Tag Archives: Israel

US, European airlines cancel all flights to Israel after rocket lands near Tel Aviv airport

Tel Aviv airport is almost isolated following the decision of several U.S. and European airlines to cancel all flights to Israel amid concern for the continuing rocket attacks.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, shot down by an SA-11 Gadfly (“Buk”) while overflying eastern Ukraine, has reminded the world that civilian planes should be kept away from war zones.

For this reason, when on Jul. 22 rockets fell close to Ben Gurion international airport, in Tel Aviv, Delta Airlines and several U.S. and European airlines decided to cancell all their flights to Israel not to jeopardize the safety of their planes.

At the time Delta decided it was not safe to fly to Israel, DL468, a Boeing 747-400 was en route from JFK to Tel Aviv. The flight was then diverted to Paris Charles De Gaulle international airport.

Along with Delta, United Airlines, American Airlines, Lufthansa, Air France, Alitalia and other airlines decided to cancel their flights to Tel Aviv, most of them for at least 24 – 36 hours, or “until further notice.”

Image credit: Flightaradar24.com

 

Hamas flying an Iranian-made Armed Drone over Gaza

Al Qassam Brigades are using their Twitter feed to show an Armed Drone flying over Gaza.

Ezzedeen Al Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas are flying an UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) over Gaza Strip and are using the social media to show footage and photographs of the rarely seen Ababil A1B armed drone.

Ababil (Persian: ابابیل‎, “swallow”) is the name of a large family of UAV made in Iran developed for tactical reconnaissance, short/medium range attack and as target drones.

Notheworthy, the Ababil 1 is one of the less known variants belonging to the family, which includes the Ababil 3, reportedly shot down in Iraq by a U.S. F-16 in February 2009, the Ababil 5 medium range recon drone; the Ababil-T, a a twin-tailed attack variant used by Hezbollah in northern Israel; and several other scarcely seen or unconfirmed models, as the Ababil-R and the Ababil-S.

The aircraft depicted in the footage released by Hamas carries four AGMs (Air-to-Ground Missiles) even though it is almost impossible to say whether they are real weapons or just mock ups.

In fact, the group claimed on Twitter that the A1B carried out three missions over Israeli military bases and a specific mission over the Israeli war ministry but the fact the drone didn’t use any of the on board weaponry seems to suggest it does not have a real capability to use it.

In other words, even if we can’t rule the possibility that Hamas’s drones can use their air-to-surface weapons, it seems that it carries four missiles it can’t fire.

These missiles are quite similar to those carried by Fotros, the largest Iranian UCAV to date. When it was unveiled, the Fotros was showcased carrying missiles that resembled the AGM-114 Hellfire. They sported a ‘K-2′ written on them in a similar style to that seen on AGM-114K-2 missiles.

Nevertheless, the unprecedented activity by Hamas drones is confirmed by the Israeli Defense Force, that confirmed to have shot down a UAV with a Patriot missile, near Ashdod, earlier on Monday Jul. 14.

This is not the first time made-in-Iran drones appear far from Tehran, in war-time. Several types of UAV, including brand new models and drones based on captured US robots, have been spotted over Syria during the uprising and subsequent fighting between rebels and Assadists.

But it is quite surprising to see a small/medium drone, as the Ababil 1, flying (almost undisturbed) over Gaza (especially since the airspace over the Strip is currently filled with Israeli Air Force fighter planes). And, above all, it is weird such a small UAV does carry weapons and surveillance sensors: all things that imply a significant payload and require larger airframes, more robust wings and engineering capabilities not believed to be in Hamas possession until today.

 

 

H/T @troublejee for the heads-up

 

 

Stunning, rare air-to-air image of the first Israeli Air Force C-130J in formation with other

The first Israeli Air Force C-130J Super Hercules (dubbed “Samson”) arrived at Nevatim air base. But on its way to its new airbase, it was welcomed by other IAF support aircraft for a fantastic and unusual shot.

The first of four C-130J has arrived in Israel. The new aircraft joined the Heavy Transport Division of the force.

The Israeli Air Force C-130Js, are those featuring a longer fuselage, capable to accommodate 92 paratroopers and their equipment or, alternatively, four military SUVs or 128 soldiers.

With the arrival of the first new cargo plane (the remaining three C-130Js will be delivered by the end of this year and the beginning of 2015), the Israeli Air Force will consolidate its transport fleet: the 103 Sqn “Elephants” squadron, that will operate the new “Samson”, will be absorbed into the 131 Sqn “Knights of the yellow bird” which mainly uses upgraded H-model examples.

During its delivery flight, the new C-130J was met mid-air by other aircraft of the IAF based at Nevatim: a C-130H “Karnaf”, a G-V Nachshon Shavit spyplane and a KC-707 Re’em.

Last month, the first M-346 advanced jet trainer for the IAF was unveiled in Italy.

Image credit: IAF. H/T to Nimrod Weiss for the heads-up

 

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Israeli Air Force celebrates Space Week with eerie image of a Cosmic War

The image used by the Israel’s Air Force to advertise an article about the Israeli Space Week features a battle of spacecrafts: error or subliminal message?

It must have been a mistake but the image that the Israeli Air Force posted on Facebook, along with the link to the article on the IAF official website that celebrates the Israeli Space Week, shows a sort of cosmic battle.

IAF FB page

Actually, the related post published on the much informative IAF website has little to do with weaponization of space. It recounts the activities conducted by the Israeli Space Agency during 2013.

Still, the image (a very well known space wallpaper that you can download at different sizes from several websites, including this one) chosen for the Facebook post is a bit “aggressive”: maybe by accident, because an alien invasion is imminent or just because Israel knows very well where the future wars are going to be fought.

Image credit: 1hdwallpapers.com/IAF Facebook page

 

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Israeli, Italian, Hellenic and U.S. Air Force take part in largest joint-military exercise in Israel’s history

It has nothing to do with an eventual attack on Tehran as it was planned several months ago.

Still, its timing is funny, as it kicked off on the same day U.S. and Iran signed the historic nuclear deal in Geneva.

Exercise “Blue Flag”, taking place over a vast area of southern Israel from Nov. 24 to 28 and involving about 100 aircraft from the host nation, U.S., Italy and Greece, is the largest joint-military exercise in Israel’s history.

Its aim is to improve cooperation among the participating air forces and train together in a wide range of missions, including Defensive, Offensive Counter-Air and Close Air Support.

Italy, that has built a strong military relationship with Israel in the last years, taking part to previous local smaller scale drills, has deployed AMX and Tornado fighter bombers, while U.S. detached some F-15E Strike Eagles from RAF Lakenheath, in the UK. Greece dispatched F-16s to take part in Blue Flag that is being attended by observers from 20 nations.

H/T to Strategy Reports for the link to the video.

Image credit: IAF

 

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