Wednesday, July 1, 2009



The IDF Air Corps (IAF) is upgrading its F-15 and F-15I (the latter being an F-15 designed specifically for Israel) fighter jets for use in long-distance operations.

Anyone thinking Iran?

According to IDF journal BaMachaneh, the F-15I model is currently being fitted with two new systems – one called “Barad Pelada” (“Steel Hail”), and another named Lightning.

The Barad Pelada advanced weapons system has been operational in the IAF’s F-16s for almost four years, but had to be modified in order to fit the F-15.

Barad Pelada is an advanced Israeli armament that operates like a smart bomb. “The system is unique in that it is able to plan the bombing in an accurate way by identifying the target from above,” a knowledgeable source in the IAF explained. “After the identification, the system carries out guidance to the target and only then is impact made.”

The Lightning advanced attack system has also been in use in the IAF’s other jets. Until now, the F-15I jets had to rely on the older Inbar system, which used to be fitted in all of the IAF’s jets but was gradually phased out.

The Inbar system is capable of providing an operational solution in some ranges, but other attack scenarios require advanced systems like the Lightning, IAF sources said. “The need for the new system led to an accelerated procedure of development of advanced means,” a source in the IAF’s Weapons Department explained. “Once the testing at the Flight Experiment Center is finished, we will complete the system’s integration in the aircraft.”

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