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Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) Lavi
By Ruud Deurenberg

During the fifties and sixties the Tsvah Haganah Le Israel - HeylHa'Avir (Israel Defence Force/Air Force (IDF/AF)) relied on France forits combat aircraft. When, after the Six Day War (5 to 10 June 1967), France did not delivered the 50 Dassault Mirage 5Js Israel had ordered and paid for,Israel decided to develop its own combat aircraft. The first such attemptresulted in the Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) Kfir (Lion Cub), amulti-role fighter developed from the Mirage 5, of which a total of 212 wereproduced. To replace the Kfir, Israel developed the Lavi (Young Lion).

Israel has been embroiled in more wars in recent times than any other nation,with the result that Israeli pilots are very combat experienced, and mostlikely to know exactly what they want in a fighter, within the constrains ofaffordability. When, in 1979, the Lavi program was announced, a great dealof interest was aroused for these reasons.
The Lavi program was launched in February 1980 as a multi-role combataircraft. The Lavi was intended primarily for the close air support (CAS)and battlefield air interdiction (BAI) mission with a secondary air-defensemission. The two-seat version could be used as a conversion trainer. Asoriginally conceived, the Lavi was to have been a light attack aircraft toreplace the elderly McDonnell Douglas A-4 Skyhawk, the McDonnell Douglas F-4Phantom II and the IAI Kfir, remaining in service with the IDF/AF. Asingle-seater, powered by a General Electric F404 turbofan, it was soonperceived that this solution gave no margin for future growth, and analternative engine was chosen, the much more powerful Pratt & Whitney PW1120.With the extra power came demands for greater capability, until the Lavibegan to rival the F-16, which was already in service with the IDF/AF.
The full-scale development (FSD) phase of the Lavi began in October 1982.Originally, the maximum take-off weight was projected as 17,000 kg, butstudies showed that with only a few design changes, and thus a slightincrease in weight, the Lavi could carry more armament. The prize was triedto kept at the same level. With a prospective IDF/AF requirement for up to300 aircraft (including 60 combat-capable two-seaters), the full-scaledevelopment (FSD) phase was to involve five prototypes (B-01 to B-05) ofwhich two, B-01 and B-02, were two-seaters and three, B-03, B-04, and B-05,were single-seaters.
A full-scale mock-up of the Lavi was revealed at the beginning of 1985.
The first Lavi (B-01) flew on 31 December 1986, piloted by IAI chief testpilot Menachem Schmul. The handling was described as excellent, with a highdegree of stability in crosswind landings, and the flight test programproceeded space. The second Lavi (B-02) flew on 30 March 1987. Both LaviB-01 and Lavi B-02 were tandem two-seaters, with the rear cockpit occupiedby test equipment.
Then, on 30 August 1987, the Lavi program was canceled, after Lavi B-01and Lavi B-02 had made more than 80 flights. The two prototypes had flown atspeeds from 204 km/h up to Mach 1.45 at 23o angle of attack. Muchsystems, including the digital flight control, were tested within thisenvelope.
The third Lavi (B-03) and subsequent Lavi prototypes (B-04 and B-05) wouldbe fitted with the definitive wing with increased elevon chord and the lastthree prototypes would also have the complete mission-adaptive avionicssystem. Lavi B-04 and Lavi B-05 were just about to receive the definitivewing when the program was canceled.
The first production aircraft were intended to be delivered in 1990 andinitial operationally capability (IOC) was planned for 1992. At the heightof the production, a total of twelve aircraft would be produced in one month.The Lavi would have been the most important aircraft of the IDF/AF in thenineties.

Comparisons with the Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon are inevitable, asthe US fighter made a handy yardstick. The Lavi was rather smaller andlighter, with a less powerful powerplant, and the thrust-to-weight ratio wasslightly lower across the board. The configuration adopted was that of atail-less canard delta, although the wing was unusual in having shallow sweepon the trailing edge, giving a fleche planform. The straight leading edge wasswept at 54 degrees, with maneuver flaps on the ourboard sections. The tipswere cropped and fitted with missile rails to carry the Rafael Python 3air-to-air missile. Two piece flaperons occupied most of the trailing edge,which was blended into the fuselage with long fillets. The wing area was38.50 square meters, 38 per cent greater than the wing area of the F-16,giving an almost exactly proportionally lower wing loading, while the aspectratio at 2.10, was barely two-thirds that of the F-16. Pitch control wasprovided by single piece, all-moving canard surfaces, located slightly asternof and below the pilot where they would cause minimal obstruction in vision.Grumman was responsible for the design and development of the wing and thefin, and would produced at least the first 20 wings and fins.
Predictably, relaxed static stability and quadruplex fly-by-wire (FBW), withno mechanical backup was used, linked to nine different control surfaces togive a true control configured vehicle (CCV). In comparison with the F-16,the Lavi is very unstable, with an instability of 10 to 12 per cent. Thesurfaces were programmed to give minimum drag in all flight regimes, whileproviding optimum handling and agility. It was stated that the Lavi had aninherent direct lift control capability, although this was never demonstrated.
The powerplant intake was a plain chin type scoop, similar to that of theF-16, which was known to be satisfactory at high alpha and sideslip angles.The landing gear was lightweight, the nose wheel was located aft of the intakeand retracting rearwards, and the main gear was fuselage mounted, giving arather narrow track. The sharply swept vertical tail, effective at highalpha due to interaction with the vortices shed by the canards, was mountedon a spine on top of the rear fuselage, and supplemented by the two steeplycanted ventral srakes, mounted on the ends of the wing root fillets. Extensiveuse of composites allowed aerolastic tailoring to the wings, so that theoften conflicting demands of shape and rigidity could be resolved to minimizedrag in all flight regimes. Composites were also used in the vertical tail,canards, and various doors and panels. A total of twenty-two per cent of thestructural weight compromise composite materials. IAI claimed a significantreduction in radar cross section (RCS).
Standard practice with high performance jet aircraft is to provide a secondseat for conversion training by shoehorning it in, normally at the expenseof fuel or avionics, or both. IAI adopted a different approach, designing thetwo-seater first, and then adopting it into a single-seater, which leftplenty of room for avionics growth. In fact, the first 30 production aircraftwould all have been two-seaters to aid service entry. Many of these aircraftwere later to have been fitted out for the suppression of enemy air-defense(SEAD) mission.

The powerplant of the Lavi was the Pratt & Whitney PW1120 turbofan, rated at6,137 kg dry and 9,337 kg with reheat and was a derivate of the F100 turbofan.The development of the PW1120, according to IDF/AF specifications, started inJune 1980. It retained the F100 core module, gearbox, fuel pump, forwardducts, as well as the F100 digital electronic control, with only minormodifications. Unique PW1120 components included a wide chord low pressure(LP) compressor, single-stage uncooled low pressure (LP) turbine, simplifiedsingle stream augmentor, and a lightweight convergent/divergent nozzle. Fullscale testing was initiated in June 1982, and flight clearance of the PW1120was tested in August 1984. The PW1120 had 70 per cent similarity with theF100, so the IDF/AF would not need a special facility for spare parts. Itwould be built under licence by Bet-Shemesh Engines Limited in Israel.
IAI installed one PW1120 in the starboard nacelle of an F-4E-32-MC of theIDF/AF (Number 334/66-0327) to explore the airframe/powerplant combinationfor an upgrade program of the F-4E, known as Kurnass 2000 (HeavyHammer) or Super Phantom and to act as an engine testbed for the Lavi. Thepowerplant was more powerful, and more fuel efficient than the GeneralElectric J79-GE-17 turbojet normally installed in the F-4E. The structuralchanges included modifying the air inlet ducts, new powerplant attachmentpoints, new or modified powerplant baydoors, new airframe mounted gearboxwith integrated drive generators and automatic throttle system. It alsoincluded a modified bleed management and air-conditioning ducting system,modified fuel and hydraulic systems, and a powerplant control/airframeinterface. It was first flown on 30 July 1986. Two PW1120 powerplants wereinstalled in the same F-4E and it was flown for the first time on 24 April1987. This proved very successful, allowing the Kurnass 2000 to exceedMach 1 without the afterburners, and endowing a combat thrust-to-weight ratioof 1.04 (17 per cent better than the F-4E). This improved sustained turn rateby 15 per cent, climb rate by 36 per cent, medium-level acceleration by 27per cent and low-level speed with 18 bombs from 1,046 km/h to 1,120 km/h. Itwas demonstrated at the Paris Air Show in 1987 carrying the show number 229and civil registration 4X-JPA. However, McDonnell Douglas refused to approvethe modification, because it offered a flight performance equal to that ofthe F/A-18C/D, and endangered any future sales of the F/A-18C/D.
The internal fuel capacity was 3,330 liters (2,722 kg), some 16 per cent lessthan the F-16, although this was claimed to be offset by the low drag of theLavi airframe and the low specific fuel consumption (sfc) of the powerplant.Single point high pressure refueling was adopted for quick turnaround, andprovision made for air refueling with a female type receptacle compatiblewith flying boom-equipped tankers. To aid the flight test program, the Laviprototypes were also equipped with bolt-on refueling probes. The externalfuel capacity was 4,164 kg in two 2,548 liter drop tanks on the inboardpair wing stations.

