The Air Force Sends Six F-18s to the Canary Islands for Maneuvers at a Difficult Time with Morocco

The Air Force trains in the skies of the Canary Islands. Two wings of F-18 have deployed airplanes in the archipelago to exercise in air combat during this week.

Six F-18 of Wing 12, based in Torrejón de Ardoz (Madrid) have traveled to the Canary Islands to participate in a training with Wing 46, which also has McDonnell Douglas F-18 Hornet fighters.

Sources of the General Headquarters of the Air explain to Confidencial Digital that the objective of this transfer of airplanes from the Peninsula is to participate in an air combat training next to the airplanes that protect the Canary Islands.

The exercise began this Monday and runs until Friday.

The participating airplanes are based in Gando, on the island of Gran Canaria, and are trained in an area defined for these military purposes in the airspace south of the islands.

From the Air Force, they point out that “during the year, exercises of this type are regularly scheduled, which are attended by airplanes from our outstanding units in the Peninsula to train together with the Ala 46 aircraft”.

Last fall, a multinational exercise was held in which Spanish fighters exercised in interception and air-to-air combat against other aircraft.

It should be noted that the operational situation of the F-18 of Ala 46 is the subject of special attention and debate among air defense experts. They are a decisive element in the deterrence and defense of the sovereignty of Spain in the Canary Islands.

Therefore, the problems of seniority and obsolescence of some Gando devices set off the alarms a few years ago.

The Air Force has not resigned itself to losing capacity in regard to fighter jets in the Canary Islands, and for that reason it launched a plan of revisions and maintenance to extend the useful life of the F-18, and even ‘resuscitate’ fighters that were already out of service.

The situation of the Spanish F-18 in the Canary Islands has gained interest in recent months, in reaction to the steps taken by Morocco to extend its territorial waters to the point that they could overlap with the Spanish waters in the archipelago.

Precisely when the Moroccan authorities began these movements, the Air Force broadcast a video of two F-18s flying over the coast of one of the Canary Islands.

Without a doubt Morocco is the most direct threat – although it seems remote – on the Canary Islands.

The army of the North African country has been significantly reinforced in recent years, and in the field of air and combat fighters, Morocco has some advantages with its F-16 equipped with radars, missiles and vision helmets that exceed the capabilities of F-18 in certain areas.





Source: Elconfidencialdigital