The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston, has visited Israel as a guest of the Commanding Officer of the Israeli Air Force, Major General Amikam Norkin, say the RAF.

The Ministry of Defence say that the visit was to promote key collaborative efforts and strengthen ties between the nations’ Air Forces.

“During the visit to Israel, Air Chief Marshal Wigston was given a tour of the Israeli Air Force Bases, Tel Nof, Palmachim and Nevatim. During the visit the Air Chief Marshal Wigston took part in a joint flight with the Major General Norkin. The Chiefs flew in an Israeli Air Force F-15 aircraft from the 106th Squadron based at Tel Nof Airbase. 

They also visited Squadron 210 as part of a discussion on UAVs and their operational relevance in the Israeli Air Force. 210 Squadron is a part of the Defensive Sword Unit of the Israeli Air Force’s Air Defence System.”

The Chiefs then went on to visit Squadron 140 to discuss the force build-up of the F-35 to the Israeli Air Force and its effects on the Middle East.

Major General Amikam Norkin, Commanding Officer of the Israeli Air Force, was quoted as saying:

“The connection with the British Air Force is very important to the Israeli Air Force. During the visit, we discussed cooperation between our forces, and discussed the situation in the Middle East. We will continue to promote strategic collaborations with the goal of continuing to learn from each other, improving and strengthening ourselves along the way.”

Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston, Chief of the Air Staff, was also quoted as saying:

 “This has been an excellent opportunity to engage with the Israeli Air Force, to celebrate our common heritage, to nurture our enduring relationship, and to explore many areas of mutual interest. I am very grateful to Major General Norkin and his excellent team for hosting the visit.”

You can read more about this from the Royal Air Force here.

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Fantastic news.

Bloke down the pub

Am I right in thinking that the last time the RAF engaged in air to air combat was against the nascent Israeli air force, when both sides were flying Spitfires?

Paul T

The Korean War would be more recent than that i would have thought.


RAF engaged both sides, started with Egyptian air force attack Ramat David while still in control of RAF. Spit against Spit, 4 Egyptian were downed by 208 Sqn. Israelis in Spits instead downed some of RAF Spitfires. Both Egypt and Israelis claimed confrontation was by mistake. I think Tornadoes ADV engaged in Air to Air combat in Iraq-Koweit 1991 but got no kills. Other possible occurrences are also Suez 1956, or maybe the RAF Harriers in Falklands but they were employed for land attack. The last RAF kill on another hand was a bad one: A RAF Phantom downed a… Read more »

Alan Reid

Hi Alex: I agree – the last RAF air-to-air “kill” was the infamous “friendly fire” incident of May 1982. Fortunately, the Jaguar pilot ejected and lived to fly another day. It has been stated that a low-flying RAF Tornado GR1 destroyed an Iraqi Mirage F-1 on the taxiway/runway in January 1991 with a JP233 sub-munition – but the F1 is believed to still have had wheels on the ground. Tornado F3s flew numerous combat air patrols during Gulf War 1 – but did not engage the enemy. The nearest the service got to a shot at the Iraqi air-force in… Read more »

Bloke down the pub

A good summation of the details as I understand them. BZ

Alan Reid

Many thanks for your Bravo Zulu, BDtP.
On the subject of air-combat between the RAF and IAF, there is a very good account on the excellent Spyflight site.