The Kfir aircraft was designed as a versatile all-weather multi-role supersonic (Mach 2) combat aircraft capable of meeting air superiority and air to ground roles. The Kfir was produced by IAI in accordance with Israel Air Force requirements. Lahav has carried out many upgrade programs which have significantly enhanced and boosted the Kfir’s operational performance, enabling it to provide comparable mission performance to today’s advanced fighter aircraft.
The current Kfir configuration includes advanced avionics, glass cockpit, integration of advanced weapon systems, self-protection systems, air refueling, and other features to meet today’s mission requirements. As the Kfir’s original manufacturer, IAI can offer the aircraft with tailored upgraded systems, and guaranteed maintenance support.
The Israel Aircraft Industries Kfir (“Lion Cub”) is an Israeli-built all-weather, multirole combat aircraft based on a modified French Dassault Mirage 5 airframe, with Israeli avionics and an Israeli-built version of the General Electric J79 turbojet engine. The Kfir programme originated in the quest to develop a more capable version of the IAI Nesher, which was already in series production. After General De Gaulle embargoed the sale of arms to Israel, the IAF feared that it might lose qualitative superiority over its adversaries in the future, which were receiving increasingly advanced Soviet aircraft.
The main and most advanced type of aircraft available to the IAF was the Mirage, but a severe problem developed due to the Mirage fleet’s depletion due to attrition after the Six-Day War. Domestic production would avoid the problem of the embargo completely; efforts to reverse engineer and reproduce components of the Mirage were aided by Israeli espionage efforts to obtain technical assistance and blueprints from third party Mirage operators.