The Kfir (Young Lion) multi-role combat aircraft was designed and built by Lahav to provide the Israel Air Force (IAF) with an indigenously produced replacement for the Mirage aircraft that had constituted the backbone of its fighter force from the early 1960s. The requirements for the Kfir were based on the vast operational experience amassed by the IAF in numerous air-to-air encounters with Soviet designed aircraft. The Kfir aircraft was proven to be a worthy successor to the Mirage with a close-coupled canard/delta wing configuration offering significant improvements in agility, payload and range.
Much of the Kfir's outstanding agility is owed to its forward canards, which contribute greatly to the aircraft's high instantaneous and sustained turn rates. The canards also provide the Kfir with excellent low speed flight characteristics by enabling high angles of attack to be attained. These advantages, together with its small visual signature and high thrust to weight ratio, make the Kfir a tough opponent in the air-to-air combat arena.
In conjunction with the powerful GE J-79 engine and the high strength airframe and undercarriage, the nine hardpoints enables a total external payload of 5,500 kg (12,100) pounds to be carried. The Kfir can thus be configured with the mix of missiles, bombs, pods, fuel drop tanks etc. required for optimal mission performance. For example, ample internal fuel capacity and the ability to carry large external fuel drop tanks without compromising other stores carriage afford the Kfir the extended range, loiter time and stores load required for effective long range strike and combat air patrol missions. The Kfir's range can be further extended with the implementation of the aerial refueling option.
Ruggedness and dependability are additional important features incorporated into the Kfir as a result of the IAF's vast operational experience. The Kfir's sturdy, fatigue free airframe provides a service life of well over 8,000 flight hours. The Kfir's General Electric J-79 engine was upgraded with a smokeless combustion chamber and the Israeli-designed and developed digital engine temperature control amplifier. Furthermore, with over 3000 J-79s in service worldwide the availability of spares and support is guaranteed. These features, together with the aircraft's affordable acquisition cost, enable Kfir users to enjoy very low life cycle cost.
Lahav has also made great effort to ensure that all versions of the Kfir, from the C-1 through to today's advanced C-10, feature highly effective mission optimized avionics systems. In fact, the avionics system equipping the Kfir C-10 places the aircraft at the forefront of fighter design in terms of its human engineering, radar performance, weapons delivery and navigational accuracy, maintainability and growth potential. The Kfir C-10's flexible centralized avionics architecture enables the following features to be incorporated:
Pilot friendly advanced "Glass" Cockpit
Hands On Throttle And Stick (HOTAS) operation Advanced multi-mode Fire Control Radar (FCR) with SAR
State-of-the-art weapons delivery, including Beyond Visual Range missiles
Digital Moving Map (DMM)
Electronic Warfare (EW) Suite
The Kfir C-10 draws upon the operational experience of IAF pilots to provide an optimized cockpit layout and man machine interface. The HOTAS controlled cockpit is equipped with a new Head Up Display (HUD), two 5"x5" Multi Function Color Displays (MFCDs), Up Front Control Panel (UFCP) and an optional Helmet Mounted Display System (HMDS), affording outstanding situational awareness and efficient avionics and weapons system operation. Furthermore, by providing only that information which is required for each mission segment, the Kfir C-10's easy to use menu driven display screens minimize clutter and afford reduced pilot workload.
Also included in the Kfir C-10 avionics system is IAI/Elta's operationally proven EL/M-2032 multi-mode fire control radar, which offers a wide range of air-to-air and air-to-ground modes, including SAR, for optimal mission performance in all weather conditions. The Kfir C-10 can incorporate additional advanced sensors that provide highly effective day/night target detection and designation capabilities.
The Kfir is in service with many satisfied customers worldwide and has contributed greatly to the excellent reputation enjoyed by Lahav. The list of countries that operate the Kfir includes Colombia, Ecuador and other classified users. The Kfir aircraft has recently seen a great deal of action with a classified Air Force, which is exploiting its exceptional air-to-ground capabilities.
As the Kfir's original manufacturer, Lahav provides comprehensive support for all versions of the aircraft. Moreover, being the world's most experienced combat aircraft upgrade house, Lahav is equipped to provide effective, cost efficient upgrade solutions that are tailored to each customer's operational and budgetary requirements.Send us your questions LAHAV Division