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September 16, 2014 10:37 pm
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Israel Developing Rocket Assisted Take-Off Capability for F-16 Fighter Jets

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

An IAF fighter taking off. Photo: Yissachar Ruas/ Tazpit News Agency.

The Israeli Air Force (IAF) is developing rocket-assisted take-off capability for its Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter planes, Flight Global reported on Monday.

The development involves installing rockets under the wings of the jet for lift-off and releasing them after they have burned out. The extra fuel helps provide an additional push when an aircraft is carrying a heavy load or when take-off is attempted on a shorter runway, according to the report.

While Israel has installed rockets on transporter aircraft, it has not done so with fighet jets in the past.

An article in the Israeli Air Force magazine said that the addition will have a “meaningful” effect on the F-16’s aerodynamics, Flight Global reported.

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The IAF will experiment with the system on its F-16A/B, C/D and I-model variants. The first test run is scheduled for some time in 2015.

According to the report, in recent years, the IAF has taken measures to ensure its operations remain uninterrupted in the event of attacks on its air bases, some of which were targeted during Operation Protective Edge. Other measures taken by the Air Force include the ability to quickly fix damaged runways.

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