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  #1  
Old 05-11-2015, 10:16 AM
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Default Israel Aircraft Industries Lavi

This airplane has always held a special place for me. Attached are a selection of videos of the IAI Lavi.


This first video traces the development of the Lavi from its launch in 1980 to first flight in 1987. Makes me wish that I had learned Hebrew.





This next video includes a mix of footage, starting with the first flight of the Lavi Technology Demonstrator in 1989, then some images of the first two prototypes in flight, and then back again to the Lavi TD at the end.


  #2  
Old 05-12-2015, 03:03 AM
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Default New Book Coming

There's a new book that is expected to come out on the Lavi. Still a long way from publication (next January).

http://www.amazon.com/Lavi-United-St.../dp/1612347223

I'll post a review when I finally get a copy. I noticed that it is reported to be 456 pages long. Wow! That's one long, extensive book for a fighter program that was killed before entering production. The reviewer that they cite in the book description (Lon Nordeen) - who's books I've also read - described it as "multiple books in one".

Hopefully it's worth the wait. This is a subject that has been poorly served by books in the past.
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Old 05-12-2015, 03:04 AM
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I meant to add that the author of the book, John Golan wrote an article on the Lavi for the Jerusalem Post magazine a couple of years ago. Only part of it is available without a subscription.

http://www.jpost.com/Magazine/Featur...of-myth-327166

From what little I can read of the Post article, it gives me hope that the upcoming book will be worth the wait.
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Old 05-18-2015, 11:06 AM
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Default Lavi Footage

Some more vintage footage of the Lavi fighter, from Israeli television.

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Old 05-19-2015, 04:35 AM
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Default Book Cover

LaviBookCover.jpg
Love that cover design.
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  #6  
Old 06-14-2015, 04:11 PM
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Israel should build the Levi slower in practice. Include pro-type design test more advance weapon system until they could build them more effectively.
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  #7  
Old 06-15-2015, 12:34 AM
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Unfortunately, the Israelis lost a lot of experience when the Lavi was canceled in 1987. Building a jet fighter is a very specialized undertaking. Engineers and technicians who had developed and built the Nesher, the Kfir, and then the Lavi were laid off by the hundreds. You couldn't recreate that knowledge pool today without a monumental effort.

Truly sad.
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  #8  
Old 07-25-2015, 04:37 AM
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I came across this web-page by chance today, commemorating the roll-out of the Lavi fighter on July 21, 1986 - an event that was attended by a number of U.S. congressmen, including the late Jack Kemp (R-NY).
http://www.jackkempfoundation.org/ne...-july-21-1986/

Attached is a brief excerpt from Representative Kemp's speech at the roll-out ceremony. Jack Kemp was the co-sponsor of the original bill to sponsor U.S. funding for the Lavi in the mid-1980s.
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The Book of Proverbs tells us that, just as gold and silver are tested in the furnace of fire, so man is tested in the fires of adversity. 210 years ago this month, the United States was born when men and women joined together to pledge their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to gain America’s independence and secure their personal liberties.

Here in Israel, that same pledge must not only be lived anew by each successive generation. It must be defended every day, often at great and tragic human cost. We in America admire your resiliency. We admire your strength. Most of all, we admire your courage to defend freedom. . . .

When the United States provides aid to Israel, we are not extending charity. We are investing our faith and precious resources in a key ally; we are contributing to a vital defense outpost for the West, just as surely as our own defense budget is vital to our freedom.

Israel is an island of democracy surrounded by a sea of peril. To those who foment violence, to those who resist Israel’s right to exist and live in peace — Syria, the PLO, Qaddafi’s Libya, the fanatical fundamentalists of Khomeini’s Iran, the Soviet Union — our message and our actions must be firm and forthright: Israel is not America’s client; Israel is our ally and our friend — a most reliable friend, indeed. And being our friend, she is not alone, she is not expendable, and she must never be abandoned.

Earlier this month, Israel commemorated the tenth anniversary of the Entebbe operation. Entebbe showed the world that terrorism will never succeed in the face of courage and national will. Since then, we in the United States have seen terrorists maim and murder our countrymen, victimizing innocents and bringing tragedy to our lives.

And out of this bitterness and rage we see a growing, belated consensus in the West over what must be done to defeat the forces of terror. . . .

