A week after Romania, IAF sends jets to Hungary

Two fighter jets and a transport aircraft to participate in an expo marking Air Force Day in Hungary.

A week after an Israel Air Force helicopter crashed in Romania, the IAF again deployed overseas on Thursday, this time to Hungary where it flew two fighter jets and a transport aircraft.
The deployment in Hungary was at the request of the Hungarian Air Force, which asked the IAF to send aircraft to Hungary to participate in an expo marking Air Force Day in Hungary. The planes will remain in Hungary for a few days and then return to Israel.
In line with IAF policy to cooperate with foreign air forces, the IAF decided earlier this week to send two F-16Is – called Sufa (Storm) – and a Hercules C-130 transport aircraft. The delegation was led by an F16I squadron commander. The F-16I is Israel’s most advanced and newest fighter jet.
IDF sources said this week that the IAF will continue flying overseas despite the tragedy in Romania.
“These flights are extremely important for a pilot’s training,” a senior IAF officer said. “During a war, a pilot will need to navigate in places he has never been before. Flying overseas in new terrain helps prepare pilots.”
The number of deployments overseas has grown significantly in recent years due to the growing challenges that the IAF faces in Iran and Syria. It has bolstered ties with a number of countries and in the past few months alone the IAF flew in Greece, Italy and Romania.