Tag Archives: Israeli Air Force

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

IAF C-130J

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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[Photo] Israel’s new advanced trainer aircraft rolled out

M-346 IAF

The first M-346 advanced trainer in the colors of the Israeli Air & Space Force was rolled out at Alenia Aermacchi’s plant in Venegono Superiore, Italy.

The first of 30 M-346 advanced jet trainer aircraft selected by the Israeli Air Force to replace the TA-4 Skyhawk currently operated by the IAF was presented to the authorities on Mar. 20.

The first M-346 is expected to be delivered to the IAF in summer 2014.

The “Master” has also been recently ordered by Poland, the fourth customer of the advanced trainer that is already in service with the Italian and Republic of Singapore Air Force. A total of 56 M-346 have been ordered so far.

Image credit: Alenia Aermacchi


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Israeli Air Force reportedly hit targets in Bekaa Valley near Lebanon-Syria border

F-16 takeoff

Although still unconfirmed, it looks like Israeli planes have conducted raids against Hezbollah targets.

Several media outlets in both Lebanon and Israel are reporting about a series of air strikes conducted by Israeli warplanes in the evening of Feb. 24 on the Lebanese-Syrian border area.

Al-Arabiya TV quoted witnesses according to those “more than two Israeli airstrikes have targeted Hizbullah posts in the outskirts of the towns of Janta, Brital and al-Nabi Sheet,” even if it is still unclear whether the airstrikes hit targets located inside Syria or Lebanon.

According to Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency two Israeli airstrikes were conducted on “the outskirts of al-Nabi Sheet near the Lebanese-Syrian border,” whereas LBCI TV said the Israeli planes struck targets “in the countryside facing the towns of Janta and Yahfoufa,” inside Syria.

Similar attacks were launched against Syrian targets in May 2013, one of those hit a convoy with weapons destined to Hezbollah near Damascus with PGMs (Precision Guided Munitions) and plenty of EW (Electronic Warfare) support.

Image credit: IAF

Written with David Cenciotti


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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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A look into Israeli Air Force’s most important and active Spyplanes

Beech 200

100 Sqn is not only the oldest Israeli Air Force unit.

The Squadron of the “Flying Camels” is also IAF’s most active one in terms of flying hours.

It has taken part in each war fought by Israel since 1948 War of Independence, and its spyplanes almost constantly fly over the Israel-Lebanon border, near Gaza, or wherever they are requested to collect imagery, observe ground targets and detect any Hamas or Hezbollah activity.

In fact, its task is to provide visual intelligence and targeting to make Israel’s air strikes surgical (and effective).

The squadron is equipped with the “Tzufit”, a highly modified Beech 200 Super King Air that has been packed with advanced (and mostly secret) electro-optic surveillance systems that acts as a spyplane as well as an airborne command post.

During its routine surveillance flights, the aircraft gathers data that is used to build up and update a database of ground targets: if a suspect activity or an actual rocket attack is reported inside the Gaza Strip, one of the aircraft is promptly scrambled to spot the target (if not already flying in the vicinity), identify and select it, “clean it” (confirming that there are no civilians nearby), and then live broadcast the images of the terrorists to a wide variety of “customers”, attack planes, helicopter, drones, ground patrols, that will have the task to actually destroy it.

In other words, the modified, seemingly harmless twin-turboprop plane is pivotal to the entire process that goes from the selection to the destruction of the target.


100 Sqn commander, Lt. Col. Yoav (last name was not released) was recently interviewed by the Jerusalem Post at the unit headquarters at Sde Dov airport in Tel Aviv.

What he said is interesting under several points of view.

First of all, he explained that the Beech aircraft of his squadron support army forces in Judea and Samaria, on the Gaza border, and have also flown abroad, when they have taken part to a joint exercise with the Hellenic Air Force in Crete.

Then, he highlighted the importance of manned intelligence platforms versus drones, unveiling a subtle competition with UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) crews: piloted planes can observe ground targets from a greater distances, and from higher altitudes, staying out of the envelope of surface-to-air missiles. Furthermore, the “Tzufit” turboprop are faster than drones (hence it can quickly be diverted to follow a “target of opportunity”) and is less affected by bad weather.

Once the target has been handed over to an attack platform, the subsequent strike can be called off even when a missile is already in the air on its way to the target.

“We are connected to everything happening in the Middle East,” Yoav said to the JP. “If something happens, we get involved,” and we can understand the reason.

Image credit: IDF


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