Kfir: "Lion Cub"

Posted by Yonatan (New York, United States) on 15 April 2009 in Documentary & Street.

I find Israeli history to be a fascinating topic. While in college for my bachelors I was able to take some Middle East courses and formally learn some of the complex history. This sparked me to read more on my own. A book that left a lasting impact on me was "Six Days of War" by Michael Oren. It's an account of the 1967 Six Day War written after classified documents were declassified. It's absolutely fascinating and a must read for anybody interested in the history and the conflict.

This photo was taken aboard the newly renovated USS Intrepid currently docked in NYC. The plane pictured was part of the Israeli Air Force (IAF) and is called the Kfir or in English, Lion Cub. The story behind its development is interesting. To make a long story short, during the 1950s and 1960s, Israel relied on France for its combat aircraft. The Israelis ordered and paid for 50 Dassault Mirage 5Js, but shortly after the Six Day War, the French government implemented an arms embargo that prevent Dassault from delivering the paid for aircraft. As a result, Israel decided that it was necessary for its defense to develop its own aircraft, and the Kfir was the result (there was some espionage involved in getting the blueprints of another plane to base their design).

It's service in the IAF did not last long as in 1976 Israel acquired F-15 Eagle Fighters from the United States.

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Olympus E-510
1/60 second
ISO 100
14 mm

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