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The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) has announced plans to hold a live-fly air defence exercise.

NORAD said via Twitter that it would conduct the exercise over west-central California.

The exercise is expected to take place between approximately 1pm and 3pm local time and will involve a fighter jet and a transport aircraft.

NORAD’s twitter statement read: “NORAD F-16 fighter and C-130J transport aircraft will operate at high altitudes for most portions of the exercise. However, there will be a low approach at a Monterey County airfield.”

The Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon is the US Air Force (USAF) multi-role fighter aircraft. Currently, there are more than 2,000 in service with the USAF and over 2,500 operational with 25 other countries.

The C-130J Hercules is the USAF’s principal tactical cargo and personnel transport aircraft.

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According to NORAD, the flight exercises are part of its routine training programme. They are carefully planned and closely controlled.

The drills allow the crew to prepare for a variety of scenarios, including airspace restriction violations, hijacks and unknown aircraft responses. It helps maintain their readiness and to remain on alert daily in defence of North America.

In January, NORAD identified and tracked two Tu-142 Russian maritime patrol aircraft entering the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ).