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IAI Lavi

Multi-role fighter

IAI Lavi

The IAI Lavi multi-role fighter did not represent sufficient advantage over the American F-16

Entered service -
Crew 1 men
Dimensions and weight
Length 14.57 m
Wing span 8.78 m
Height 4.78 m
Weight (empty) 7.03 t
Weight (maximum take off) 19.28 t
Engines and performance
Engines 1 x Pratt & Whitney PW1120
Traction (dry / with afterburning) ~ 55.6 / 82.7 kN
Maximum speed 1 965 km/h
Service ceiling 15.2 km
Range 2 100 - 3 700 km
Combat radius ?
Cannon 1 x 30-mm DEFA
Missiles ?
Bombs ?


   The Lavi (young lion) multi-role fighter was developed by the Israel Aircraft Industry (IAI) in the 1980s. First prototype made its maiden flight in 1986. Original requirement was for 300 aircraft of this type to replace the Skyhawks. The Lavi fighter project was cancelled in 1987 due to funding problems. Only five airframes were ever built. One of the project cancellation reasons was that this fighter did not represent a sufficient advantage over the F-16 and other comparable aircraft. Nevertheless it was an important milestone in the development of the IAF. Later Israel acquired a large number of American planes.

   The Lavi aircraft has a delta wing with large steerable canards at the front. Aircraft was powered by a single Pratt & Whitney engine, fitted with an afterburner.

   Avionics of the IAI Lavi were considered to be innovative. It was completed with sophisticated fly-by-wire system. This fighter was also equipped with advanced pulse Doppler radar.

   Primary mission for this aircraft was close air support and interdiction. It was armed with a single 30-mm cannon and could carry over 7 000 kg of missiles and bombs on 11 hardpoints and two wingtip rails.

   Both single-seat and two-seat versions were developed. The two-seater was fully combat capable advanced trainer. Second prototype of the Lavi was fitted with an in-flight refueling probe.

   Some sources claim, that Chinese Chengdu J-10 multi-role fighter was influenced by the IAI Lavi. Other sources claim, that some technologies of this aircraft were transferred to China and South African Republic.


Video of the IAI Lavi multi-role fighter


IAI Lavi

IAI Lavi

IAI Lavi

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