Sunday, June 07, 2015

34 Years Ago, An Israeli Operatic Masterpiece

On June 7, 1981, the Israeli Air Force launched Operation Opera.

Operation Opera was the mission to destroy Iraq's nuclear reactor at Osirak and delaying Iraq's attempt to obtain a nuclear bomb. The operation was a complete success.

Eight F-16As with six F-15As flying air cover participated in the attack, flying a round trip of 1980 miles over enemy airspace with aircraft all returning safely.  The F-16s dropped sixteen 2,000 pound bombs on the reactor, severely damaging it and putting it out of action.

The picture below shows one of the few existing aircraft in the world with a nuclear reactor kill marker on its nose.  This aircraft, Netz 107, is one of the F-16s that took part in the raid. 

Note also the six and half Syrian MIG kill markings, making this the F-16 aircraft with the largest amount of air-to-air kills in the world so far:

"F-16netz002" by MathKnight - Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 
While the world, including the United States, condemned Israel for the attack at the time,  history showed it was the right decision.

Imagine what Gulf War 1 and Gulf War 2 would have been like with an Iraq armed with nuclear weapons. Most likely, Kuwait would still be under the Iraqi flag today.


OldAFSarge said...

The Israelis don't fool around when it comes to the security of their homeland.

There's a lesson to be learned from them!

Old NFO said...

+1 on OldAF... NO they don't! And that is probably the ONLY active duty acft anywhere in the world with six kills...