RAF Aqir

Tel Nof Israeli Air Force Base

בסיס חיל-האוויר תל נוף
Baha8 tel-nof.jpg
Airport typeMilitary
OperatorIsraeli Air Force
Elevation AMSL193 ft / 59 m
Coordinates31°50′22.10″N 34°49′18.64″E / 31.8394722°N 34.8218444°E / 31.8394722; 34.8218444
Direction Length Surface
ft m
15R/33L 7,835 2,388 Asphalt
15L/33R 7,830 2,387 Asphalt
18/36 9,022 2,750 Asphalt
09/27 6,004 1,830

Tel Nof Israeli Air Force (Hebrew: בָּסִיס חֵיל-הַאֲוִויר תֵּל נוֹף‎) (ICAO: LLEK), also known as Air Force Base 8, is one of three principal airbases of the Israeli Air Force. It is located near Rehovot, Israel.

Tel Nof houses several fighter, helicopter, and airlift squadrons. Also located at the base are several special units of the Israel Defense Forces, including Unit 669 (airborne combat search and rescue) and the paratroopers training centre.


Tel Nof was founded in July 1939[1] during the British Mandate as RAF Aqir and served as the main Royal Air Force station in Palestine. From the 1948 Arab-Israeli War until 1950 it was known as Ekron Airfield.

The base housed the IAF flight academy until April 1966 when it was moved to Hatzerim Airbase.[2]

On 18 October 2011, Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier who had been held captive by Hamas in Gaza for over five years and four months, returned to Israel via Tel Nof as part of a deal to exchange Shalit for 1,027 prisoners.[3]

Nuclear weapons[]

Tel Nof airbase is located a few miles from the Sdot Micha Airbase complex, where nuclear weapons for its missions are reportedly stored.[4] Just to the south of the Zachariah Jericho 2 training pad are several hardened bunkers that house nuclear gravity bombs for aircraft at the Tel Nof air base a few kilometers to the northwest (see Nuclear weapons and Israel).[5]


RAF Aqir Operational units[]

A 76 OTU Vickers Wellington Mk.X at Aqir, 1944-1945

Operational units of the Royal Air Force stationed at RAF Aqir from 1941 to 1948.

See also[]


  1. ^ Playfair, Vol. I, page 69.
  2. ^ "Tel Nof". Global Security. Retrieved 6 February 2009.
  3. ^ "Schalit lands at Tel Nof IAF base to meet family, Netanyahu" (18 October 2011). Jerusalem Post.
  4. ^ http://www.nti.org/learn/facilities/392/
  5. ^ http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/israel/tel_nof.htm
  6. ^ http://www.iaf.org.il/Templates/ArtArch/ArtArch.IN.aspx?lang=HE&lobbyID=43&folderID=47&subfolderID=2196&docfolderID=2196&docID=28922
  7. ^ http://www.aviation-news.co.uk/archive/Coleman's%20War.html
  8. ^ IWM CM 5756
  9. ^ http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?7622-76-Otu-21-9-1944


  • Playfair, Major-General I.S.O.; Molony, Brigadier C.J.C.; with Flynn, Captain F.C. (R.N.) & Gleave, Group Captain T.P. (2009) [1st. pub. HMSO:1954]. Butler, Sir James (ed.). The Merranean and Middle East, Volume I: The Early Successes Against Italy, to May 1941. History of the Second World War, United Kingdom Military Series. Uckfield, UK: Naval & Military Press. ISBN 1-84574-065-3.

Further reading[]

  • Jefford, C.G. RAF Squadrons, a Comprehensive Record of the Movement and Equipment of all RAF Squadrons and their Antecedents since 1912. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing, 2001. ISBN 1-84037-141-2.
  • Sturtivant, Ray, ISO and John Hamlin. RAF Flying Training And Support Units since 1912. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd., 2007. ISBN 0-85130-365-X.

External links[]