Canadian company Top Aces to buy Israeli F-16s

According to the Israeli newspaper Globe that published the information on November 30, Israel’s Ministry of Defense is in talks with Canada’s Top Aces for the purchase of 29 surplus F-16A/B fighters. Israel is asking for between $3 million and $4 million for each jet, according to Globe The Ministry of Defense’s International Defense Cooperation Directorate (SIBAT) is responsible for the talks.

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Canadian company Top Aces to buy Israeli F 16s 2

The first two of Israel's F-16I's (#407 and #408) landed at the Ramon Israel Air Force base in the Negev on February 19th, 2004 (Picture source: Yuval)

These F-16s were delivered to Israel in the early 1980s and over the past decade have been gradually phased out of service. The Ministry of Defense's International Defense Cooperation Directorate (SIBAT) is responsible for the talks with Montreal-based defense contractor Top Aces, which specializes in the procurement of older fighter aircraft, which are used in training as "staged enemy aircraft) by air forces and navies. In this case, the F-16s could serve in maneuvers for the US Air Force, which signed a contract with Top Aces last year. The company also provides training services to the air forces of Canada and Germany. It owns a fleet of Douglas A-4 SkyHawks and F-16 Fighting Falcons aircraft and has conducted more than 80,000 hours of training worldwide.

Since that 1973, war most of Israel's military aircraft have been obtained from the United States. Among these are the F-4 Phantom II, A-4 Skyhawk, F-15 Eagle and F-16 Fighting Falcon. The Israeli Air Force has also operated a number of domestically produced types such as the IAI Nesher, and later, the more advanced IAI Kfir. The Israel Defense Force/Air Force ordered a total of 362 F-16s, from early F-16A/Bs to the latest F-16I. 50 of these aircraft were surplus USAF aircraft, given to Israel by the U.S. as payment for restraint during the 1991 Gulf War despite Scud attacks. All Israeli F-16s are fitted with custom Israeli electronics.

On June 7, 1981, eight IAF F-16A fighters covered by six F-15A jets carried out Operation Opera to destroy the Iraqi nuclear facilities at Osiraq. On June 9, 1982, the Israeli Air Force carried out Operation Mole Cricket 19, crippling the Syrian air defence array. The IAF continued to mount attacks on Hezbollah and PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization) positions in south Lebanon. On October 1, 1985, In response to a PLO terrorist attack which murdered three Israeli civilians in Cyprus, the Israeli air force carried out Operation Wooden Leg. The strike involved the bombing of PLO Headquarters in Tunis, by F-15 Eagles. In 1991, the IAF carried out Operation Solomon which brought Ethiopian Jews to Israel. In 1993 and 1996, the IAF participated in Operation Accountability and Operation Grapes of Wrath, respectively. It took part in many missions since, including during the 2006 Lebanon War, Operation Cast Lead, Operation Pillar of Cloud and Operation Protective Edge. On September 6, 2007, the Israeli Air Force successfully bombed a Syrian nuclear reactor in Operation Orchard. Israeli F-16s score 47 kills to date.