Yet many people still believe that terrorism is the result of groups and individuals reacting against real or perceived injustice in the world, and that, in the currently fashionable slogan, we cannot eliminate terrorism unless we address the “root causes” of terrorism. Well, some terrorists may be fighting for an objective they consider noble, but the true cause of terrorism is hostility toward democracy and abhorrence of Judeo-Christian values; it Is the desire of regimes to expand their power by attacking us and our friends and allies.

The only way to eliminate terrorism is to go after terrorists, to hold to account the regimes that harbor, train and command terrorists, and to support the opponents of these outlaw regimes.

So let us dispel any illusions about the real obstacles to peace and stability in the Middle East: not refugees, nor energy, nor even borders, grave and momentous as these problems are. No, what continues to impede every earnest attempt to resolve crucial problems is the unrelenting hostility and belligerence toward Israel . . .

Good friends of Israel, may the Lavi and the Israeli Air Force help protect your nation and keep any and all enemies far away. And may the Creator of the Universe, our loving God, bless our Israeli-American family. And may we be always close, always safe, always free.
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Old 08-16-2015, 08:35 AM
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Interesting editorial by former Defense Minister Moshe Arens suggesting (yet again) that Israel should rebuild its fighter jet design capability.

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition...ended-1.339026

Unfortunately, I don't see anyone in government today taking up his call.
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  #10  
Old 09-02-2015, 01:48 PM
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Default 28th Anniversary

This past August 30th marked the 28th anniversary of the cancellation of the Lavi program - as noted by at least a couple of sources in the government and press.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7...695739,00.html

http://www.iaf.org.il/4424-45367-en/IAF.aspx
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  #11  
Old 09-04-2015, 05:46 AM
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Some great info in the thread, thanks for sharing AF.

I do see why some would argue for an Israeli resurrection of an indigenous fighter program, considering the increasing duplicity of the US regime wrt Israel.

However, seeing as they have the F-teen series with JSF coming to IAF next, I can't help but feel the massive amount of funding needed to replicate an indigenous fighter of similar capability would be better spent on UAV's, naval programs etc., considering the kind of adversaries Israel is likely to face in battle, specially aerial combat.
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  #12  
Old 09-05-2015, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knaur View Post
with JSF coming to IAF next
The central problem that the IDF has with the F-35 is its lack of range. It can't replace the F-15I or F-16I in the deep strike role. And for a "stealth" design, that's not a shortcoming you can easily correct with more external fuel tanks. Both the F-15I and F-16I have the unrefueled combat radius to reach Iran, if just barely, reducing the burden on Israel's refueling tankers. The F-35 doesn't come close.

The performance of the F-35 in the air-to-air role is also lackluster, but superior training would still give the IDF the advantage. No amount of training will correct a range shortfall.

Israel needs a low observable alternative. But with Israel's aerospace industry gutted by the Lavi cancellation, the prospect is unlikely.
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  #13  
Old 09-07-2015, 02:00 PM
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Another report on how the U.S. intends to prevent the Israelis from servicing and upgrading the F-35s that Israel has on order.
http://www.jewishpress.com/news/brea...35/2015/09/06/

This is why an independent Israeli manufacturing option is so needed. Israel needs an airplane built to Israeli requirements, not another compromise because it's the only option available.
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Old 09-07-2015, 06:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AircraftFollower View Post
Another report on how the U.S. intends to prevent the Israelis from servicing and upgrading the F-35s that Israel has on order.

This is why an independent Israeli manufacturing option is so needed. Israel needs an airplane built to Israeli requirements, not another compromise because it's the only option available.
I am certain that Israel was traumatized when US embargoed weapons re-supply to Israel during Operation Protective Edge, so it's possible that this thinking is further developed than is generally broadcast. In regards to more indigenous development, this excerpt from a JPost article a few months ago caught my eye (I can't post links, so Google "IAF: Hermes 900 drone ‘disrupts any enemy'" for the article):


The Hermes 900 flew extensive missions during Operation Protective Edge, bringing the air force “very big” results, said Col. E.

Its procurement is a sign of things to come, he added.

“If you ask me, the balance between manned and unmanned systems will continue to go in the favor of the unmanned. Within a decade to two decades, we will see around two-thirds of aerial systems being unmanned, and a third still piloted. I think this is the right direction to go in.”

UAVs take less time to develop and mature, are cheaper than fighter jets, and require less of an emphasis on safety features. They are primed to carry out “dirty, dull, and dangerous” missions, said the officer.

