The Lavi Lives

I don’t know if any of you remember the Lavi, but it was the coolest multi-role, long range fighter-bomber being designed ANYWHERE. It could out-fly and out-fight anything and anyone.

And, it was being developed by Israel.

Then, the US government killed it (at the instigation of General Dynamics and Lockheed Martin). The tiny Lavi was a threat to big business, and we just couldn’t have that.

Now, I’m going to be fair here and tell you that the Lavi was hurt also by managerial incompetence within Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI). What that means is that Israeli mistakes gave a lever to Israel’s enemies in the US. Still, without US efforts to kill the project, the Lavi would fly today.*

Well, let me take that back. It does fly today – as the Jian-10 or Chengdu J-10. The Chinese J-10 Vigorous Dragon. The Chinese-made, Chinese Air Force (PLAAF), J-10. The notmadeinIsrael, J-10.

Getting the picture?

Well, here’s one:

The Chengdu J-10
The Chengdu J-10

It is a lot cheaper than the F-16. It can out-fly and out-fight the F-16. It is harder to detect than the F-16. It has longer range than the F-16.

It is all of that because it was originally the Lavi.

I may have confused you a bit here, so let me spell it out. The Chengdu J-10 is a Chinese-modified version of the IAI Lavi - made in China and updated for the 21st century. 

So, what happened? I’m not sure that we will ever really know, but it is safe to say that after the US killed a project on which Israel had spent billions of dollars, someone decided to try and recoup that loss by selling the technology to the one government that would never (conceivably) be a threat to either Israel or the US.

You can just imagine some Israeli at IAI trying to balance the books after this fiasco, and saying ‘hey, let’s try and save something’.

The Chinese would never be a threat to anyone, right?


Guess who has been putting in big orders for the J-10?

That’s right. Iran.

The United States has been the biggest friend that Israel has ever had, but there are people in the United States that hate Israel and will do anything that they can to stop her. Some of those people are at the Pentagon. Still more are at the US State Department. Their hatred for Israel, and their greed, shot down an important fighter plane and put American servicemen (and women) at risk.

Let’s take a moment to discuss some the greed that I alluded to above. The designers and manufacturers of the F-16, General Dynamics and Lockheed Martin, were worried that the development of the Lavi would cut into their sales of fighter aircraft to other countries. Well, guess what, no matter how much the Lavi would have cut into their sales, the J-10 is going to TOTALLY outsell the F-16 and F-18 – and worse, it will be in the hands of some pretty vile people.

Isaiah once said:

No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper

If you make plans to hurt Israel, those plans will backfire.

Now, it’s also true that Israel’s mistakes will probably come back to haunt her in this situation, but one can only hope that Israel’s enemies will take notice of the J-10 as an object lesson.

But for now, those of us who mourned the loss of the Lavi can take momentary pleasure in knowing that she lives.

In China.


* For instance, one project that the US couldn’t kill was the Merkava, a VERY cool main battle tank.

12 thoughts on “The Lavi Lives”

  1. Hey John,

    I wouldn’t be so sure that the Levi was actually *sold* to China. Those guys recently built up themselves quite a reputation for espionage so I personally wouldn’t rule out the possibility that they simply *stole* the blueprints and/or they just did what everybody seems to be doing these days and bribed some frustrated high-security-engeneer at IAI.

  2. Oooooo…I made a mistake..
    **Pb** is the chemical nomenclature or whatever they call it…
    That kinda mistake could get a girl fired from a “profession”
    Cool post/photos!

  3. Lol Magna:)
    I’ve worked in at some “mega-corporations”,
    with “Top Seceret information…… with clearance”,
    And I tell you, I would have sold that info for a million dollars in a nanosecond with no regrets:) granted it was only fertilizer and sweeteners..greed can also be used for revenge..multitasking:)

  4. Pb is the Periodic table symbol for the element of lead. Did you know that when uranium decays completely if turns into lead!

    Of course PB is the international symbol for a peanut butter sandwich! Don’t eat any PB’s from China or you may get Pb poisoning! ; )

  5. Interesting!:)
    And..Iran has the worlds uranium? Still even more reasons to be glad we aren;t their neighbors

    Yeah, we’ve already had a problem with Peter Pan…
    I think one of my lipsticks was recalled as joke

  6. So, basically, if Iran doesn’t hurry up and make some bombs and get rid of them, Iran and the mideast and who knows who else will live in a lead environment? Wow, poor children
    I wonder how long it takes for U to decay completely..I’m going to read up on this..interesting Mr.Jif!

  7. Wow..the mideast is just so volatile! We don’t see that kind of profound anger and hatred here in midwestern USA. Well, I don’t see it, but I’m sure there are a few random crazies just ready to snap for no apparent reason.

    The Devil is working some serious overtime

  8. Only around 0.72% of all natural uranium is uranium-235, the rest being mostly uranium-238. That’s why uraniam has to be concentrated in a centrifuge to isolate the U-235 for fuel or bombs. The half-life of uranium (the amount of time it takes for it’s radioactivity to decrease by 50%) is 703,800,000 years. That means, in 703,800,000 years the amount of radiation is decreased by one have of the original amount. In another 703,800,000 years, or in 1,461,600,000 years, it’s radioactivity would decrease to 1/4 of it’s original magnitude. It’s like walking from New York to LA where it takes one day to travel 1/2 the distance left. The first day you make great time, you make it from New York to Oklahoma, the second day you only make it to Arizona, the third day barely into Nevada, then you be in California for the rest of you life never quite making it to LA. In theory it would never decrease to absolute zero but would certainly be less dangerous to living organisms in a few billion years or so!!

    ” We don’t see that kind of profound anger and hatred here in midwestern USA.”
    You’ve obviously never been to a Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins game!! LOL

  9. Interesting..I shall re-read that
    Nope, but I’ve lived in the South….really different experience:):)
    Middle America seems a lot more neutral

  10. Your comment that the J-10 is going to be sold to Iran has not been confirmed. So far, both countries have denied this and until we get confirmation, we should not use this rumour as a fact.

    The qualities of the J-10 will be confirmed once Pakistan pilots get to fly it. We will then know how good it is against the latest F-16’s that Pakistan is getting from USA.

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