The C-130 Hercules (Karnaf) aircraft operated by the 131st ("Knights of the Yellow Bird") Squadron based at the Nevatim AFB, reached operational status after a year-long modification process.
The Squadron will operate an all upgraded Karnaf fleet by the year end.
The modification was made in cooperation with numerous IAF units and external establishments, and is due to extend the aircraft's lifespan by upgrading its structure and integrating advanced avionic systems. The process will improve the aircraft's capabilities in various missions and flight conditions.
The final aircraft fitness examination will occur in 2019, after which the aircraft will be declared fully operational.
IAF's 131 Squadron was established in 1973 with a dozen C-130E fleet. Later the improved H and the latest J variants were inducted into fleet.
The 131 Squadron is famous for carrying out the Entebee military operation in Uganda in 1976.