Israeli A-4 Skyhawks

Israel Defence Force (IDF)

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This page is dedicated to
Israeli Air Force Ayit (Skyhawk) Pilots KIA

 


Israel was the largest customer for export Skyhawks. A contract for 48 was signed 02 June 1966. The first four (A-4Hs) arrived in Israel by ship at the port of Haifa in 19 December 1967. The Skyhawks were down-graded, some avionics removed, and were re-disignated A-4H. They first flew as "Ayits" on 01 January 1986 with #109 Squadron at Ramat David. Side Numbers assigned were 03, 05, 07, and 09.
The IDF Ayit (Eagle) became operational in 1968 and was used extensively in combat operations.

1971: "...the Skyhawk had proven to be so successful in Israeli service that it actually blurred the differences between "light" and "heavy" [attack]". Page 30 of "Israeli A-4 Skyhawk Units In Combat" by Shlomo Aloni.

 


AUG 1971: "Crystal" were upgraded A-4E and A-4H aircraft with higher rated engines, improved heads-up display, and improved weapons/navigation systems which brought them to an A-4N standard..

 

 


08 DEC 2004:
Advanced Israel Air Force A-4 Performs its Inaugural Flight!

 

Y2004: RADA Electronic Industries Ltd. announced that the first upgraded Israel Air Force (IAF) A-4 "Ayit" had successfully completed its first flight. The A-4 "Ayit" is the IAF's advanced trainer. The upgraded aircraft has new electronics and the upgrade program was to be completed by the third quarter of 2005. 26 A-4N, 4 TA-4H, and 18 TA-4J aircraft were upgraded.

 


Per Defense Industry Daily 03-Aug-2009 :
"storied land-based career with the Israeli Air Force, who used this simple, pilot-friendly aircraft from late 1967 onward as a versatile attack aircraft with surprising air-air teeth"

 

"The "Ayit" was a much-beloved jet in the Israeli Air Force. The little A-4 agility coupled with an equally surprising ability to take battle damage, made it a popular and reliable choice over several wars. The type was used heavily in the 1973 Yom Kippur War, and the Israeli fleet took correspondingly heavy loses: of 102 aircraft lost, 53 were Ayits. That war was not without its moments of distinction. In one engagement, an Israeli A-4 Ayit found itself facing 3 MiG-21s. The maneuverable little A-4 turned on them and brought 2 of them down, and was reportedly on the 3rd Fishbed's tail when an IAF Mirage IIIC zipped through and blasted the MiG out of the sky."


 

Skyhawk Deliveries to Israel:

Updated 24 DEC 2015 (twidget)

  • Date unknown
  • 02 A-4B Airframes for instructional purposes. They now reside at musuems.

  • DEC 1967-1968
  • 48 A-4H BuNo 155242 thru 155289

  • 1969
  • 34 A-4H BuNo 157395 thru 157428
  • 08 A-4H BuNo 157918 thru 157925
  • 06 TA-4H BuNo 157429 thru 157434/li>
  • 04 TA-4H BuNo 157926 thru 157929

  • 1971-1972
  • 60 Former USA A-4E; BuNo 151189
  • 04 TA-4F Former USA TA-4F
  • (1972-73)
  • 02 TA-4J BuNo158492 thru 158493 (OCT72)

  • NOV72-1973
  • 02 TA-4J BuNo 158497 thru 158498 (NOV72)
  • 02 TA-4J BuNo 158502 thru 158503 (FEB73)
  • 18 A-4N BuNo 158726 thru 158743
  • 18 A-4N BuNo 159035 thru 159052
  • 32 A-4E former USA (OCT/NOV73)
  • 14 A-4F former USA (OCT/NOV73
  • 14 A-4N BuNo 159075 thru 159098 (1973-74)

  • 1974
  • 04 TA-4J/H
  • 31 A-4N BuNo 159515 thru 159545

  • 1975
  • 11 TA-4J/H BuNo 159546 thru 159556

  • 1976
  • 26 A-4N BuNo 159799 thru 159824

  • 1992-1994
  • 03 TA-4J BuNo 152853, 15500, 153672, 747, 748, 749. Ex-USA - 7 were rejected.
  • Total Received = 353
  • A-4H
  • 155242 155289 48
  • 157395 157428 34
  • 157918 157925 8

  • TA-4H
  • 157429 157434 6
  • 157926 157929 4
  • 159546 159556 11
  • 159795 159798 4

  • A-4N
  • 158726 158743 18
  • 159035 159052 18
  • 159075 159098 24
  • 159515 159545 31
  • 159799 159824 26

A-4E/F former USA Skyhawks:

 

 

