Israel has phased out one of its two types of U.S. attack helicopter in favour of using more drones, military officers have told Reuters, reflecting a need for lighter and cheaper air power to counter Islamist guerrillas on its borders.
They said Israel’s last squadron of Bell AH-1 Cobras, known locally as Tzefas, built for tank-hunting and eluding surface-to-air missiles, was pulled from service late last year. The decision was previously kept under wraps but disclosed in an increasingly public feud between the Defence Ministry and Treasury over budget cuts.
Israel began flying Cobras after the 1973 Middle East war, when its forces were battered by Egyptian and Syrian armour and air defence units.
For the complete story by Dan Williams of Reuters, click here.