Last week, another “Shimshon” aircraft joined the order of power of the “Elephants” Squadron, the first of a significant addition expected to arrive in the coming months. By the end of 2016, two other “Shimshon” aircraft will be integrated in the IAF and by doing so, they will multiply the number of “Shimshons” in the IAF. “The arrival of new ‘Shimson’ aircraft symbolizes the transition from a squadron in establishment to a ‘regular’ squadron”, shared Maj. Yaniv, Deputy Squadron Commander. “It will be the official seal for the process that began the day the first aircraft landed”.
“Alongside the integration of the aircraft, the squadron is also in the peak of the integration process of operational capabilities”, boasted Maj. Yaniv. “We have already been announced as operational for ‘combined capabilities’, which is in practice a package which combines all of the basic capabilities and we are now working on more advanced and complex capabilities”.
Exhausting All Options
“We are currently examining the aircraft’s refueling abilities and working to prove that it is a possible capability”, shared Maj. Ilya Koyfman, the “Shimshon” Project Officer. “In addition, we are examining a low flight system which will be performed with very specific and unique equipment”.
The aircraft arrived to Israel after a long journey, all the way from the U.S.A. A mission on behalf of the squadron set out to bring it and flew it back here. Many systems were installed on the aircraft such as coms, observation, mission planning and self-protection systems. “When the aircraft arrives in Israel, it is almost ready for operational flight”, shared Maj. Koyfman. “We need to install a few more systems and we can fly it, just like the older aircraft”.
The aircraft, which is a newer, upgraded version of the “Karnaf” (Hercules C-130) brought innovation and advanced technology to the IAF. The purchase agreement, which is nearing its completion, included seven aircraft. As stated, by the end of the year, the IAF will have integrated six aircraft and the seventh, which will conclude the deal, is expected to arrive in Israel in late 2018.