Once and for all: F-16 vs. F-15. Who will win? Once and for all: F-16 vs. F-15. Who will win? Once and for all: F-16 vs. F-15. Who will win? Once and for all: F-16 vs. F-15. Who will win? Aerial combat battles that have taken place in the IAF are still the most sensational stories being told the around the force. This week, the “Valley Squadron” and “Knights of the Twin Tail Squadron” headed out to practice aerial combat battles together, one cockpit against the other, just like older generations before them

Michal Khayut

Many years have passed since the last aerial battle, but the IAF is always happy to revive old traditions: This week, “The Valley Squadron” of Ramat David which operates of F-16a/b planes fought head to head with “The Knights of the Twin Tail” squadron of Tel Nof which operates on F-15a/b airplanes. Both squadrons have very experienced and professional pilots who had to compete with one another while taking advantage of their aircrafts ability and their rival’s weakness.

The aerial teams know the planes they fly like the back of their hand. It is for this very reason that the IAF tests them on planes that are a bit different, but by no means inferior. “We know our planes really well, since we practice with them all the time”, explained Captain I’, retraining commander from “The Knights of Twin Tail” squadron. “But we are expected to know how to fly other fighter jets, especially the F-16, which falls within our area of expertise. The goal of the training is to teach the teams that are undergoing retraining how to deal with planes that are different from the ones they are used to flying”

In order for them to learn more effectively, two teams from each squadron take part in the training: The “red teams” and the “blue teams”. The “red teams” are experienced aerial teams from the two squadrons that train the “blue teams” from each squadron that undergo retraining. During briefings, the teams discuss not only the usual pre-flight details, but also the advantages and disadvantages of each plane that will be part of the training. “The F-15 is a big plane”, stresses Captain I’. “It has two engines, which on the one hand makes it stronger, but on the other hand makes it easier for the teams in the F-16 to see it coming” Besides the size of the plane, the teams learn from the two squadrons about the differences between the planes. That way, when they are in the air, the “enemy” will not be able to surprise them.