Saturday, August 05, 2006


Everbody seems to be mad at Israel, so I decided it would be cool to sport an Israeli flag on DowneastBlog. Unable to find a decent example of a flag, I finally stumbled on a roundel. There was, however, an F-15 attached to it, see pic below from StrategyPage.

Photo shows a pair of F-15s over Nevada during the Red Flag 2004 exercise. The F-15, of which the latest model to enter Israeli service is the F-15I (january 1998) is the main combat aircraft of the Israeli Air Force. The F-15I (or Ra'am, as it is called in Hebrew) is basically an enhanced F-15E Strike Eagle with an enormous payload capacity, designed specifically for Israel, whence the "I".

To be exact, one should not speak of the Israeli Air Force, but rather of the Air Corps (Hel Avir). Indeed, unlike the USAF it is not an autonomous entity but "merely" a part of the IDF, albeit with a large autonomy. This Air Corps operates 900 aircraft from 9 main bases, and an estimated 524 are combat types. This sheer number (keep in mind that Israel is but a very small country with some 6 million plus inhabitants!) coupled with the fact that the planes are equipped with state of the art technology and manned by extremely well trained pilots, makes the Hel Avir without doubt the strongest air force of the Middle East. Its current CINC is Major-General Elyezer Shkedy.

Here's a couple of good links to have a peek at: a list of the Israeli Air Force's squadrons, the current combat order, and an unofficial IAF site. Great gallery at the latter.


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