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75 Years of the Israeli Air Force Volume 2

The Last Half Century, 1973-2023

Series : Middle East@War #32

Author : Bill Norton

75 Years of the Israeli Air Force Volume 2 : The Last Half Century, 1973-2023


General - Pages : 96 | Images : 92 b/w & 9 colour photos, 12 colour profiles, 1 colour plate of unit insignia, 4 b/w maps, 4 tables, 1 diagram

Paperback - Date of Publication : March 2021 | Size : 297mm x 210mm | ISBN : 9781914059001 | Helion Book Code : HEL1294

In May 2023, Israel will be celebrating the 75th anniversary of its founding as a state, and also the 75th anniversary of the establishment of its air force.

The maturation of what was once the Israel Defence Force/Air Force (IDF/AF), and since 2005 is the Israeli Air-Space Force (IASF), is a fascinating study of a military force working to meet shifting obligations under multiple impediments while being repeatedly tested in combat. Many factors over the seven and a half decades shaped its air fighting capability, not the least being the demands of the evolving battlefield, uncertain funding, available weapons, and quality of personnel. Tactics and doctrine were, in turn, shaped by government policies, international pressures, and confronting adversaries likewise evolving. When the trials in war, or combat short of war came, success was a measure of its weapons’ suitability, relevancy of training, and experience of personnel.

Volume 2 documents the evolution of the Israeli air force from the aftermath of the 1973 war, through the events in Lebanon and up to the present day. It stands apart from many other books in performing this examination in a more dispassionate and critical manner, without the common hyperbole. A great deal of space is devoted to description of constant shifts in its equipment – especially aircraft and other weapons – and its organisational structure over time. 

A summary of the geopolitical milieu in which Israel and its military institutions have dwelled over the 75 years helps to explain the material acquisition and tactical choices while placing in context the operations in which they were employed...Written at a time of historical challenges for Israeli Air and Space Force, and the Israel Defence Forces as a whole, this is an exclusive, highly informative and richly illustrated source of reference.

For those of you interested in researching further, we've compiled a list of reference sources in a separate document, which can be found here.


"​Highly recommended." AMPS Indianapolis


"It's a worthy addition to the Middle East at War series from Helion and will appeal to anyone with an interest in the IAF/IASF and the use of airpower in the period from 1973 to present day." Aviation Enthusiast Book Club


"When read in conjunction with the first volume, this is a concise summary of the Israeli Air Force. Volume 2 does a good job of mixing campaign history, procurement issues, and changes in policy. This is a great addition to the series." IPMS/USA


"The Middle East@War series edited by Helion is now a point of reference for enthusiasts, particularly for those in search of texts that address the complex issues of Middle Eastern conflicts with balance and authority . Undoubtedly, the Israeli air force has always been among the most interesting, especially for its impressive effectiveness, the result of hard training of pilots and the careful selection of aircraft and armaments. In this volume, Bill Norton, an experimental pilot engineer with 40 years of experience, masterfully ranges from geopolitics to the technique of various airplanes and armaments, focusing on the peculiarities of the changes made to cells and deepening in detail the various missions and campaigns undertaken by Israeli pilots from 1974 to today." Marco de Montis, Panorama Difesa June 2021

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