The IAI Lavi was a single-seat, single-engine multirole fighter aircraft, principally designed to conduct high-speed penetration and first pass bombing missions while maintaining a high level of manoeuvrability and survivability.
The Lavi was almost 1,300 kg lighter in empty weight than its contemporary F-16 block 30 (7,030 vs 8,300 kg)
It was envisioned that the Lavi’s lifecycle costs would be considerably beneath those of the F-16, efforts were also made to achieve a lower procurement cost as well.
Like the F-16, the Lavi was an aerodynamically unstable aircraft, employing a quadruplex-redundant digital fly-by-wire system in order to provide stability and control; this was one of the aircraft’s more innovative features.
The Lavi was powered by a single Pratt & Whitney PW1120 turbofan engine, capable of generating 20,260 lb of thrust and enabling the aircraft to attain a maximum speed of Mach 1.85.
The engine, which was derived from the Pratt & Whitney F100 that powered the F-16, was the only aspect of the aircraft that Eine acknowledged to have created a dependency upon the US.
While carrying eight 750lb bombs the Lavi possessed a combat radius of 250 nmi; an alternative armament of 2,000 lb bombs enabled a 650 nmi combat radius.
Possessing a 1.1:1 thrust-to-weight ratio while equipped with a combat payload, the airframe of the Lavi was designed to be capable of routinely withstanding up to 9g.