Aluf Amos Lapidot (Hebrew: עמוס לפידות; &lrm); (1934 – November 20, 2019) was an Israeli fighter pilot who served as the tenth Commander of the Israeli Air Force, a position he held from 1982 to 1987.
Lapidot introducing Prime Minister Shimon Peres to the IAI Lavi, 1985
Kfar Saba, Mandatory Palestine (now Israel)
|Allegiance||Israel Defense Forces|
|Years of service||1952–1987|
|Commands held||113 Squadron, Hatzor Airbase, Air Intelligence Directorate, Commander of the Israeli Air Force|
War of Attrition
Yom Kippur War
1982 Lebanon War
South Lebanon conflict
|Other work||President of Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Chair of the acaedemic committee of the Fisher Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies|
Lapidot was born in Kfar Saba in 1934, and grew up in Havatzelet HaSharon. He initially enlisted in the IDF Artillery Corps, before eventually joining the nascent Israeli Air Force, and completed the IAF pilots' course in 1954. He flew the P-51 Mustang, Gloster Meteor, and Dassault Ouragan.
During the Suez Crisis, he flew the Ouragan and the Dassault Mystère. In 1961 he switched to the Dassault Mirage III and became the deputy commander of 101 Squadron, the IAF's first Mirage squadron. In 1962, he was assigned command of 113 Squadron, flying Ouragans, and in 1965 became commander of 101 Squadron, which he was to lead during the Six-Day War. In 1970, he was put in charge of the weapons department in the Israeli Air Force and in 1973 became commander of Hatzor Airbase, which he led during the Yom Kippur War.
In 1975, Lapidot was put in charge of the Air Intelligence Directorate and in 1981 he became the director of the IAI Lavi project. A year later, in 1982, he was promoted to the rank of Aluf and became the Commander of the Israeli Air Force.
During his tenure, the Israeli Air Force received more F-16 fighter jets and upgraded its missile inventory with the Israeli AGM-142 Have Nap. It was under his aegis that the IAF carried out Operation Wooden Leg, a raid on the headquarters of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) at Hammam al-Shatt, Tunisia (1,500 miles away from Israel). In 1987, Lapidot completed his term as Commander of the Israeli Air Force and handed command over to Avihu Ben-Nun.
In 1988, Lapidot created a think-tank organization. From 1998 to 2001 he was the President of Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. In 2007, he headed a public committee appointed by Transport Minister Shaul Mofaz to examine aviation safety. He resigned in May 2008 after its recommendations were not implemented. He is currently the chair of the academic committee of the Fisher Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies.
- "Israel Vows Punishment for Attacks". The Palm Beach Sun. Associated Press. December 30, 1985. Retrieved 2010-05-01.
- Zohar Blumenkrantz (August 16, 2007). עכשיו זה גם רשמי: מצב בטיחות הטיסה בישראל קשה [Now It's Official: Air Safety Situation in Israel Difficult]. Haaretz (in Hebrew). Retrieved August 18, 2014.
- Zohar Blumenkrantz (August 16, 2007). עמוס לפידות: המצב בשמי המדינה - מסוכן [Amos Lapidot: The situation in the country - dangerous]. Haaretz (in Hebrew). Retrieved August 18, 2014.