The Israel Air Force (IAF) has received the new intelligence aircraft the Oron at its Nevatim base, Israel’s Defense Ministry announced on Sunday. The aircraft was developed by the Ministry of Defense Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D), the Israel Air Force and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Intelligence unit’s naval arm and Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI). The new aircraft will be operated by the 122 Nachshon ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance) squadron for real time intelligence gathering. The squadron currently operates Shavit and Eitam reconnaissance aircraft for intelligence missions. The advanced aircraft was formally introduced in a ceremony led by Commander of the IAF, Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin.
The Oron aircraft is based on the platform of the Gulfstream G550 executive jet with a high aviation performance and low maintenance costs. The aircraft will be fitted with IAI advanced radar as well as advanced intelligence systems with surveillance capabilities that will provide the IDF with unprecedented scope to gather information in real time, in all weather conditions and visibility. The aircraft was designed and planned following the lessons learned in past wars and operational missions. The Oron will be equipped with layers of automatic data systems based on advanced algorithms and AI, which will allow the Israel Defense Forces to maintain and deepen its intelligence superiority in the face of future challenges.
“The Oron’ is yet another manifestation of the IAF’s increasing effectiveness. The aircraft adds another layer to the IAF’s current operational and strategic capabilities, which allow for continued air superiority in the Middle East and an ability to defend Israel’s skies and ensure its security.The IDF and the Air Force already have a variety of intelligence collection capabilities, but the Oron strengthens our superiority and our ability to operate in the second and third tiers and to move between fronts rapidly and over a long period of time” says Israeli Air Force chief Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin.
Though the Oron looks similar to the Eitam, its systems are more advanced and allow for a wider range of missions. The aircraft combines the capabilities of the Eitam and the Shavit, reconnaissance aircraft from the Fighter Division, and advanced air-to-surface radar. The plane is not only significant to the Squadron and the IAF, but is an important asset to the entire IDF: it will conduct ISR missions for the Navy using unique systems, all in cooperation with the IDF Intelligence Directorate and the Maof Rahav unit. This is a plane that accommodates all three branches of the Israeli military. The number of Oron aircraft that the military is due to receive is classified.