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Kfir-C7 555 turns over it's home base.
(photo, Israeli Air Force)

Unit History

144 Squadron

(144 Tayeset "Shomry Ha'Arava" - The Guardians of the Arava Squadron)
Role: Air Defence/Attack

This unit, with its distinctive red bird on yellow disc insignia, is thought to have first formed in late 1972 on the IAI Nesher. It has been identified as 111 Squadron (by Scramble). This squadron was one of only two squadrons to operate the Nesher as its sole equipment (rather than alongside the Mirage III) - the other being 113 sqn.

Some Neshers were based at Refidim (Bir Gafgafa) in Sinai in October 1973, and consequently the unit saw much action during the Yom Kippur War.

In 1978 the unit converted to the Kfir C-2. Prior to the closure of Etzion AB in April 1982, the unit moved to the new base at Uvda. On 31 July 1983 the first production example of the Kfir C-7 was delivered, this variant eventually replacing the C-2 models. Several reports have stated that this unit disbanded during the 1980s, but photographic evidence shows that it survived until at least 1993 as the last unit to fly the Kfir. By March 1995 it had moved to Haztor and re-equipped with USAF surplus F-16A/B Block 10 aircraft. These aircraft carry a large red bird marking on the fin.

A pair of Kfir-C7s, including serial 565.
(photo, Israeli Air Force)

Air Bases:
Base Duration
Etzion late 1972 - 1981
Ovda 1981 - 1993
Hatzor 1993? - Present

Aircraft Used:
Type Qty Service Badge Example Serials
Nesher20late 72 - 19781 599
Kfir C-2/TC-224/4late 1978 - 19851,2 826,871,824 TC-2:309
Kfir C-72431 July 1983 - 19931,2 516,537,549,551,555
F-16A/B25Dec 1994 - Present2 752,755

Unit Insignia:
Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3
to be added
Figures 1 & 2 courtesy of Amos Dor

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First Created: 1 February 1998 - Last Revised: 4 April 1998
Copyright © 1998 John Hayles.     e-mail: