US-South Korea Conduct Vigilant Ace 18 Defense Exercise. The United States of America and the Republic of Korea (South Korea) began one of the largest air force maneuvers Vigilant Ace 18 on Monday. This airforce drill is considered one of the biggest ever drills in the history conducted between two great partners of Asia. This was reported by the Ministry of National Defense of the Republic of Korea.
Six F-22 Raptor fighters, advanced fighter-bombers of the fifth generation (F-35A) and two strategic bombers B-1B Lancer took part in the exercises for the first time at the same time. In total, more than 230 aircraft of the US Air Force and South Korea were involved.
The Defense Ministry stresses that the Vigilant Ace 18 is aimed at “working out the combat interaction of the air forces of the two countries in any weather or condition, day and night.” In the course of maneuvers, the Allies “will work out various scenarios, including striking high-precision strikes” for educational purposes, which are copies of North Korean facilities associated with the DPRK nuclear missile program, as well as models of mobile missile launchers.
Vigilant Ace 18 exercise takes place against the backdrop of a new round of tension on the Korean Peninsula, related to the November 29 launch of the Hwaseong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile, as well as the joint military maneuvers of the United States and South Korea that preceded it, which invariably provokes criticism in Pyongyang.
Since mid-September, the DPRK for 75 days has refrained from any provocative actions, but November 29 it unexpectedly launched the Hwaseong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile. According to experts, this radically designed new missile can cover a distance of up to 13 thousand km which can potentially reach any target in the United States and Europe.
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