UPDATED: See Below For Updates.
This series of Tweets from Keeper of Truth on Twitter:
Communications with Ramat David airbase have been shut down. Sealed tight. Last word 6-10 aircraft had taken off.
Nothing from Ramat David but a txt that said “back in a bit”. 8 planes had taken off, 2 tankers confirmed.
Just got this txt from Ramat David “planes from squad 157 freq tos (takeoffs I think) more later
(Squadron 157 according to Wikipedia is Electrical Warfare unit.)
Maybe radar jamming? post it and see if anyone knows.
I am just giving info – I think it is a precaution just in case, others are saying the attack thing, not me.
(For) the record, I think activity at Ramat David may just be a precaution against a strike by Iran. Im just passing info.
For the record, this could, indeed, be precautionary. The Israeli Air Force trains for this stuff all the time; and when they do, it’s very much ‘real world” with full communications blackouts and the like. That’s why they’re the greatest Air Force in the world.
Having said that, it sounds like 2 KC-135 tankers (Boeing 707’s in the real world) and2-4 F-16 fighters with 2 F-16 (?) Electronic Warfare jets for jamming and communications suppression have launched from Ramat David airbase.
Training? Very likely?
Strike on Iran? Well, they are haivng a lot of protests and riots right now there over the highly-disputed elections. This would be the perfect time to do it when the iranian armed forces are busy partolling the city streets to suppress the disturbances.
These follow-up Tweets from Keeper of Truth:
Also when the military may not be completely “loyal” – who wants to dogfight the IAF when you don’t know who is (president)?
Excellent point, that.
“TO after TO for about 30 min steady, quiet since”
The texter is referring ot ‘TO (takeoff) after (takeoff) for 30 minutes.” Under combat conditions a plane can launch every 30 seconds; while in peacetime it’s recommended no to lauch more frequently than every 2 minutes to allow the wake turbulence of the previous aircraft to dissipate. So, depending on what protocol they’re following in Israel, anywhere from 15 to 60 aircraft may have launched.
And under extreme combat conditions, 2 aircraft can launch side-by-side on the same runway, although that’s highly discouraged unless under direct attack. So that could double the estimate of 60 aircraft.
There’s a lot of IAF aircraft in the air over the Middle East right now, anyway.
Ramat David remains on high alert but comm channels now open. Planes will be in the air in some capacity 24/7. I think they are just rotating, like shifts.
This makes some sense to those of us who remember the Cold War. At it’s height the Strategic Air Command (SAC) kept up to one third of their bombers in the skies at any given time, and pretty much from the 1950’s until about 1991. The theory was that they’d never catch all the bombers on the ground if one third was in the air with tankers all the time.
This is a new thing for Israel, though. It bears watching.
Something else that bears watching is This article from Haaretz.com, which bears a striking resemblance to some of what we’re seeing tonight. It’s a bit of a long read, but a very thorough analysis. A taste:
The study analyzes three possible flight routes and concludes that the optimal and most likely one is the northern one that passes along the Syria-Turkey border, cuts across the northeastern edge of Iraq and leads into Iran. The central route passes over Jordan and is shorter, but would not be chosen for fear of political trouble with the Jordanians. Using the southern route, which passes over Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, might likewise lead to political entanglements.
[ . . . ]
A strike mission on the three nuclear facilities would require no fewer than 90 combat aircraft, including all 25 F-15Es in the IAF inventory and another 65 F-16I/Cs. On top of that, all the IAF’s refueling planes will have to be airborne: 5 KC-130Hs and 4 B-707s. The combat aircraft will have to be refueled both en route to and on the way back from Iran. The IAF will have a hard time locating an area above which the tankers can cruise without being detected by the Syrians or the Turks.
This looks like Israel has established a CAP (Combat air Patrol) over the Meditaerranean of the aircraft necessary to complete a nuclear strike mission. That way, they can leave immediately and nobody would know they were gone for hours . . .
Watch the skies.