Specification of the Pratt & Whitney PW1120
Performance ratings (ISA, S/L):Static thrust: 6,137 kg. Augmented thrust: 9,337 kg. Mass flow: 80.9 kg.    Pressure ratio: 26.8.Specific fuel consumption:Static thrust: 22.7 mg/Ns. Augmentd thrust: 52.65 mg/Ns.Dimensions:Length: 4,110 mm. Maximum diameter: 1,021 mm.Weights:Dry weight: 1,292 kg.Systems
The Lavi had an AiResearch environmental control system for air-conditioningpressurization, and powerplant bleed air control. A pneudralics bootstraptype hydraulic system with a pressure of 207 bars with Adex pumps was alsoinstalled. The electronic system was powered by a Sundstrand 60 kVAintegrated drive generator, for single-channel AC power at 400 Hz, with aSAFT main and Marathon standby battery. Sundstrand also provided theactuation system, with geared rotary actuators, for the leading-edge flaps.The Lavi had an AiResearch emergency power unit (EPU) and a Garrett secondarypower system.

The avionics of the Lavi were modular - they could be upgraded by loadingnew software into the Elbit ACE-4 mission computer. The purpose was that theairframe would not require many modifications during its life. The avionicssuite was stated to be almost entirely of Israeli design. The flexibility andthe situational awareness were emphasized to reduce the pilot workload at highg and in a dense threat environment. The air data computer was provided byAstronautics.

The Cockpit
A wrap around windshield and bubble canopy gave excellent all-round vision.But where a steeply raked seat and sidestick controller similar to the F-16might have been excepted, IAI selected a conventional upright seat andcentral control column. The reasoning was as follows. The raked seat raisedthe pilot's knees, causing a reduction in panel space which could ill bespared while neck and shoulder strains were common in the F-16 when a pilotcraned around in his steeply raked seat to search the sky astern whilepulling high g. The sidestick controller was faulted on three counts:

  • It virtually neutralized the starboard console space.
  • With a force transducer it was difficult for an instructor pilot to know    precisely what a pupil was trying to do.
  • In the event of quite a minor injury to the right arm, the pilot would    not be able to recover the Lavi to its base. With a central stick, the    Lavi could be flown left-handed with little difficulty.
The cockpit layout was state of the art, with HOTAS (hands-on-throttle andstick), and a Hughes Aircraft wide-angle diffractive optics head-up-display(HUD) surmounting a single El-Op up-front control panel, through which mostof the systems were operated. Furthermore, the cockpit had LCD technologypowerplant indicators. Elbit Computers Ltd was selected as prime contractorfor the integrated display system, which included the HUD, the three head-downdisplays (HDD) (two of them were color presentations and the third black andwhite), display computers, and communications controller, which included anElta ARC-740 fully computerized onboard UHF radio system. Data-sharing betweenthe HDDs would ensure display redundancy. The navigation system included theTuman TINS 1700 advanced inertial navigation system. Control-column, throttleand display keyboard were all encoded in the display computers, which wouldthemselves had a back-up function to the main aircraft computer, the ElbitACE-4.

Elbit ACE-4 Mission Computer
The Elbit ACE-4 mission computer was selected for the IAI Lavi. It wascompatible with both the MIL-STD-1750A and MIl-STD-1553B standards and couldbe used for display, digital radar, stores management and (future) avionicsintegration. It had a memory of 128 K.

Elta EL/M-2035 Multi-Mode Pulse Doppler Radar
The Elta EL/M-2035 multi-mode pulse-Doppler radar was a development of theElta EL/M-2021B multi-mode Doppler radar of the IAI Kfir-C2. The radar wasvery advanced and had a coherent transmitter and a stable multi-channelreceiver for reliable look-down performance over a broad band of frequenciesand for high resolution mapping. An Elta programmable signal processor,backed by a distributed, embedded computer network, would provide optimumallocation of computing power and great flexibility for growth and theupdating of algorithms and systems growth. The radar could provide speed and position of targets in the air and on theground, and could provide the pilot with a map of the terrain the Lavi wasoverflying. It could track several targets at 46 km distance in at least fiveair-to-air modes (automatic target acquisition, boresight, look down, look upand track while scan (TWS)). The radar had at least two air-to-ground modes(beam-sharpened ground mapping/terrain avoidance ans sea search). After thecancellation of the Lavi program the radar was offered for multi-rolefighter retrofits, including the Denel Cheetah E.

Elta/Elistra Electronic Warning System
The electronic warning system of the Lavi was designed by Elta and Elistraand was based on an active and passive integrated electronic supportmeasures/electronic countermeasures (ESM/ECM) computer-system, and was capableof rapid threat identification and automatic deception and jamming of enemyradar stations. It was carried internally. This system could also be used inthe future environment of more sophisticated enemy radar systems. The Lavicould eventually carried podded power-managed noise and deception jammers.

Lear Siegler/MBT Fully Digital Flight Control System
The Lear Siegler/MBT fully digital flight control system for the Lavi hadquadruplex redundancy with stability augmentation, and had no mechanicalbackup. It compromised two boxes, with two digital channels built into eachbox. The twin-box configuration hinged on the survivability issue, which wasgiven great emphasis. If one was damaged, the other would provided sufficientcontrol authority to regain base. Each digital channel had associated with itan analogue channel that could have take over its function in the event of afailure. The design total failure rate was not greater than 1 in 107hours. The program was launched in October 1982, and production deliverieswould began in 1988.

Elbit SMS-86 Stores Management System
Elbit was selected during early 1985 to develop the SMS-86 stores managementsystem for the Lavi. The system, which was fully computer-controlled,compromised two units. The stores management processor included oneMIL-STD-1750 computer and two MIL-STD-1553B data-bus interfaces. The armamentinterface unit included a stores interface compatible with the MIL-STD-1750.The SMS-86 was capable of managing both conventional and smart weapons.

The weapons carriage of the Lavi was mainly semi-conformal, thus reducingdrag, with two hardpoints beneath each wing (the inboard pair was wet for thecarriage of two 2,548 liter auxilliary fuel tanks), plus the wingtip rail andseven underfuselage hardpoints (three tandem pairs plus one on the centreline).The main air-to-air weapon was to be the Rafael Python 3, an Israeli-designedshort range infra-red (IR) homing dogfight air-to-air missile, while a DEFAType 552 (Improved) cannon was housed in the starboard wing root. Theair-to-ground weapons used by the Lavi included the Hughes AGM-65B Maverick,the IAI Gabriel IIIAS, rockets, and the Mk 81, Mk 82, Mk 83, Mk 84, and M117bombs.

DEFA Type 552 (Improved)
The DEFA 552 (Improved) is a single-barrel, five-chamber, revolver type automatic aircraft cannon with a high rate of fire (1,100 to 1,500 roundsper minute (rpm)). It is gas actuated, electrically controlled and fireselectrically initiated 30 mm ammunition. The ammunition is belt fed fromthe left in the Lavi.
The 30 mm DEFA 552 cannon arrived in Israel on the Dassault Mystere IVAfighters and it turned out to be a very effective cannon. Israel MilitaryIndustries (IMI) was able to get the licence rights to manufacture thecannon and it became very popular with the IDF/AF - it was used in theDassault Mirage IIICJ, the IAI Kfir and the McDonnell Douglas A-4 Skyhawk.
In its present form, the modifications and improvements results from itsextensive use in combat by the IDF/AF.
The optional ammunitions for the DEFA Type 552 (Improved) can include:

  • Hard Core Projectile/Incendiary (AP/I).
  • High Explosive/Incendiary (HE/I).
  • Semi Armour Piercing/Incendiary/Tracer (SAP/I/T).
  • Semi Armour Piercing/High Explosive Incendiary (SAP/HEI).
  • Target Practice (TP).

Rafael Python 3
When the Shafrir 2 entered service with the IDF/AF in 1978, the engineers ofRafael started the development of the Python 3, driven by the desire for alarger warhead to increase lethality. A revised airframe with large,highly-swept wings was combined with a new pattern of infra-red (IR) seekerwith a plus or minus 30 degree gimbal angle. The Python 3 has a weight of 120kg and can be operated in boresight, imaged or radar-slaved mode, and allowsall-aspect attacks. The maximum speed is Mach 3.5, and the Python 3 can pull40 g. The high-explosive (HE) warhead weights 11 kg and is detonated by anactive laser fuze. By the time of the war in Lebanon in 1982, the Python 3was in service with the IDF/AF, and played a major role in the successful airbattles against the Syrian air force over the Bekaa valley. It was creditedwith about 50 air-to-air victories. The Python 3 has been exported to Chinaand South-Africa, and may be licence-built in China as the PL-8.

Hughes AGM-65B Maverick
The AGM-65 was developed during the war in Vietnam as a replacement for theAGM-12 Bullpup. The AGM-65B weights 212 kg and has the advance of 'scenemagnification', which enables it to be locked-on to the same target as anAGM-65A from twice the range. The maximum launch range depends on the sizeof the target. The maximum aerodynamic range is about 23 km, but a morerealistic range is 15 km. The high-explosive shaped-charge warhead has aweight of 57 kg. The AGM-65B is white, with a clear seeker dome and has'SCENE MAG' stenciled on its side.

The Gabriel IIIAS is a radar-guided anti-ship missile and entered servicewith the IDF/AF in about 1985. The Gabriel IIIAS weights 560 kg, has a rangeof 33 km and has a 150 kg semi-armor piercing (SAP) warhead. It is powered bya solid-propellant rocket motor and is inertially guided at a radaraltimeter-controlled altitude of 20 m, with the option of a midcourse updatefrom the Lavi. In the terminal phase, the Gabriel IIIAS descends to strikethe target at the waterline.

The Lavi could carry the Mk 80 series of bombs (113 kg Mk 81, 227 kg Mk 82,454 kg Mk 83, and 907 kg Mk 84) with an explosive content of circa 50 percent. The Mk 80 series are based on studies done by Douglas Aircraft in 1946.The production began during the Korean War (1950 to 1953), but the firstsaw first service in the Vietnam War (1965 to 1973). During the Vietnam War,the Mk 81 bomb was found to be ineffective, and the use was discontinued. Anumber of different fins can be fitted to the Mk 80 series. The low drag finsinclude the low drag, general purpose (LDGP) fin and the high drag finsinclude the air inflatable retard (AIR) fin and the Snakeye (SE) fin. TheKorean War-vintage 340 kg M117 bomb has an explosive content of circa 65 percent and was widely used during operation Desert Storm by the Boeing B-52GStratofortress.

The total cost for the development and production of the Lavi was 6,400million US dollar in 1983 and approximately 40 per cent was paid by the USgovernment. The fly-away price for the Lavi would be between 15 and 17million US dollar. The development costs of 1,370 million US dollar wererelatively low, because much use was made of existing technology.
                                                Even before the first Lavi (B-01) flew, the storm clouds were gathering. In1983, the US government refused to give the export licences for a number ofessential parts (for example the wings), because the parts provided hightechnology products. A total of 80 US firms would provide technology throughlicences. In 1984 the licences were awarded. Furthermore, the US governmentwas not prepared to give money and technology to an aircraft that could be amajor concurrent for the F-16C/D and the F/A-18C/D on the future exportmarket.
In the spring of 1985, Israel was in an economic depression and the Laviprogram was almost canceled.
Then, a dispute arose as to the final unit cost, the Israeli figure being farless than the US calculations showed. The US Congress withdrew financialsupport for the Lavi program.
The Israeli government could not finance the project without US support andcanceled the Lavi program on 30 August 1987. The vote was 12 to 11 tocancel the Lavi program. After the cancellation the US government offeredthe A-10A, AH-64A, AV-8B, F-15I, F-16C/D and UH-60A as replacements for theLavi, all Israeli wishes that were previously rejected. In May 1988, Israelordered 30 F-16C Block 40 and 30 F-16D Block 40 under Peace Marble III.
The Lavi program was a truly national program, and everyone in Israelfollowed the progression. The cancellation of the program was a true sadevent.

After the Cancellation
Although the flight performance envelope was not completely explored, it seemsprobably that the Lavi would have been at least the equal of the F-16C/D inmost departments, and possible even superior in some. It had been calculatedthat the Lavi could reef into a turn a full half second quicker than the F-16,simply because a conventional tailed fighter suffers a slight delay while thetailplane takes up a download, whereas with a canard fighter reaction isinstantaneous. By the same token, pointability of canard fighters is quickerand more precise. Where the Lavi might really have scored heavily was insupersonic maneuverability, basically due to the lower wave drag of a canarddelta.
It was originally planned to use Lavi B-03 as a ground test vehicle, but itwas completed as a two-seater, by using parts of either the Lavi B-01 or theLavi B-02, and had approximately 15 per cent larger elevons. The Lavi TD(Technology Demonstrator) carried a belly-mounted instrumentation and atelemetry pod. The Lavi TD was rolled out after the cancellation of theprogram. It was intended as a demonstrator for IAI's advanced fighter/cockpittechnologies, which the company is applying by retrofit to a number of earliercombat aircraft, and as an equipment testbed. The Lavi TD (B-03) flew for thefirst time on 25 September 1989, piloted by IAI chief test pilot MenachemSchmall from Ben Gurion International Airport. An immediate applicationinvolved the improved digital flight control system integrated with theadvanced maneuver and attack system. It was still flying in 1994.
Lavi B-02 is on display at the IDF/AF Museum in Hatzerim. It does not havethe powerplant installed, because it was removed for use in the Lavi TD(B-03). The PW1120 turbofan is not manufactured anymore, so IAI need it aslong as it works.
Lavi B-01, Lavi B-04 and Lavi B-05 were sold to the metal industry and weremelted to aluminum blocks in 1996. The metal industry was not allowed todisassemble the aircraft or sell some of the parts. The event was wellcovered by the Israeli media.
At the beginning of the nineties there were rumors that Israel had delivereda Lavi to South Africa.
The Chinese Chengdu J-10 (F-10) seems to draw heavily on the Lavi program.However, a close examination of the model of the J-10 shows nothing morethan an old technology fighter with the shape of a modern one. A prototypewas in the final stage of construction at the end of 1997 and Israeli andRussian companies were competing to provide the radar and the associateair-to-air missiles and air-to-ground weapons.

Flight Experience
An editor of Flight International flew the Lavi during 1989, and publishedhis experiences of the flight in 1991 during operation Desert Storm. Hewrote:
   Now when the coalition forces fight in the Gulf they miss the aircraft   they really need. It's a real shame that I had to fly the world's best   fighter knowing it would never get into service.

Serials of the Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) Lavi
B-01Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) Lavi
First flight on 31 December 1986
Sold to metal industry and melted to aluminum blocks in 1996
B-02Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) Lavi
First flight on 30 March 1987
On display at the IDF/AF Museum in Hatzerim
B-03Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) Lavi TD
Completed by using parts of either Lavi B-01 or Lavi B-02
Had approximately 15 per cent larger elevons
First flight on 25 September 1989
Still flying in 1994
B-04Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) Lavi
Never completed
Sold to metal industry and melted to aluminum blocks in 1996
B-05Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) Lavi
Never completed
Sold to metal industry and melted to aluminum blocks in 1996

Specification of the Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) Lavi
Type:Single-seat multi-role fighter and two-seat conversion trainer.Powerplant:One Pratt & Whitney PW1120 afterburning turbofan rated at 6,137 kg dry    and 9,337 kg with reheat.Fuel capacity:Internal fuel capacity: 3,330 liters (2,722 kg). Internal fuel fraction:    0.24. External fuel capacity: 4,164 kg in two 2,548 liter drop tanks.Performance:Maximum speed: 1,965 km/h at 10,975 m with 50 per cent internal fuel and    two Python 3 air-to-air missiles, 1,482 km/h above 11,000 m on a CAS    mission, 1,106 km/h with two 907 kg Mk 84 bombs and two Python 3    air-to-air missiles and 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. Combat radius: 2,131 km on a hi-lo-hi mission    with two 454 kg Mk 84 bombs or six 227 kg Mk 82 bombs, 1,853 km on a CAP    with four Python 3 air-to-air missiles and 1,112 km on a lo-lo-lo mission    with eight 340 kg M117 bombs and two Python 3 air-to-air missiles.    Thrust-to-weight ratio: 0.94 at normal take-off weight. Wing loading: 302    kg/m2 at normal take-off weight and 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.Dimensions:Wingspan: 8.78 m. Length: 14.57 m. Height: 4.78 m. Wing area: 33.05    m2 excluding canards and 38.50 m2 including    canards. Aspect ratio: 1.83 excluding canards and 2.10 including    canards. Wheel track: 2.31 m. Wheel base: 3.86 m.Weights:Empty weight: 7,031 kg. Normal take-off weight: 9,991 kg. Maximum    take-off weight; 19,277 kg.Armament:One internally mounted 30 mm DEFA Type 552 (Improved) cannon, with helmet    sight, and four Rafael Python 3 air-to-air missiles. Maximum external    load: 7,257 kg between seven underfuselage stations (three tandem pairs    plus one centreline), four underwing stations (the inboard pair wet    for the carriage of two 2,584 liter auxilliary fuel tanks), and two    wingtip stations for the Rafael Python 3 air-to-air missile.Sources
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  • McDonnell F-4 Phantom - Spirit in the Skies - The definitive reference    work on the world's greatest jet fighter, J. Lake, Aerospace Publishing    Limited, London, United Kingdom, 1995.
  • Midstream, November 1987, Lessons of the Lavi, G. Steinberg.
  • Military Technology, October 1986, Lavi Bares Its Teeth, G. Clark, Monch    Publishing Group, Bonn, Germany, 1986.
  • Military technology, October 1987, C' Etait Lavi, T. Guest, Monch    Publishing Group, Bonn, Germany, 1987.
  • Observers Aircraft - 1987 edition (36th edition), W. Green, Penguin Books    Limited, Harmondsworth, United Kingdom, 1987.
  • Rising Regional Powers, T. Hoyt, John Hopkins University, 1996.
  • The Complete Book of Fighters - An illustrated encyclopedia of every    fighter aircraft ever built and flown, W. Green and G. Swanborough,    Salamander Books Limited, London, United Kinghdom, 1994.
  • The Encyclopedia og World Aircraft - The development and specifications of    over 2500 civil and military aircraft, D. Donald, Blitz Editions, Enderby,    United Kingdom, 1997.
  • The Israeli Arms Industry, S. Reiser, Holmes & Meier, 1989.
  • The New Observer's Book of Aircraft - 1986 edition (35th edition),    W. Green, Frederick Warne (Publishers) Limited, London, United Kingdom,    1986.

Source: Aircraft of the World.      
 楼主| 发表于 2010-4-7 14:41 | 显示全部楼层
Then, on 30 August 1987, the Lavi program was canceled, after Lavi B-01 and Lavi B-02 had made more than 80 flights. The two prototypes had flown at speeds from 204 km/h up to Mach 1.45 at 23o angle of attack. Much systems, including the digital flight control, were tested within this envelope.

The third Lavi (B-03) and subsequent Lavi prototypes (B-04 and B-05) would be fitted with the definitive wing with increased elevon chord and the last three prototypes would also have the complete mission-adaptive avionics system. Lavi B-04 and Lavi B-05 were just about to receive the definitive wing when the program was canceled.


In 1983, the US government refused to give the export licences for a number of essential parts (for example the wings), because the parts provided high technology products. A total of 80 US firms would provide technology through licences. In 1984 the licences were awarded. Furthermore, the US government was not prepared to give money and technology to an aircraft that could be a major concurrent for the F-16C/D and the F/A-18C/D on the future export market.

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 楼主| 发表于 2010-4-7 14:42 | 显示全部楼层

The United States and the LAVI

Lt Col James P. DeLoughry, USAF
Airpower Journal Vol. IV, No. 3, (Fall 1990): 34-44.

IN FEBRUARY 1980 the Israeli government announced plans to develop a low-cost, low-technology, primarily ground-support aircraft--the Lavi--to replace its aging A-4 and Kfir inventory.1 Seven years later, the Lavi program was formally canceled as a result of divisive debate within Israel and heavy pressure from the United States government.

The history of the Lavi is noteworthy, not so much because it documents the cancellation of the most costly Israeli weapons program ever attempted, but because it reveals the heavy involvement of the United States in the aircraft's financing and development. Over $2 billion of US aid and the latest US technology went into the Lavi project.2 An examination of the history of the Lavi program, the background and extent of US involvement, and the effect on US interests suggests that US participation in the project was ill conceived and executed.
History of the Program

The 1973 Arab-Israeli war shattered the myth of Israeli military invincibility: the intelligence warning system failed, ground defenses were overrun, discipline and mobilization were major problems, almost 500 main battle tanks were destroyed, and the Israeli Air Force lost close to one-third of its frontline combat aircraft.3 Postwar analysis led to planning for an aircraft specifically designed to attack ground targets. The Kfir was an interim solution based on the French Mirage III, but as the seventies came to an end, Israel realized that it needed a new plane.4

The Lavi was to be produced in Israel. Home production would create needed jobs, encourage aerospace workers to stay in Israel, lead to high-technology offshoots and products for export, and lessen US political influence over Israel.5 Moshe Arens, former defense minister and a vice president of Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI), builder of the Lavi, pointed out another advantage of an Israeli-produced aircraft: It "would be . . . exclusive to Israel's inventory," unlike advanced US aircraft, which are found in other Middle Eastern air forces.6 Israel estimated that development costs would be $750 million and that each aircraft would cost $7 million to manufacture.7 In 1980 the Israeli government approved the Lavi program. The United States supported the project in principle and was willing to allow Israel to use its foreign military sales (FMS) credits to buy US components for the Lavi.8

In 1982, however, the concept of the Lavi as a replacement for the A-4 abruptly changed: "The aircraft was changed to a high performance fighter-bomber capable both of close support and of air defense and air superiority missions."9 According to Yitzhak Rabin, then the Israeli defense minister, the Israeli Air Force demanded the change, telling IAI, "If you want to develop this aircraft, make it better than what we have now."l0 Arens commented that "the original concept of an A-4 replacement was an unusual one and not very good.... It would have had to be canceled sooner because it would not have been a survivable aircraft."11 The Israeli government authorized prototype construction for the revised Lavi in 1982, with full-scale development starting in October of that year. Production goals specified at least 300 aircraft and 60 combat-capable trainers.12

On paper, the Lavi was becoming very similar to the F-16 and F-18. In reality, however, Israel possessed neither the technology nor the capital required for such a project. According to a 1983 General Accounting Office (GAO) study,

    Israel will be significantly dependent on US technology and financing for major portions of the aircraft. Israel will also require US approval for the planned third country sales because of the US engine and the significant amount of US origin high technology used in the Lavi's airframe construction, avionics and planned weapons system.13

Examples of this technology include Pratt and Whitney PW1120 engines; graphite epoxy composite materials; electronic countermeasures (ECM) parts; radar-warning receivers and their logarithms; wide-angle, heads-up display; programmable signal-processor emulator; flight-control computer; single-crystal turbine technology; and computer and airframe system.14

By 1983 the estimated research and development (R&D) costs for the Lavi had increased to approximately $1.5 billion, and the cost per aircraft had jumped to $15.5 million.15 At this time, the US began a unique involvement with the Lavi program. Before the project was terminated, the US would set far-reaching precedents in the areas of FMS and technology transfer and would finance over 90 percent of the Lavi's development costs. In 1987, because of the massive outlay of US money on the Lavi, both the GAO and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) were commissioned to study the program. GAO estimated the cost per aircraft at $17.8 million and OMB at $22.1 million.16

Pressure was mounting within both Israel and the US to cancel the program. In Israel, critics included members of the army and the air force who saw huge segments of the defense budget being eaten away by a plane that was years away from development (after seven years, only two prototypes had been produced) and millions of dollars over cost.17 US critics projected that by 1990 spiralling Lavi costs would consume nearly half of all military assistance funds to Israel. Even worse, the Lavi would compete against US aircraft in world markets.18

Finally, on 30 August 1987, the Israeli cabinet voted 12 to 11 (with one abstention) to cancel the Lavi program.19 The cancellation was devastating to the Israeli aerospace industry. According to Moshi Keret, president of IAI, most of the 4,000 IAI employees (including 1,500 engineers assigned to the Lavi program would have to be laid off.20 The cancellation was also a blow to the country's pride and prestige because development of the Lavi was the biggest project ever undertaken by Israel. Ironically, the Israeli military ordered additional F-16s to replace the Lavi--an idea originally proposed by US industry executives well before the Lavi program was under way.21

Although Israel lost a symbol of technological prowess, it gained access to the latest US aerospace technology, obtained sophisticated US aerospace industry computers-which have a variety of other uses-and gained irreplaceable experience in state-of-the-art aeronautical processes.22 Indeed, in 1988 Israel surprised the world with its first space launch. 23 More than likely, the technology and experience gained from the Lavi project, together with space technology acquired in joint Strategic Defense Initiative research with the US, provided Israel with the technological base for this achievement.
US Involvement
in the Lavi Program

US involvement with the Lavi began in 1980 when Israel requested that the two countries coproduce an engine for the new Israeli fighter. The US agreed but demurred on Israel's request to use FMS credits for the Lavi in Israel.24 The position of FMS credits in the overall picture of US aid to Israel is crucial to understanding the effect of the Lavi program on US interests.

American aid to Israel falls into two categories--recurring and nonrecurring. FMS credits are an example of recurring aid.25 According to the GAO, these credits to Israel serve two major purposes: to reaffirm US political support and to ensure the adequacy of Israel's security.26 The GAO made another point which became a major area of contention between Israel and segments of the US government: "DOD [Department of Defense] believes and we concur that FMS was intended for the purchase of goods and services in the United States to support U.S. firms.27

Had the Lavi remained a low-cost replacement for the A-4 and Kfir fleet, issues such as technology transfer and the appropriateness of FMS use would not have arisen. However, by 1982 the concept of the Lavi had changed considerably. Israel desperately needed the technology to produce the upgraded aircraft and the money to finance production. There was only one place to look for both technology and financing--the United States. Israel then began an all-out effort, using whatever means were necessary, to get what it needed.

The Technology Issue

At the time the Lavi program was terminated, US contractors were building approximately 40 percent of the aircraft's systems. According to Defense Minister Rabin, 730 US firms were either subcontractors or vendors on the program.28 The issue of technology transfer was a prime point of contention, and Israel initially found itself at odds with the US State Department and Department of Defense.29 To resolve this roadblock, Israel played on the personal relationship between Israeli minister of defense Arens and US secretary of state George P. Shultz.

