Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) will lease Kfir jet fighters to the US Air Force and Navy for use in training. The one-year contract is worth $15 million.
IAI will lease two to four Kfirs to Airborne Tactical Advantage Company (ATAC) of the US, which provides tactical training programs for the US armed forces.
The Kfirs will mainly be used to simulate enemy jets for training. Since the 1980s, IAI has signed several leasing agreements for Kfirs under the US Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Navy’s Aggressor program.
Under the current contract, the Kfirs will be used in air combat, ship attacks, and electronic warfare training. They will also tow targets for shooting exercises.
One reason the US leases Kfirs is that they are cheaper to operate than F-5s or Skyhawks.
IAI’s Lahav division will supply ATAC with spare parts, including engines, and provide maintenance.
ATAC is negotiating with US defense officials to expand the deal.
Published by Globes [online] - www.globes.co.il - on June 18, 2003