Russia has recently lifted the ban on sale of S-300 systems to Iran.
The S-300 is a mobile air defense system that couples a radars capable to track multiple targets with long-range missiles to hit aerial targets at a distance of 150 km and an altitude up to 27,000 meters. Although well-known to the western air forces, it remains a lethal SAM system that Iran could field to protect its nuclear sites.
From Apr. 20 to 30, at least 150 combat planes from all Combat Wings/Squadrons of the HAF performed various missions, day and night, such as Counter Air Operations against Integrated Air Defence Systems, Anti Surface Force Air Operations, Fighter Sweep, HVAAE (High Value Asset Air Escort), Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR), Time Sensitive Targets, Dynamic Targeting – Time Sensitive Targets.
Israel deployed 10 F-16I Sufa jets from four Squadrons (201 «The One», 253 «The Negev», 107 «The Knights of the Orange Tail» and 119 «The Bat) at the 117 Combat Wing/Andravida Air Base and U.S. Air Force in Europe dispatched a number of SF personnel as JTACs (Joint Terminal Attack Controllers).
The Israeli AF Commander Maj Gen Amir Eshel visited the troops and flew at least one mission over Aegean Sea along with his Greek counterpart Lt Gen Christos Vaitsis (with F-16D Block52+ ADV of 335 Sq. “Tiger”).
Some of the last A-4 Skyhawk trainers, “Ayit” for the Israeli Air Force, took part in the flypast. The aircraft are being replaced by the brand new Alenia Aermacchi M-346 “Lavi”.
Below, Beechcraft Super King Air “Tzofit” and RC-12K “Kookiya”:
Three CH-53 “Yas’ur 2000″ helicopters over the beaches of central Israel:
Civilian liners from El Al and Arkia (below, a B-757 and an E-195) took part in the display as well: according to local media outlets they took off from Tel Aviv Ben Gurion, flew to the Haifa area before turning east and heading to Jerusalem.
A formation of the F-16C “Barak”:
The flypast is destined to feature some stealth multi-role aircraft in the coming years: speaking at the Independence day party, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said the United States plan to deliver the first of 33 F-35I (a specially modified version of the Joint Strike Fighter) fighter jets to Israel next year to help its ally maintain its military edge in the Middle East.
The Israeli Air Force could purchase further planes, to form two squadrons of F-35s, each one equipped with 25 JSFs.
The first ever kill by an F-15 was scored by an Israeli Eagle in 1979 over Lebanon, followed, two years later by the first worldwide kill of a Mig-25 Foxbat. Since then, Israeli F-15s were credited with 60 air-to-air victories mainly against Syrian Mig-21, Mig-25 and Mig-23 jets.
The photographs in this post show the Israeli combat-proven F-15s at work.
They were taken by renowned aviation photographer Nir Ben-Yosef who has been documenting the IAF’s people, aircraft and operations for well over a decade.
Developed within a German-led multinational program as a short-range air-to-air missile to replace the ageing AIM-9 Sidewinder the IRIS-T has a range of 25 km and can engage targets flying behind the launching platform thanks to an extreme close-in agility which allows turns of 60 g at a rate of 60°/s.
Interestingly, as the top image (taken by The Aviationist’s contributor Giovanni Maduli) shows, the dummy IRIS-T missile was carried on an underwing pylon while previous tests with the AIM-9L Sidewinder were carried out with the air-to-air missiles mounted on the wing tip launchers.
An amazing footage from 41 years ago shows a dogfight between an Israeli Phantom and an Egyptian Mig.
This clip, part of the documentary “Israel: A Home Movie” was filmed by Moshe Shargal who recalls the day when, in 1973, along with his friends, he witnessed a dogfight between an Israeli Air Force F-4 Kurnass (Sledgehammer) and an Egyptian Mig-17 over Ras Muhammad beach, at the southern extreme of the Sinai Peninsula, overlooking the Gulf of Suez, a territory captured by Israel in the Six-Day War in 1967.
It was Oct. 6, 1973, the day the hostilities started.
Suddenly, a group of Israeli friends who were celebrating the Yom Kippur, the holiest day in Judaism, in the Israeli-occupied territories, saw Mig fighter jets flying into Israel.
Twenty minutes later they spotted a Mig-17 again, followed by a Phantom that fired an air-to-air missile that brought down the Egyptian fighter jet.
Although bad in quality, the footage is an amazing document of one of the Israeli aerial victories during the Yom Kippur War.
In 1973, Israeli Air force (IAF) found itself facing an Arab Air Forces coalition which was composed by Egyptian and Syrian fighter squadrons, but also by units from Algeria, Iraq, Libya and … North Korea, that deployed a MiG-21 squadron to Bir Arida to protect Egypt’s south.