IAI Lavi

1st Flight 1986

The IAI Lavi was a single engine 4th generation multirole jet fighter developed in Israel during the 1980s.

The decision to develop the Lavi was controversial, both with the Israeli public, due to the enormous associated costs, and particularly with the U.S. government due to competition with American jets on the export market.

By 1984 Israel, with a population of 4 million, had the world’s highest military expenditure as a proportion of GDP, at 24%,a rate of spending considered unsustainable.

These issues contributed to the ultimate cancellation of the aircraft, by the Israeli government, during the flight-test phase of development in August 1987.

Three prototypes were built.

Specifications

Crew: 1

Length: 14.57 m (47 ft 10 in)

Wingspan: 8.78 m (28 ft 10 in)

Height: 4.78 m (15 ft 8 in)

Wing area: 33 m2 (360 sq ft)

Empty weight: 7,031 kg (15,501 lb)

Gross weight: 9,991 kg (22,026 lb)

Max take-off weight: 19,277 kg (42,499 lb)

Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney PW1120 afterburning turbofan, 91.5 kN (20,600 lbf) with afterburner

Performance

Maximum speed: 1,965 km/h (1,221 mph, 1,061 kn)

Maximum speed: Mach 1.6

Range: 3,700 km (2,300 mi, 2,000 nmi)

Service ceiling: 15,240 m (50,000 ft)

Rate of climb: 254 m/s (50,000 ft/min)

Wing loading: 303.2 kg/m2 (62.1 lb/sq ft)

Thrust/weight: 0.94

Armament

Guns: 1 × 30 mm DEFA cannon.

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