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Barrie D, Egozi A, Warwick G, 1998. The Future of Israeli Air Power, Flight International Special Supplement

Barrie D, Egozi A, Warwick G, 1998. The Future of Israeli Air Power, Flight International Special Supplement

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Published by: Foro Militar General on Oct 20, 2012
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03/09/2013

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The futureof Israeliair power
 
acing
thefuture
Fifty years into their
lives,
the Israeli air force and thecountry's defence aerospaceindustryareconfronted by
a
rapidly changing strategicenvironment and industrialchallenges
as
the globaldefence market restruc-
tures.
In thefirstfivedecades of their existenceboth have proved adept atmeeting these.
As
Israelbegins to head towards itscentenary both are onceagain being
asked
to displaysuch qualities. DouglasBarrie, Arie Egozi andGraham Warwick reviewthe prospects for
the
airforce, and the industrywhichsuortsit.
2
A FLIGHT INTERNATIONAL
SUPPLEMENT
 
C
HAIM HERZOG, a formerPresident of Israel, described theeventswhich took place on
5
June,
1967,
as "possibly themostbril-
f
liant operation in Israeli militaryhistory". Herzog was referring to the operation led by General Mordechai Hod, the thenIsraeli air force commander, which was toensure the Israelis' air supremacy throughouttheSix Day War.The morning of
5
June saw Israel launch preemptive strikes against 19 Egyptian air force
bases.
Thejordanian air force was also decimated in die first day's air operations.By die end of die second day, the Syrian andIraqiair forceshadalso been defeated: almost 400 of the Arab states' combat aircraft, nearly
60%
of their combined force, had been lost inthe opening 48h of hostilities. The Israeli airforce hadlost26 aircraft.Those few days in June encapsulated Israel'sstrategic position: surrounded by implacablyhostile states bent on the destruction of theJewish nation. While, however, its opponentscould wage "total war" against Israel, tiie latterwas limited to waging only
a
limited war.While Israel has captured territory, its military ambitions have been limited to the defeating of die enemy on the field of battle, ratherdian die destruction of die enemy states
per se.
From its extraordinary beginnings in defending die embryonic Israeli state in 1948 with aneclectic mix of Supermarine Spitfires and Avia
S-199s
(a Czech-built Messerschmitt Me-109),theair force has played
a
critical role in the security of the state.Now the pre-eminent air force in the region,it is faced with a changing geo-strategic environment to which it must adapt, asitprepares tofacethechallenges of its next 50 years. Thecountry is no longer ringed by nations whichrefuse to recognise the state of Israel . The"Peace Process", however faltering, has greatlyenhanced its overall security.The diminution of die perceived threat fromits "inner circle" of neighbours, coupled withconcern overthestrategic posture of certainstates in the "outer circle" is having a clearimpact on the Israeli air force
1
. Doctrinally it is
Written
byDouglas Barrie
Additional reporting by
Arie Egozi and Graham Warwick
Art
&
Production Editor
Alexis Rendell
Sub-editor
Annabel Wells
Artwork
Gareth Burgess
Advertisement Production
Howard MasonA
FLIGHT INTERNATIONAL
SUPPLEMENT
3

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