IAF Hosted “Black Hawk” Conference

IAF Hosted “Black Hawk” Conference

Photo by: Hagar Amibar

IAF Hosted “Black Hawk” Conference

Photo by: Hagar Amibar

IAF Hosted “Black Hawk” Conference

Photo by: Hagar Amibar

IAF Hosted “Black Hawk” Conference

Photo by: Hagar Amibar

The “Black Hawk” helicopters have already gained many achievements during their service in the IAF. The American Navy and Army, alongside “Sikorsky” representatives, arrived in Israel to discuss the helicopter operation in modern combat

Noa Fenigstein

With thousands evacuations from battlefields, tens of thousands of flight hours and many years of service to come, the “Black Hawk” (“Yanshuf”, Hebrew for Owl) helicopters are an inseparable part of the IAF.

Earlier this week, the IAF hosted a unique conference, focusing entirely on the “Black Hawk” helicopters and attended by the world’s leading operators of the helicopter: the Naval and ground branches of the US military forces, “Sikorsky” company representatives (developer and manufacturer of the helicopter) and engine manufacturer “General Electric” representatives.

“The conference was attended by 50 of the main “Black Hawk” operators in the world, holding all the engineering, logistic and technical knowledge”, says Sergeant Major of the Army Ziv Levinson from the Helicopters Branch of the Materiel Directorate. “We have knowledge sharing contracts with these branches and companies, under which we maintain ongoing communication and hold a meeting once a year – this time in Israel – in order to discuss work processes and keep on flying the helicopter in the best, safest way”.

For an intensive week, the guests congregated for meetings and work groups, talked about their activity and learnt about each other’s operations. “It is a great honor for us to have you all here for this important meeting. I personally hold dozens of flight hours on the helicopter so I know firsthand how important it is to treat it right”, said Brigadier General Yaron Rozen, Head of IAF Helicopters Air Division. “If we want to continue evacuating, protecting our naval and ground borders and strengthening IAF’s helicopter squadrons, we ought to keep on progressing and studying”.

“We must keep up and adapt”
The Israeli “Black Hawk” squadrons has recently marked 20 years of operations but does not dwell behind: life-elongating improvements and developments will be applied during the next year. An important one is an enhancement project, under which new, advanced avionics systems will be installed in the helicopters.

“The Middle East arenas around us are changing drastically and we must keep up and adapt”, says Lieutenant Chaim Shriki, Head of Helicopters Division in the Materiel Directorate. “Improvement in communication, navigation and safety systems will be installed In the near future, alongside a first air conditioning system”.

During the next months, the geographical unification of the “Black Hawk” squadrons will set off, as the “Desert Birds” squadron will turn northward to its new home in Palmachim Airbase. The entire “Black Hawk” maintenance formation will also unite and will allow a consolidated, efficient and professional knowledge center.

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