[For quite some time I've been looking for info on the LAVI Jet, and I finally got something. But the first time I heard about the LAVI fighter jet was here in South Africa in the 1980s. I have never yet seen anyone in SA mention it. But it stands out in my memory. Some time in the 1980s, either the early or mid-1980s I think … President PW Botha of South Africa announced that Israel's LAVI Jet project would move to South Africa and that South Africa and Israel would develop this jet jointly. And then I never heard or read about the LAVI jet ever again. In recent years I was thinking of it and looking for info on it. I see that it might even have ended up in the hands of the Chinese as a new type of Chinese plane. As best I can understand, South Africa must have dumped the Lavi at some point. I suspect the Israelis were trying to make us bear the brunt of the costs and work and that this failed. I will do some further digging among my contacts. But anyway, South Africa had French Mirage jets, which are pretty good jets I must tell you. And what they did was they modified them and renamed it the "Cheetah". The reason for this was because South Africa was fighting against Russian and Warsaw pact MIGS in Angola. The Cheetah, was a huge success. It was merely a heavily modified Mirage, but it was then able to take on the MIGS. And the stupid LAVI quietly disappeared. I, personally don't think the Israelis are that clever in either engineering or in their science. Most of the time they're either stealing from the Americans or the Germans and then giving/selling it to China. Below is a LAVI prototype. It's the first time I've seen actual photos of it. I honestly, don't think much of Israeli engineering. Jan]
The IAI Lavi (Hebrew: לביא, "Young Lion") was a single-engined fourth-generation multirole jet fighter developed in Israel, by Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI), during the 1980s. The decision to develop the Lavi was controversial, both with the Israeli public, due to the enormous associated costs, and particularly with the U.S. government due to competition with American jets on the export market. By 1984 Israel, with a population of 4 million, had the world’s highest military expenditure as a proportion of GDP, at 24%, a rate of spending considered unsustainable.[by whom?] These issues contributed to the ultimate cancellation of the aircraft, by the Israeli government, during the flight-test phase of development in August 1987.
The Lavi performed successfully in flight-tests, with its flight handling described as "excellent" by test pilots. The Lavi was planned to be the mainstay of the Israeli Air Force, and considerable export sales for the aircraft had been forecast. The uniqueness of its design was in the combination of a small, aerodynamic, highly maneuverable plane, with sophisticated, software-rich systems, low armed drag,[clarification needed] and the ability to carry a large payload at high speed and over long distances. As of 2012, two of the prototypes have been preserved, and have been placed on public display. The Israeli cabinet’s late-stage cancellation of the program, by a 12–11 vote, continued to arouse controversy and bitterness in Israel for decades, with Moshe Arens stating in 2013 that if the project had not been cancelled the IAF "would be operating the world’s most advanced fighter, upgraded over the years to incorporate operational experience and newer technology."
You can read the rest here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IAI_Lavi