Hezbollah reports a new training program, F-22s to Japan, and F-16s purchased by Iraq…

Christian Science Monitor has published a very interesting interview with a midlevel member of Hezbollah who reports just returning from a seven-week training camp in Iran. According to the fighter, he received training from the Iranian Revolutionary Gaurds Corps special forces unit Quds Force in “anti-tank missiles,” ambush tactics, and was sent to “universities, factories, and other facilities.” The article then goes on to cite another source inside the organization which reports further training inside the group focusing on “taking and holding” ground as a change from the regular hit-and-run tactics which have been the guerilla organization’s regular tactics since it’s inception.

It is important to study each of these pieces of information individually so that we may add them up together and attempt to come to a more logical picture. Training in “anti-tank missiles” is not surprising: the use of AT-4 Spandrels, an outgrowth of the AT-2 Sagger of Yom Kippur War fame, was widespread in the 2006 War.

 

Defensenews.com has come up with two very interesting bits of aircraft news this week: the deployment of F-22s to Kadena Air Force Base in Japan and the final decision to purchase F-16s by Iraq.

The movement of F-22s to Japan is very important: there were issues with the high-altitude oxygen system stemming from a filter needed to measure the quality of the air moving through to the mask to the pilot. Because of this, the F-22s in USAF and ANG service were under orders to only be deployed within 30 minutes of an airbase while operating under strict altitude limits. The deployment to Japan will be undertaken while still under these altitude limits, though with periods out of these airfield distances.

 

Also, the final ink is now on the contracts for new-build F-16s to be purchased by the Iraqi Air Force, allowing it to join the United Arab Emirates, Israel, Turkey, and Pakistan as the newest member of the Islamic Falcon Club. The Iraqis will be operating the F-16 Block 52, with dorsal fuel tanks as well as upgraded radar sets. Some of the more historically inclined readers will note with irony that it was F-16s of the Israeli Air Force that hit the Osirak reactor in 1981 and destroyed Saddam Hussein’s best chance at a nuclear weapons program. This purchase, however, is small: only 18. The Iraqis will undoubtedly be purchasing more, but from where is an important question. As I pointed out, many countries in the region operate the aircraft in many different Block numbers and variants. It is possible they could buy used aircraft to build their fleet quickly.

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One Response to “Hezbollah reports a new training program, F-22s to Japan, and F-16s purchased by Iraq…”

  1. FINALLY An Update

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