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15 avril 2014 2 15 /04 /avril /2014 16:30
Photo Major Ofer IAF

Photo Major Ofer IAF


10.04.2014 Shani Pomes - IAF


The first of the advanced transport planes, the C-130J Hercules, landed in Israel At an exciting ceremony at the new home of the planes - Nevatim airbase - the "Elephants" squadron sign was pasted on the tail of the first "Shimshon" and the plane officially joined the ranks of the IAF


The moment the IAF and "Lockheed Martin" have been waiting for has arrived: the advanced transport plane, the C-130J Hercules, joined the ranks of the IAF. Accompanied by the older planes on base - Boeing 707, Gulfstream, and Hercules planes - the plane landed on the runway of its home in the Negev desert. "On this day, we mark a new peak in the capabilities of the IDF and the Transport Division of the IAF in particular", said Lieutenant General Benny Gantz, IDF Chief of Staff, at the ceremony. "The long arm of the IDF is becoming even longer, more accurate, more flexible and more powerful".


The plane was met by Moshe Ya'alon, the Minister of Defense, the IDF Chief of Staff and Major General Amir Eshel, IAF Commander, in addition to dozens of senior officials from the IAF and the Ministry of Defense. Also in attendance were Mr. Dan Shapiro, U.S. Ambassador to Israel and "Lockheed Martin" CEO, Ms. Marillyn Hewson, whose factories manufactured the planes. During the ceremony, the IAF Commander, IDF Chief of Staff and Minister of Defense pasted the symbol of the "Elephants" squadron, whose crews will be operating the plane in the coming years, on the tail of the plane.


For some time now, the IAF and Nevatim airbase have been preparing for the arrival of the plane and from now on, the "Elephants" squadron will be able to train alongside the plane and go out on operational missions. "Its Hebrew name (Shimshon) which was taken from the Biblical hero, reflects our expectations of its performance and its achievements in war and the battle between wars", said the IAF Commander in his speech.


"The C-130J Hercules will integrate into the long arm of the IAF and will make it even stronger in a range of missions that borders on the imagination. It'll add new dimensions and essential flexibility to IDF missions".The C-130J Hercules is a tactical transport plane that is mostly used in joint missions with ground forces: supply missions, equipment transfer, airdropping combat forces and special missions.

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15 avril 2014 2 15 /04 /avril /2014 11:30
The Secret Behind The Herculean Deal



09.04.2014 Noa Fenigstein - iaf.org.il


This week, the Hercules C-130J, an advanced transport plane, will land at Nevatim airbase. Not many people know that the procurement deal became one of the most complex deals the IAF has ever known. What is behind one of the IAF's most expensive and significant procurement deals in recent years?


This week, the Hercules C-130J plane, one of the best transport planes in the world, will land at Nevatim airbase and will join the ranks of the IAF and the Heavy Transport Division. Against the backdrop of the defense budget cuts, the Hercules C-130J procurement deal became one of the largest, most complex and most challenging processes the IAF and the Ministry of Defense- the Budget Department in particular-have experienced in recent years.


Cuts in the defense budget in the IAF and the IDF have forced decision-makers to take drastic measures: squadrons have been consolidated and even the human resources have been hurt following the dismissal of many commissioned officers. Nonetheless, the IAF has had to remain vigilant and stand firm against the challenges of the day.


"Usually, the people who work in the Budget Department know how to come and say 'these are the resources, good luck'. But that's definitely not our approach", explained Major Galit Golan, Head of Transport Procurements at the Budget Department. "We bring the solutions, we understand the operational needs and we are connected to them".


The Battle Between The Real and The Ideal


The IAF is not economic entity, so when economic considerations are balanced against operational considerations, the latter far outweighs the former, which held true in the purchase of the Hercules C-130J. How would the department reconcile the purchase with the economic reality? "If we decided that we were going to buy the platform and were going to direct the IAF to that point, the Budget department would have to do its best to make it happen", explained Major Galit. "However, there is a lack of resources and we need to find creative solutions in order give the IAF the best answers and that's where the tension starts".

