Although the Aviation with the Star of David (Heyl Ha'Avir) is completing the acquisition of the 5th generation F-35I ADIR fighter (in military circles there is talk of expanding the fleet up to 100 aircraft), among its ranks will continue to deploy F-15 fighter-bombers, whose design dates back to the 70s of the last century.
In recent years, the Air Force has hit targets placed mainly in Syrian territory, having to cover short distances. However, Israel's main enemy (as well as the main threat to the region's security) remains Iran, with its uranium enrichment program now free from any international control. It therefore requires carriers capable of carrying a high war load, higher than what the F-35I could carry (about 8.000 kg of war load transportable in the two internal holds and by the six wing piers).
That's why the F-15I fighter-bomber (10.500 kg of war load) will remain in line for a long time, also for their considerable range.
It should be noted that Israeli aircraft operate in high-intensity contexts of Russian surface-to-air missile systems (S-300, S-400, Pantsir), where the capabilities stealth they do not always guarantee stealth.
For this reason, the Air Force prefers to rely on defensive systems based on electronic countermeasures (built nationally), also mounted on the F-16I.
The USA is bringing the F-15EXs online, following more or less the same Israeli philosophy, that is to add old machines, continuously updated, to latest generation aircraft. The EX version will mainly be used by the USAF for air defense, given its ability to carry a large number of air-to-air missiles (up to 22).
With regard to the F-35A / B in service (or which will enter service) at the Italian Air Force and Navy, the introduction of an interface system between attack points and weapons, designed by Boeing, should be started. , which doubles the number transportable from each pylon (this solution could also be applied to the internal holds). Given the small number of machines acquired, in proportion to those abandoned, one will have to think about how to increase the number of weapons transported, also considering the fact that this will certainly not compromise their capabilities. stealth, since they are not.
Photo: IDF / Boeing