The South Korean and US Air Forces have launched a five-day annual joint exercise, Max Thunder, in the western airspace of the Korean peninsula.

The Max Thunder exercise is aimed to sharpen the forces’ war-fighting ability and to work together in simulated, realistic combat war situations.

About 300 pilots, 60 warplanes, a fleet of F-15K fighter jets from South Korea, and F-16 fighters and AWACS air surveillance planes from the US will be participating in the exercise.

The exercise training missions include simulating air battles with four or eight jets and neutralising an enemy’s air defence system in case of an all-out war.

South Korea has been conducting war drills since North Korean attacks on the South Korean Peninsula last year.