Events Log

Bookmark and Share
"Baz": 42 Years of Activity Release date 02.07.2018
The "Baz" (F-15) aircraft was integrated 42 years ago, and remain an inseparable part of the IAF's operational activity to this day
Carmel Stern

From its integration in December of 1976 and to this day, the "Baz" (F-15) aircraft has been a part of hundreds of IAF operations. It has participated in attack sorties, intercepted dozens of aircraft, protected Israel's skies and always managed to return safely to the runways in Tel-Nof AFB.

The "Baz" Division played an integral part in basing Israel's air superiority during its first years in the air force, from Operation "Litani" – the aircraft's first operation – through Operation "Opera" and to the First Lebanon War.


Photography: Celia Garion

A Dramatic Decision
Two years ago, it was decided to extend the "Baz" aircraft's lifespan until 2040. This dramatic decision caused the "Baz" squadrons to begin integrating new capabilities while doing maintenance work on the old aircraft and modifying them. "The decision to extend the aircraft's lifespan is an example of the attention given by the IAF to the 'Baz' in the fields of maintenance, avionics and weapon systems", said Lt. Col. D', Commander of the 106th ("Tip of the Spear") Squadron. "All of these combined make for an aircraft with 60 years of activity which remains relevant in today's operational theatre".


Archive Photo

"Israel gained significant capabilities in radar and flight against 'MiG' aircraft when it purchased its F-15 aircraft", added Lt. Col. D'. "During its first 25 years in Israel, the aircraft's main priority was defending Israel's skies. At the end of the 1990s, it underwent a massive upgrade which changed the division. This enabled the division to integrate various capabilities – mainly attack. In 2002, the IAF began qualifying the aircraft to utilize air-to-surface missiles".


Archive Photo

Strategic Capabilities
The first operational attack fitness examination occurred in 2007 when the "Baz" aircraft integrated the JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition), the IAF's main GPS-guided weapon. "We are constantly integrating additional munitions and we strive to integrate the highest quality of munitions possible", explained Lt. Col. D'.

An F-15 deal was signed with the United States Air Force, as part of which nine D-6 model F-15 aircraft were delivered to the Israeli Air Force in September 2016 and their spare parts are used for upgrades to the Israeli aircraft's systems.


Archive Photo

As Far As Possible
"Creativity, determination and hard work by the maintenance division have upheld the aircraft for four decades while constantly adjusting to a new, complex theatre. The basis for this is the understanding that the 'Baz' aircraft is irreplaceable", said Lt. Col. N', Commander of the 133st ("Knights of the Twin Tail") Squadron.

"When I first learned how to fly the 'Baz' aircraft in 2004, I flew a non-modified aircraft. We didn't have the JDAM during the Second Lebanon War and we mainly performed anti-air missions. During attack missions we used general-purpose bombs", recalled Lt. Col. D'.


Photography: Celia Garion

Coming Home
Just before he was made commander of the 106th Squadron, Lt. Col. D' was converted to the "Adir" (F-35I) aircraft and served as Deputy Squadron Commander at the "Adir" 140th ("Golden Eagle") Squadron. The return to "Baz" aircraft gave him new insights regarding the F-15 aircraft.


Archive Photo

“Flying the ‘Baz’ aircraft is like coming home. Experiencing fifth-generation aircraft allowed me to understand the significance of new generations of aircraft and where the IAF wants to go. When I returned to the 106th Squadron, I went back to performing the IAF’s various routine missions the same way they have been performed for years”, shared Lt. Col. D’. “The platform is old in comparison with fifth-generation aircraft, but new munitions and systems allow the IAF a variety of new operational capabilities. The 'Baz' division is a part of each one of the IAF’s missions, both in defense and in offense”.