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IAF Fleet: A Look At Israel's Stunning Collection of Aircraft

By Jspace Staff on 1/2/2013 at 3:55 PM

Categories: Culture, Israel

To honor its recent graduating class of pilots, the Israeli Air Force created a thorough photo collage on its Facebook page, profiling its fleet of aircraft. Scroll down to read about a few of our favorites, and make sure to look through the image gallery below for a look at the complete fleet.

Beechcraft King Air

Entered into service in 1990, this patrol and reconnaissance plane has an improved system that goes beyond previous models. The IAF uses it extensively on routine security assignments and in exercises. Its Hebrew nickname is Tzufit, meaning Northern Orange-tufted Sunbird.

Bell AH-1 Huey-Cobra

Entered into service in 1978, this helicopter has proven itself in almost every routine combat mission in Lebanon since Operation Peace for the Galilee. It is especially lethal as an anti-tank assault element. Its Hebrew nickname is Tzefa, meaning Viper.

Boeing AH-64 Apache

Entered into service in 1990, this twin-seated combat helicopter is used for night and daytime combat, especially against ground targets like tanks and surface-to-air missiles. Its Hebrew nickname is Peten, meaning Adder.

Israel Aircraft Industries

Entered into service in 1976, this multi-purpose fighter jet was a mainstay of the IAF for many years. Its Hebrew nickname is Kfir, meaning Young Lion.

Israel Aircraft Industries Tzukit

Entered into service in 1983, this jet-powered trainer used to test cadets in the selection process of the Israel Air Force Flight Academy.

Lockheed F-16I Fighting Falcon

Entered into service in 2004, the F-16I was originally manufactured by Lockheed Martin. However, once in Israel, it was later improved upon with advanced systems developed in Israel by the country's defense industries. Its Hebrew nickname is Sufa, meaning Storm.

McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle

Entered into service in 1976, this fighter jet was originally manufactured in the US. Since its deployment, the F-15 has participated in countless dogfights and long-distance strikes, including the raid on PLO headquarters in Tunisia in 1985. Even now, after more than 20 years in operational service, the F-15 is one of the IAF's top-notch fighters.

Raytheon A-36 Bonanza

Entered into service in 2004, the Raytheon A-36 Bonanza is a single-engine six seat (including the pilot) passenger airplane. The Bonanza serves as a light transport and training plane all over the world. The IAF uses it as a passenger plane. Its Hebrew nickname is Hofit, meaning Stint.