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1981: Operation Opera - The Raid on Iraq

1981: Operation Opera - The Raid on Iraq


Operation Babylon (Codeword: Opera Opera) was a 1981 surprise Israeli air strike that destroyed the Iraqi nuclear reactor under construction in Osirak (French: Osirak; Iraqi: Tammuz 1). In the late 1970s, Iraq purchased an "Osiris"-class nuclear reactor from France. Israeli military intelligence suspected this was for the purpose of plutonium production to further an Iraqi nuclear weapons program. Israeli intelligence also believed that the summer of 1981 would be the last chance to destroy the reactor before it would be loaded with nuclear fuel. On June 7th, 1981, a flight of Israeli Air Force F-16A fighter aircraft, with an escort of F-15As, bombed and heavily damaged the Osirak reactor. The attack took place about three weeks before the elections for the Knesset.
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Israeli Defense Force General Dynamics F-16A Netz Fighter - 107 Squadron "Knights of the Orange Tail", Etzion AB, Raid on Osirak, June 7th, 1981 Israeli Defense Force General Dynamics F-16A Netz Fighter - 107 Squadron "Knights of the Orange Tail", Etzion AB, Raid on Osirak, June 7th, 1981 (1:72 Scale)

The Netz 107 is a General Dynamics F-16A block 10 Fighting Falcon of the Israeli Air Force, tail number 107. Netz 107 participated in Operation Opera, bombing the Osiraq nuclear reactor, and was later credited with 6.5 enemy aircraft kills, a world record number of kills for an F-16.

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Israeli Defense Force General Dynamics F-16I Sufa Fighter - 107 Squadron "Knights of the Orange Tail", Etzion AB, July 2006 Israeli Defense Force General Dynamics F-16I Sufa Fighter - 107 Squadron "Knights of the Orange Tail", Etzion AB, July 2006 (1:72 Scale)

The F-16I is a two-seat variant of the Block 52 developed for the Israeli Defense Force  Air Force (IDF/AF). Israel issued a requirement in September 1997 and selected the F-16 in preference to the F-15I in July 1999.

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Israeli Defense Force General Dynamics F-16A Netz Fighter - No. 124, Tayaset 115, Flying Dragon Squadron, 2012 Israeli Defense Force General Dynamics F-16A Netz Fighter - No. 124, Tayaset 115, Flying Dragon Squadron, 2012 (1:72 Scale)

The Netz 107 is a General Dynamics F-16A block 10 Fighting Falcon of the Israeli Air Force, tail number 107. Netz 107 participated in Operation Opera, bombing the Osiraq nuclear reactor, and was later credited with 6.5 enemy aircraft kills, a world record number of kills for an F-16.

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Israeli Defense Force General Dynamics F-16I Sufa Fighter - 201 Squadron, 201 Squadron, "The One (Ahat)" Israeli Defense Force General Dynamics F-16I Sufa Fighter - 201 Squadron, "The One (Ahat)" (1:72 Scale)

The F-16I is a two-seat variant of the Block 52 developed for the Israeli Defense Force  Air Force (IDF/AF). Israel issued a requirement in September 1997 and selected the F-16 in preference to the F-15I in July 1999.

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Israeli McDonnell F-15A Baz Meshopar Fighter - 133 Tayeset, Tel Nof Airbase, Operation Opera (Raid on Tammuz 1), Osirak, Iraq, June 7th, 1981 Israeli McDonnell F-15A Baz Meshopar Fighter - 133 Tayeset, Tel Nof Airbase, Operation Opera ("Raid on Tammuz 1"), Osirak, Iraq, June 7th, 1981 (1:48 Scale)

It's the fighter pilot's dream. The McDonnell Douglas F-15 is fast, amazingly agile and climbs like a rocket. It can "zoom-climb" to an astonishing altitude of 98,400 feet, and reach its normal operating ceiling of 59,000 feet -- flying at two-and-a-half times the speed of sound -- in just two minutes. With the best combat radar in the world, it can detect and destroy enemies way beyond the pilot's visual range.

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