An IAI Arye in flight.

The IAI Arye (Lion) is a twin engine multirole fighter in service in the Israeli Air Force from the early 1980s onwards. It was developed as part of Israel's push to become independent in the development of major weapons systems (such as armoured vehicles, aircraft, and ships).

In the mid-70s a group of IAI (Israeli Aerospace Industries) engineers and IAF (Israeli Air Force) officers began a new project to develop an ultra modern Israeli fighter aircraft – a project that was supposed to take a quantum leap for aeronautics.

Designed to be the most advanced of its kind in the world by any standards, the Arye (Lion), would give the IAF a reliable option to the advanced foreign fighters such as the American F-15 and F-16, as well as the British Rapier. Lessons learned from the Arye would be applied to the IAI Lavi.

History[edit | edit source]

Background[edit | edit source]

In response to the French embargo forced upon Israel after the Six Day War in 1967, a decision was made to strive for independence in the development of major weapons systems. Israel had already acquired the means to build good copies of the French Mirage, but wanted to be much more than just a clone maker.

Development[edit | edit source]

In 1974, an IAI team was set up to begin the Arie project. As no government approval had yet been received to produce it, the program was simply codenamed “R&D project”. Ovadia Harrari, who would later become head of the Lavi program, was to lead that endeavor.

The IAI decided to develop the Arie based on the technological knowhow acquired from the Kfir project, particularly from the Kfir-Canard program – the improved version. In fact, the first proposal which was put on hold by the Air Force, was to develop an aircraft to be named “Super Kfir” – a regular Kfir whose original Spey engine would be replaced by the {insert engine here}.

Users[edit | edit source]

External Links[edit | edit source]

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