According to an investigative report in the Washington Post, Pentagon officials had been instrumental in blocking several critical licenses for technology transfer.30 In 1983, though, Arens--former Israeli ambassador to the United States--became Israel's defense minister. Arens was one of the original champions of the Lavi and had made many friends during his tenure in Washington. According to the report. Marvin Klemow, Washington's representative for IAI, flew to Tel Aviv with Dan Halperin, the economics minister at the Israeli Embassy in Washington. Klemow recalled advising Arens to go over the heads of Defense Department officials: "Our strategy should be that the Pentagon doesn't exist. This is a political decision.... We should go to State and the White House."31 Halperin is reported to have urged Arens to call Secretary Shultz to "expedite three crucial licenses which the Pentagon was holding up." According to Halperin, "Arens made the call, and in a few days the first licenses were approved."32

In April 1983 the Reagan administration approved license requests for "phase I of the wing and tail design (composite construction), and released production technology licenses for the servo actuators and flight control computers."33 By 1984 phase I and phase II technology license requests were approved, and phase III requests were nearing approval.34

During the course of the Lavi's development, Israel was able to take advantage of US R&D on a variety of systems such as derivative engines, composite-materials technology, avionics, and ECM for the F-15, F-16, and F-18.35 In addition to the formal technology licenses and the plethora of US subcontractors and vendors, who also provided direct insights into the US aeronautical system, Israel pursued another source of technological information: scientific exchanges. "In March of 1984 the U.S. and Israel signed a Memorandum of Agreement concerning exchanges of scientists and engineers, and cooperation in research, development, procurement and logistics support for selected defense equipment."36 Here was yet another area where technology transfer was not only possible but encouraged. Whether or not Israel obtained data on aerospace technology pertinent to the Lavi program through scientific exchanges is unknown. However, the source was available and certainly could have been used to do an end run on any bureaucratic obstacle. The relative ease with which Israel obtained licenses for technology transfer indicates that barriers erected by the US bureaucracy were no match for a concerted Israeli effort. The best example of Israel's tactics, however, involved its pursuit of funds for the new plane.

Funding for the Lavi

The Arms Export Control Act of 1976, the vehicle for FMS funding, permits offshore procurement only if it will not adversely affect the United States. It also restricts funds for building foreign defense industries except in special cases, such as helping to rebuild European defense industries after World War II and making a one-time allowance for Israel to produce the Merkava tank.37

The Israelis had wanted to use FMS funds for R&D in Israel since 1979. However, successive US administrations had disapproved their requests, and there was little hope for approval in 1983.38 But Congress was a different story.

In an article for the Middle East Journal, Duncan Clarke and Alan Cohen noted that "the congressional process that resulted in American support for the Lavi was rushed and superficial. The substantive issues raised by the project were examined by the Defense and State Departments but were not weighed carefully (or at all) by Cangress."39 This indictment of Congress's role in the Lavi project comes up often in criticism of US funding of the Israeli fighter.40

Having been repeatedly blocked by the Pentagon in their quest to use FMS credits in Israel for the Lavi, Israeli officials in the fall of 1983 took their case directly to Congress. According to a Washington Post study of the Lavi, Rep Charles Wilson of Texas, a friend of Moshe Arens and a key member of the subcommittee responsible for appropriating foreign aid, advocated congressional funding of the Lavi.41 The chronology of events included a meeting between Representative Wilson, an Israeli business lobbyist, and a staff member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee controlling foreign aid. Reportedly, this meeting produced a plan for an amendment allowing a major exception to US policy so that FMS could be spent in Israel for the Lavi.42 Congressman Wilson acknowledged that he asked the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the influential pro-Israel lobbying group in Washington, to draft the language for the amendments.43 AIPAC has repeatedly played a major role in shaping US policy regarding Israel and the Arab world. The extent of AIPAC's influence is such that it has on at least two occasions been directly involved in negotiations with the US State Department concerning foreign policy issues: the proposed sale of Stinger antiaircraft missiles to Jordan and the location of the US Embassy in Israel.44 The funding request, an amendment to the fiscal year 1984 Continuing Budget Resolution, asked for $150 million more than IAI required and committed US financing to the Lavi.45 Further, the amendment allowed Israel to spend $300 million of US FMS funds for the Lavi in the United States and $250 million in Israel.46

The amendment was introduced in November 1983, just prior to the Christmas recess,47 and involved lobbyists from all quarters. AIPAC mounted a major effort to get the legislation passed, sending written memoranda to every member of the House and Senate and calling upon key members of the appropriate committees.48 Pro-Arab lobbies worked the other side of the issue, as did representatives from US aerospace firms such as Northrop Corporation and General Electric, which objected to US funds being used to finance all aircraft that might compete with their own.49

However, four days after its introduction in the House (and with no committee hearings and little debate), the Lavi package was approved.50 According to Representative Wilson, the only controversary concerning the Lavi had to do with which congreeman would get credit for the amendment when it passed.51

Nevertheless, DOD and the State Department still vigorously opposed the Lavi, especially the related FMS issue. In fact, in early 1984 DOD was able to delay the release of funds by interpreting the amendment to mean that Israel's $250 million were for production rather than R&D.52 Again, heavy lobbying succeeded in affirming that the funding was indeed to be used for R&D.53 Thus, Israel cleared the final hurdle, opening the way for further funding with FMS monies (see table).

By 1987 rising costs, as evidenced by the GAO and OMB estimates, had put the Lavi program in serious trouble in Israel and the United States. Consequently, the US raised the procurement amount in Israel for fiscal year 1988 to $400 million to pay Lavi cancellation costs and to substitute the purchase of 75 to 100 F-16Cs over the next three to four years (see table). 54 Over the course of the Lavi project, the US government invested over $2 billion of taxpayers' money, established foreign policy precedents, and transferred sensitive technology. Feelings are still raw in many quarters of the US government over the way the Lavi issue was handled, and many people question whether the program was in the best interests of the United States.
Effect of the Lavi
Program on US Interests

Four consequences of the Lavi program (1982-87) suggest that this project did not serve the best interests of the United States. These include (1) transfer of advanced technology, (2) unprecedented use of FMS credits, (3) loss of American jobs, and (4) perpetuation of a pro-Israel bias.

Transfer of Advanced Technology

According to a 1983 GAO report, "Israel more than any other country has been provided with a higher level of military technologies having export potential."55 On more than one occasion, this technology transfer occurred over the objections of DOD and US aerospace firms and placed Israel in a more advanced technological position than even the closest US allies, such as Great Britain and West Germany.56

A 1983 study of the Israeli defense industry raises another point about sharing technology with Israel:

    A number of U.S. companies have expressed concerns that doing business with an Israeli company would probably result in all of the U.S. company's ideas and designs being appropriated without proper compensation. The U.S. company could expect to find itself competing with its own technology and designs in the international marketplace.57

Although this sentiment may be too generalized, it represented the feelings of some US industry officials, based on prior experience with the basic Sidewinder and AIM-AL air intercept missiles.58

Despite assurances to the contrary, Israel probably would have exported the Lavi because of the small domestic market and the immense national stake in advanced-technology exports as a means of financial recovery. The Washington Post report on the Lavi revealed the existence of an IAI marketing document of the early 1980s that outlined plans to sell the aircraft to third world countries.59 Further, Moshe Keret, the head of IAI, stated in 1987 that IAI had no specific customers in mind but that by the mid-1990s the Lavi "would be able to speak for itself in export competitions. [At that time,] it might be possible to sell a stripped version of the aircraft in the export market."60 While there is no firm evidence indicating that Israel has offered the Lavi or its technology to other nations, some open source reports suggest that the People's Republic of China has purchased a sophisticated Lavi radar system and is seeking Lavi avionics.61

Use of FMS Credits

Both GAO and DOD believed that the primary purpose of the FMS program was to support US firms by buying US goods and services.62 Thus, the fact that Israel was able to finance 90 percent of the Lavi's R&D--much of it in Israel--with FMS credits from the United States was a sore point with many US government officials and aircraft manufacturers.63 Northrop, for example, built the F-20 Tigershark without benefit of government funds, exporting the fighter to third world markets where it would have to compete with the Lavi. In all, $1.5 billion of Lavi financing went directly to Israel to support its industry and economy--money that could have been spent in the United States.64

In 1983 the GAO noted that, because of the Lavi precedent, the US might be hard pressed to refuse similar treatment to other countries:

    We take no position on the level or terms assistance to Israel, but believe the precedents being set by the liberalized method in implementing the program could be a problem if other recipient countries ask for similar concessions.65

Indeed, the US now extends several unique aspects of Lavi funding to other countries: (1) cash-flow financing for multiyear purchases (now used in Egypt and Turkey), (2) FMS loan-repayment waiver (now given to Sudan and Egypt), and (3) FMS offsets and FMS drawdowns (requested by other countries).66

Loss of American jobs

One can argue that, because of coproduction and subcontracting with Israel, the Lavi program created far fewer jobs in the US than it should have. For example, statistics for the year 1985 show that the US authorized $400 million of FMS for the Lavi, but only $150 million of that was spent in the United States. That $150 million produced between 3,780 and 4,659 American jobs. However, 10,080 to 12,424 jobs would have been created had all $400 million been spent in the United States.67

Furthermore, on 17 November 1986 Northrop terminated its F-20 Tigershark program after receiving no financial support from the US government.68Although Northrop canceled the program for a variety of reasons, including lack of sales to the US Air Force, $1.2 billion of private investment and 2,000 American jobs were lost, nevertheless.69

Northrop's experience is a grim example of what can happen when the US government supports a foreign competitor rather than a US company acting in good faith and with reasonable expectations of profitability. Congressman Mervyn M. Dymally of California, the representative from Northrop's home district, raised a similar point during congressional hearings in 1984 on the Middle East aid package. He was told that much of the money used to build the Lavi would be spent in the US.70 As we have seen, however, that sum represents only a portion of the money and jobs that US firms could have enjoyed had FMS funding been used as intended by DOD and GAO.

