An officer from the IDF Ground Forces will become the next commander of the 200 Squadron. The officer will be promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel before acquiring the command over the air force’s first unmanned aircraft squadron.

The IAI Heron plane

The IAI Heron plane Photo Credit: IAF/Channel 2 News

For the first time in the Israeli Air Force’s history, the IAF chief appointed a squadron commander who has no prior experience in the air force. Major Y., who served until now in a special IDF Ground Forces unit, is set to become the commander of the IAF’s first unmanned aircraft squadron (the 200 Squadron).  

The squadron, which is headquartered in central Israel, operates the advanced IAI Heron planes. This type of aircraft, which was first flown in 2005, can stay in the air for many hours and carry out visual intelligence tasks, aid the forces on the ground, work together with other planes and more.

Y. will be promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel and then become the head of the squadron. While Y. has always served in the Artillery Corps, he mainly dealt with a field that is similar to what he will be dealing with as the squadron chief.

The 200 Squadron was established in 1971 in order to provide intelligence and try to counter the serious Egyptian anti-aircraft missile threat. At the end of the 1980s, the squadron received the legendary IAI Searcher planes, which were used until 2004.