Israel Air Force retired the remaining of F-16 “Netz” (Hawk) aircraft on Monday. The plane, which flew for years in operational missions and was later used for developing combat pilots in advanced stages of training, has been decommissioned after 36 years of activity.
IAF Commander Brig. Gen. Amir Eshel said in the past that “the Netz will go down in history as the aircraft that changed the face of the Middle East.”
In June 1981, a flight of Israeli Air Force F-16A fighter aircraft, escorted by F-15As, bombed and heavily damaged the Iraq Osirak nuclear reactor. F-16A ‘Netz’ (Hawk) tail number 107 also confirmed air-to-air victories and its air-to-air record remains unmatched by any F-16 ever produced.
As indicated by IAF measurements, the F-16A/B military aircraft, conveyed to Israel in 1980, came to up somewhere in the range of 335,000 flight hours and engaged in 13,000 operational encounters.
The F-16A/B fleet led in a whole new era of multi-role fighter capability for the Israeli Air Force, and one of that continues today with close to 300 of the type in IAF service. These range from the original and replenishment of F-16A/Bs ‘Netz,’ to the much better performance and night attack capable F-16 C/D ‘Barak,’ and one of the most advanced F-16s ever created, the F-16I ‘Sufa,’
Two of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 stealth aircraft and the most advanced fighter jet arrived in Israel on December 12, 2016. Israel has ordered 50 of them from the United States and each aircraft cost not less than $100 million.
In June 2016, the first Israeli F-35A was revealed to the public, and by the second week of December 2016, Israel began receiving its first shipment of the F-35I Adir.
The F-35 stealth aircraft will be stationed at an air force base in Israel’s Negev desert, with Lieutenant Colonel Yotam leading the squadron.