Perpetuation of a Pro-Israel Bias

There is a strong perception in the Arab world and in some quarters of the US government, specifically the Department of State and DOD, that US Middle East policy is skewed towards Israel at the expense of US interests in the rest of the region. This perception is the result of decades of special treatment for Israel, and the Lavi program served to reinforce that view. After all, by supporting the Lavi, the United States financed the expansion of the Israeli arms industry despite the fact that Israel again had invaded Lebanon, laid siege to Beirut, and used US-supplied weapons in an offensive role. Further, a special commission had cited senior Israeli military personnel, including the defense minister, for failing to anticipate and prevent the massacre of Palestinians at the Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps in Beirut.71 What other signal could the Arab world receive than that the United States did not consider those events serious enough to halt cooperation with Israel?

On several occasions, the United States has been unfairly accused of complicity in military actions undertaken by Israel, such as the raid on the Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981, the invasion of Lebanon in 1982, and the attack on Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) headquarters in Tunis in 1985. AIPAC has even used these accusations to encourage closer cooperation between the two countries, arguing that they should reap the advantages of a closer relationship since everyone assumes that they are cooperating anyway.72 In the case of the Lavi, though, the cooperation was explicit and acknowledged.

Last, by supplying such massive aid for the Lavi, the US was in effect freeing Israeli money for the war in Lebanon--a conflict that provoked widespread disapproval in the Arab world and flew in the face of US policy in the Middle East. Thus, US declarations about its evenhandedness and its desire for peace in the region did not ring true to moderate Arab states.

The United States made a serious error when it became directly involved in the Lavi project with Israel. The resultant loss of US technology, money, and jobs, as well as the ill will generated among other Middle Eastern allies, is testimony to an ill-conceived, hastily executed policy. Further, the pattern of behind-the-scenes maneuvering that typified the project is eye-opening and indicative of the overwhelming support enjoyed by Israel in Congress, the influence of Congress on foreign policy, and the ease with which bureaucratic roadblocks can be overcome by a skillful, determined effort.

The Lavi story is not a happy one for any of the participants, and its termination--while justified on both financial and political grounds--left bitter feelings in many quarters. The Lavi represented a dream for Israel and galvanized tremendous support and enthusiasm. Completely redesigning the aircraft in 1982 proved to be a fatal flaw, leading to major cost overruns and drawing the United States into the role of major partner, banker, and provider of technology. The Lavi project was not in the best interests of the United States, and we should have recognized that fact in 1983.


1. House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Europe and the Middle East, Foreign Assistance Legislation for Fiscal Year 1985--Hearings and Mark Ups, 98th Cong., 2d sess., 1984, 55; David A. Brown, "Israelis Review Decisions That Led to Lavi Cancellation," Aviation Week & Space Technology 127, no. 11 (14 September 1987): 22.

2. Comptroller General of the United States, US Assistance to the State of Israel (Washington, D.C.: Government Accounting Office, 1983), 55; Clyde R. Mark, "Israel: US Foreign Assistance Facts," Congressional Research Briefing, IB85066, 16 June 1989, 11-13.

3. Dana Adams Schmidt, Armageddon in the Middle East (New York: John Day Co., 1974), 209; Richard F. Nyrop, ed., Israel: A Country Study (Washington, D.C.: American University Press, 1979), 242.

4. Charles R. Babcock, "How the US Came to Underwrite Israel's Lavi Fighter Project," Washington Post, 6 August 1986, 1; Keith F. Mordoff, "Israelis Producing New Version of Kfir," Aviation Week & Space Technology 118, no. 22 (30 May 1983): 134.

5. Duncan L. Clarke and Alan S. Cohen, "The United States, Israel and the Lavi Fighter," Middle East Journal 40, no. 1 (Winter 1986): 18-19.

6. Donald E. Fink, "Israel Renews Debate on Lavi Development," Aviation Week & Space Technology 126, no. 22 (1 June 1987): 19.

7. US Assistance, 56.

8. Ibid., 57.

9. Brown, 22; Clarke and Cohen, 17; US Assistance, 55.

10. Brown, 22.

11. Ibid.

12. US Assistance, 55.

13. Ibid.

14. "U.S. Nears Lavi Transfer Approval," Aviation Week & Space Technology 118, no. 2 (10 January 1983): 20-23; Babcock, 22.

15. US Assistance, 56.

16. John D. Morrocco, "GAO Report on Lavi Indicates Spending Will Exceed Cap," Aviation Week & Space Technology 126, no. 9 (2 March 1987): 20.

17. Richard Barnard, "Lavi: Israeli Technology as an Engine of Economy," Defense 5, no. 52 (3 December 1984): 3; Clarke and Cohen, 25; William M. Kehrer, "US Funding for the Lavi Project: An Examination and Analysis," Middle East Insight 3, no. 6 (November-December,1984): 17.

18. Michael Mecham, "U.S. Increases Pressure on Israel to Abandon Lavi," Aviation Week & Space Technology 127, no. 7 (17 August 1987): 21.

19. David Brown et al., "IAI Proposes Flight Test Program to Extract More Data from Lavi," Aviation Week & Space Technology 127, no. 10 (7 September 1987): 22; David Brown et al., "Decision to Cancel Lavi Divides Israel," ibid.

20. Brown et al., "IAI Proposes," 22; Brown et al., "Decision to Cancel," 22.

21. Mecham, 21; David Brown et al., "Lavi Cancellation Sets Back Pratt's PW1120 Engine Program," Aviation Week & Space Technology 127, no. 10 (7 September 1987): 24.

22. Barnard, 3.

23. "Israeli Satellite Launch Sparks Concerns about Middle East Missile Buildup," Aviation Week & Space Technology 129, no. 13 (26 September 1988): 21.

24. US Assistance, 57.

25. Ellen B. Laipson and Clyde R. Mark, "Israeli American Relations," Congressional Research Service Issue Brief, IB82008, 20 June 1989, 14.

26. US Assistance, 6.

27. Ibid,, 42.

28. David A. Brown, "International Partners Sought to Complete Lavi," Aviation Week & Space Technology 127, no. 11 (14 September 1987): 23.

29. Babcock, 22; "U.S. Nears," 22.

30. Babcock, 22.

31. Ibid.

32. Ibid.

33. US Assistance, 56.

34. House, Foreign Assistance Legislation, 39.

35. "U.S. Nears," 20-23.

36. Clarke and Cohen, 27.

37. Linda Legrand and Robert Shuey, "A CRS Analysis of the Employment Effect of Spending Foreign Military Sales Credits outside of the United States," Congressional Research Service, 3 June 1985, 1-2.

38. Kehrer, 12; Babcock, 22.

39. Clarke and Cohen, 28.

40. Kehrer, 10-11; Babcock, 22; Melissa Healy , "Israelis Spar with State and Defense over Lavi Funds," Defense Week 5, no. 11 (13 February 1984): 4.

41. Babcock, 22,

42. Ibid.

43. Ibid.

44. John Goshko, "Increasingly Active AIPAC Draws Increasing Fire," Washington Post, 10 April 1984, A17.

45. Babcock, 22.

46. Mark, 6.

47. Kehrer, 11; Clarke and Cohen, 29.

48. Kehrer, 11; Clarke and Cohen, 31.

49. Kehrer, 11; Clarence A. Robinson, Jr., "US Companies Oppose Lavi Aid," Aviation Week & Space Technology 118, no. 7 (14 February 1983): 16-18.

50. Legrand and Shuey, 29.

51. Babcock, 22.

52. Healy, 4.

53. House, Foreign Assistance Legislation, 374.

54. Mark, 6; Mecham, 21.

55. US Assistance, iii.

56. Clarke and Cohen, 28.

57. Julian S. Lake, "Israeli Defense Industry: An Overview," Defense Electronics 15, no. 9 (September 1983): 98.

58. Clarke and Cohen, 22.

59. Babcock, 22.

60. Brown, "Israelis Review," 23.

61. Near East and South Asia, Foreign Broadcast Information Service, 11 April 1988, 31; ibid., 15 April 1988, annex, 2; China Report, ibid., 22 April 1988, annex, 1.

62. US Assistance, 42.

63. Morrocco, "GAO Report," 20.

64. Mark, 6-9.

65. US Assistance, 76.

66. Mark, 5-7; US Assistance, 76-77.

67. Legrand and Shuey, 9.

68. "Northrop Concludes Investments in F-20 Program," Northrop Corporation press release, 17 November 1986, 1.

69. "Northrop Concludes," 1; "USAF Selects Northrop ATF Design; Chooses to Modify Existing F-15 Rather Than Buy New F-20's," Northrop Corporation press release, 31 October 1986, 4.

