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South Korea, US launch major air defense drill

April 10, 2015, 8:41 UTC+3 SEOUL
The exercises will take place in South Korean airspace through April 24 and will involve around 100 aircraft and 1,400 service personnel from the two countries
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© EPA/YONHAP

SEOUL, April 10. /TASS/. The South Korean and US Air Forces began large-scale two-week-long exercises, the Max Thunder, on Friday aimed at beefing up their combined defense capability.

The exercises will take place in South Korean airspace through April 24 and will involve around 100 aircraft and 1,400 service personnel from the two countries, the Air Force headquarters said in a press release.

The drill will mobilize 50 South Korean aircraft, including the F-15K and KF-16 combat jets as well as its light attack warplane the FA-50. The US will send its F-16 and F-15 fighters.

South Korea’s officers said the training missions will be based on simulating air battles with the goal of neutralizing an enemy's air defense system with strong readiness and joint air firepower in case of an emergency.

The commander of the drill, Col. Kim Heung-soo said: "We will continue to intensify our combat readiness through this kind of practical exercise and to further strengthen joint operations ability to sternly and strongly respond to enemy provocations."

The biannual maneuvers were officially initiated in 2009, the South Korean Air Force has said.

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