Sunday, January 10, 2016

Book Review: Israeli Phantoms: The 'Kurnass' in IDF/AF Service 1989 Until Today

Andreas Klein and Shlomo Aloni
Israeli Phantoms: The 'Kurnass' in IDF/AF Service 1989 Until Today
Erlangen, Germany: Double Ugly Books, 2009
Category: Israel Air Force - History

Rating: 4-Stars

This is the second volume following the F-4 in Israeli service, as part of a the collaborative effort between Andreas Klein and Shlomo Aloni.  Although this volume is ostensibly a continuation of the first volume, covering the concluding years of F-4E service in the IDF from 1989 to the turn of the century, it is actually organized somewhat differently: with chapters devoted to the different variants and upgrade packages flown, as well as a squadron-by-squadron account for the deployment of the F-4E in Israeli service.

Like its preceding volume, there is a lot to recommend this book.  Lots of full color photographs and profile illustrations, and a lot of coverage for the reconnaissance version of the F-4E - something that often receives little attention elsewhere.  It also provides a detailed description for the "Phantom 2000" upgrade package that was developed to keep the F-4E relevant through the turn of the century - something that many historical texts completely gloss over.  Electronically speaking, the "Phantom 2000", or "Kurnass 2000" as it was known in Hebrew, was a completely new airplane.  Compared to the first volume of this series, there's a little less text and more photography in the mix.  Nonetheless, it is definitely a well appreciated addition to the historical tale of Israel's air force.

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