70. House, Foreign Assistance Legislation, 13.

71. The Beirut Massacre: Complete Kahan Commission Report (New York: Karz-Cohl, 1983), 68; Laipson and Mark, 12; US Assistance, 78.

72. Martin Indyk, C. Kupchan, and S. J. Rosen, "Israel and the US Air Force," in AIPAC Papers on US Israel Relations (Washington, D.C.: AIPAC, 1983), 23.


Lt Col James P. DeLoughry (BA, Manhattan College; MA, University of Lancaster, United Kingdom) is chief, Intelligence Division, 1st Tactical Fighter Wing, Langley AFB, Virginia. He has worked on several Mideast crisis teams at the Pentagon and was assigned as a Mideast political-military analyst at Headquarters US European Command, Stuttgart, West Germany. Colonel DeLoughry is a graduate of Air War College and Armed Forces Staff College.


The conclusions and opinions expressed in this document are those of the author cultivated in the freedom of expression, academic environment of Air University. They do not reflect the official position of the U.S. Government, Department of Defense, the United States Air Force or the Air University.
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 楼主| 发表于 2010-4-7 14:43 | 显示全部楼层
At the time the Lavi program was terminated, US contractors were building approximately 40 percent of the aircraft's systems. According to Defense Minister Rabin, 730 US firms were either subcontractors or vendors on the program


In April 1983 the Reagan administration approved license requests for "phase I of the wing and tail design (composite construction), and released production technology licenses for the servo actuators and flight control computers."33 By 1984 phase I and phase II technology license requests were approved, and phase III requests were nearing approval.34

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 楼主| 发表于 2010-4-7 14:46 | 显示全部楼层
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发表于 2010-4-7 14:49 | 显示全部楼层
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 楼主| 发表于 2010-4-7 14:49 | 显示全部楼层
在歼-10还没有揭开神秘的面纱的时候,歼-10的身世就成为人们热衷的话题,其中歼-10和“狮”式的渊源更是人们所津津乐道。今天歼-10已经是一个 熟悉的身影,但“歼-10是‘狮’式的拷贝所以美国对歼-10了如指掌”的传言依然是一个不灭的鬼魂,在扰乱着人们的视听。歼-10和“狮”式的渊源一直是一些人津津乐道的事情,但歼-10是“狮”式的拷贝吗?

“狮”式也称“拉维”,这是以色列在80年代研制的一种轻型的单发、单座、鸭式布局战斗机,采用美国普拉特惠特尼PW1120发动机,其机腹进气口和F- 16如出一辙,所以给人以这是F-16的变型的印象,实际上“狮”式和法国“幻影III”的渊源更深。

美国力挺以色列、成为以色列的主要军火供应国家,这还是在1967年的六天战争前后开始的。在60年代前期,以色列曾从法国获得一些“幻影III”战斗 机,这是一种轻型的单发、单座、三角翼战斗机,具有出色的高空、高速性能,适合60年代的空军作战思想。但法国的戴高乐政府为了不得罪阿拉伯国家,对以色 列实行军火禁运,以色列无法获得更多的“幻影III”。另一方面,六天战争中,“幻影III”表现出色,尤其在用于对地攻击中,以色列开始寻求自制“幻影 III”的途径。瑞士获得法国的技术,正在组装自用的“幻影III”,一名同情犹太人的高级工程师向摩萨德秘密移交了大量技术文件,以色列就以此为基础, 研制了“幼狮”战斗机。“狮”式是以色列在80年代研制的鸭式战斗机,在美国的压力下夭折了!“狮”式和法国“幻影III”的渊源远比和美国F-16为深!在法国对以色列军事禁运之后,以色列根据“幻影III”的技术研制了“幼狮”战斗机,不难看出“幻影III”到“幼狮”到“狮”的血脉

由于以色列无法获得法国原装的“阿塔”发动机,所以改用美国的J-79,以色列正在大批进口的F-4“鬼怪”式战斗机也用同样的发动机。另外,为了改善 “幻影III”无尾三角翼的起飞、着陆速度偏高、滑跑距离偏长的问题,“幼狮”加装了一对固定的小鸭翼,作为“大功率”扰流片,在机翼上表面产生有利涡 流,增加升力,不仅改善起落着陆性能,也改善机动性,代价是一定重量和阻力。“幼狮”是一个成功的设计,但固定的鸭翼只能对一定的速度和飞行姿态最优化, 进一步的优化取决于可动的鸭翼。
在“幼狮”的时代,以色列空军的空战主力是美国的F-4“鬼怪”式战斗机,“幼狮”主要作为对地攻击飞机,兼有空战能力。在以色列空军的空战主力升级到 F-15和F-16战斗机的高低搭配之后,“幼狮”也需要相应的升级。这是以色列试图建立独立的国防工业的时代,不仅有意设计制造更加适合以色列需要的装 备,也有意涉足高科技工业。于是,以色列根据“幼狮”的经验,着手设计新一代的“狮”式战斗机。

这依然是一架无尾三角翼加鸭翼的飞机,具有优良的低空高速突防性能。和“幼狮”相比,“狮”式的鸭翼是可动的,保留了鸭翼的优点,但大大扩展了最优工况的 范围。同时代启动的欧洲“阵风”、“台风”、“鹰狮”战斗机也不约而同地采用了鸭式布局,利用可动鸭翼极大地改善机动性。

“狮”式的另一个重要特点是像F-16一样的机腹进气口。70-80年代是战斗机强调机动性高于速度的年代,大迎角飞行是提高盘旋性能的主要途径,但大迎 角时需要保证进气口能“兜”住气流,不使发动机“喘不上气”。机腹进气口有助于利用前机身的预压缩作用对发动机进气气流进行整流,改善大迎角机动时发动机 的工作条件,所以成为高机动战斗机的流行布局,F-16在量产飞机上首先使用。另一个做法是用翼根大边条提供类似的预压缩作用,F-18是这一风格的先 驱,当然,边条的作用不止预压缩,还包括在大迎角下产生机翼上表面有利涡流,提高升力。

“狮”式还采用了类似F-16的气泡式座舱盖,极大地改善了飞行员的视觉,有利于掌握战情。但要是因为进气口和座舱盖就断言“狮”式是F-16的派生,那 就过于武断了。机腹进气口和气泡式座舱盖是这一时代的潮流,波音用于竞争LWF(最后通用动力F-16得标) 的方案也是差不多这个样子的,莫非波音也是抄袭F-16?那时候还没有F-16呢。事实上,“狮”式的美国合作伙伴是格鲁曼,和研制F-16的通用动力没 有关系。

中国在研制歼-10的过程中借鉴了多少“狮”式的技术,这个问题在解密之前人们只能猜测。事实是,“狮”式的气动是格鲁曼帮助以色列做的,以色列或许对总 体设计有贡献,但关键的风洞、结构数据都是格鲁门做的,如果计划不取消的话,最终的制造格鲁曼也占一半。“狮”式的发动机是美国普拉特惠特尼的 PW1120,这是F-15、F-16使用的F100发动机的涡喷型,以色利就是想向中国提供技术也无从提供起。“狮”式的电传飞控的软硬件是美国利尔- 西格勒的,这也不是以色列所能提供的。除了Elbit的雷达、飞控和座舱管理软件的编程,以色列可以提供的实际上是有限的。
歼-10不是从中国和以色列在80年代建立军事技术合作关系后才开始的。早在70年代,中国在研制歼-8的同时,就并行研制过歼-9。这也是一架鸭式飞 机,成飞在这个过程中获得了很多宝贵的经验。80年代的时候,中国航空工业对先进战斗机的设计和使用都只有肤浅的认识,以色列对F-15、F-16已经有 了相当的使用经验,又在“狮”式战斗机的研发中获得了一些设计经验,这些对中国都是很宝贵的,有极大的借鉴意义,但借鉴和拷贝是有本质差别的。

借鉴和拷贝最大的差别在于技术路线的主导思想。拷贝是全盘照抄,从战术要求、设计依据到技术原则全盘照搬,照搬不了的才用反向设计或者功能替代。借鉴则在 战术要求、设计依据、技术路线上以我为主,只在具体细节上借鉴别人的成熟经验。或者说,拷贝最多可以做到按照教科书上的例题举一反三,但借鉴就是根据教科 书的启迪进入科研了。那歼-10是如何借鉴的呢?歼-10采用了和“狮”式相似的机腹进气口和鸭式布局,但歼-10和“狮”式的相似之处到此为止。


