July 20, 2006 (by Asif Shamim) - An Israel Defense Forces/Air Force (IDFAF) F-16I 'Sufa' crashed late Wednesday while taking off from an IDF base in the Negev desert as part of operations against targets in Lebanon.
Roll-out of the first F-16I 'Sufa'
The initial report suggests that one of the jets tyres burst on take-off, causing instabilities to the jet which was loaded with armaments. The crew followed ejection procedures and the aircraft crashed without causing any injuries on the ground.
This will be the first crash of a F-16I belonging to the IDF/AF
which purchased 102 examples from Lockheed Martin. First reports indicate it could be airframe #489
IAF General Elyezer Shkedy has been appointed to investigate the crash.