Aviation News

December 20, 2010

Israeli Air Force Shoots Down Suspicious Unmanned Balloon Near Nuclear Reactor

More articles by »
Written by: BNO News
Tags: , , , ,

Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) on Thursday shot down a suspicious unmanned object which was flying over the Dimona nuclear reactor in southern Israel, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Israeli Air Force F-16s

Israeli Air Force F-16s from Ramon Air Base, Israel

The IDF informed that the unmanned object had an engine and was flying in closed airspace. The large balloon was downed as Israel feared it could be an attack on the Dimona nuclear reactor of which its airspace is restricted and well protected by the Israeli Air Force (IAF).

The suspicious object was detected over the Dead Sea by IAF radar stations on Thursday afternoon. Scrambled fighter jets were sent to the area to identify and intercept the unmanned object. After determining that it was a balloon, IAF commander Ido Nehushtan ordered to shoot it down.

Nehushtan decided to fire at the object as there were serious concerns that it might have been sent over the reactor to gather intelligence on the activities performed there or that the balloon may be carrying explosives.

For several hours, IAF was not sure if the incident was a real threat or not. The investigation later revealed, however, that the object may have simply been a weather balloon.

The Dimona nuclear reactor, which is being protected by both the IAF as well as surface-to-air missile systems, has reportedly manufactured approximately 200 nuclear weapons.

In October, IAF intercepted an ultra-light aircraft that accidentally flew into the restricted area. The Israeli aircraft was escorted by fighter jets to a nearby landing strip.

During the 1967 Middle East war, an Israeli surface-to-air missile shot down a crippled Israeli fighter-bomber that strayed into the restricted zone, killing its pilot in the process.

About the Author

BNO News



Is The F-35 Really Worth $1.5 Trillion?

The F-35 has been plagued by problems that have run up its price tag. Is this advanced fighter worth all that money?
by Larkins Dsouza


The Day I Learned How to De-Ice an Airliner with a Broom

What do you do in a pinch when you have no de-icing trucks at your airport? Find a resourceful Captain...
by Phil Derner Jr.



The Tupolev Tu-95, 62 Years Old & Still Going Strong

This article originally appeared onĀ AirlineReporter.com. If it is possible to have a favorite aircraft, mine would be theĀ Tupolev Tu-95. The story of the Tu-95 goes back to 1944. During the Great Patriotic War, the Soviets wa...
by Bernie Leighton


Video: Woman Forced Off Plane After Booking Wrong Destination

A woman was forcefully removed from a US Airways flight bound for Portugal, after she thought she was headed to Brazil, and removed to get off the aircraft.
by Phil Derner Jr.

An American Airlines McDonnell Douglas DC-10 on final approach to Boston Logan Airport. (Photo by Michael Philip Manheim/NARA)

August 5th in Aviation History: First American DC-10 Flight, Reagan Fires FAA Controllers

On this day in 1964, the Vietnam War's first U.S. air operations take place. Terrorists attack Athens Airport in 1973. In 1981, Ronald Reagan fires 11,500 air traffic controllers.
by admin