Iran’s Press TV reported today that Israel has upgraded its fleet of F-15Is enabling them to carry out long-distance attacks, presumably on Iran’s nuclear facilities. The F-15Is are fighter bombers designed for air-to-ground attacks.
According to the report, the F-15Is have also been equipped with advanced weapon systems, identified as Barad Pelada (Steel Hail), and Lightning. The Barad Pelada system was identified as an advanced armament operating like a smart bomb. The new weapon replaces less advanced Inbar system.
The government-owned Press TV also links the fighter upgrade and the acquisition of new weapon systems to the reelection of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president. Press TV quotes Lt. Gen. Ashkenazi, the Israeli military chief, to show the lineage.
"The reelection of Iran's president, his grave utterances regarding his will to harm the state of Israel and Iran's continual effort to achieve unconventional weapons require us to maintain an army that is coiled and ready to spring into action, and an Air Force that is skilled and sharp as a razor, that will stand up to any enemy and remove any threat from our citizens and residents," said Gen. Ashkenazi [Press TV, 30 June 2009].