Back to Units Index Page
SA321Kb Super Frelon serial 015 at the Hatzerim Museum
(114 Tayeset "Ha'Super Frelon" - The Super Frelon Squadron)
Role: Helicopter Assault/Heavy Transport
A communications/multi-engined training squadron, designated 114 sqn, was
formed after the armistice, in March 1949, with Avro Ansons and Airspeed Consuls as its initial equipment. Nine Ansons and fifteen Consuls were delivered. The Ansons were ex-RAF aircraft, and the Consuls were purchased from the UN commission in Palestine. Both types served as multi-engine pilot, radio and navigation trainers, and also as light utility transports. On 1 April 1956 the Anson strength stood at 7 aircraft. Both types were based at Kfar Sirkin (the Flight School). The unit was disbanded later in 1956.
114 sqn was reformed in April 1966, specifically to operate the SA321 Super
Frelon helicopter. It gained the nickname 'SPS'. Initial deliveries were of
the amphibious SA321Ka variant, featuring large stabilising floats above the
main wheels, and an external rescue winch.
Only five of the type had been delivered by the time of the Six Day War.
During the war, Super Frelons participated in the assault on Sharm El Sheikh and also the capture of the Golan Heights. Despite a French arms embargo following the war, a further seven Super Frelons were delivered. These latter examples were of the non-amphibious SA321Kb variant, without the floats or rescue winch. At least two more examples were delivered subsequently.
The year 1968 saw the type put to further use. On the evening of 31
October, two Super Frelons were used to fly a force of paratroopers to an
Egyptian hydro-electric station and dam on the Upper Nile river and destroy
both. On 28 December, the same year, four Super Frelons safely transported a commando force to Beirut Airport, where thirteen Arab airliners were destroyed in retaliation for a PLO attack. During the Yom Kippur War, the main role was casualty evacuation.
Immediately following the end of the Yom Kippur War, a number of US Marine
Corps CH-53As were supplied by the US as emergency aid. These aircraft
supplemented the Frelons and were initially distinguished by the lack of an in-
flight refuelling probe. They were later upgraded to S-65C-3 standard.
During 1974-75, the surviving Super Frelons were re-engined with the more
reliable American T58-GE-16 turboshaft, an improvement which was not entirely successful. Both types performed a typical variety of roles in the invasion of Lebanon in 1982: rescuing of downed aircrews, casualty evacuation and troop transport. With its relatively quiet and roomy cabin, and low vibration levels, the Super Frelon has proved ideal for VIP transport. The Frelons were retired in 1991.
Approximately thirty of the surviving IDF/AF S-65s are currently being
rotated through an update programme known as Ya'sur 2000. The improvements include a completely new electrical system and avionics suite, and the substitution of unreliable mechanical components with modern low maintenance items where possible. The first was handed over to the IDF/AF on 2 February 1993.
Close-up of the unit marking on 015
SA321Kb Super Frelon serial 010
Close-up of the unit marking on 010
Float equipped SA321Ka serial 020
|S-65 serial 717 low over the beach.|
(photo, Israeli Air Force)
|Another view of 717.|
(photo, Israeli Air Force)
|Anson I||4||March 49 -1956||-||02
|Anson I||4||April 49 -1956||-||06,07
|AS65 Consul||18?||March 49 - 1956 || ||08,14
|SA321Ka||5||20 Apr 66 - 1991?||1||09,408
|SA321Kb||7+2||Late 1967 - 1991?||1||08,010,102,120,121
|CH-53A (S-65C-3)||12||Oct 73 - Present||1||43,54,
Figure 1 courtesy of Amos Dor