由于中国的国情,歼-10不是以对地攻击为主,而是以防空截击和制空作战为主,不仅强调机动性,也需要高空高速性能,因此歼-10采用了可调进气口。也就 是说,歼-10的进气口具有可调斜板,用于控制进气的激波位置。战斗机尽管可以超音速飞行,但燃烧在本质上是亚音速的,发动机的压气机也是一样,在超音速 气流的吹拂下,压气机实际上变成风车,压缩作用大大降低,整个发动机的效率急剧恶化,所以发动机进气必须把气流速度从超音速降低到亚音速。进气道里的调节 斜板像门板一样,在大风天可以半掩以挡一下分,使风速降低后才进入房间。进气道里的斜板也起同样的作用,可以根据速度不同改变挡风量。采用可调进气道的飞 机具有较好的超音速飞行性能,但采用不可调或者固定的进气道的飞机不是不能达到超音速,而是进气道和发动机很难对较大的速度范围优化,要么侧重降低中低速 飞行时的阻力,用发动机压气机吸收超音速进气;要么侧重超音速飞行的进气激波位置控制,牺牲中低速性能。F-16战斗机强调中空中速性能,对高空高速性能 有所牺牲,所以采用固定的进气口。“狮”式也是一样,没有高空高速的要求,所以采用固定进气口。F-22强调隐身,不愿装设会增加雷达反射特征的可调斜 板,但F-22的发动机异常强劲,靠蛮力就可以在非加力状态下达到超音速巡航。一般战斗机没有那么强劲的发动机,对隐身也没有那么苛求,只有用可调斜板帮 发动机一把,改善超音速飞行性能,歼-10正是这样。

歼-10进气口上唇和机体下表面之间有3对加强杆。这既增加了阻力,也给人以结构不够坚固以至于必须亡羊补牢的印象。歼-10进气口的上唇突出,这是可调 进气口的要求。由于可调斜板的机械结构,这部分相对较重,应力较大,矩形截面也不利于结构刚性。要加强这部分的结构,要么猛用料,以重量换阻力;要么用加 强杆,以阻力换重量;两者没有绝对的优劣,完全取决于在阻力、重量、成本等方面的折中考虑。F-16和“狮”式采用固定式进气口,椭圆形的截面也有利于结 构刚性,可以不用加强杆。但F-16的进气口内是有加强杆的,台湾的IDF进气口侧面也是有加强杆的,只是歼-10的加强杆比较显眼罢了。说歼-10由于 工艺和材料不过关而只得采用加强杆是可笑的,机翼和鸭翼的受力不比进气口上唇更大?机翼和鸭翼也解决了,这有什么解决不了的?歼-10的3对加强杆从前到 后增加扭转,显示了设计上的精心,这有碍观瞻的加强杆实际上还有些许整流作用,帮助理顺隔道里呆滞气流的泄放。


鸭式布局自然意为在前机身两侧有一对鸭翼,但鸭翼的不同位置决定了设计思想的异同。鸭翼可以有两个作用:1、提供可控的涡升力,2、配平和俯仰控制。可控 涡升力在前面已经提到,配平和俯仰控制就是另一回事了。飞机有重心和升力中心,要是两者完全重合,飞机在天上就是平衡的。事实上,如果忽略燃油消耗、弹药 投放等因素,重心是基本固定的,但升力中心随速度、飞行姿态等移动,需要动用平尾(常规布局)或者鸭翼(鸭式布局)来恢复平衡,这就是配平作用。有意识的 增减配平作用,自然就导致飞机受控地俯仰,这就是俯仰控制作用了。鸭翼虽然这两个作用都可以做到,但不同位置的鸭翼对两者有所侧重。鸭翼靠前称为远距耦 合,由于力臂长,用较小的鸭翼就可以实现配平和俯仰控制作用,这样鸭翼造成的阻力和重量较小;坏处是远离机翼,难以性能涡升力。欧洲“台风”采用的就是这 样的远距耦合鸭翼,为了提供涡升力,只好在鸭翼和机翼之间另外加了一对小小的扰流片。远距耦合鸭翼还有阻挡飞行员侧下方视界的问题。鸭翼靠后布置的话,自 然就使近距耦合。近距耦合的鸭翼常常和机翼有所重叠,鸭翼后援在机翼前缘的头顶上。近距耦合的鸭翼产生涡升力的作用明显得多,但力臂短,配平和俯仰控制作 用降低,需要增加鸭翼面积,导致阻力和重量增加。鸭翼和机翼在上下有所重合,两者之间的气动干扰增加阻力。法国“阵风”、以色列“狮”式采用近距耦合。英 法在鸭翼问题上南辕北辙,不知道是不是当年分道扬镳的因素之一,导致了今天的两风。中国歼-10采用两者之间折中的中距耦合,兼有两者的优点,当然也兼有 两者的缺点。工程设计本来就是折中,鸭翼位置的选取不是时尚,而是设计思想使然。


飞机设计中,最重要的就是机翼。歼-10的机翼和“狮”式也不相同。“狮”式的三角翼后缘前掠,更像近似三角翼的大后掠翼。这样的设计使升力中心靠后,提 高飞机的静态稳定性,有利于低空抗阵风和气流突变的影响。歼-10的三角翼后缘略微前掠,升力中心相对靠前,有利于提高机动性。“狮”式和歼-10对机翼 平面的不同选取反映了两者对作战任务定位的不同。从正面看,歼-10机翼有一个明显的扭转,靠近翼根的地方迎角比靠近翼尖的地方更大,使升力沿翼展的分布 更加均匀,改善结构受力情况。歼-10和“狮”式机翼受力设计的另一个显著的不同点是翼尖的处理。“狮”式采用翼尖导弹挂架,一方面增加导弹挂架的数量, 另一方面兼做翼尖配重,改善机翼的颤振特性,代价是翼尖阻力。歼-10没有采用翼尖挂架,而是采用像F-15一样的圆弧倒角,降低翼尖阻力,抗颤振问题有 机翼本身的刚度来解决。

在次要的细节上,“狮”式采用大型气泡式座舱盖,比较特别的是单座、双座采用同行的大型座舱盖。在追求速度而动力不足的年代,座舱“埋”在机身里以减小阻 力,但飞行员的视界受到很大的影响,米格-21甚至用后视镜聊作弥补。以F-15、F-16为代表的第三代战斗机采用高点式座舱、气泡式座舱盖,飞行员的 座位高高在上,座舱盖环览无余,极大地提高空中格斗中的态势感知,大推力的发动机则弥补了有所增加的阻力。为了使高达饱满的座舱盖达到较好的流线型,F- 15单座和双座的座舱盖在外形上稍有不同,但“占地面积”是一样的,单座型只是把后座空间用作额外的燃油或者电子设备。“狮”更进一步,单座、双座的座舱 盖完全一样。进一步简化了生产和备件。歼-10没有这么极端,单座和双座的座舱空间和座舱盖完全不同。

歼-10的机头锥截面接近圆形,有利于加大安装雷达的空间,显示了歼-10强调空战能力的设计思想,包括全天候和超视距空战能力。“狮”式的机头锥截面接 近扁椭圆,这是由“狮”是对地攻击为主的要求所决定的,对雷达尺寸的要求没有那么高,对飞行员的前下方视界的要求反而很高。F-16也是一样,F-16最 初的设计只要求安装最简单的雷达但最优秀的视界,主要用于好天候目视格斗。

飞机的气动特性由外形决定。飞机的外形千变万化,但即使初看外形相似的话,细节的差别也可以使两架飞机南辕北辙。F-15和米格-25在外形上颇有相似之 处,但两者在设计思想、技术水平、战术使用各方面天差地远。“台风”、“阵风”、“鹰狮”是同时代的鸭式战斗机,它们之间差别也很大。歼-10即使在设计 上借鉴了“狮”式,但结果也已经是完全不同的一架战斗机了。除了上面所说的气动设计上的差异,在尺寸和重量上,歼-10明显高于“狮”。在发动机上,歼 -10采用推力和尺寸都更大的AL-31涡扇。美国或许对歼-10知根知底,但肯定不是从和“狮”式的表面相像来的,实质性的差别太大了。
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 楼主| 发表于 2010-4-7 14:53 | 显示全部楼层
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 楼主| 发表于 2010-4-7 14:57 | 显示全部楼层









































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 楼主| 发表于 2010-4-7 15:01 | 显示全部楼层
本帖最后由 st_aster 于 2010-4-7 15:03 编辑



首先,我必须表达我对此文的不屑,当年也不小心掏钱买了本,草草一看就丢到一边,因为文中细节是满口胡说。我97年上网之后就常泡台湾军事BBS,在无数轮争吵中,对F16,Lavi相关的一些基本数据早就是了如指掌。原因很简单,当年台湾军迷无一例外,J10就是Lavi的缩水版,证明了F16>Lavi就证明了F16>J10,也就能证明IDF>=J10或技术时代上领先J10,所以争论双方,早就把F16 Block20-Block60的各个型号,型号之间的差异,特别是外围尺寸、发动机、重量、包括电子系统扯了个底掉。我们当年所争论的很多问题,直到2006年之后,大陆的军事迷才普遍关心,飞机、发动机版里面讨论的东西,大多在00年,我就都看到和意识到了(因为掐架需要,我99年开始常用搜索引擎,学会在各种科研数据库挖数据挖资料)。




J10怎么 “被抄袭Lavi”的。都是通过类“航空史研究”这种杂志上,有“默言”这号伪技术专家,为了通过打擦边球,从军迷口袋里面骗银子的目的,生搬硬套,硬把J10解释成从Lavi的技术改过来的。









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 楼主| 发表于 2010-4-7 15:42 | 显示全部楼层






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发表于 2010-4-7 19:39 | 显示全部楼层
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