Photo Gallery

Bell 212

Known in the IAF as "Anafa" the Bell 212 (B212) is a short-medium range transport helicopter, which entered service in the IDF in 1975, replacing the older Bell 205. Due to its small size and ease of maneuvering the B212 was often used for SAR especially in civilian scenarios such as rescuing hikers who fell into cricks. The IAF B212 could have been armed with side-door FN MAG. In recent years the B212 was disbanded and replaced by the Sikorsky UH60.

B212 during training. Note FN MAG GPMG on each side door.

Sikorsky CH53

Known in the IAF as "Yasur", the Sikorsky CH53 is a long range heavy duty transport helicopter, which entered service in the IDF in 1969. Up until the introduction of the UH60 helicopter in the IAF in 1994, the CH53 was the IDF primary heliborne platform for all transport missions and was used for gear, equipment and troops transport missions as well as for CSAR and SF operations. Today, the CH53 remains the main platform for long range SF missions due to its capability to carry small vehicles inside the helicopter frame, unlike the UH60.

All IAF CH53 have air refueling capability as well as the ability to carry detachable fuel tanks. In the 1990's, as part of IAF Yasur 2000 project, all IAF CH53 were modernized and received new digital avionics systems and mission computers.

Due to its long range transport capability the CH53 was used by the IDF SF for numerous missions throughout the Middle East, such as the hijacking of the Egyptian radar in 1969 (Operation Rooster 53), which took place only three months after the CH53 arrival to the IDF.

Sikorsky UH60

Known in the IAF as “Yanchuf”, the Sikorsky UH60 Blackhawk helicopter is a medium-long range versatile transport helicopter. The first 10 UH60 arrived to Israel in 1994 and were U.S. Army UH60A surplus helicopters that were taken out of service few weeks earlier and were given to the IDF as a present.

In 1997-1998 and in 2002 the IAF bought additional UH60 from the more advanced UH60L model. All helicopters procured went through heavy modifications, which included the replacement of the factory avionics systems with new Israeli ones.

In the IAF the UH60 is deployed as a medium range transport helicopter as well as for CSAR and can be armed with a side-door FN MAG. As of 1999, air refueling capability was added to all IAF UH60L, comprising of an air refueling nose and the capability to carry detachable refueling tanks. This system enables the UH60 to perform long range airborne incursions which were previously carried out only by the air refueling capable CH53.

In the past all IAF UH60 were painted in black as they were designed to operate primarily at nighttime. However, as of 2001, most IAF UH60 were repainted in new desert pattern color scheme, which provide increased camouflage during daytime deployment.

Large photo: an UH60 with the new 2001 onward color scheme. Small photo: an UH60 painted in the old all-black color scheme.

IDF UH60L model seen here in the Sikorsky plant in the U.S., already painted in the IAF new desert camouflage pattern.

The IDF new UH60L helicopters arrive to Israel in an USAF C5 airplane.

Mid-air Helicopters Refueling

The IAF KC-130H is capable of air refueling various platforms including both fixed wing airplanes and helicopters, with up to two platforms at the time, including CH53 and UH60 helicopters, primarily for long range SF applications.

CH130 refueling a UH60.

CH130 refueling a C53.

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