Fighter Weapon Systems Officers (WSOs) from Israeli Air Force’s (IAF) 102nd (Flying Tiger) Squadron are undergoing training on the use of the ‘Delilah’ cruise missile.

The officers are graduates of Flight Course 177 and are taking part in a week-long seminar at the Aerial Munition Center (AMC) in Hatzor Air Force Base (AFB).

The Fighter Division aircrews make use of several simulators at the AMC to drill use of electro-optical guided munitions.

As part of the exercise, aircrews will be trained on the detection of targets using the Delilah missile.

Personnel will undergo basic drills during the initial part of the seminar. The difficulty level of the exercise increases with each sortie.

The exercise will have two sorties per day in the simulator, with each sortie involving three munition drops on a designated target.

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102nd Squadron flight instructor captain Y’ said: “Sorties in the simulator utilising the ‘Delilah’ missile provide the cadets with an insight into operationality.

“The WSOs need to know how to drop munitions when detecting targets with their eyes. They need heightened senses in order to understand whether the target is the stream they see from the cockpit, the city nearby, a house in the city or one of the house’s windows.

“We learn about the differences between the pilot and the WSO during our training process in order to simulate the aircrew members as best as we can.”

“This is the first we’ve used the ‘Delilah’ missile in training, and it’s turning out to be a comfortable, satisfying platform for our instruction.”

The squadron operates the Lavi (M-346) trainer aircraft developed by Alenia Aermacchi.

Last week, the instructors of the WSOs visited the AMC to simulate the sorties beforehand and to refresh their instruction capabilities.

At the AMC, simulator instructors perform the exercise and simulate pilots during training.

AMC simulator instructor Gili Waltz said: “We learn about the differences between the pilot and the WSO during our training process in order to simulate the aircrew members as best as we can, thus enabling a high-quality simulation of potential real-time scenarios.”

During their visit to the centre, the 102nd Squadron’s flight instructors participated in sorties and learnt how to use the weapon.

The WSOs are expected to arrive at their operational squadrons in June this year.

Developed by Israel Military Industries (IMI), the Delilah missile entered operational service in the IAF in 1994.