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101 Squadron - The First Fighter

The First Fighter squadron was officially formed on May 29, 1948 when several Avia S-199 fighters saw combat in Israel's battle for independence. Czechoslovakia provided the S-199 aircraft, and Israel acquired several other aircraft soon after. The the 101 squadron moved from Hatzor to Ramat David in 1949, it left behind the Avia S-199 aircraft. Although the 101 squadron received a number of Spitfires, it sooner reallocated them squadron 107. In 1951, Israel received a number of P-51Ds, which made up the 101 squadron until 1956.

After being temporarily disbanded, the 101 squadron was reformed to include Mystere IVA and Mirage IIICJ aircraft, both of which saw action in the Six Day War. In the early 1970s, France embargoed the supply of Mirage aircraft, which prompted Israeli Aircraft Industries to design and build the Nesher aircraft, which became part of the 101 squadron. In 1975, the IAI began construction on the Kfir C-1, replacing it with the Kfir C-2 two years later. In 1983, Israel upgraded the Kfir C-2 to the C-7, which included new avionics and engine upgrades.

The 101 squadron was temporarily disbanded in 1987, but was reformed in 1988 to include a new group of F-16D fighters. Israel added severl F-16C aircraft to the 101 squadron in 1991.



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