-16 could be seen taking off from the same base.

The German military photographer later deleted his post, although the images had already been downloaded and widely shared on Twitter, Telegram, and other social media platforms.

In years past, analysts and aviation enthusiasts have seen what appeared to be Jordanian aircraft participating in the Blue Flag exercise, both in 2017 and 2019, although these have not necessarily been definitive, as the software is known to show. commercially available aircraft tracking. false readings.

Photographs showing Jordanian F-16 fighter jets participating in the Israel Air Force’s Blue Flag exercise, which were shared by a German military photographer on Instagram on October 29, 2021 (Falk Bärwald).

Although Israel and Jordan, who signed a peace treaty 27 years ago this week, are known to work closely militarily, Amman generally seeks to downplay this cooperation, in light of the Jordanian public’s general antipathy towards Israel. Seeing more practical value in military cooperation than frankness about its ties to Jordan, Israel generally respects Amman’s requests for discretion.

The Blue Flag exercise began on October 14 and concluded on Thursday. Eight foreign military personnel participated in the drill, which according to Israeli Air Force officials was the largest and most advanced aerial exercise that has been conducted in Israel to date. In addition, representatives from several other foreign countries, including the UAE air force commander, came to Israel to observe the drill.

The simulation pits the nine participating air forces against a fictional enemy, Dragonland, which forces them to perform a variety of missions, while facing enemy aircraft, surface-to-air missiles and other threats.

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