Would you like to see this aircraft

  • Yes
  • No
0 voters

What weaopon systems should there be?

  • I answered no on the first poll
  • only historically proven ( Python 3 and AIM 9 L/M)
  • also include Weapons that are compatible with the radar and FCS
    ( Derby and Sparrow)
0 voters

The Lavi, Israel’s ambitious attempt to create a cutting-edge fighter jet, remains a subject of fascination and debate. we can gain a deeper understanding of this remarkable aircraft’s development, challenges, and ultimate legacy in the world of military aviation. As we explore the Lavi’s story through primary and secondary sources, we gain a more comprehensive view of its historical significance.
Let’s delve into its specifications in detail:


  • Configuration: Single-seat multi-role fighter and two-seat conversion trainer.
  • Start of development 1979
  • First flight 31 December 1986
  • Status project was cancelled in late 1987
  • GEN 4 Aircraft


  • Engine: Pratt & Whitney PW1120 afterburning turbofan.
  • Dry Thrust: 6,137 kg.
  • Thrust with Reheat (Afterburner): 9,337 kg.

Fuel Capacity:

  • Internal Fuel Capacity: 3,330 liters (2,722 kg).
  • Internal Fuel Fraction: 24%.
  • External Fuel Capacity: 4,164 kg in two 2,548 liter drop tanks.



  • Maximum Speed:
    • 1,965 km/h at 10,975 m with 50% internal fuel and two Python 3 air-to-air missiles.
    • 1,482 km/h above 11,000 m on a CAS (Close Air Support) mission.
    • 1,106 km/h with two 907 kg Mk 84 bombs and two Python 3 air-to-air missiles.
    • 997 km/h at sea level with eight 340 kg M117 bombs and two Python 3 air-to-air missiles.
  • Climb Rate: > 254 m/s.
  • Service Ceiling: 15,239 m.
  • Thrust-to-Weight Ratio: 0.94 at normal take-off weight.
  • Wing Loading:
    • 302 kg/m2 at normal take-off weight.
    • 523 kg/m2 at maximum take-off weight.
  • Sustained Air Turning Rate: 13.2o/s at Mach 0.8 at 4,757 m.
  • Maximum Air Turning Rate: 24.3o/s at Mach 0.8 at 4,757 m.
  • Take-off Distance: 305 m at maximum take-off weight.
  • G Limit: +9 g.


  • Wingspan: 8.78 m.
  • Length: 14.57 m.
  • Height: 4.78 m.
  • Wing Area:
    • 33.05 m2 excluding canards.
    • 38.50 m2 including canards.
  • Aspect Ratio:
    • 1.83 excluding canards.
    • 2.10 including canards.
  • Wheel Track: 2.31 m.
  • Wheel Base: 3.86 m.


  • Empty Weight: 7,031 kg.
  • Normal Take-off Weight: 9,991 kg.
  • Maximum Take-off Weight: 19,277 kg.


  • Cannon: One internally mounted 30 mm DEFA Type 552 (Improved) cannon, equipped with a HUD mounted static sight.
  • Air-to-Air Missiles: Four Rafael Python 3 air-to-air missiles or 2 AIM 9 M
  • Maximum External Load: 7,257 kg between seven underfuselage stations (three tandem pairs plus one centerline), four underwing stations (the inboard pair wet for the carriage of two 2,584 liter auxiliary fuel tanks), and two wingtip stations for the Rafael Python 3 air-to-air missile.



  1. Environmental Control System: The Lavi featured an Elbit Systems environmental control system responsible for air-conditioning, pressurization, and powerplant bleed air control. This system ensured a comfortable and controlled environment for the pilot.
  2. Hydraulic System: The aircraft utilized a bootstrap-type hydraulic system with a high-pressure rating of 207 bars, equipped with licence built Sundstrand pumps to power various hydraulic components.
  3. Electronic Power: The electronic systems were powered by a 60 kVA integrated drive generator, providing single-channel AC power at 400 Hz. main battery and a standby battery served as backup power sources.
  4. Actuation System: Sundstrand also supplied the actuation system, featuring geared rotary actuators, which played a crucial role in controlling various aircraft components, including leading-edge flaps.
  5. Emergency Power: The Lavi was equipped with an emergency power unit (EPU) and a secondary power system, ensuring redundancy and safety in case of power failure.

Note: The Lavis parts where (almost) entirely built and sourced with Israeli Companies. Wich means a big part of the of the workforce was involved in this project in some way or another. Why this is important will be answered later.


  1. Modular Avionics: The avionics on the Lavi were designed to be modular, allowing for easy upgrades by loading new software into the Elbit ACE-4 mission computer. This approach aimed to minimize the need for extensive airframe modifications throughout the aircraft’s service life.
  2. Israeli Modular Design: The avionics and Control Systems where entirely designed by Israel and eventhough the aircraft might look simmilar to the F16 it uses entirely different technologies and design philosophy than its counterpart. The focus was on flexibility and situational awareness to reduce pilot workload, especially during high-g maneuvers and in complex threat environments.
    The System as a whole was said to be 2x more cost efficient in upkeep as it was way more modular than the f16.
  3. Air Data Computer: The air data computer used in the Lavi was enhancing the aircraft’s ability to collect and process critical flight data. This component is crucial as it was among the first Aircraft to feature an unstable fly by wire approach.


  1. Canopy and Vision: The Lavi featured a wrap-around windshield and bubble canopy, providing excellent all-round visibility. However, unlike some contemporary aircraft with raked seats and sidestick controllers, the Lavi opted for a conventional upright seat and a central control column.
  2. Cockpit Layout: The cockpit layout was state-of-the-art, featuring a hands-on-throttle-and-stick (HOTAS) system, wide-angle diffractive optics head-up display (HUD), and an Elbit sytems up-front control panel that facilitated the operation of most systems.


  1. Display System: The cockpit incorporated LCD technology powerplant indicators and an integrated display system, including the HUD and three head-down displays (HDD). Data-sharing between the HDDs ensured display redundancy.
  2. Navigation System: The navigation system included the advanced inertial navigation system, with pattern Hold Autopilot and diverse other features.
  3. Mission Computer: The Elbit ACE-4 mission computer served as a critical component, compatible with military standards, and had the capability to handle display, digital radar, stores management, and potential avionics integration.

[/details] progress04.349

Elta EL/M-2035 Multi-Mode Pulse Doppler Radar:

The Lavi was equipped with the Elta EL/M-2035 multi-mode pulse-Doppler radar, an advanced system that offered coherent transmitter technology and a stable multi-channel receiver. This radar provided reliable look-down performance, high-resolution mapping, and tracking capabilities for both air-to-air and air-to-ground modes. It could track multiple targets at significant distances and had potential applications in multi-role fighter retrofits.
This radar is also found on some of the Israeli F15, Some African and Arab countries MIG 21s and still in service withe the Columbian Airforce and their KFiR c10 (as well as used to be in Service for Israels C10 flewt too)


The LAVI controversy emerged right after LAVI had its first sucessful flight test. The project immediately faced U.S. pressure to halt.

The U.S. main Concern was that the LAVI could be a rival export success as several non soviet influenced African- and even European countries had already displayed that they are concidering delaying/prolonging their evaluation process on their fighter programs until the LAVIs completion.
This meant that both the F16 and the F18 where now possibly competing not only against one another but also against the at the time seemingly superior LAVI on many contracts.

U.S. Officials along with Board members of major American Defence companies started heavy lobbying into the projects cancellation.
The U.S. went as far as proposing sanctions if Israel would start the export of the technology.

Labour Party was pro for the continuation, and the opposition was against a continuation with the argument being the possible sanctions from the strategic partner USA.

End of the story: The parliament voting from Israel was only 1 VOTE in favour of the cancellation.
The incident is still referenced in debates around independence of other states and political corruption, to this day.

After the LAVI
Israel then moved their resources into aiding other countries with “less of a budget” but still in need of a new Fighter. Whilst disputed at the time of developement… their involvement clearly cant be denied:


(this is the South African CHEETAH)

Amidst this majorly known and by now Proven involvement, rumors circulated in early 2000s about LAVI technology possibly aiding China’s J-10 program. Parts from the LAVI airframe aparently went missing, fueling speculation of espionage or corruption.
Russian engineers aiding in the J 11 and J 15 Program claim to have seen detailed Documents with blueprints and parts on the LAVI.

While unproven, these events highlighted the complexities of military technology transfer and international politics in the arms industry.


the Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) Lavi’s advanced systems and avionics contributed to its overall effectiveness as a would be modern GEN 4 fighter aircraft, highlighting its technological prowess during its time in development. With the Skill Israel has shown in Modifiying its aircraft one can only imagine what a major production version and later modifications to this plane would have looked like.


  • Lavi: The United States, Israel, and a Controversial Fighter Jet Hardcover – Illustrated, January 1, 2016
  • Air Forces Monthly - December 1989 (Number 21), News…News, D. Oliver, Key Publishing Limited, Stamford, United Kingdom, 1989.
  • AIR International - July 1994 (Volume 47, Number 1), Fighter radars for the '90s, D. Richardson, Key Publishing Limited, Stamford, United Kingdom, 1994.
  • AIR International - October 1993 (Volume 45, Number 4), Air-to-Air Missile Directory, D. Richardson and P. Butowski, Key Publishing Limited, Stamford, United Kingdom, 1993.
  • Comparative Politics, April 1987 (Volume 19), Large-Scale National Projects as Public Symbols, G. Steinberg.
  • Designed for the Kill - The Jet Fighter - Development & Experience, M. Spick, Airlife Publishing Limited, Shrewsbury, United Kingdon, 1995.
    *Flight of the Lavi - Inside a U.S. - Israeli Crisis, D. Zakheim, Brassey’s Incorporated, Washington, United States of America, 1996.
    *Military Technology, October 1986, Lavi Bares Its Teeth, G. Clark, Monch Publishing Group, Bonn, Germany, 1986.







A huge +1 from me. It’d need a bit of a Yak-141 treatment for counter-measures, but Israel is heavily lacking totally unique aircraft at the moment. As an air main who doesnt enjoy top tier I struggle to find motivation to play Israel right now.


I voted to include weapons that the FCS and avionics were/are compatible with. The Lavi IRL was canceled early into prototype testing so it has quite a limited armament options. If it would only get historical weapones it would be an aircraft with superior FM to the F-16C with a PGM payload rivaling 10.0 aircraft.

imo, giving it ahistorical weapones would give us a “what if it was accepted to service” Lavi, which is a very fun idea. It would also better suite the 4th gen FM. It would also be fun to see it with modern Iaraeli PGMs like Popeye, SPICE and MSOV, but that is just a wet dream of mine…


You’d have a lot more fun with Iaraeli aircraft if they had their domestic PGMs and other air-to-ground weaponry, and there a lot of other inaccuracies in Israeli aircraft like the wrong Python 3 pylons on the Kurnass 2000 (they should have way more clearence for munitions on the main pylon, being much further from the base pylon and being shifted in angle a bit).



Of course +1 and I also bring my small contribution.


I think this is a plane that had a lot of potential to be a competitor of the biggest planes on the market. To say that he will carry only what he was historically able to use in the first stages of development is incorrect i think


Suggestion passed to the developers for consideration.