From 1980 to 1987, the Lavi fighter was the largest weapons development effort ever undertaken by the State of Israel - either before or since. Far from being just another weapons program, the Lavi became a microcosm for both the U.S.-Israel relationship, and for Israeli society itself - a study in the ambitions, fears, and internal divisions that have shaped each of them. It is a story whose breadth and significance has never been fully told - until now.
Lavi: The United States, Israel and a Controversial Fighter Jet, traces the evolution of Israel’s Lavi fighter program from the conceptual studies which preceded it during the 1970s, up through the program’s cancellation in August of 1987, and beyond – to examine its ramifications for policy makers today. Most importantly, this narrative places in context this chain of events, exploring the societal and strategic pressures which shaped the Lavi’s development, and the political battlefield on which it eventually fell.
I have served as a designer, structural analyst, and engineering manager in the U.S. aerospace industry for the last two decades, developing future-generation technology concepts. I have published articles with Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, Aviation History, and the Jerusalem Post Magazine.