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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iranian pilots show off dogfighting skills in war games

RIA Novosti

17/10/2008 14:21 TEHRAN, October 17 (RIA Novosti) - The Iranian Air Force started on Friday large scale combat drills in the northwest of the country with simulated dogfights, the IAF press service said in a statement.

"Iranian fighters and bombers took off early on Friday from various airfields throughout the country and conducted a number of simulated dogfights. All the missions were well-organized and were performed successfully," the statement said.

Friday's war games also included missions performed by domestic Saegheh fighters, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), and reconnaissance aircraft.

The exercises are being held near Tabriz in Iran's East Azerbaijan Province to "demonstrate the might and combat readiness of Iran's Air Force."

They involve the entire range of Iran's fighter fleet, including U.S.-made F-4, F-5, F-7 and F-14 fighters and domestic Saegheh fighters. Mid-air refueling is provided by Boeing 707 aerial tankers.

The aircraft are flying simulated combat missions from air fields in Tehran, Isfahan, Tabriz and Hamadan.

Iran has conducted several high-profile war games this year. The United States and Israel have consistently refused to rule out the possibility of military strikes against Iran over its refusal to halt its nuclear program.

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