During a 60-hour drill, the Israeli Air Force proved its ability to strike 3,000 Hezbollah targets within a 24-hour period, the Jerusalem Post said.
The drill involved the entire Air Force, including technicians, ammunition officers, and reservists who were called up from home to participate.
“We practiced defending Israel’s skies against cruise missiles and operating our active [aerial] defense system against the rockets that they will want to use to target air force bases and densely populated areas,” a senior IAF officer said.
“We practiced attacking high-value targets in quantities in a way we never did before,” the officer said, adding that “it was 24 hours with more than 3,000 targets attacked, causing severe damage to the operations of the enemy.”
The following scenario was the focus of an Israel Defense Forces exercise that began on Sunday morning and ended on Tuesday at noon: a Hezbollah missile hits an IAF fighter jet. In response, the entire air force is scrambled to participate in a broad offensive against Lebanon, including attacks against infrastructure such as bridges, power plants and airports spanning 24 hours.
Despite the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, about 85% of IAF personnel participated in the exercise.
One of the main tasks simulated was achieving air superiority over Lebanon. This was achieved by destroying all elements that could threaten Israeli aircraft, including antiaircraft launchers, especially in southern Lebanon and Beirut, where Hezbollah has its headquarters.
Two weeks ago, Hezbollah tried to shoot down an IAF drone over Lebanon. The surface-to-air missile missed, and the drone continued its reconnaissance mission, IDF said at the time.
While the drill focused on Hezbollah and Lebanon, the IAF considers the North as a single front and understands that Hezbollah also operates in Syria and that Iran is present throughout what is referred to as the “Shi’ite Crescent,” spanning Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, the senior officer said.