Canceling Lavi was a long term mistake the future should be to develop a proper tailor made unmanned fighter - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • zionist forever
    • 27.07.10 | 16:41 (IDT)

    Lavi was everything Israel needed .. it had the agility of F16, it could carry a heavy payload and more fuel than F16, it was very cheap and easy to convert it from fighter - trainer ( no need to buy extra trainers ). It was made domestically so it could have been tailor made to Israels needs and although not right away to avoid upsetting the Americans it could have been exported. Canceling Lavi was a financial saving in the short term but a loss longer. Prehaps though the timing wasn't right because the economic situation was bad at the time but its something we have later come to regret. What Israel should be doing now is designing 21st centry Lavi this time in the form of a stealthy fighter UAV. Israel is currently a world leader in UAV technology and even the US have said that F22 & F35 will be the last manned aircraft they build so why not get in on the game whilst there are not alot of players and we are leaders. Like Lavi it will involve spending money on development its not just bought ready made from the US so maybe we could look for a partner like India. Once the thing is developed it may even be possible to negotiate a deal with the US where some of them will be built in the US under license and then sold to Israel with military aid. Unlike the 80s Israels current economy is strong and we have more countries who may be willing to partner in the program the only real problem area is mental attitude. Whilst in the 80s we liked to do it ourselves be it tanks, planes or ships today the thinking is get it from the US free or subsidized eve if its not the ideal product. I think if there is a will to invest then there is a way to do it and in the short term we can buy some of the much cheaper F15SE. Whilst not an actual stealth jet its stealthy and its what we need if we were going to hit Iran. The F15 could be delivered much sooner than the F35, cheaper and unlike F35 its capable of long range missions. Its impossible under Obama but when Bush was in power we should have reqested to rent some of the now retired F117 stealth jet as a stop gap until we decided what we wanted to do in future. Although it would have required permission from Congress as its now old technology to the US and officially retired it might have been possible although we will be lucky to get a toy plane from Obama. UAV technology though is the future and Israel is already is already up there with the best.

    from the article: F-35 - take it or leave it
    First published 03:29 27.07.10 | Last updated 03:29 27.07.10
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