Soufa on the horizon?

F-16I Makes Israel Dominant in the Middle East (July 16, 2004 entry)

As noted on MO in February, the advanced F-16I fighter has been arriving in Israel (since April according to this page). This Strategy Page post says two planes are arriving each month. That means that Israel probably has about 8 or 10 right now, and that pilots have had several months to familiarize themselves with the new birds.

In November I noted this about the F-16I:

These fighters, developments of the F-16D Block 50/52, will sport quite a bit of Israeli electronics and removable conformal fuel tanks mounted above the wings along the fuselage. These tanks will extend the fighter’s range without tying up two underwing hardpoints. Lybia and Iran will be within IAF range without refuelling.

As I remarked in February, Lybia won’t need to worry as long as it keeps playing ball.

Iran, on the other hand…

UPDATE: f16masada.jpgIncidentally, I’m pleased to discover that the picture on the WordIQ page I linked to above includes that particular photo of an IAF F-16. (Click for bigger version.) I’ve been wanting to find this particular photo since the early or mid 1980s when I saw it in a magazine, probably either Time or Newsweek. If you look carefully at the rock prominatory in the background just “above” the left wingtip, you will see some old ruins. That’s Masada.