Israel Retires Last F-16A/Bs

Israeli Air Force 116 Squadron GD F-16B 979 (2012) - Bob Archer /

The Israeli Air Force has formally withdrawn their F-16A/B "Netz" aircraft from service. The official ceremony took place at Ouvda Air Force Base on December 26, 2016.

"Moments ago, the 'Netz' landed from its last flight after 36 years of flight", said Col. Itamar, Ouvda AFB Commander. "Today, we say goodbye to an incredible aircraft that seems to have been created by an artist, an aircraft that fits its missions like a glove".

Israeli Air Force / Maj Ofer

"Today, we sign the last chapter of the 'Netz' aircraft in the IAF", added Lt. Col. Udi, the "Flying Dragon" Squadron Commander that has been flying the aircraft in its final years. "Only those who have touched the aircraft, only those who have been touched by the aircraft, know that the 'Netz' is not just an object - it has a soul".

Seventy five F-16A/Bs were delivered to Israeli Air Force under the Peace Marble program. A further fifty aircraft were delivered after the Gulf War. The F-16A/Bs had recently been used in an advanced training role which has now been taken on by the M-346 Lavi.

It is thought some of the retired airframes will be offered for sale to other air forces.

The Israeli Air Force continues to operate F-16C/D models and the advanced F-16I type.

Israeli Air Force / Maj Ofer