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IAI Kfir Gderot (AKA Kfir Canard, Kfir C.1 or F-21A), The stubby canard Kfir


yoyolast
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Do you want to see this variant of the Kfir added to the game?  

67 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you want to see this variant of the Kfir added to the game?

    • Yes
      64
    • No
      3
  2. 2. What type of aircraft should it be?

    • Researchable
      47
    • Premium
      11
    • Event
      0
    • Squadron
      6
    • I said no
      3
  3. 3. Given the option would you want it to have an additional camo portraying it's years as the F-21A in American use?

    • Yes
      59
    • No
      8


  • Suggestion Moderator

airforce.png.00a4db211afbf52222d0a28752d 1238843178_Screenshot2022-06-12144520.pn

 

Introduction

The IAI Kfir Gderot (rough translation - "Fenced Kfir"), also sometimes wrongly known as the Kfir C.1, was an intermediate model  of the Kfir designed to improve the capabilities of the initial batch of early production Kfirs while the advanced C.2 model was being produced separately. This model of the Kfir is not very well known for it's service with the Israeli Air Force, however it is fairly well known in it's foreign designation of F-21A which was given to it when it was leased for use in an aggressor role by the US Navy.

 

Disclaimer: This Kfir variant is often wrongly named Kfir C.1. This is not the correct name for the variant which results from a common misunderstanding of how the Kfir variants' naming system works. The C which is added starting from the C.2 variant stands for canard, The C.2 name therefore stands for it being a canard model and being the second model of the kfir following from the initial production batch, it is not an implication of a model called the C.1 existing. The Kfir Gderot, as explained in this thread, was an upgrade for the early production Kfirs that was developed parallelly to the C.2 variant and didn't even precede it directly.

 

1174547405_Kfirbeingloadedwithafueltank.  - A Kfir Gderot being loaded with an external fuel tank.

 

Development

The story of the Kfir Gderot begins with the initial batch of Kfir jet aircraft. After the first Kfirs were delivered to the 101 squadron in April of 1975, pilots started complaining about the maneuverability of the aircraft. Despite the new powerful engine, the Kfir wasn't as nimble as the Mirage III and was especially bad at handling in high angles of attack. Due to these complaints engineers at IAI, with assistance from academics in Haifa's technological institution, came up with a series of airframe improvements which tests on technological demonstrators such as the Technolog aircraft have shown to be rather effective at resolving the issues. This set of improvements which includes the strakes on the nose cone, dog toothed leading edge for the wings and the Kfir series' infamous canards, became the basis of the upgrades that ended up developing into the Kfir C.2, however a problem arose when IAI and the Israeli Air Force had to refer back to the Kfir aircraft which were already produced.

 

848971330_SeveralKfirswithbombsinfrontof  - A pair of Kfir Gderots from the Midland Squadron on display with their armaments.

 

The original airframe of the Kfir (and the Mirage family in general for that matter) was not designed to be able to support most of these airframe changes, and so a solution had to be found so that the early Kfirs still in service wouldn't remain as ineffective. It was decided that a smaller set of upgrades would be applied to these Kfirs such that they could be supported by the existing airframe. The Kfirs received the strakes on the nose cone, improving flight stability, and very short canards which were sometimes called fences were added on the intakes. Despite the lack of a dog toothed leading edge and the canards not being fully swept, these Kfirs still showed a significant improvement in overall maneuverability and flight stability. The variant was named "Kfir Gderot" or "Kfir Canard" and officially entered service on the 28th of July 1977 with Squadron 109, the Valley squadron, who took in most of the early Kfirs who had served with squadrons 101 and 113 and had them refurbished to the Kfir Gderot by IAI.

 

1305152435_Kfirlanding.JPG.c3d189f2a3053  - A Kfir Gderot of the Valley squadron landing. Note that it has the flare/chaff pods below the engine exhaust.

 

1999075319_Screenshot2022-10-28004113.jp  - A Kfir Gderot of the Valley squadron with the full armament setup

 

Service with the 109th squadron (the Valley squadron)

This Kfir variant saw most of it's use in the Israeli air force under the Valley squadron. These Kfirs were designated primarily for ground attack missions and as such were presumably never given the capability to carry the advanced Python 3 air to air missiles unlike the C.2 and C.7 variants. Starting from November 1977 these Kfirs began to be regularly used in raids against terror cells operating from Lebanon and most notably took part in operation Litany in 1978. While it isn't written in any source I could find there is clear photographic evidence that at some point during this variant's service with the Valley squadron it had  received countermeasures like the more advanced Kfir models. The Kfir Gderots remained in service with the Valley squadron until mid 1981 when they were replaced by the C.2 model.

 

1029570494_flarekfirs.JPG.549173c046d52f  - Kfir Gderots of the Midland squadron being loaded on trucks to be overhauled at IAI before delivery to the US Marine Corps. This is also a very clear shot showing the countermeasure pods.

 

Short service with the 254th squadron (Midland squadron)

Despite their age the Kfir Gderots were not pressed out of service when they left the Valley squadron. Instead the Kfirs were delivered to the Midland squadron and were accepted in mid 1982. There is not much info about the short career of these Kfirs under the Midland squadron but it is known that they served with them until 1984.

 

680758740_Kfirceremony.JPG.47592259b753f  - Kfir Gderots in the delivery ceremony to the US Marine Corps.

 

1836013052_USAKfir.JPG.78edafb11651b5783 - A Kfir Gderot, now renamed F-21A, of the US Marine Corps.

