Monday, December 20, 2010

Operation Raviv

My most recent addition to my library is Osprey's Israeli A-4 Skyhawk Units in Combat by Sholomo Aloni. This work covers the history of the aircraft as part of the IDF. With my recent interest in operation Raviv I was pleased to see this paragraph.

From page 22 we have,
“The IDF/IA launched its campaign on 9 September 1969, and that same day the Skyhawk community suffered its second combat loss. No 109 Sqn was tasked with supporting a mechanized assault across the Gulf of Suez, and two four-ship formations duly departed Ramat David that morning. The first was tasked with suppressing an SA-2 battery and the second to fly close air support (CAS) for Israeli troops. Although the SAM site was successfully attacked, the CAS Skyhawks (each loaded with six 500-lb bombs and two rocket pods) were forced to loiter over the designated sector waiting to be allocated a target. With the assault proceeding to plan and their patrol time coming to an end, the pilots decided to target a radar station instead. During this attack the four-ship leader Hagai Ronen became separated from the formation. He was last seen hanging beneath the canopy of his parachute over the Gulf of Suez.”

The Arab Victory Forum (I will not vouch for their facts)has his A-4 being shot down by Egyptian AAA 7,000ft from a position at Zafarana. There was no report of any Egyptian fighter in the area and no reports given to the Egyptian command of the raid until after they let the area. It would appear that the best reason for the loss was from a S-60 or a ZSU.

This will mean the invasion force has a dedicated CAS of at least four A-4s. It is looking even more difficult for the Egyptians. So far the Egyptian Army has three T-55s and a ZSU-1 base coated. Looks like they need more assistance from the Soviet Union.

A-4 painted by Mark

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