  • 92 A-4E
  • 149664
  • 149968
  • 149971
  • 149973
  • 149978
  • 149979
  • 149986
  • 149987
  • 149995
  • 149998
  • 150003
  • 150010
  • 150015
  • 150016
  • 150025
  • 150026
  • 150031
  • 150039
  • 150042
  • 150060
  • 150065
  • 150066
  • 150082
  • 150087
  • 150091
  • 150092
  • 150117
  • 150120
  • 150124
  • 150125
  • 150134
  • 150138
  • 151027
  • 151028
  • 151040
  • 151056
  • 151066
  • 151072
  • 151079
  • 151084
  • 151086
  • 151098
  • 151100
  • 151120
  • 151121
  • 151129
  • 151137
  • 151147
  • 151148
  • 151156
  • 151163
  • 151164
  • 151169
  • 151184
  • 151187
  • 151189
  • 151190
  • 151987
  • 151989
  • 151994
  • 151996
  • 152006
  • 152007
  • 152013
  • 152014
  • 152017
  • 152019
  • 152023
  • 152030
  • 152031
  • 152032
  • 152033
  • 152035
  • 152037
  • 152044
  • 152050
  • 152058
  • 152059
  • 152062
  • 152064
  • 152078
  • 152079
  • 152083
  • 152089
  • 152090
  • 152097
  • 86 BuNos of 92 received
  • 14 A-4F
  • OCT73
  • 154178
  • 154188
  • 154191
  • 154195
  • 154212
  • 154990
  • 154997
  • 154998
  • 155007
  • 155008
  • 155040
  • 155043
  • 155058
  • 155065

  • Total Per Type:
    • 02 A-4B (airframes for teaching aids)
    • 92 A-4E
    • 14 A-4F
    • 90 A-4H
    • 117 A-4N
    • 04 TA-4F
    • 10 TA-4H
    • 24 TA-4J

 

Skyhawk Loses (100+)

 

Skyhawk lose article.

 

 


 

Skyhawk Sales (50):

1980: 14 A-4E Sold to Indonesia
1980: 2 TA-4H Sold to Indonesia (BuNo 157429 and 157430)
1981: 1 A-4E Sold to Indonesia BuNo151189 which became TT-0441.
1982: 16 A-4E Sold to Indonesia
2000: 4 A-4N (305, 335, 373) Sold to BAE Systems
2001: 10 A-4N (321, 344, 413, ?) Sold to ATSI in USA
2001: 2 TA-4F (748, 749) Sold to ATSI in USA
(Note: These 3 T-birds were never used by IDF and another listing shows them as TA-4Js #747,748,749.)
2001: 1 TA-4J (251) Sold to ATSI in USA

Skyhawk for Israel, 159805 (c/n 14504, IDF/AF 305) has civilian number N431FS reserved for it.
159815 (c/n 14514, IDF/AF 373) has civilian number N434FS reserved for it.
159823 (c/n 14522, IDF/AF) now has civilian number N264WL reserved for it.


 

Reported Skyhawk retirements:

10 A-4s to the target range.

IAF Museums; A-4E #885, A-4E #891, A-4F #611, A-4H #222, A-4H #230, A-4H #261, A-4H #270, A-4N #230, A-4N #379, TA-4J #747 and #328 at the Ramat David display.

Retired at Hatzerim

Retired at Hatzerim Pic1

Retired at Hatzerim Pic2

Retired at Hatzerim Pic3

Retired at Hatzerim Pic4
 

 

"A number of A-4E/H/N aircraft are currently stored at Ovda Air Base, some planes have been used as electronic warfare support aircraft, others have been sold or leased to contractors like ATAC, and as noted earlier, the “Flying Tigers” of 102 Squadron at Hatzerim Air Base still use their A-4Ns and 2-seat TA-4Js for advanced IAF pilot training."<

13 DEC 2015: IAF retires Skyhawk after 48 years in service. (Yoav Zitun. Published: 12.13.15, Israel News)
DEC 2015:

Final formal retirement of the Skyhawk from IDF.

 


IN the past, in-service with IAF as front-line a/c:

A-4H Ayit

Y1990=135   Y1995=180   Y2000=180   Y2001=180
Y2002=110   Y2006=39   Y2008=39   Y2010=39

TA-4J Ayit

Y1990=17   Y1995=20   Y2000=18   Y2001=17   Y2002=17
Y2006=16   Y2008=16   Y2010=16   Projected Y2015=16    

TA-4H Ayit

 

Y1990=6   Y1995=10   Y2000=9   Y2001=9   Y2002=9
Y2006=10   Y2008=10   Y2010=10   Projected Y2015=10    

Sources:

  • PDF on Israeli AHIT
  • "Boom" Powell
  • Amos Dor (Flying-Wing Squadron)
  • Todd Frommelt
  • REF: Israeli A-4 Skyhawk Units In Combat by Shlomo Aloni. (Osprey Combat Aircraft No. 81) first printed 2009. ISBN 13;978 1 84603 430 5
  • REF: Skyhawks over Israel by Marco Pennings.

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