Election Day has descended upon us: Millions of Israelis will arrive at the polling stations in order to shape the future Israeli parliament. Concurrently, the IAF is preparing for its own elections–choosing Hebrew names for new aircrafts such as the F-35 and M-346
This Saturday, polling stations had already opened in the IDF in order to allow officers and soldiers who are busy with operational missions the chance to vote. But today is the official Election Day in Israel. Millions of Israelis are to arrive at various voting stations and pick their favorite candidates for Israel’s 19th parliament. Voting stations were positioned all around IAF bases to allow pilots, technicians, officers, flight controllers, aerial defense fighters and all other members of the force the opportunity to exercise their democratic rights.
Concurrently, the IAF is preparing for a different kind of voting day which will be conducted next week. In these elections, “Chick” (Gozal), “Buzzard” (Aya), and “Star” (Kochav), will all be competing head to head in the run for the name of the new IAF aircraft. The most senior members of the IAF who will deliberate over the appropriate qualities of the names in question and go through historical connections and the degree of conduciveness to the aircraft’s image, will then decide what will be the names of the planes that will join the force’s ranks.
In the meantime, the IAF Magazine invites you to meet the candidates:
The Next Instructional Plane: M-346
The Italian M346 has been chosen to become the IAF’s new instructional aircraft, which will be used at the IAF Aviation Academy by new pilots and navigators. The plane is expected to land in Israel in 2015 and improve the abilities of young pilots before they receive their operational positions in F-16 and F-15 squadrons. Over 200 names were presented for the new instruction airplane; more than 20% of those are names of birds like “Buzzard” and “Owl”. One of the more popular names was “Chick”, but was defeated by the Israel’s national bird “Hoopoe”. The most popular names were passed on to IAF Commander Major General Amir Eshel for his review, and the results are expected in the coming days.
The Next Combat Airplane: F-35
This aircraft is expected to land in Israel in within coming decade and bring to the IAF the fifth generation of combat airplanes. A wingspan of over ten meters, carrying ability of over 14 tons and a flight range of more than 1600 kilometers are all abilities that inspired IAF magazine readers when hundreds suggested possible names: From “Predator” to “Storm”. Amongst the candidates, nature elements were definitely apparent: “Star”, “Wind” and “Cloud”. The winner will be chosen by a forum of IAF senior officials which will officially decide on a Hebrew name next week.