LION OF THE DESERTIsraeli fighter “Kfir”. In 1967 the French President Charles de Gaulle banned the supply of arms to Israel. This decision was a response to the Israeli attack on the neighboring Arab countries, which is known as the “six day war”. Under the ban got the 50 “Mirage” M5J. Desire to obtain their aircraft, in spite of bans, prompted the Israelis to search the other way. In the same year representatives of the company IAI (Israel Aircraft Industries – Israel Aircraft Industry) began negotiating with Dassault on the issue of licensed production of the fifth “Mirage”. A sudden obstacle in the form of an embargo, President de Gaulle, in calculation were not accepted. Representatives of Dassault, believed that this prohibition applies only to state enterprises. In late 1967 negotiations successfully ended with the signing of the contract. Thus, the Israelis have at their disposal all the necessary documentation and paper-modern technology. But it was only a glider, though with all systems, and it lacked the main engine.

Heart of Mirage – engine “Atar”, which was issued by the state enterprise SNECMA, and then the embargo was working without any exceptions. The level of scientific and production base of Israel at that time did not allow to reproduce the engine yourself. However, the main enterprise on repair of engines – the company bet Shemesh there was a certain amount of parts for turbojet engines, and even established a small manufacture of spare parts, but this was not enough. Special equipment, machine tools, precision casting, manufacture of special alloys, etc. – all this is simply absent. Beit Shemesh, of course, not stood still, in 1968, it was planned to put into operation a new modern factory, which was built jointly with Turbomeca, but without documentation and technologies for the engine build.
And then came to the aid of an unknown engineer Alfred Frauenknecht from Swiss firm Sulzer, which produced “Atari” licenses. According to one, he made contact and wanted to help Israel for ideological reasons, others say he was recruited by the Mossad and seduced by money. In General, it does not matter. The main thing is that Israel has gained access to so it needs documentation.
Frauenknecht, fully legal, on behalf of its leadership, have taken photographs of secret drawings on film, but the drawings were not sent to destroy, and transferred to Mossad agents. All he managed to smuggle into Israel 24 boxes of drawings and documents. On the last four boxes of Frauenknecht “sleeps” – he was arrested by the counterintelligence. After the investigation, Frauenknecht received four years in prison.
Predecessor “Kfir” fighter “Nesher”
A pair of fighter
A pair of fighter “Kfir” C. 2 during a combat sortie
Now Israel has turned all the pieces “puzzle” under the name “Mirage” and it was possible to start production. Of course, such a complex task, how to make a plane from scratch, the firm IAI at the time did not put. The construction of the aircraft was carried out of the finished parts and assemblies. As the sample Dassault flown to Israel two airframe of the Mirage 5, with undocked consoles of the wing and the keel, under the guise of spare parts. All electronic equipment was doing in Israel firm Elbit, and the engine Atar 9C-3 produced company Beit Shemesh.
Stream “spare parts” for IAI were both open channels and in secret. Engineer IAI Moshe Keret recalled: “Everything was very secret. One day a very large batch of parts came wrapped in old clothes hidden in the furniture, pots and personal property simple Jewish family, we had people who became real professionals in packing and transporting these items…”
The aircraft was named “Nesher” (Hebrew for “eagle”). From its French counterpart, he was distinguished by the presence of a miniature radar “Aida” II (in fact, the radar range finder) and ejection seat company Martin Baker JM-6 instead of MK.4. The first flight of the fighter held on 21 March 1971. In may production aircraft began arriving in the 101st, and then in the 117-th squadron. And the old “Mirage” IIICJ of their composition is not displayed. 13 Oct “nusery” both units put into operation.
Specific fuel consumption
Specific fuel consumption
Production ended in February 1974. Total built 51 single rooms, 10 double planes “Nesher”. In the 1973 war “nusery” proved to be the best way. They were easier that the same engine was increased power to weight ratio. According to Israeli figures, from 211 Arab aircraft shot down in aerial combat, 113 on account of the pilots of the “Nesher”, and their losses amounted to a total of six cars.
After the war, “Naseri” still stood for some time in service, and then, beginning in April 1975, were sent for overhaul and was placed in storage. In 1978, 39 “Nesterov” (35 military and four double) sold to the air force Argentina (FAA – Fuerza, Aeea Argentina). The first 26 cars, among them two Sparky, arrived in South America in November 1978.
Externally, the Argentine aircraft differed from the “Nesterov” the presence of a characteristic of the antenna of the navigation system TACAN. Delivery was completed in 1982. Argentine fighters are called “dagger” A single and “dagger” In double (Dagger – from English. “Dagger”). Together with the aircraft were purchased and the Israeli missiles “air – air” “Sufrir” 2 that had the worst characteristics, than the existing FFA French UR “Magic” R. 550, but was cheaper.
Organizational “the duggars” brought in two squadrons of 6-th fighter air group, based in Tandil air base.
In 1982 “the duggars” took part in the Anglo-Argentine war. Losses amounted to 11 aircraft. Instead, Argentina has acquired a “Mirage” 5P from Peru and gave them the same Board rooms that downed “the duggars”. After the war began the modernization of the Argentine “dagger-Mirage” the program “finger” (Finger – eng. “Arrow”), “dagger” has set a new rangefinder radar ELTA EL-2001B and updated avionics to bring it to the level of “Kfira” p. 2. The next upgrade was in 1999. At this time, the aircraft “pumped” up to “Kfir” p. 7. Today in the ranks of FFA has ten “the duggars” (seven military and three doubles), sometimes referred to as in accordance with the program of modernization – “finger II”.
Embargo, President de Gaulle made Israel to look for alternative arms suppliers. This new seller of military equipment were the United States. In 1969, Israel has bought more than two hundred American “phantoms” and fifty light attack aircraft a-4 “Skyhawk”. From this point on, they were widely used in all conflicts in the middle East.
Israeli “Phantom” repeatedly subjected to modernization. It set the bar for refueling in the air, periodically updated the equipment and expanded the composition of the suspension arms. F-4E could use missiles “Safer” and “Python” for air combat and anti-ship UR “Gabriel” and protivoradiolokatsionnoy UR AGM-78B “Standard” ARM of the GOS of its own design. There have even been attempts to replace the gun “Volcano” by two 30-mm cannons DEFA from “Mirage.” It turned out that the effectiveness of short bursts (not more than 0.5 sec) of double-barreled 30-mm gun higher than the six-barrel “Volcano”. The superiority of the French guns was due to the greater mass of explosive substance in the projectile and greater kinetic energy. But the replacement tools required are so major changes in the design of the aircraft that this idea pretty quickly abandoned.
Fighter “Kfir”:
1 – drogue parachute; 2 – upper wing brake flap; 3 – wheel main landing gear; 4 – the main landing gear; 5 – cannon DEFA 5-52; 6 – lower wing brake plate; 7 – shield niche cleaning stand basic wheel; 8 – rod LDPE; 9 – adjustable palukanos air intake; 10, CHR; 11 – speed tooth; 12 – AHO; 13 – Luke the outside compartment of REO; 14 – generator of vortices; 15 – fold jet nozzle; 16 – steering wheel height; 17 – fairing rocking of the Elevator; 18 – elevon; 19 – fairing rocking elevon; 20 – container thermal rockets; 21 – receiver static pressure; 22 – canopy canopy; 23 – a movable part of the canopy; 24 Kil; 25 – rudder; 26 – drag chute container; 27 – main landing gear wheel; 28 – a panel of the niche of the main cleaning wheel; 29 – shield niche cleaning the nose landing gear; 30 – cylinder retract nose landing gear, the 31 – wheel nose gear; 32 – front of the front wheel; 33 – taxiway lights; 34 – flaps nose

Despite their successes, “Nesher” against “Phantom” looked pretty modest as armament, and avionics. Radar “Nesher” was actually a radar range finder and sight and navigation equipment no longer met modern requirements. In addition, pilots were worried about the low reliability of turbojet Atar and its fairly high fuel consumption, compared to American engines.
Another factor was against turbojet Atar – economic. Operation of various machinery worth more. Especially costly maintenance and repair of engines. Now, if all aircraft had the same TRD, then the budget of the engineering service would be reduced significantly.
The idea of unifying propulsion of combat aircraft of Israel was first made in 1969, immediately after adopting the F-4E. A corresponding program of research was called “the Black Curtain” (Black Curtain). However, just take and put on “Mirage” the J79 engine from the same “Phantom” was impossible. “Atara” and J79 everything was different: the mounting location of the box units, regulation and control, supply of fuel, temperature modes, etc. Finally, a completely different was the size and weight. J79 was shorter than 300 mm and thicker (larger in diameter) than the Atar. The specialists got a serious problem.
Came to the aid of the Americans. Lead designer of the equipment “Mirage” a new power plant has appointed Gina Salvia (Gene Salvay). Under his leadership, the engineering group of IAI has increased the diameter of the holes in the TRD frames the rear. But for the preservation of the aerodynamic characteristics of the aircraft outer fuselage managed to keep the old. Problems with alignment made to move the engine forward, closer to the center of gravity of the aircraft, and reduce the length of the rear fuselage.
The air flow from the J79 was also more than the “Atara” by 11%, which resulted in a change in the shape of the entrance air intakes and the restructuring program of their regulation.
J79 was a very “hot” engine, which was associated with an increase in temperature of the gases at the turbine inlet of up to 954 °C, with some elements of the design were heated to 300 °C. Sometimes, this “phantom” didn’t stand paneling, observed burnouts and expansion of its leaves. The “Mirage” had to replace some parts of the airframe on the steel, and around the engine to do a special titanium screen. To increase cooling of the afterburner on the fuselage put a few extra air intakes.
And the engine itself had little to modify. To comply with new air tract at the entrance of TRD have put other guide vanes. Changed the position of the box units and replaced the combustion chamber. Thanks to the latest innovation, have managed to reduce the smoke of the engine, which previously unmasked the plane. For example, “Phantom” can be easily seen in the air at ranges of several kilometers without radar, only a black smoky trail of its engines. Updated TRD assigned the designation J79-IAI-J1E.
Flight tests of the power plant decided to conduct a double “Mirage” IIIBJ No. 88. The refurbishment began in the spring of 1969. The aircraft received its own name “Technology”. After a year, it began a trial gotowki engine, and the first flight took place on the runway of the airport of Lod 21 September 1970 (since 1973 the airport is named after Ben-Gurion).
Testing of “technology” was conducted by a leading test pilot Danny Shapira. He didn’t reveal any major problems in the operation of a new power plant. And then the military decided to install J79 on combat aircraft, which first assigned the name “Raam”, and then “Kfir” (Hebrew for”Young lion”, “Lion”). The first sample “Kfir” was created on the basis of “Nesher” No. 788. 4 Jun 1973 test pilot Asaf Ben-nun lifted him into the air. During testing, the design changes were made. In particular, for improved cooling of the afterburner instead of multiple intakes on the fuselage put one at the base of the keel. 21 Jun 1973 “Kfir” broke the sound barrier. The beginning of deliveries of serial fighters were planned for November, but October 6 flight tests had to be interrupted – started the war “judgment day.”
After the war tests resumed. Fully equipped “Kfir” was 1,000 lbs heavier than the “Nesher” and the equipment shifted its center of gravity forward and the margin of static stability of the aircraft increased, respectively, controllability is worse. For the fighter this is not good, but the increase in engine thrust by 35% added thrust-weight ratio, which somewhat offset the disadvantages, although the pilots were expecting from “Cfira” more. Maximum takeoff weight “Cfira” when aerial combat was 9400 kg, this is with 50% fuel, two missiles “Safer” and full of ammunition to the guns. Almost like a “Mirage” IIIE. Accordingly, increased wing loading and angular rate of turn decreased.
Given this information, the air force of Israel in the face of General Peled Banimine disappointed in “Fire” and began to look for other aircraft – among the most recent American developments. As potential candidates for the purchase included the F-14, F-15, F-16, F-17. But then defense Minister Shimon Peres insisted on startup “Kfira” in the series.
The ceremony on this occasion took place on 14 April 1975, in the airport Ben-Gurion, with a large concourse of people, with a demonstration flight “Kfira”. Although those who knew about the shortcomings of “Kfira” great elation experienced. Production aircraft did in 101, 113 and 109-th squadron. Enter aircraft into operation was completed in 1977.
The struggle identified in the course of operation disadvantages did not stop. To correct the situation has helped small horizontal surfaces – canards, still attached to the intake ahead of the wing. They shifted the focus forward aerodynamic and improved handling. Moreover, the PGO was removable and if the “Kfir” was driven to another airfield or used for attacks on ground targets, it can be removed. In addition to these, in the bow attached two narrow aerodynamic ridge, they directed the airflow with the nose cone on the CHR. In addition, the ridges were the generators of vortices providing the vortex flow of PGO and the root of the wing. To increase lateral stability at high angles of attack on the leading edge of the wing in addition to sapelo made protruding tooth, generating a powerful vortex. Minimum evolutionary speed “Kfira” in such a configuration, according to the company IAI decreased to 160 km/h.
Fighter “Kfir” S. 10 carries out the landing brake parachutes
All these improvements are checked in the “technology” and immediately launched into the series. New modification received the designation “Kfir” p. 2. To increase payload under the air intakes secured two additional pylons, bringing the number of points of suspension from five to seven, and the maximum weight load up to 4295 kg. In the fore part, put the DME “ELTA” EL-2001, he was component of the sighting and navigation system S-8600. A compromise between stability and controllability on Board “Cfira” C. 2 was achieved with the help of an electric remote control system with double redundancy.
The first “Kfir” P. 2 No. 714 took off on 16 July 1974. The official presentation of the aircraft took place at an Airshow in the Day Israeli aircraft on 20 June 1976.
Attempt to demonstrate the new “Kfir” at the air show in Farnborough failed. Of course, that an official denial of Israel have not received, and inability to participate explained that the documents from the firm IAI was filed late. And generally the story of sales “Kirov” abroad was not very good. Attempt to sell ten cars C. 2 in Ecuador fell through in 1976, but rather, were blocked by the United States. The fact that the license for manufacture of the J79 had not foreseen the possibility of selling engine “third countries”. In addition, arming with modern equipment in Latin America went counter to U.S. policy in the region. Only in the early 1980-ies the Americans are a bit watered down and “cfira” broke international arms market. However, the plane had already started to become obsolete and the competition wasn’t as attractive as before.
It is also interesting the relation of the company to Dassault from the Israeli deep modifications. The founding fathers of the designers of the aircraft did not see or do not want to see “Fire” competitor. For example, in 1977, two “Kfir” C. 2 quietly revealed at the Paris air show, and any complaints about copyright etc. to the Israelis, nobody has put forward. Moreover, they even began to oversee the modification of the Swiss “Mirage” by installing them fixed the CHR.
However, the return to Israel. Production aircraft began to arrive in part in the spring of 1977. Just built a 185 cars. Maneuvering characteristics of the aircraft improved so much that all the “kfira” the first modification was converted into p. 2. However, the area of PGO they had less, because the frames to which it was attached, had no amplification. Designation of the modified aircraft was changed to “Kfir” P. 1. In 1985, 25 of these machines has leased the U.S. Navy and used them as imitators of the Soviet MiG-23 during mock battles. In the United States “Chiram” C. 1 assigned the designation F-21A. In 1989 they returned to Israel.
In 1978 work began on double training-combat variant “Kfira”. To free up space behind the cockpit failed due to the removal of the fuel tank and transfer air-conditioning system in the nose. Considerably lengthening the nose had to be lowered to avoid obstructing vision when landing. The aircraft could also be used as reconnaissance – for this is the bow with a radar rangefinder, installed the bow section with cameras. The first flight Sparky “Kfir” TS.2 took place in December 1980.
In 1980-ies the main fighters in the Israeli air force were American F-15 and F-16, and “cfira” took over the functions of attack aircraft. Changing combat missions demanded appropriate upgrades.
On the new “Fire” p. 7 the number of pylons for weapons has increased to nine, and the maximum weight load raised up to 5775 kg. New pricelineairfareuqw complex WDNS 341 from the company “Elbit” had in its composition inertial navigation system, which allowed to increase the accuracy of solution navigation task. The average error of the system does not exceed 800 m per hour of flight.
In the cabin installed a new light on the background of the windshield and monochrome multi-function display. They display information obtained from radar and weapons control system. Instead, the DME set a full pulse-Doppler radar ELTA EL/M-2021, which can detect both ground and naval targets. In the overview mode of the earth’s surface radar helped the pilot to fly at low altitude with rounding terrain.
Used on F-16 HOTAS concept (Hands On Throttle-And-Stick -hands on throttle and stick control of the aircraft) has been ported to the “Kfir”. Now the pilot could control radar and modes of operation of the sight without removing the hand from the handle upravene and ORES. Later in the bow “Cfira” S. 7 set laser rangefinder-designator.
To compensate for the increased take-off weight, the designers have modified the engine on the program “combat plus”. The result has been to increase the thrust turbojet afterburner to 8340 kg.
The first aircraft handed over to the air force on 31 July 1983 and sent to 144 squadron. Latest 30 serial “Kirov” p. 7 released in 1986.
Twelve aircraft were sold to Colombia (12 combat p. 7 and two Sparky the vehicle.7). Sparky “Kfir” TS.7 introduced by conversion of the vehicle.2. In the late 1990s – early 2000-ies another batch of fighters (nine “Kfir”, P 2 and two two TS.2 and TS.Four 7 and C. 7) sold to Sri Lanka. Ecuador bought ten C. 2 and two TS.2.
At the beginning of the XXI century IAI acted with initiative draft “Kfir” 2000 (export designation), or “Kfir” p. 10 (symbol for the Israeli air force). The aircraft was distinguished by a new navigation system, radar “ELTA” EL/M-2032, and improved HOTAS glass cockpit (two multi-function color displays and a holographic HUD). The great interest of the customers of this proposal is not caused. But ten of the aircraft still managed to sell the air force of Ecuador.
Just firm IAI built 212 aircraft “Kfir” four modifications. The plane was removed from service by the Israeli air force in 1996.
Flight performance of a fighter “Kfir” C. 2
Wing span, m…………………………………….8,22
Length, m……………………………………………….15,55
Height, m………………………………………………4,25
Wing area, m2 ……………………………….34,85
maximum takeoff…………………………14 600
The supply of fuel in internal tanks, kg……2572
Maximum speed, km/h:
-at the ground………………………………………………..1389 (M=1,13)
– at the height of 11 000 m………………………………2440 (M=2,30)
Rate of climb at ground, m/min………….14 000
Practical ceiling, m…………………………15 240
Practical range with 3 PTB, km………..3232
Combat radius of action, km……………………1200

N. Food reserve was, A. CHECHIN

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