 

Delivery to the USA

Surprisingly enough the Kfir Gderot did not end it's service within the Israeli Air Force. During the years nearing the Kfir Gderot's end of service the United States Navy's Top Gun project was looking for aircraft that could potentially be used to mimic the MiG-21. It was then that the idea of using the Israeli Kfir was brought up and the road to a leasing agreement was paved. A deal was promptly struck and starting in 1984 Kfir Gderots of the Midland squadron began being sent to IAI to be overhauled with deliveries starting in 1985. The first batch of 12 Kfir Gderots, now redesignated  as F-21A, were delivered in 1985 to the US Navy's VF-43 aggressor squadron and were followed 2 years later by a delivery of 13 more F-21As to the USMC's VMFT-401 squadron. The Kfirs were used  extensively being pitted against the best aircraft in the Navy's possession including the infamous F-14 Tomcat. It is speculated that the simulated dogfights against the Kfirs helped immensely when it came to the massive success in operation Desert Storm a few years later. After the leasing deal had ended the fate of most of the Kfirs became seemingly unknown (they were likely scrapped or converted to more advanced models), but some of them did end up in the Israeli Air Force museum in both Israeli and American colors.

 

F-21A.JPG.150c9e98718b7a9a96cc4ebe1abe47  - An F-21A of the US Navy's VF-43 squadron sporting the aggressor camo.

 

1994571870_F-21Aformation.JPG.0505dccf87  - A formation of F-21As.

 

GabeEisnerKfirBearShevaIsrael.jpg.882096  - A Kfir Gderot displayed in Kikar haKfir (The Kfir roundabout) in Be'er Sheva Israel.

 

 

 

c.1.PNG.058414ff204965e7700687c02639f88a 252263810_F-21Aillu.JPG.b2faa52386593a2a

 

Specifications

 

Type:  Multirole fighter-bomber and interceptor

 

Country of origin:  Israel

 

Length:  15.65 meters

 

Height: 4.55 meters

 

Wing span: 8.22 meters

 

Wing area: 34.8 squared meters

 

Powerplant: J79-J1E rated at 5,400 kgf dry and 8,120 kgf at full afterburner

 

Max speed: At sea level - 1,390 km/h, at max altitude - mach 2.3

 

Max altitude:  17,680 meters

 

Climb rate: 233 m/s

 

Range: up to 768 km with external fuel tanks

 

Weight: Empty - 7,280 kg, fully loaded - 14,700kg

 

Armaments: 2x30mm DEFA cannons with 140 rounds per gun, 2xShafrir 2 or 2xAIM-9D Sidewinder or 2xAIM-9G Sidewinder, up to 4,295kg of various bombs, rockets, ECM pods and external fuel tanks carried on 7 pylons.

 

 

 

Sources

 

Edited by yoyolast
added photo
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+1 for sure and in the regular tree please, not as an event vehicle like the Kfir C.2.  

 

(Also, it would be fun to get an American skin or two with the plane)

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  • yoyolast changed the title to IAI Kfir Gderot (AKA Kfir Canard, Kfir C.1 or F-21A), The stubby canard Kfir
  • 1 month later...

I wonder if this might be the Kfir referenced in the leak list...
I could see it being the pack premium, especially as it has a wealth of liveries that can be used as GE skins, or pre-order camos.
Could it carry either AIM-9Ls or Python IIIs at all?

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8 hours ago, Shin_Kazama_ said:

Could it carry either AIM-9Ls or Python IIIs at all?

No, at least not that I've been able to confirm. Unlike the Kfir C.2 and C.7 there are no photos of this Kfir variant carrying Python 3. There is evidence the wiring was changed from the early production Kfirs which were modified into the Kfir Gderot, namely the addition of the countermeasure pods, but there isn't any evidence that changes were made to incorporate these more advanced missiles. To be fair I think this is actually a good thing, because if it does get added perhaps it could justify a lower BR for this machine which it could really benefit from, and would serve to better seperate it from the Kfir C.2 which it is otherwise very similar to in overall performence.

Edited by yoyolast

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4 hours ago, yoyolast said:

No, at least not that I've beenable to confirm. Unlike the Kfir C.2 and C.7 there are no photos of this Kfir variant carrying Python 3. There is evidence the wiring was changed from the early production Kfirs which were modified into the Kfir Gderot, namely the addition of the countermeasure pods, but there isn't any evidence that changes were made to incorporate these more advanced missiles. To be fair I think this is actually a good thing, because if it does get added perhaps it could justify a lower BR for this machine which it could really benefit from, and would serve to better seperate it from the Kfir C.2 which it is otherwise very similar to in overall performence.

I actually just received confirmation from a trustworthy source (a guy who works with the DCS Kfir module discord server) that all Kfirs had the LAU-7 rail, meaning they could carry 9Ls.
However, as my friend stated, it would be better for them to just give it 9Gs tops to keep it at a lower br.

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2 hours ago, Shin_Kazama_ said:

I actually just received confirmation from a trustworthy source (a guy who works with the DCS Kfir module discord server) that all Kfirs had the LAU-7 rail, meaning they could carry 9Ls.
However, as my friend stated, it would be better for them to just give it 9Gs tops to keep it at a lower br.

Oh, well that's good to know, though compatibility doesn't mean they actually ever carried IRL so idk :dntknw:

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36 minutes ago, yoyolast said:

Oh, well that's good to know, though compatibility doesn't mean they actually ever carried IRL so idk :dntknw:

Right. However, Gaijin does seem to be willing to make exceptions for certain planes, where as long as they COULD be carried, they'll allow it.
Still, I feel like if they do it, it's just gonna be two AIM-9Gs tops

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  • 2 weeks later...
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Moved to Implemented Suggestions. :salute:

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