Israel Aircraft Industries Kfir

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IAI Kfir
RoleGround Attack/ Interceptor
First Flight19 October 1970
Entered Service1974
Number built212
Length16.36 m53 ft 8 in
Wingspan8.24 m27 ft
Height4.55 m14 ft 11.25 in
Wing areaft²
Empty7285 kg16060 lb
Maximum takeoff weight16,500 kg36,375 lb
Enginesone General Electric J79-J1E turbojet
Thrust52.9 kN (each)11,890 lbf (each)
Thrust (AB)83.4 kN (each)18,750 lbf (each)
Maximum speed2,440 km/h1,516 mph
Ferry rangekm2,008 miles
Combat radius882 Km548 miles
Service ceilingmft
Rate of climbm/minft/min
ArmamentTwo Rafael-built DEFA 553 30-mm cannon with 140 rpg, Shafrir 2 or Pyhton 3 AAMs, Mk.80 series iron bombs, AGM-45 Shrike, AGM-65 Maverick, Paveway-series LGB, Matra Durandal.




Kfir C1

First flown in June 1973, the Kfir C1 (Kfir means "Young Lion") was basically the airframe of the Mirage III mated to the General Electric J79 afterburning turbojet and fitted with a suite of Israeli electronics, including the Elta EL/M-2001B radar. The type was designed after manufacturer IAI had gained experience with the Nesher (Eagle), which was an unlicensed copy of the Mirage IIICJ with an also unlicensed Atar turbojet, produced for Israeli service but later exported to Argentina as the Dagger. The Kfir C1 superficially resembled a Mirage 5, except for a distinctive "ram" air inlet at the front base of the tail to provide added cooling required by the J79 engine. Twenty-five modified Kfir C1s were leased to the US Navy and the US Marine Corps from 1985 to 1989, DACT trainer. These aircraft, designated F-21A Kfir, had narrow-span canard foreplanes and a single small rectangular strake on either side of the nose which considerably improved the aircraft's maneuverability and handling at low speeds.

Kfir C2

Only 27 Kfir C1 fighters were delivered, to be replaced by the improved Kfir C2. The Kfir C2 had a number of enhancements to traditional Mirage aerodynamics. It featured narrow strakes along the tip of the nose, fixed but detachable canards and an extended dogtooth outer wing. The aerodynamic improvements gave the Kfir better combat manoeuvrability, reduced landing and take-off distance, and improved low-speed handling. All but two of the Kfir C1s were upgraded to the Kfir C2 configuration. 185 Kfir C2s were built, including a number of Kfir TC2 two-seat trainers. The trainer versions are very unusual looking, as they have an extended nose, fitted with small vortex-generating strokes, containing avionics displaced by the second seat, and the nose is noticeably drooped to give a reasonable cockpit view. The Kfir TC2 is the two-seat trainer version of the C2. Has an extended drooped nose, fitted with small vortex-generating strokes, containing avionics displaced by the second seat.

Kfir C7

Features specially adapted version of the J79-GE-J1E with some 1,000 lb (454 kg) more afterburning thrust. Has two extra pylons and a number of advanced features including capability for the carriage and use of 'smart' weapons, Elta EL/M-2021B pulse-doppler radar, a revised cockpit with more sophisticated electronics and HOTAS controls and provision for inflight-refueling. Maximum take-off weight is increased by 3,395 lb (1,540 kg), but combat radius and thrust-to-weight ratio are improved. The Kfir TC7 is the two-seat trainer version of the C7. Kfir C2/TC2 aircraft were upgraded to C7/TC7 standard.

Kfir C8

Proposed Kfir C7 upgrade. Not built.

Kfir C9

Proposed Kfir C7 upgrade. Not built.

Kfir C10

Features a new Elta EL/M-2032 multimode radar, capability to use a HMD, two 127x177mm MFD and can be armed with Python-4 and Derby air-to-air missiles. This variant is also known as Kfir CE ( Ecuadorean version ) and Kfir COA (Colombian version). The Kfir TC10 is an upgraded version of the TC7 for the Colombian Air Force.

Kfir C12

Upgraded version of the C7 for the Colombian Air Force, a C10 without the Elta EL/M-2032 radar.

Kfir Block 60

Upgraded version of the C10, featuring an AESA radar.



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