Aerial exercise prepares IAF pilots for new aircraft

American “Super” Hercules C-130J planes recently landed in Israel for an exercise familiarizing the pilots with the planes the IAF will obtain next year

Date: 20/02/2013, 1:49 PM     Author: Yuval Tsuk and Shani Poms, IAF Website

American “Super” Hercules C-130J planes arrived at the IAF’s Nevatim Airbase this month for an aerial exercise designed to familiarize Israeli pilots with the aircraft, as the IAF prepares to obtain its own C-130J aircraft.

The C-130Js joined the IAF’s Hercules C-130 aircraft, flying together over the skies of the Negev, conducting navigation missions, landing and parachuting – allowing the Israeli pilots to observe the capabilities of the newer model.

The exercise was carried out together with Squadron 37 of the U.S Air Force, which is based at Ramstein Air Base in Germany. “This squadron is active in Afghanistan and in Africa as well,” noted Lt. Col. Yinon, Commander of the IAF’s Elephants Squadron, which is expected to receive the new C-130Js. “We should take in these lessons that the Americans are learning from these arenas.”

Lt. Col. Yinon stated that the exercise exemplifies the IAF’s goal of strengthening international cooperation, with the intention of learning from other air forces.

Aerial exercise prepares IAF pilots for new aircraft

 The Hercules in action during this month’s exercise. Photo: IAF Website

The IAF is set to obtain the more advanced Hercules C-130J planes in 2014. “The Hercules J encompasses extremely advanced flight systems; it is longer than the Hercules C-130 and is more fuel-efficient,” said Maj. Yuval, Deputy Commander of the IAF’s Knights of the Yellow Bird Squadron. “The more we learn from other forces about the Hercules J before it arrives here, the better.”

When the IAF’s new planes arrive, the veteran Hercules aircraft will not be abandoned; they are currently undergoing an improvement process that is meant to extend their service within the IAF.

“The formation is going through a dramatic process,” noted Maj. Yuval. “In the near future it will undergo tremendous changes.”