Three years after the Israeli defence forces (IDF) announced the formation of a new depth command, this somewhat virtual body is getting a very important working tool.
In June 2013, Lockheed Martin delivered the first C-130J Super Hercules aircraft to Israel.
This was the first of four C-130Js (Samson) currently on order for the IAF. The other three will be delivered toward the end of the year and in early 2015.
The IAF has asked for a formal proposal for two additional aircraft, and sources here say the contract is in the final stages of processing.
The cockpits of the IAF’s C-130 Js have three seats, similar to the configuration used by the US special forces.
The aircraft are being modified for the installation of some Israeli systems in the future.
After the official announcement of the establishment of the new depth command, the IDF’s Chief of General Staff Lt Gen Benny Gantz said it will be in charge of co-ordinating and executing multidisciplinary missions far from Israel’s borders.
“The primary task of the Corps will be to extend joint IDF operations into the strategic depth,” the army said in a statement.
The Corps will integrate elite commando units into a single special operational command. The new force, reporting directly to Gantz, is based generally on the model of the US Joint Special Operations Command.
The IAF is a major partner in the depth command and with the delivery of the first C-130J it now has another very important tool that can enable all sorts of long-range operations.
In recent months there were reports about mysterious attacks on convoys that were loaded with weapons sent from Iran to a delivery address in the Gaza strip. The foreign press has reported that Israel performed these attacks.
There was no specific reaction but Israel has said repeatedly that it will do “whatever it takes” to stop the flow of weapons from Iran via Africa to the Hamas terror organization in Gaza.