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Israeli Air Force

The Israeli Air Force (IAF) Heyl ha Avir is the Air branch of the Israel Defence Forces.


The IAF was formed when Israel achieved statehood in 1948 and found itself under almost immediate attack. The air force was at first assembled from a hotch-potch collection of civilian aircraft commandeered or donated and converted to military use. A variety of obsolete and surplus ex-World War II combat aircraft were quickly sourced by various clandestine means to supplement this fleet.

During the 1950s, France became a major supplier of warplanes to Israel, but this supply stopped under international pressure at the time of the Six Day War.

From the 1970s onwards, following the Yom Kippur War, most of Israel's military aircraft have been obtained from the United States.

The Israeli Air Force has also operated a small number of domestically-produced types, most famously the IAI Kfir, an unauthorised copy of the French Mirage III adapted to utilise a more powerful US engine.


The insignia of the Israeli Air Force is a blue
Star of David on a white circle. This is usually painted in six positions - on the top and bottom of each wing, and each side of the fuselage. Squadron markings are usually carried on the tail fin.

Records and Highlights

See also List of aircraft of the Israeli Air Force