First down


First kill achieved by the Super-Mystere

The MiG goes into a spin

The first Israeli Super-Mysteres were purchased from France in early 1957. The new jets had to wait a while, though, before they scored a kill: their first three dogfights were inconclusive. In the first of these, in November 1959, a Super Mystere shot and hit a MiG, but the enemy plane managed to make it back to the Sinai.


First kill achieved by the Vautour

"The Hunter... gradually lowered its nose..."

Israel had purchased the French Vautours in three models: fighter-bomber, photo-reconnaissance and night fighter. The first of these was sent out on one of the special operations undertaken in the Six Day War: the bombing of Iraq's H-3 airbase.


First kill achieved by the Mirage

A present for Bastille Day

The Mirages which landed in Israel in April 1962 inaugurated the Mach-2 era in the IAF. In the hands of Israel's pilots, the Mirages would achieve fame - and the reputation of the entire French aircraft industry would be greatly enhanced.


First kill achieved by the Phantom

A bomber turned interceptor

The purchase of Phantoms from the US greatly lengthened the IAF's attack range. The Phantoms enhanced Israel's strategic depth bombing and munitions-carrying capabilities.


First kill achieved by the Skyhawk

"I decided to use... the air-to-ground rocket pod"

One result of the French embargo on Israel after the Six Day War was the order of Skyhawks from the US. The first Skyhawks were put into service at the end of 1967, and continue to serve to this day in attack and close air support roles.


First kill achieved by the 'Nesher'

"Then I heard a pleasant melody..."

On June 3rd 1967, France placed an embargo on arms sales to the Middle East, and refused to supply any more Mirages to Israel. This left the IAF without a next-generation fighter.

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