Kfir C.7: The Sharp-Clawed Lion Cub

Kfir C.7: The Sharp-Clawed Lion Cub

The Kfir C.7 was an Israeli fighter-bomber, a descendant of the well-known French Mirage fighter and equipped with the powerful J79 turbojet engine.

Kfir C.7, jet fighter, Israel, rank VII

Features:
Top speed over Mach 2
Excellent agility
Highly versatile
Large number of suspended weapon options

History

[expand]Immediately after the Six-Day-War, France imposed an arms export embargo on Israel, acutely highlighting the nation’s dependence on foreign suppliers of military equipment. Despite the embargo, Israel managed to obtain documentation for the Mirage 5J version, which was developed specifically for the Israeli Air Force before the ban. These aircraft were produced commercially under the name IAI Nesher. But due to the end of supplies from France, Israel turned to the U.S. for assistance, procuring a number of new F-4 Phantom II and A-4 Skyhawk aircraft for its air force. However, when the air force compared the Nesher with the new F-4 Phantom, it realized that the Mirage was falling behind in several aspects. Therefore, plans to outfit Neshers with licence-built Phantom II engines – the General Electric J79 – were drawn up and soon afterward realized with the Kfir (Hebrew for “Lion Cub”).

Entering serial production in 1975 and subsequently being commissioned into service with the 101st, 113th and 109th squadrons of the Israeli Air Force, the Kfir first saw combat action in November 1977. While the aircraft performed well and was also well-liked by its pilots, the modification did increase the weight of the aircraft, negatively impacting some of its flight characteristics. Israeli engineers solved the issue by outfitting the Kfir with fixed canards on the forward section of the fuselage.

The Kfir C.7 is a later modification of the aircraft, resulting from continuous efforts of Israeli engineers to further develop the Kfir. The new version featured numerous improvements, including a more powerful afterburner, increased payload and weapon selection as well as new avionics and cockpit arrangement. The Kfir C.7 entered service in 1983 and would remain in active service until the early 1990’s before being officially decommissioned by the Israeli Air Force. Subsequently, some units were sold on the export market to Columbia and Sri Lanka where they saw active combat during the Sri Lankan Civil War.[/expand]

In War Thunder, the Kfir C.7 will be one of the top aircraft awaiting pilots at rank VII of the upcoming Israeli aviation branch. Despite its similarities with the french Mirage 5 (which will also be added to the game), the Kfir C.7 features a whole range of modifications not only differentiating it from its distant relative but also making it a powerful and highly versatile jet fighter bomber. Let’s hear more about it, shall we?

Unlike the Mirage 5, the Kfir C.7 is fitted with the extremely powerful General Electric J79-GE-J1E turbojet engine, also found on the F-4 Phantom II, which is capable of generating impressive top speed of 2,440 km/h at an altitude of 11,000 meters, and rocket-like climb rate of 230 m/s at the sea level. Furthermore, the Kfir’s delta wing and fixed canards above the engine air intakes give the aircraft exceptionally good maneuverability while also ensuring adequate stability at lower speeds of flight.

Being a fighter bomber by design, the Kfir C.7 features a wide weapons arsenal, suited both for strike operations and aerial combat. Possessing a payload of up to 5,775 kg, spread across numerous hardpoints underneath the fuselage and wings, Kfir C.7 can be equipped with a vast assortment of different weapon types, including unguided bombs, rockets and 20 mm gunpods. Packing a pair of rapid-firing 30mm DEFA cannons already familiar to most seasoned French aviators, the Kfir can easily take down its opponents with a short, well-aimed burst. However, this by far isn’t the only weapon the Kfir brings to a dogfight. The aircraft can also be outfitted with up to four air-to-air missiles Shafrir-2, AIM-9D and AIM-9G.

The Kfir C.7 will soon become available to all pilots at the top of the upcoming Israeli aviation branch, arriving into War Thunder with the release of the next major update. In the meantime, be sure to stay tuned to the news to catch all the latest information about the upcoming update. Until then, clear skies and happy hunting pilots!

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