And yet pilots are still essential, he argued, particularly for aerial missions that help establish deterrence.

“There are missions that the IAF will still want someone to be in the loop.”

“We are deep in the process of developing future systems. This is a strategic decision – that we develop things here in Israel. We are bringing defense industries to the technological cutting edge.

The industries know how to work together when required. They combine the on-board sensors, and this is an advantage. Few other states can create products at this level, he said.


---

It probably doesn't make economic sense to develop a new manned fighter (unless Israel joins one of the existing programs, like the Korean KFX, Brazilian Gripen NG, or Japanese F-3... unlikely, to say the least). But given the diminishing role of manned fighters, and Israel's continuing development of drone technology, one wonders what might be under development to address these concerns.
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Old 09-07-2015, 07:54 PM
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I have always admired fighter pilots since as a youth I aspired to be one. However, I was too tall for such things so I choice another path. Having grown up in the deep forests and swamps of Arkansas with an American Indian best friend learning to stalk men in such environments (trespassers on my family's land).

It is my hope and prayer our next President SUPPORTS Israel as our nation should. Israel must not count on such support however as the USA and especially the Democrats are not and even the Republicans are not TRUST WORTHY partners of Israel. Israel can only count on the G_d of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as all others will fail Israel.
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  #16  
Old 09-08-2015, 05:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paparock View Post
I have always admired fighter pilots since as a youth I aspired to be one. However, I was too tall for such things so I choice another path. Having grown up in the deep forests and swamps of Arkansas with an American Indian best friend learning to stalk men in such environments (trespassers on my family's land).

It is my hope and prayer our next President SUPPORTS Israel as our nation should. Israel must not count on such support however as the USA and especially the Democrats are not and even the Republicans are not TRUST WORTHY partners of Israel. Israel can only count on the G_d of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as all others will fail Israel.
I never knew being too tall was an issue? OTOH, I never checked, but I suppose it makes sense. So what are the height requirements? Just curious as I don't think any respectable air forces have need for a 42 year old out-of-shape couch potato with glasses and zero flying experience.....

hmm, I hear the Iraqi AF is looking for pilots with my qualifications!
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Old 10-04-2015, 02:29 PM
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Default Interesting Perspective

Interesting editorial tying together past Israeli experience with the F-16 and Lavi fighter development to current experience with securing Israeli-requested additions to the F-35.

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The F-35, F-16 and Lavi - And History Repeating Itself

In March 1977 the Israeli government approached the Carter Administration with a formal proposal for license-production of the F-16 in Israel. Behind this request - above and beyond a desire to insulate the Israeli armed forces from the suspensions in arms deliveries that had accompanied past arrangements with France and the UK - was a desire to remold the F-16 into a more versatile strike fighter, with the range and payload that the Israeli armed forces needed. The United States had recently entered into a co-production agreement for the F-16 with its NATO partners in Europe, and in subsequent years would agree to the licensed production of the F-16 by Turkey and South Korea. It seemed, at the time, like a reasonable request.

For a variety of reasons however, the Carter Administration rejected the Israeli proposal. The Carter Administration was unwilling to grant the Israelis any degree of arms independence, prefering to maintain all possible leverage for future diplomacy. General Dynamics' Fort Worth Division, which produced the F-16 was also apprehensive that an Israeli-developed version of the F-16 might prove superior to the aircraft that were produced at its own plant, and could compete for foreign sales. It was an irrational fear - given that Israel would have been no more free to re-export the aircraft than were the European partners already producing the F-16 locally - but it was a fear nonetheless.

The Israeli armed forces had a long history of modifying the weapons that they used to better suit their specific needs. A decade earlier, they had entered into a co-production agreement with France's Dassault, to develop the air-to-air Mirage III into a more versatile strike fighter, labeled the Mirage 5 - with the range and payload that the Israeli armed forces needed. The request to develop a more capable version of the F-16 was therefore not unique. Developing the existing F-16 airframe into the longer-range strike platform that was needed to meet Israeli objectives was the option preferred by the Israeli armed forces. It would have been the cheapest means to meeting their goals.

