The IAF’s seventh “Shimshon” (C-130J Super Hercules) has arrived in Israel. Over the weekend, the aircraft landed in Nevatim AFB and joined the 103rd (“Elephants”) Squadron. The arrival was celebrated with a ceremony headed by Brig. Gen. Eyal Grinboim, the airbase's commander, after an IAF delegation flew to the United States in order to pilot the aircraft to Israel.
Since the first “Shimshon” aircraft landed in Israel in April 2014, the 103rd Squadron has undergone numerous changes. “We went from a squadron focusing on studying the aircraft to being an operational squadron,” said Maj. R., Deputy Commander of the 103rd Squadron. “The squadron's establishment crew did an amazing work thanks to which we can now integrate the new aircraft. The crew set a very high standard, and now our goal is to maintain it.”
Throughout its four years of service in the IAF, the “Shimshon” has proven itself to be essential in several significant events, both operational and humanitarian. It landed in Nevatim AFB at the beginning of April of 2014 after several months of preparation. The aircraft, which is an improved version of the “Karnaf” (Hercules C-130HI) aircraft, brought along new, innovative technologies – installed in the aircraft are the newest, most advanced systems in the field of tactical transport aircraft. This is a modern, computerized and modified aircraft which improves its flight conditions and allows for more professional operation. Its operational advantages include a larger cargo hold, exact piloting, and high-quality flight performance.
“The Israeli systems installed in the ‘Shimshon’ make it a leading aircraft in its field,” said Maj. R. “Wherever we are in the world, our partners see the advantages of the Israeli ‘Shimshon’ and are impressed by its advanced capabilities. Combining an American platform with Israeli systems makes the aircraft ever relevant for the current operational theater.”
“The new aircraft will allow us to be more significant during wartime while also providing the squadron's aircrew members with the ability to train for longer periods of time,” emphasized Maj. R. “In addition, the 103rd Squadron is in close cooperation with the IDF ground forces and the new aircraft will allow the cooperation to go even further.”
First publication: IAF website