Israel showcases IDF’s advanced Samson transport plane at UK’s Royal Air Show

Tweaked by Israeli ingenuity, the IAF’s new generation C-130J Super Hercules, nicknamed “Samson,” headlines Israel’s pavilion at the world’s largest military air show, showcasing the integral part the aircraft plays in Israel’s humanitarian aid missions around the world.

By Lilach Shoval & Israel Hayom Staff


The Israeli Air Force on Friday was scheduled to present its tactical transport plane in the prestigious Royal International Air Tattoo show, the world’s largest annual military air show, held in support of the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust.

IAF’s “Samson” and the Israeli Air Force crew at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, Thursday – Photo: IDF Spokesperson’s Unit

Twenty-eight countries, including Israel, the U.S., France, Germany, Australia, Canada, Japan, Jordan and Pakistan, are participating in the three-day show, which is expected to attract over 150,000 spectators over the weekend.

The IAF’s new generation C-130J Super Hercules, nicknamed “Samson,” took off from the Nevatim Air Base near Beersheba en route to RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire in southwest England, where the show is held.

This is the first time in 15 years the IAF has sent an aircraft to RIAT.

The IAF procured the C-130J Super Hercules from American aerospace giant Lockheed Martin. The aircraft has improved carrying capacity, a flight range of some nearly 4,000 kilometers (2,485 miles), and its systems include cutting-edge technology meant to streamline the aircraft’s operations and maintenance, the IDF website said.

Air force commanders from all over the world, as well as senior military personnel and political officials are set to participate in the show, hobnobbing with royalty, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and his wife, Kate Middleton.

The Israeli delegation to RIAT, headed by Israeli Air Force Chief of Staff Brig. Gen. Tal Kalman, comprises 40 people and includes top IAF officials, Defense and Foreign ministries’ officials, representatives from the office of the Israeli military attache in Britain, pilots from Unit 669, the IAF’s elite extraction unit, and officers with the IDF’s Medical Corps.

IAF’s Lockheed C-130 Hercules named “Karnaf” – Photo: IDF Spokesperson’s Unit

The Israeli pavilion will showcase mostly the military’s participation in humanitarian aid missions, of which Samson is an integral part.

“We obviously won’t be showcasing all our capabilities,” Unit 669 Lt. Col. Yoav told Israel Hayom, “but visitors would be able to get a look at the plane and learn about its capabilities even without a flight demonstration. This is an opportunity to influence international public opinion. We have much to be proud of, so this is a very important trip,” he said.


View original Israel Hayom publication at: