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The IAF in 2017 Release date 31.12.2017
To celebrate 2018, we chose nine of the IAF's most defining moments in the past year
Carmel Stern

The World's Largest Aerial Exercise
In November, seven international air forces arrived at Uvda AFB for the third Blue-Flag exercise. Hosted by the IAF, the exercise featured defense and attack sorties as well as aerial combat simulations. Among the participating countries were the USA, France, Poland, Germany, Italy, India and Greece. The exercise included 1,200 service members and 80 aircraft, making it the largest aerial exercise in Israel and the largest in the world in 2017.


Photography: Adi Abu

Year of the "Adir"
Moments before 2017, the "Adir" (F-35I) aircraft first landed in Israel. In the past year, Nevatim AFB has integrated nine "Adir" stealth fighters and the aircraft was determined IOC. Next year, the "Adir" division is due to integrate six additional aircraft and continue the operational and instructional processes.


Archive Photo

A New Commander
In August of 2017, Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin was made Commander of the IAF. Maj. Gen. Norkin was previously Head of the IDF Planning Directorate and replaced Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel, who served as Commander of the IAF for the past five years.

"Over the next few years, the IAF will integrate many capabilities which will expand its range of responsibility. A major part of the IAF is the partnership with the rest of the IDF, both in order of power and in its operation. A major part of the IAF's future is the dedicated personnel who are proud of their contribution to the security of Israel", said Maj. Gen. Norkin in his induction speech.


Photography: Mor Tzidon

Protecting the Skies
Three hostile RPAVs were intercepted during the past year. The targets were classified as hostile by the ATC Division, who then issued the interception orders. The Aerial Defense Division intercepted the aircraft using the "Patriot" Aerial Defense system. The "Iron Dome" combatants also worked day and night to ensure the safety of Israel's citizens and protect them by intercepting rockets fired from the Gaza Strip.


Archive Photo

A Close Collaboration
In September, the "Or HaDagan" exercise was held. The exercise, the largest IDF exercise in 19 years, saw fighter jet, helicopter, transport and RPAV squadrons work alongside the ATC Division and Aerial Defense Division performing aerial support scenarios. In December the IAF trained with Special Forces in Cyprus as part of the "First Class" exercise.


Photography: Celia Garion

The Aerial Defense Division's Strengthening Process
The Aerial Defense Division has strengthened significantly over the past year. The "David's Sling" weapon system was declared operational and the "Hetz 3" weapon system began operational use. An additional "Iron Dome" battalion was also established, responsible for the safety of Israel's northern theater. The battalion is also responsible for the naval "Iron Dome" weapon system, enabling naval interception for the first time.


Photography: Mor Tzidon

The "Kochav" is Operational
In August, the "Kochav" (Hermes 900) RPAV was declared operational. After operating during Operation "Protective Edge", the "Kochav" ceased operational activity and began an organized integration process. Today, the "Kochav" is an inseparable part of the RPAV Division.


Archive Photo

50 Years Since the "Six Day" War
The "Six Day" War began with the IAF's Operation "Moked" in 1967. In 2017, the IAF commemorated the influential operation as part of which the IAF destroyed the enemy's aerial force. The IAF flew those scenarios once again and produced lessons for the 21st century's ever-changing theater.


Archive Photo

Strategic Agreement With USAF Signed
A strategic accord was signed with the USAF in July regarding a joint work program in 2017-2018. The document included agreements regarding acquisition, security, intelligence, training and health, among others. The main subject was the F-35 aircraft: a new, challenging platform for both air forces.


Photography: Celia Garion