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Israeli Air Force capabilities upgraded for a potential Iran strike

The IAF recently held a series of large-scale military drills that specifically simulate a potential attack against Iranian nuclear sites

Illustrative - Israeli Air Force F-35 fighter jet (Photo: Miriam Alster/Flash90)

The Israeli Air Force (IAF) has reportedly dramatically upgraded its offensive capabilities for a potential military strike on Iran’s nuclear sites amid rising regional tensions with the Iranian regime over its nuclear capabilities, Israeli media reported.

The IAF has developed a new capability that enables its stealth F-35 fighter jets to fly directly to Iran without the need for mid-air refueling. Experts said that this could be a “game-changer” in any future conflict since the distance between Israel and Iran (1,789 kilometers or 1,112 miles by airplane) and fuel conservation were widely seen as the most serious challenges to implementing any military operation in the area.

The Iraqi Osirak nuclear reactor, which the IAF destroyed in 1981, was located only around 600 miles from Israel. 


In an added boost to its offensive capabilities, the IAF said that it also recently succeeded in incorporating a new Israeli-developed one-ton bomb into its F-35 fighter jets that can be transported in an internal compartment without undermining the plane’s unique stealth radar signature. 

Developed and produced by Israel’s Rafael Advanced Weapons Systems, the indigenous new bomb has autonomous capabilities that shields it against potential enemy jamming and other electronic warfare. 


If an Israeli prime minister eventually gives the order to strike Iran’s nuclear sites, the IAF’s growing fleet of F-35 fighter jets is expected to play a prominent role in such a military operation. 

The combination of stealth characteristics, along with the new advanced bomb and fuel capabilities, make the F-35 fighter jets a lethal component of the IAF. 

In addition, Israel also has a large fleet of older F-16 and F-15 fighter jets with complementary capabilities to the F-35s. 

An Israeli defense official articulated the challenges that the IAF would face during a potential military operation against Iran’s nuclear sites. 

“Iran’s surface-to-air missile systems and radars are crowded and they are not the only challenge,” the defense official said. “We need to be able to attack targets that are significant, and the attack needs to be able to cause extensive damage. There are multiple targets in Iran at different ranges.”

While innovative technology capabilities are crucial, operational practice is equally important. 

As such, over the past weeks the IAF held a series of large-scale military drills that specifically simulate a potential attack against the Iranian nuclear sites. Fifth-generation F-35 fighter jets were practicing alongside fourth-generation F-15s and F-16s. The training focused on crucial issues, such as confrontation with Iranian radar systems and long-range combat flights. IAF planes simulated the considerable distance to Iran through drills over the Mediterranean Sea and to different European destinations. Israeli pilots have also been training in intelligence sharing and defensive responses to electronic and cyber weapons that the Iranians would likely use in attempting to disrupt the Israeli aerial operation. 

Meanwhile, the Israeli army unveiled its new advanced Negeva combat vehicle, which was developed by the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). The Israeli Ministry of Defense announced that it would buy hundreds of new combat vehicles for the Israeli army’s special units. 

“As part of the more than 100 million shekel agreement, IAI will manufacture Z-MAG and ZD vehicles for IDF Special Forces missions in cooperation with Ido Cohen and The Armored Group (TAG), with the encouragement and the investment of tens of millions of NIS by the Ministry of Defense, focuses on ground technologies,” an Israeli Defense Ministry spokesperson stated

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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