Squadrons

Scorpion Squadron

Hatzor Aibrase

Aircraft:

•Spitfire
•Mustang
•Mystère A-4
•Super Mystère
•Saar (Hebrew for “Tempest”), the IAI's improved version of the Dassault Super Mystère
•Mirage III (known in Hebrew as the “Shahak”)
•Phantom (know in Hebrew as the “Kurnas”, meaning “Sledgehammer”)
•IAI Kfir (Hebrew for “Fox Cub”)
•F-16C (known in Hebrew as the “Barak”, or “Lightning” single-seater)
•F-16D (known in Hebrew as the “Barak”, “Lightning” double-seater)

The “Scorpion” Squadron finds its roots in the “First Fighter” Squadron. On 20th August 1950 an operational training body was founded within the “First Fighter” Squadron. It expanded and earned the nickname “Scorpion” Squadron. In December 1950 the squadron began to operate out of Ramat David Airbase, flying around twenty Spitfires that it received from the “First Fighter” squadron, which was upgraded to the Mustang. Menchem Bar was appointed the first squadron commander. In 1956 the squadron received its first Mustangs from the “Knights of the Orange Tail” squadron. At this point the squadron's role changed; it became a fully operational combat squadron, and received roughly 20 Mustangs.

During the Sinai Campaign the squadron participated in the bombing of military compounds, aided IDF ground forces and struck Egyptian infantry and armour. The squadron lost three aircraft during the fighting. Squadron Commander Major Moshe Tadmor was killed when his Mustang was brought down by antiaircraft fire. On 20th January 1957 the squadron was dissolved and all of its aircraft were transferred to the “Flying Wing” Squadron, known today as “The Defenders of the South”.

On 20th August 1958 the Squadron was reopened at Hatzor to receive the French manufactured Super Mystère. The new aircraft was considered the most advanced of its type and was the first in the IAF to break the sound barrier in straight and level flight. Until the Mirage III reached Israel in 1962, “Scorpion” Squadron was Israel's main intercept squadron.

During the Six Day War the squadron participated in strikes on Egyptian airfields and facilities, assisted ground forces and took part in air-to-air combat missions. The squadron brought down five enemy aircraft (all as part of Operation Focus) and struck 55 aircraft on the ground. Nine of the squadron's aircraft were brought down, six pilots were killed and one fell into enemy hands.

During the War of Attrition the squadron focused on air-to-ground missions. In summer 1968 the squadron switched to flying the Saa'r.

During the Yom Kippur War the squadron's main activities were support missions in the Suez Canal area. It also undertook strikes on ground-to-air missiles, area defence and launched chaff and flares.  After the war the US provided Israel with 25 additional Phantoms, and it was decided that the squadron would switch to flying this new aircraft. In 1975 the squadron began Israel's fifth Phantom squadron.

During the Lebanon War the squadron focused on striking ground-to-air missile launchers and aiding the ground forces. It downed an enemy aircraft and was the only Phantom squadron to do so during the war.

The squadron was reformed on 24th December 1991, to fly the F-16. Half of its F-16s were two-seaters, so the squadron included numerous navigators just as it had done in its previous incarnation as a Phantom squadron. Less than a year after it was re-established the squadron carried out the first strike in Lebanon. It took part in Operation Grapes of Wrath and Operation Accountability.

The squadron has carried out thousands of attacks in Gaza and Lebanon. The strikes were carried out with many different kinds of weaponry.

Scorpion Squadron
Scorpion Squadron