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7 avril 2014 1 07 /04 /avril /2014 16:30
The Future Is Here: The Hercules C-130J lands at Nevatim Airbase



07.04.2014 Shani Pomes - iaf.org.il


This week, the IAF is expected to become stronger with the landing of the latest transport plane, the Hercules C-130J "Shimshon" (Hebrew for Samson). The IAF's new acquisition is capable of carrying much more than its sister plane, the Hercules H, and will be equipped with advanced Israeli systems which will extend the strategic arm of the IAF


This week, it's finally happening: after long anticipation and much preparation, the Hercules C-130J will land at the Nevatim airbase and will join the ranks of the IAF. The latest plane will join the Heavy Transport Division of the force and will add advanced capabilities to the long arm of the IAF.


Big, Accurate, Strong And Safe


The IAF purchased the long version of the Hercules C-130J from Lockheed- Martin which allows for an improved carrying capacity: instead of 64 paratroopers the short version can carry, the Hercules C-130J can accommodate in its cargo hold 92 paratroopers and their equipment. Alternatively, the cargo hold can accommodate four military SUVs instead of three, or transport 128 soldiers.


"The more cargo a plane is able to take, the fewer the trips that are necessary to accumulate power on the battlefield", explains Lieutenant Colonel Uri, commander of the "Elephants" squadron. "Also, there is cargo that cannot be put in a short plane and can only be put in a long plane". A tour of the cockpit of the Hercules C-130J reveals cutting-edge technology: in addition to the digital screens and the advanced displays, the new plane is equipped with new systems that streamline the aircraft maintenance work and allow the technicians to gain information on the routine operations and the malfunctions. Many of the systems that will be installed in the plane are Israeli-made and will make the Hercules C-130J stand out from Hercules planes around the world.


Working With Ground Forces


The installation of the Israeli systems in the Hercules C-130J was carried out in the production line of the planes in the United States and after the plane lands in Israel, additional systems will be installed. This is one step in the integration process of the IAF platform, during which the Hercules C-130J will undergo test flights at the Test Flight Center and, simultaneously, the air crews of the "Elephants" squadron will begin training on it.


"The Hercules C-130J is a plane whose main missions mostly include tactical transport of forces and cargo for long and short distances, in large amounts and with high accuracy", adds Lieutenant Colonel Uri. "The plane will mostly work with ground forces and to their benefit: it will transport forces, rescue them and know how to execute transport and supply missions for them with a high degree of efficiency and safety".

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19 mars 2014 3 19 /03 /mars /2014 08:30
Drop Zone Is Ready at Nevatim airbase


20.02.2014 Shani Pomes - IAF


A special parachuting zone that will serve ground troops was inaugurated at Nevatim airbase. The new zone will reduce flight times and in so doing, will save money on future training costs. "The use of parachuting capabilities will be a surprise in terms of place, time and technique"


One of the most familiar capabilities of the Hercules C-130 is the airdropping of paratroops. A new parachuting zone, which will strengthen the ties between ground forces and the IAF, was inaugurated at Nevatim airbase in the Negev, the home of the Hercules C-130 planes.

"The parachuting zone that we are inaugurating will be called "Machbesh" (Hebrew for steamroller) named after the parachuting operation executed at the Mitle Pass during the Sinai campaign in 1956", explained Brigadier General Lihu Hacohen, commander of the Nevatim airbase. "The inauguration of this parachuting zone presents a big opportunity for improvement in the parachuting training in the IDF. But beyond that, it gives the army more avenues for tightening the cooperation between ground forces and the IAF".


"It's so relevant"


The inauguration began with a flyover of Hercules C-130 planes that flew from the horizon towards the guests attending the ceremony. On board were Infantry and Paratrooper Officer Chief, Brigadier General Itai Virov and Brigadier General Amir Baram, the "Fire Division" Commander. Together with additional paratroopers, they demonstrated a parachuting in the new parachuting zone.

Afterwards, Red Brigade paratroopers and the parachuting course instructors jumped, providing the audience with an image of the future of the landing strip and the tightening relations.


"The use of parachuting seems archaic to quite a few people and that's why it's so relevant", said Brigadier General Virov. "The use of parachuting capabilities will be a surprise in terms of place, time and technique. I think that we are building together a tool that has the ability to produce the next surprise or the next decision".


The purpose of the move is to shorten the flight path of parachuting planes: until now, the Hercules C-130 planes left their home base at Nevatim, picked the paratroopers up at the Tel Nof airbase, which is next to the Flying and Special Training Center, airdropped them at the parachuting zone in Palmachim and returned to Nevatim. The new parachuting zone will shorten the journey and, in so doing, save money on future training costs.

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