The Israeli government approached the Carter Administration a second time in 1980 with a request to license-produce the F-16 in Israel. They were again turned down. Shortly thereafter, the Israeli government launched the Lavi fighter program, aimed at providing the type of strike fighter that the Israeli air force needed. Producing an indigenous fighter in Israel was a more expensive means to that end, but at the time it was the only option remaining. The aircraft developed featured the kind of range that the early F-16 models did not have. The kind of range needed to strike targets as far away as Iran. Launched to meet the specific IDF needs that the early F-16s could not fulfill, the Lavi eventually came to be seen as a potential competitor by some in the U.S. aerospace industry. Ultimately, after considerable expense and political maneuvering in both the United States and Israel, the Lavi would be cancelled in 1987.

In the latter 1990s, as U.S. procurement of the F-16 began to wind down, the U.S. manufacturer of the airplane - now at Lockheed Martin's Fort Worth Division - began to see continued sales to Israel as a necessity for keeping their production line open. At the turn of the century, the Israelis finally received the F-16I: an evolved F-16 with the kind and range and payload that the Israeli armed forces had wanted to develop the F-16 into, back in the late 1970s.[1]

This past month, an Israeli delegation met with officials at Lockheed Martin's Fort Worth Divison, to explore options for developing an evolved version of Lockheed's newest fighter, the F-35. The Israeli officials are looking to develop a version of the F-35 with the kind of range and payload that the Israeli armed forces need.

The first phase of this development process reportedly centers on the addition of specialized external fuel tanks. Conventional drop tanks separate from their aircraft, leaving behind a pylon that - for a stealth aircraft - adds significantly to the airplane's radar signature. What the Israelis are proposing - and what they have started development work to produce - is a drop tank wherein both the tank and the pylon would separate from the aircraft, allowing the F-35 to take advantage of its stealth features once it approaches a target.[2]

The longer-term planning, revolves around the development of low-observable, conformal fuel tanks that would add considerably to the range of the F-35, without compromising its stealth properties. The incorporation of this kind of capability in particular, however, will require significant modification to the F-35 airframe - to provide attachment points for the fuel tanks as well as plumbing for the fuel.[3]

Once again, the Israelis have come to the United States looking to develop an evolved version of a U.S. fighter, with the range and payload that the Israeli armed forces need. The kind of range needed to strike targets as far away as Iran. Once again, this same fighter is already being co-produced by U.S. partners in Europe. And once again, there are reports that the U.S. manufacturer of the fighter is concerned that an improved, Israeli-developed version of the F-35 could become a competitor for their own upgrade packages in the export market.[4] There has already been a considerable amount of wrangling, over whether to allow the Israeli Air Force to add its own electronic warfare and secure data-links to the F-35s that it purchases.[5] The latest revelations from this past month suggest that this debate is not yet over.

We can only hope that the U.S. government and U.S. contractors do not repeat the same mistakes that were made in 1977 and 1980. Particularly in this day and age, with the considerable focus on the threat posed by Iran, convincing the Israeli government that there is no U.S. alternative that will meet the needs of the IDF is not likely to have an inexpensive outcome - for anyone involved.

References:
[1] John Golan, Lavi: The United States, Israel, and a Controversial Fighter Jet (Sterling, VA: Potomac, 2016).
[2] David Eshel, "Israel Will Be First Non-U.S. Customer to Fly F-35," Aviation Week Network (June 26, 2013).
[3] Barbara Opall-Rome, "Eyeing Iran, Israel Readies for Stealth Strike Fighter," DefenseNews (September 5, 2015).
[4] "Lockheed Worried About IDF Unauthorized 'Modifications' in F-35," Jewish Press (September 6, 2015).
[5] David Eshel and David Fulghum, "Israel, U.S. Agree to $450 Million in F-35 EW Work," Aviation Week Network (August 6, 2012).
http://john-golan.blogspot.com/2015/...d-history.html
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Old 11-13-2015, 10:51 PM
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Saw that a new promotional video was released for the upcoming book.

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Old 12-28-2015, 09:03 PM
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Looks like the new book on the Lavi book is already shipping from Amazon and a few other online retailers:
http://www.amazon.com/Lavi-United-St.../dp/1612347223

Also, the author has posted one of the "lost chapters" from the book online. Apparently, the book was originally longer, and the publisher asked to have it shortened for production reasons:
http://john-golan.blogspot.com/2015/...s-preface.html

So the author is reassembling some of the dropped material into online posts:
http://john-golan.blogspot.com/2015/...s-haunted.html
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Old 01-09-2016, 08:54 PM
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Another "lost chapter" has been added from the book:
http://john-golan.blogspot.com/2016/...-and-hope.html
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