So here’s the answer to the question about whether Turkey’s F-16s pose a threat to Israel.
First of all, Israel has the best fighter pilots of any air force in the world. Better than the United States.
But wait, you may ask. Isn’t the U.S. the best at everything? The answer is that Israel does a much better job of recruiting and training fighter pilots for the following reasons.
1. In Israel, fighter pilots are the greatest national heroes. Every kid in Israel wants to be a fighter pilot in the way that a kid in the United States would want to be a professional football player or an investment banker. The U.S. may have a bigger population to recruit from, but only a very small percentage put themselves up for recruitment, whereas the IAF goes out to the high schools to find the kids who would be the best fighter pilots, and an opportunity to attend fighter pilot training is not an opportunity any Israeli would turn down (and three years of military service is mandatory anyway).
2. The USAF doesn’t train people to be pilots until they finish with officer training. In other words, you have to graduate college first and then start your pilot training when you are 22. The Israelis skip the unnecessary four years of college and start training pilots when they are 18. This means that an Israeli pilot of the same age has more experience than an American pilot, and that an Israeli pilot with the same experience as a U.S. pilot is younger with quicker reflexes. And this means that Israeli fighter pilots can serve longer.
3. The IAF only lets the best of the best become fighter pilots: less than 5% of those who start training. U.S. fighter pilot training is a lot less selective because there’s a limited pool of air force officers to train. It’s not that the USAF lets just anyone enter the air force academy, graduate, and then start pilot training, but unlike the U.S., Israel makes it an important national priority to make sure the very best of the best become fighter pilots, and this is simply not a U.S. priority. In fact, a secret of the upper classes in the U.S. is that the best of the best don’t go into the military at all, they go to Harvard and become investment bankers, lawyers, or management consultants.
4. And of course, everyone who reads this blog knows that Ashkenazi Jews have higher IQs than gentile whites, and being a top fighter pilot probably requires a high IQ.
So this explains the Israeli edge in pilot training. Israel also has an edge in equipment. Even though Turkey and Israel both have “F-16s”, all of the Israeli F-16s have special upgraded made-in-Israel electronics that no other country has. Israel orders all of its fighter planes with a lot of the electronics missing, and then Israel installs its own.
Israel has the world’s most advanced F-16s, because there was a special order of 100 F-16Is delivered during the last decade, a recent model designed especially for the IAF with longer range, a second seat for a weapons specialist, and of course Israel’s own special electronics.
Furthermore, Israel manufactures its own missiles. The Derby medium range air-to-air missile, and the Python short range air-to-air missile.
It’s rather interesting that the Israelis manufacture their own missiles and their own aircraft electronics. It seems that Israel doesn’t entirely trust the United States. Perhaps they think that U.S. electronics and missiles might somehow stop working if the U.S. ever decided they didn’t want them to work? Also, it would seem that the Israelis are aware that a lot of “friendly” Islamic countries have F-16s and AIM-120 AMRAAM and Sidewinder missiles, and they have been preparing to fight against this U.S.-built equipment for a long time.
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The US pool, of course, includes US Jews; there are roughly equal numbers of Ashkenazi Jews in the United States as there are in Israel.
But American Jews don’t join the Air Force. According to his article, in 2005 there were a total of 40 Jews at the U.S. Air Force Academy, so the USAF graduates approximately 10 Jewish officers each year, which is the pool of Jews available to enter fighter pilot training (plus any other Jews who happen to become Air Force officers through a ROTC program, which is probably a number you can count on the fingers of one hand).