Israeli Air Force development plans for the coming years
The original was taken from a colleague oleggranovsky in the Israeli Air Force Development Plans for the coming years 08/13/2020 data on the operational activities of the [Israeli] Air Force in the north were published. Moreover, they appeared on various central information sites almost simultaneously and with reference to the IDF [Israel Defense Forces], but neither the Air Force website, nor the IDF website has this data. But on that day, both the Air Force website and the IDF website published data on plans to develop the [Israeli] Air Force for the coming years.
I must say that in recent years, such articles have appeared regularly, both with short-term plans and long-term ones, as well as with the results of a year and even a decade. For example:
Modernization of the Israeli Air Force (02.06.18) ;
The Air Force sums up the results of the year and makes plans for 2019 (01/02/19) ;
The Air Force sums up the results of the year and makes plans for 2020 (12/14/19) ;
The Air Force sums up the results of the decade (01/02/20) .
So, in the last month, the commander of the Air Force, Major General Amikam Norkin, summed up the results of the staff work to improve the effectiveness of the Air Force of their training for the coming years. Some of the points of the program are designed for a decade ahead, others are shorter-term. The coronavirus pandemic, the deteriorating economic situation in Israel and in the world, as well as a general view of the strategic situation in the Middle East played an important role in the program. As a result, it was decided to accelerate a number of plans for the future and implement them in the coming years. The common goal of all these steps is to increase combat effectiveness (Avoda Mivtsayit Khazaka) on the one hand, save money and use resources more efficiently (Hityailut ve Mitsui Mashavim) on the other.
The program includes:
Creation of the 7th air wing ("Kanaf 7") - a wing of the Air Force MTR. Officially opened on 12/07/2020 at Palmachim Air Force Base, see separate article .
The disbandment of the 117th squadron (F-16C Block 30) at the Ramat David base in October 2020. This was announced back in May and I already wrote about it, but there is also a new one: the Air Force is transferring two F- squadrons to this base. 16C / D Block 40 from Hatzor Base, 101st and 105th. This means that all Barak aircraft of the Air Force (F-16C / D) will be concentrated in Ramat David, consisting of 101st (F-16C Block 40), 105th (F-16D Block 40) and 109- 1st (F-16D Block 30) squadrons (there is also a number of F-16C Block 30 in the 115th "Red" Air Force Squadronat the Uvda airbase, but this is a training, not an operational unit). This step will strengthen the air force in the north of the country, near the main potential theaters, and on the other hand, it has an important step in terms of cost savings - the logistics and maintenance of Barak will be concentrated on one base.
The Hatzor base will lose all combat aircraft squadrons. The Air Force is transforming this base into a "UAV and reconnaissance base" ("Basis KATMAM ve-Isuf Modiin"). In July 2019, the 100th Light Transport Squadron was relocated here , one of the main tasks of which is visual reconnaissance. The 420th Squadron of combat aircraft simulators is also located here. As far as is known, there are no UAV squadrons at the base yet, but judging by what has been said, it is planned to open them in Hatzor. The Air Force website emphasizes that already 75% of the Air Force's operational flight hours are performed by UAVs.
The 193rd Marine Helicopter Squadron will receive a Sea Hawk (ie SH-60F Sea Hawk ) and will be relocated from Ramat David to Palmachim. Now in Palmachim are the 123rd and 124th squadrons of UH-60 Black Hawk ("Yanshuf") Air Force helicopters (that is, almost all helicopters of this type, except for a small number at the Flight School at Hatzerim base). As in the case of the Barak, this step will allow the logistics and maintenance of the Yanshuf (including its sea version) to be concentrated on one base.
The Air Force Aviation School, based at BAHA-21 (Haifa), will move to the south, in connection with the desire of the Air Force to concentrate the training process of the Air Force personnel at one base. This wording could imply the base of Ovda, where there are already 3 different schools of the Air Force (Aviation, Air Traffic Control and Officer). However, the IDF website talks about BISLAH-314 and the Mahane Mashavim base. This base is the location of the Air Defense School (BISLA-883), and BISLAKH-314 is an Air Force infantry school near Hatzerim base, but organizationally subordinate to BISLA-883. The Air Force Aviation School also trains air defense technicians, i.e. its transfer to this base will facilitate the practice of working with air defense systems. However, the bulk of the cadets are aircraft technicians, among other things, working with real aircraft (albeit usually decommissioned), hence the transfer of the school to a base that does not have an airfield is incomprehensible.
The air defense went to an all-Israeli continuous mode of operation, with a high level of integration and central control. The Air Force continues to strengthen its air defense, however, to improve efficiency, it was decided to reduce the Patriot air defense missile system to batteries in central points (Atarim Merkaziim), and the 168th wing (the air defense logistics support wing, the so-called Kanaf ha-hiarchut) will be transferred from Palmachim base to Hazor base. The IDF website adds another item here: the closure of the headquarters of the 137th division (the Iron Dome missile defense system). This means that the number of batteries will not be reduced, but the 2nd division of these systems, created just 3 years ago , as an organizational unit will be disbanded.
The Air Force Air Traffic Control School - opened on 07.19.20 at the Ovda base, see a separate article . This step will maximize the concentration of all courses of air controllers and air traffic controllers in one place and relieve the operational units from the need to deal with these issues.
