Israeli Air Force
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F-16A serial 267 taxies in. (photo, Israeli Air Force)

Unit History

253 Squadron

(253 Tayeset "Ha'Negev" - The Negev Squadron)
Role: Interceptor Fighter

Also known as "Ha'Tsipor Barzel" (The Iron Bird Squadron), this unit formed in 1976 with Mirage/Nesher aircraft from 101 sqn, and was later supplemented by 117 sqn aircraft. Originally based at Eitam, the unit moved to Matred Ramon in April 1982, when Eitam was handed back to Egypt under the Camp David Agreement. It is reported that the unit then converted to Kfir C-2s, but this is unconfirmed.

The squadron converted to the F-16A/B circa 1987, using aircraft from 110 and 117 squadrons.

Note: Mirage/Nesher aircraft with orange/black triangles carried a modified rudder marking with a red stripe replacing the upper white stripe.

An F-16A formation comprising aircraft 287, 276 and 292. (photo, Israeli Air Force)

Air Bases:
Base Duration
Eitam 1976-April 1982
Ramon April 1982-Present

Aircraft Used:
Type Qty Service Badge Example Serials
Mirage IIICJ191976 - 19821,2111,133,144,150,159,163,171,177
Mirage IIIBJ31976 - 19821,2286
Nesher?1976 - 19821,2524,525,527,528,566,599
Kfir C-2?1982 - 1987  
F-16A/B15/2?1987 - Present3112,261,273,293

Unit Insignia:
Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3
to be added

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First Created: 9 January 1998 - Last Revised: 24 October 1999
Copyright © 1998 John Hayles.     e-mail: