IAF buys new fix for bombed runways
The Israel Air Force has purchased a unique material that can be laid on bombed-out runways within minutes to enable fighter jets to take off with barely any delay, defense officials revealed Tuesday.
Until now, the IAF had been dependent on asphalt companies to repave damaged runways. The new solution can allow a base to resume operations within minutes.
The air force recently conducted a number of tests with the new material, including the takeoff of fully-loaded fighter jets.
A top IAF officer told The Jerusalem Post the decision to buy the material was made in line with the lessons learned from the Second Lebanon War, when more than 4,000 Hizbullah rockets pounded Israel.
The IAF was concerned that Syria and Hizbullah would target air bases in an effort to neutralize Israel’s fighter-jet capability, the officer said.
“Our assumption is that we will be under a heavy barrage of missiles in a future conflict,” the officer said. “This applies to all of the air force bases – in the South and the North.”
For this reason, the IAF is also considering purchasing several Joint Strike Fighters, which have vertical-takeoff capability. The IDF has announced plans to purchase at least 25 F-35 jets with the option to purchase dozens more.
The decision to consider the vertical-takeoff airplane, the F-35B, was made due to an understanding that in time of war Israeli bases and runways would be heavily targeted by enemy missiles.
Also Tuesday, the Israel Air Force’s official magazine reported on a new avionics system installed in F-15I fighter jets that enables pilots to drop several smart bombs simultaneously. Smart bombs, or precision-guided munitions, are guided weapons intended to maximize damage to the target while minimizing civilian damage.
The F-15I is Israel’s most advanced bomber and has a range of over 4,000 kilometers with the ability to reach speeds of up to Mach 2.5. The plane can carry an assortment of missiles.
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