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13 novembre 2015 5 13 /11 /novembre /2015 08:30
The Long Arm: The "International" Squadron has Broken 3 Records


10.11.2015 Talya Yariv | Translation: Ohad Zeltzer Zubida & Ofri Aharon


During the "Red-Flag" training exercise in August, the "International" Squadron operating Boeing 707 aircraft broke multiple records. One of them is the farthest direct flight in the history of the IAF. "The record demonstrates the squadron's range of capabilities"


Farther, longer and stronger: The "International" Squadron aircrews, operating the Boeing 707, broke three records, led by the longest flight in IAF history, that was executed as a part of the transportation operation to and from the "Red-Flag" training exercise that took place in August in Nevada, USA.

The transportation operation to the exercise was a complicated mission that posed an opportunity to practice one of the air force's strategic missions: reaching every point on the globe.

"The records demonstrate the squadron's abilities", exclaims Lt. Col. Itamar, the squadron commander. "They show the range of possibilities the squadron can achieve when needed. They make the aircrews better, raise our confidence in our abilities and expand the range of our skills".


"Breaking a record is a show of capability"

The transportation operation from the USA to Israel at the end of the exercise was carefully planned, as were the stops made on the way. In the first leg of the journey, a malfunction was identified in one of the Boeing 707 aircraft and grounded it for a night for repairs, while the rest of the aircraft continued their journey to Israel.

In order to stick to the original plan, the operation's commanders decided that at the moment the jet will be flight-ready, it would be refueled with a larger quantity than usual and fly directly to Israel.

The approximately 6,000 mile flight was the record breaker and is the farthest flight ever conducted in the history of the IAF.

"There is no squadron that executed such a long flight with no stopovers", said Lt. Col. Itamar. "I see the breaking of the record as a demonstration of ability. The IAF knows that today, it has an aircraft that can takeoff in the heart of the United States and land in Israel and vice versa, this is an important achievement. The 707 landed in Nevatim Airbase without much fuel to spare, but safely and efficiently as we expected".


The Amount of Jets Refueled: Greater than Ever

Another record broken by the "International" Squadron during the "Red-Flag" training exercise was the amount of fuel administered by way of aerial refueling from the Boeing 707s to the F-15s and F-15Is during the transportation operation and the exercise. By the end of the exercise, the squadron reached an unprecedented amount of fuel administered to the fighter jets.

"The amount of fighter jets that passed through the transportation operation, meaning we refueled, was about 50% greater than we ever refueled in any other operation. The amount of fuel that we used during the two weeks of the exercise was equivalent to the amount of fuel the IAF uses every six months", he explained. "Because of the amount of jet fighters, we enlarged the amount of Boeing 707s. Until today, the largest amounts of Boeing 707s that have crossed the Atlantic Ocean simultaneously were three, but now, it's five".

The squadron's main mission which Aerial Refueling mission, is a complicated and unique mission, in which a "controlled collision" situation is conducted. Throughout the training, dozens of "collisions" of this kind were executed.

"In any other division, a collision between two planes would be considered an 'accident'. For us - it's a mission", explains Lt. Col. Itamar. "Like any other IAF mission we complete, we also emphasize lessons for personal improvement. We checked the operation while flying to the United States and made improvements the following morning. This explains why the transportation operation on the way back to Israel was even more professional".

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13 mars 2015 5 13 /03 /mars /2015 12:30
Flying in a Missile-Threatened Area


10.03.2015 Vered Talala & Eilon Tohar – Israel Air Force


Aircrew members from various combat squadrons participated in a first-of-its-kind training exercise, during which they faced Surface-to-Air missile batteries launched from unknown locations


Combat Squadrons took part this week in a unique workshop during which they simulating sudden ambushes of Surface-to-Air missiles (SAM). The aircrew members dealt with SAM's launched from unknown locations and practiced intense combat against other squadrons standing in as the "red enemy". "One of the goals of the workshop is to create a new instructional platform for training squadrons in dangerous zones", said Major Shai from the "First Combat" squadron who led the workshop. "We created a special platform which we want to use in the future".

"This is a type of training never experienced before in the IAF", added Major Shai. "We gave the aircrew members a free reign, from flying low altitudes to ascending to 50,000 feet. The aircrew members were instructed to do whatever they think is right in order to deal with SAM's. That was never done before".

Among the participating squadrons was the "Red Dragon" squadron which simulated the enemy force for the duration of the drill. "The advantage of the high number of squadrons is the variety of platforms available, each with its own advantage", he said. "When we have F-16Is, F-15Is and F-16C/Ds it gives us different ways of dealing with the threats".


Uncertainties Resolved

Uncertainty is a challenge for the aircrew members from the different platforms of the IAF. "Unlike normal training, we didn't know where the SAM's are exactly", explained Major Shai. "For example yesterday, as part of the exercise, I flew in a relatively safe area and out of nowhere a missile was fired toward me. This is how you learn to deal with such situations and find solutions".

Flying in a dangerous zone also requires the aircrew members to deal with severs mental pressure. "It demands a high mental readiness", said Major Shai. "The workshop approached both aircrew members and other soldiers in the squadron. "We can safely say that our air crews are significantly more prepared for a case of warfare in the Northern region".

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21 janvier 2015 3 21 /01 /janvier /2015 08:30
photo Israeli air force

photo Israeli air force


20.01.2015 By Arie Egozi - FG


Tel Aviv - The Israeli air force is upgrading the capabilities of its Boeing F-15I strike aircraft, including the installation of a new radar system. The sensor most likely to be fitted is the Raytheon APG-82(V)1 active electronically scanned array, which was also fitted to the US Air Force's F-15Es in place of the ageing APG-70. The selection of the US-made radar instead of an Israeli-designed option is likely the result of the fact that Israel can purchase the APG-82(V)1 using the Foreign Military Funding it receives annually from the USA.


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