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Israel Aerospace Industries 'Shavit' - Heyl Ha'Avir

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Israel Aerospace Industries 'Shavit' - 201 Squadron, Heyl Ha'Avir, 1977

 

The French Arms Embargo of 1967 spurred on the Israeli Government to become increasingly self-sufficient in all aspects of defence procurement and Israel Aerospace Industries certainly played it's part when it was jointly tasked with the development of the Mirage 5 (entering service as the 'Nesher' in 1971) and also dusting off an earlier indigenous design for the development of a twin-engined swept-wing supersonic attack jet called the 'Shavit' (Comet).

 

Whilst the Nesher programme progressed well the Shavit had a troubled early development history. Prior to the French Arms Embargo the aircraft was based around two of the forthcoming Rolls-Royce Turbomeca Adour two-shaft turbofans but after 1967 this option was denied forcing the Shavit designers to resort to using the less powerful General Electric J85 single-shaft turbojets with much lower installed thrust and higher specific fuel consumption. Early in 1968 the sophisticated nav/attack system planned for the original Shavit was ditched in favour of a simpler 'clear weather' system. Despite these constraints, Israel Aerospace Industries created a tough and dependable attack aircraft that entered service in the Spring of 1973 when 201 Squadron re-equipped with the type just in time for the Yom Kippur war. Ironically, a reversal of the French Arms Embargo saw the Shavits eventually re-enginned with the Adour Mk104 during the mid-1980's eventually serving until 1997 when the last aircraft was retired.

 

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The PAF skin in the Q-5C 'Fantan' download is used here with some appropriate IDF markings and stock Kurnass serials.

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