210 Squadron (Israel)
210 Squadron of the Israeli Air Force is an IAI Eitan squadron based at Tel Nof Airbase. The squadron was officially inaugurated on December 20, 2010, at a ceremony at Tel Nof, and officially accepted its first UAV in February 2011. Its first commander was Lt. Colonel S. and is currently led by Lt. Colonel A.
210 Squadron is the IAF's first UAV unit to operate away from the IAF's traditional UAV hub at Palmachim. Tel Nof offers a longer runway and the more extensive infrastructure required by the two-ton class Eitan, and will also help the integration of UAV operations into the IAF's core operational thinking. The squadron's aircraft wear a Light Compass Grey scheme and feature tail art in the shape of a white eagle against a black background on their vertical stabilizers.
On January 29, 2012, one of the squadron's UAVs crashed shortly after take off from Tel Nof. Falling near Kibbutz Hafetz Haim, the aircraft suffered damages estimated at several million dollars. The Eitan fleet was subsequently grounded for several months until two investigative teams, one by the air force and another by Israel Aircraft Industries, submitted their findings. The aircraft was found to have gone down during flight testing of a navigational component fitted on one of its wings, which broke. After additional tests by IAI, the air force finally permitted the Eitan back into the air on September 6, 2012. Two months later the squadron took part in Operation Cast Lead. 210 Squadron and the Eitan have also been mentioned amid the talk of a possible Israeli strike against Iran's nuclear program. The UAV's high service ceiling, its ability to stay a loft for a considerable amount of time, and large payload and range, have made it especially suited for long-range and advanced reconnaissance and intelligence missions. The aircraft have also been linked to possible Israeli strikes against Iranian arms convoy in Sudan.
- Newdick and Zidon 2013, p. 200
- Harari, Yael (December 21, 2010). "Launching a New Squadron". Israeli Air Force. Retrieved December 28, 2010.
- "IAF Opens New "Eitan" UAV Squadron to Operational Use". Israeli Defence Forces. 21 December 2010. Retrieved December 28, 2010.
- Newdick and Zidon 2013, p. 64
- Newdick and Zidon 2013, p. 243
- Harel, Amos (January 29, 2012). "Military drone crashes near central Israel town". Haaretz. Retrieved March 15, 2014.
- Cohen, Gili (August 12, 2012). "Amid talk of Iran strike, IDF set to reactivate long-range intelligence drone". Haaretz. Retrieved March 15, 2014.
- Michael, Tal (September 6, 2012). מל"ט ה"איתן" חוזר לטוס (in Hebrew). Israeli Air Force.
- Michael, Tal (November 20, 2012). חודשיים אחרי הקרקוע: האיתן משתתף במבצע (in Hebrew). Israeli Air Force.
- Newdick, Thomas; Zidon, Ofer (2013). Modern Israeli Air Power. Harpia Publishing.
|This military aviation article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|