Time for another post on a specific military aircraft. This time it is one with an interesting history. The Israeli Air Force was a customer of Dassault’s Mirage aircraft and had good experience with it. However, Dassault/France declined to sell further aircraft to Israel. Instead, the Israelis decided to make their own version. A combination of covert acquisition of design drawings and the introduction of a new engine resulted in the creation of the Kfir.
During the 1980s, a number of Kfirs were supplied to the US Navy to be operated as aggressor aircraft under the F-21 designation. Their use in service was not terribly long but, once they were withdrawn, they were acquired by private companies to use in support roles for training. I have come across them a couple of times. One was at Pt Mugu in California when an example was shooting approaches. The other time was during a visit to NAS Fallon in Nevada where they were launching on training missions.
The Kfir is quite a mean looking aircraft. The original delta wing design has many good attributes but approach speed is not one of them and they really do seem to be motoring when they come down the approach. I imagine they will remain in service for a number of years to come so I hope to see more in due course.