A Lavi with Israeli markings.
|Role||Desert-Optimized Close-Combat Fighter|
|Engines||Pratts & Witney FE100-PW-100|
|Armament(s)||WS-16 Assault Cannon|
Israeli development of the Lavi began after their armed forces realized that the F-16 Fighting Falcon that they used suffered from inadequate close-combat capabilities, resulting in a negative impact on their objective to reclaim their nation before that of the other Arab countries. To remedy that issue, the Israelis chose to work on a modification plan for their F-16s to improve their close-combat capabilities, with the United States of America providing 60% of the funding necessary for the project.
However, when the US strategic doctrine shifted to emphasize on G-Bomb deployment, they also revoked their support of the development project. With the loss of 60% of the funding required, the Israelis were hard-pressed to keep the development of the Lavi continued, and were on the verge of cancelling the project when the Unified Front of China, which was interested in the Israelis' development project, stepped in to offer their support. The two nations together managed to complete the Lavi, and it was also from this Israeli unit that the UFC's first localized TSF, the J-10, was developed.
The general airframe of the Lavi, as well as many of its physical features, are all shared with the J-10. These include the reactive armor blocks on the front of its upper torso section and on its hip block armor, as a precaution against encroaching Tank-class BETA, the Blade Edge Armor on the front of its legs and knee armor block section, as well as the small-scale super-carbon blades and spikes on its arms and feet. Its head unit, while visually different, also shares design traits with the round-monitor design used by the majority of UFC TSFs, further proof of the link between the J-10 and the Lavi.
The Lavi's actual deployment began in 1994, the same year as the J-10.
- The real-life IAI Lavi was a single-engined combat aircraft developed in Israel during the 80s, but had never entered active service. It is rumored that China purchased some of the program's data to develop the Chengdu J-10, which does bear some resemblance to the Lavi.