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August 20, 2015

Israeli Air Force equips F-16I jets with advanced small diameter bombs

The Israeli Air Force's (IAF) 107 Squadron has equipped its F-16I Sufa fighter jets with advanced small diameter bombs (SDB), achieving the capability a decade after the arrival of the jet.

By Samseer M

SDB

The Israeli Air Force’s (IAF) 107 Squadron has equipped its F-16I Sufa fighter jets with advanced small diameter bombs (SDB), achieving the capability a decade after the arrival of the jet.

IAF’s 107 Squadron, also known as, Knights of the Orange Tail, recently completed an operational review to officially approve its use of SBD during war.

Major Assaf, who led the review in the air operations division, said: "The inspection was the end result of a long journey in which many were involved.

"The thought behind the move is to spread different capabilities among the force’s squadrons, to provide operational flexibility to the force.

"In the process we combined the capabilities of the F-16I with the powerful SDB."

The SDB is a long-range guided bomb that features accurate penetration capacity.

Before 107 Squadron achieved this capability, IAF’s F-15I ‘Hammers’ squadron was the only squadron to be equipped with SDB.

"The thought behind the move is to spread different capabilities among the force’s squadrons, to provide operational flexibility to the force"

Assaf added: "Obtaining this special weapon is a real quantum leap for the squadron and will enable the F-16Is to take part in special missions in various arenas."

During the operational review, all squadron members were tested on theoretical knowledge and it also included simulated training sessions for various potential war scenarios in Northern Israel.

The F-16I Soufa is a modified variant of the F-16D block 50 and 52 fighter and ground attack aircraft, with the avionics and weapons systems capability modified to meet the requirements of the Israeli Air Force.

The F16I Soufa made its maiden flight in December 2003 and the IAF received the final aircraft in 2009.


Image: F-16I Sufa fighter jets equipped with advanced small diameter bombs. Photo: courtesy of Hagar Amibar.

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