Improving pilot training - the Flight School has adopted Lavi (M-346) aircraft, new training methods, and simulators.
Additional sources (ynet, maariv, makorrishon, walla, mako) provide the following information:
Air Force budget - about 5.5 billion shekels out of 32 billion IDF budget;
the headquarters of one of the Patriot divisions will be closed;
the transfer of the Air Force Aviation School to the Hatzerim base (which looks more plausible than the Mahane Mashavim);
training at the flight school will continue for 3 years, as it is now, but the overall path of pilot training from the moment of graduation to the beginning of participation in operational activities will be reduced by half a year (i.e., the total path will decrease from 5 to 4.5 years);
the volume of training on simulators will increase;
academic training within the Flight School will be shifted towards engineering; what this means is not explained; now future pilots can choose one of 4 specialties - politics and power ("Politics ve-Memshal"), economics and management ("Kalkalya ve-Nihul"), mathematics and computers ("Mathematics ve-Madei ha-Makhshev") and information systems ("Nihul Maarehot Meida"); perhaps the 1st and 2nd options will be removed in favor of other engineering specialties;
large air force exercises in Germany will soon be held - 2 squadrons of F-16, as well as tankers and AWACS aircraft, will be deployed in this country; a major exercise will be held in Italy in 2021;
The Air Force is taking steps to mobilize women on the flight course; 85 women participated in the final exams for admission (Gibush) this year, up from 55 three years ago;
Captain S. will become the first female pilot of the Air Force F-35I;
the choice of a new helicopter (CH-53K or CH-47) will be made before the end of the year; the option of additional purchase of V-22 is still possible;
4 KS-46A tanker aircraft will be purchased (previously it was about 2 with an option for 6); the first will arrive in Israel in 2024;
2 squadrons of new combat aircraft will be purchased (25 aircraft per squadron) - the F-15X squadron (previously it was the F-15IA plus the modernization of the existing F-15I squadron to this level) and the third F-35I squadron.
A particularly interesting detail is written on mako about strengthening the UAV fleet. It is said that already now the Air Force has 6 operational UAV squadrons at 4 different bases and new ones will be created. And this despite the fact that until now it was known about 4 such squadrons at 2 bases (161st, 166th and 200th in Palmachim, 210th in Tel-Nof). The Red Baron squadron in Tel Nof may have been counted , but this is a training squadron for the German Air Force. Another candidate is Squadron No. 160 , formerly Cobra Squadron, disbanded on 08/02/13. According to Wikipedia, it was recreated in January 2000 at the Ramat David base, but what it is armed with is not said.
Appendix: Air Force 2030 according to Fresh data
User Fang on Fresh's website presented a picture of the Air Force's operational bases from south to north in 2030, taking into account the above information. In addition to the above, it says:
190 Squadron AH-64A at Ramon Base will be closed;
107th F-16I Squadron relocated from Hatzerim to Ramon;
in addition to the new F-15IA (or F-15IX) squadron, the existing F-15I squadron (69th) will be upgraded to the same level;
106th F-15 Squadron at Tel Nof Base will be closed;
the third F-35I squadron will be created at Tel Nof; a V-22 squadron will be created there, if a decision is made to purchase them, and the number of heavy transport helicopter squadrons will be reduced to 1.
So, taking into account all this and omitting the auxiliary structures, they were described in the article "Israel Air Force Base" , taking into account the above changes (the creation of a new Air Traffic Control School in Ovda and the transfer of the Aviation School to Hatzerim), we have:
Ovda - 115th enemy imitation squadron;
Ramon - 113 Squadron AH-64D, 4 Squadrons F-16I (107th, 119th, 201st and 253rd);
Hatzerim - two squadrons F-15IA or F-15IX (new and modernized 69th); 102nd training squadron on M-346;
Nevatim - 4 squadrons of heavy transport aviation (including tankers, reconnaissance aircraft and AWACS), 2 squadrons of F-35I (140th and 116th);
Hatzor - 100th Light Transport Aviation Squadron, UAV squadron;
Tel Nof - 133rd F-15 Squadron (mainly F-15D after modernization); third squadron F-35I; a squadron of heavy transport aircraft, UAV squadrons, possibly a V-22 squadron;
Palmachim - 123rd, 124th and 193rd helicopter squadrons, as described above; UAV squadrons;
Ramat David - 3 squadrons of F-16C / D "Barak" (101st, 105th and 109th); on my own I will add - most likely also UAV squadrons.
Looking Forward: Organizational Changes Preparing the Air Force for the Future, Air Force website, 08/13/20 .
Central changes in the Air Force efficiency and combat readiness program, IDF website, 08/13/20 .
Air Force Increases Efficiency and Prepares for the Next Decade, Channel 7, 08/13/2020 .
Air Force: Rise of Covert Operations in the North, ynet, 08/13/20 .
Air Force: destroyed a third of the Syrian air defense in 2 years, maariv, 08/13/2020 .
Thousands of bombs, hundreds of missiles: data from Syrian attacks disclosed, makorrishon, 08/13/20 .
Clandestine attacks revealed: a third of Syrian air defenses destroyed, walla, 08/13/2020 .
In only 2 years: the Air Force destroyed a third of the Syrian air defense, mako, 08/13/20 .
Discussion on Fresh .