|CH-53D upgraded and improved by the Israel Aircraft Industries to extend life span beyond the year 2000. |
CH-53 helicopters joined the Israeli Air Force in August 1968 and were given the Hebrew name Yas'ur (Petrel). They are the main cargo helicopters of the IAF, carrying troops and heavy equipment.
In 1970, during the War of Attrition, IAF Yas'ur CH-53s landed in Egypt and conveyed a captured Soviet advanced radar system back to Israel for examination by Israeli scientists and engineers (see Operation Rooster 53). In the 1973 Yom Kippur War, the Yas'urs moved artillery batteries around the fronts, evacuated wounded soldiers and rescued pilots from behind enemy lines. In one engagement, a Yas'ur was damaged by cannon fire from a MiG-21 but returned safely to base. Since 1973, Yas'urs have also been used by the IDF to land and extract Sayeret commandos on deep raids into Lebanon and Syria.