Tel Nof Airbase

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Tel Nof Israeli Air Force Base
בסיס חיל-האוויר תל נוף
Baha8 tel-nof.jpg
Summary
Airport type Military
Operator Israeli Air Force
Location Rehovot
Elevation AMSL 193 ft / 59 m
Coordinates 31°50′22.10″N 34°49′18.64″E / 31.8394722°N 34.8218444°E / 31.8394722; 34.8218444
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
15R/33L 7,835 2,388 Asphalt
15L/33R 7,830 2,387 Asphalt
18/36 9,022 2,750 Asphalt
09/27 6,004 1,830

Tel Nof Israeli Air Force (Hebrew: בָּסִיס חֵיל-הַאֲוִויר תֵּל נוֹף‎‎) (ICAO: LLEK), also known as Air Force Base 8, is one of three principal airbases of the Israeli Air Force. Tel Nof is located near Rehovot, Israel. This large airbase is located only a few miles from Tirosh, where nuclear weapons for its missions are reportedly stored.[1] Just to the south of the Zachariah Jericho 2 training pad are several bunkers for contain nuclear gravity bombs for aircraft at the Tel Nof air base a few kilometers to the northwest (see Nuclear weapons and Israel). [2]

History

Tel Nof was founded in July 1939[3] during the British Mandate as RAF Aqir and served as the main Royal Air Force station in Palestine. From the 1948 Arab-Israeli War until 1950 it was known as Ekron Airfield.

Today Tel Nof houses several fighter and helicopter squadrons. Several special units of the Israel Defense Forces are also located here, including Unit 669 (airborne combat search and rescue) and the paratroopers training centre. Tel Nof housed the IAF flight academy until April 1966 when it was moved to Hatzerim Airbase.[4]

In June 2011, it was reported that eight American jet engines for F-15 and F-16 fighters had been stolen from the base.[5]

On 18 October 2011, Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier who had been held captive by Hamas in Gaza for over five years and four months, returned to Israel via Tel Nof as part of a deal to exchange Shalit for 1,027 prisoners.[6]

Units

RAF Aqir Operational units

A 76 OTU Vickers Wellington Mk.X at Aqir, 1944-1945

Operational units of the Royal Air Force stationed at RAF Aqir from 1941 to 1948.

See also

References

  1. ^ http://www.nti.org/learn/facilities/392/
  2. ^ http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/israel/tel_nof.htm
  3. ^ Playfair, Vol. I, page 69.
  4. ^ "Tel Nof". Global Security. Retrieved 2009-02-06. 
  5. ^ Jordan, Bryant. "Fighter Jet Engines Stolen from Israeli Base." Military.com, 18 June 2011.
  6. ^ "Schalit lands at Tel Nof IAF base to meet family, Netanyahu" (18 October 2011). Jerusalem Post.
  7. ^ http://www.iaf.org.il/Templates/ArtArch/ArtArch.IN.aspx?lang=HE&lobbyID=43&folderID=47&subfolderID=2196&docfolderID=2196&docID=28922
  8. ^ http://www.aviation-news.co.uk/archive/Coleman's%20War.html
  9. ^ IWM CM 5756
  10. ^ http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?7622-76-Otu-21-9-1944

Bibliography

  • Playfair, Major-General I.S.O.; Molony, Brigadier C.J.C.; with Flynn, Captain F.C. (R.N.) & Gleave, Group Captain T.P. (2009) [1st. pub. HMSO:1954]. Butler, Sir James, ed. The Mediterranean and Middle East, Volume I: The Early Successes Against Italy, to May 1941. History of the Second World War, United Kingdom Military Series. Uckfield, UK: Naval & Military Press. ISBN 1-84574-065-3. 

Further reading

  • Jefford, Wing Commander C.G., MBE, BA, RAF (Retd). RAF Squadrons, a Comprehensive Record of the Movement and Equipment of all RAF Squadrons and their Antecedents since 1912. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing, 2001. ISBN 1-84037-141-2.
  • Sturtivant, Ray, ISO and John Hamlin. RAF Flying Training And Support Units since 1912. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd., 2007. ISBN 0-85130-365-X.

External links

  • Tel Nof from globalsecurity.org
  • Aeroflight World Airforces
  • The RAF in Palestine
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