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UK holds biggest Air Force exercise in 13 years for "Russian attacks" - media

The UK's Royal Air Force held the biggest exercise over British skies in the past 13 years to repel a Russian threat, The Sunday Times reported.

The Rising Panther air combat exercises were held on March 19 but information on the UK's war games was published in the media only on Sunday.

"The RAF has launched a series of air combat exercises to prepare for any 'mass' enemy air attack on the UK," the paper said, adding such large-scale air defense exercises over the British skies were held for the first time at least in the past 13 years.

According to the paper, the maneuvers involving more than 30 aircraft, including 20 Typhoon jet fighters and Tornado bombers were held in a day-long war game over the skies of northeast England earlier this month due to the increasingly frequent flights by Russian military aircraft in the international air space close to the UK's territory.

Similar air defense exercises dubbed the Rising Panther are expected to be held regularly above the British skies, up to six times a year, the paper said.

[Source: Itar Tass, London, 29Mar15]

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