Per mission losses in 1973 were just 0.6%, a lower figure than the previous 1970 War of Attrition with Egypt. Nevertheless, the writing was on the wall. When the F-16 was made available to Israel, the A-4s began to take a back seat. Some did participate in the 1982 Lebanon War, and one even scored a MiG-17 kill. By that time, however, squadron migrations to the F-16 had already begun, and 33 of the Skyhawks had been sold to Indonesia. By the mid 1990s almost all of Israel’s fighter squadrons had migrated, and 2000-2001 saw a handful of Israeli Skyhawks sold to corporate operators in BAE and ATSI. A number of A-4E/H/N aircraft are currently stored at Ovda Air Base, and the “Flying Tigers” of 102 Squadron at Hatzerim Air Base still use their A-4Ns and 2-seat TA-4Js for advanced IAF pilot training.
These surviving aircraft require maintenance, which was being provided by the contractor Kanfei Tahzuka via Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). Unfortunately, the little plane that could appears to have finally met its match – thanks to a scandal that has grounded Israel’s Skyhawk fleet.