The modern incarnation of the State of Israel was born out of war, which meant that a willing army had to be sent so that the country could withstand the siege of most of its Arab neighbors. In the beginning, it was easy to buy military equipment from decommissioned stocks around the world, and the first-generation Israeli army even had M4 Sherman tanks, among other classic vehicles.
Over time, the authorities soon realized that local initiatives should be taken to help build a more independent Israel in terms of military might. This work resulted in a number of products, some of which became successful additions to Israel's arsenal, others went down in history.
The IAI "Nesher" ("Condor" in Hebrew) brings a multi-role platforming paradigm with amazing abilities built into the design while still retaining fighter-like abilities. The aircraft is based on the French Dassault Mirage 5, a globally popular multirole fighter introduced in the 1960s, with 582 built.
The Israelis negotiated with the French government to procure the aircraft, but regional tensions led to an embargo against Israel although the first planes were allowed to complete their production run.
However, the aircraft were never officially transferred to the Israeli Air Force (IAF) - the French government reimbursed Israel for their purchase price. This sparked two sides of a story, one claiming that the Israelis rebuilt the line according to blueprints, and the other claiming that the French actually secretly supplied the Israelis with disassembled Mirage Vs. Regardless, the Israeli-made version of the Mirage 5 (officially licensed or not) is called the IAI "Nesher".
IAI Bedek Aerospace even completed the French SNECMA Atar 09C turbojet for the line.
The main difference between the Mirage 5 and the Nesher is that the latter relies on Israeli-developed avionics. It also provides pilots with Martin-Baker JM6 series "Zero Zero" ejection seats. In addition, the armor kit supports the American AIM-9 Sidewinder short-range air-to-air missile and the indigenous Raphael Shaver ("Dragonfly") AAM and Raphael "Luz" air-to-surface missiles.
The SNECMA engine produced 13,670 pounds of afterburner thrust, providing good running performance.
The Nesher first flew as a prototype in September 1969. A brief testing and evaluation phase followed, culminating in delivery in 1971 and commissioning in 1972. 51 ready-to-fly fighter jets were employed, as well as 10 two-seater trainers.
They were baptized by fire during the Yom Kippur War (1973) and described themselves brilliantly - managing over 100 air strikes during the conflict.
"Nesher S" marks the IAF's basic single-seater attack form, followed by the "Nesher T" designation for a two-seater trainer. When the upcoming IAI aircraft "Kfir" entered the IAF program, the IAI Nesher was shelved and eventually offered for export - Argentina accepted Israel's offer. They were named "Dolch A" and "Dolch B" and shipped in batches in 1978-1979 and 1981-1982.
That number came to 35 seated attackers and 4 coaches. At least five were procured by the South African Air Force.
Due to its close relationship with the French Mirage 5, the Nesher is fairly close in size and performance by comparison. Overall length is 51.35 feet, with a wingspan of 26.97 feet and a height of 14.76 feet. Empty weight is 14,550 pounds and maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) is 29,762 pounds.
Top speed reaches 1,460 mph, range is up to 808 miles, service is capped at 58,000 feet, and climb rate approaches 16,400 feet. every minute.
Israeli use of Nescher officially ended in 1977.
- Close Air Support (CAS)
14.76 ft (4.5 m)
1,460 mph (2,350 km/h; 1,269 knots)
58,005 ft (17,680 m; 10.99 mi)
808 miles (1,300 km; 702 nautical miles)
16,400 ft/min (4,999 m/min)
2 x 30 mm DEFA 552 internal guns
Up to 8,800 lbs of conventional ammunition via five external hardpoints.
Nesher - Base series name
Nesher S - Basic fighter-bomber model; 51 examples
Nesher T - two-seat trainer variant; 10 examples
Dagger A - Export of Nesher S to Argentina; 35 examples
Dagger B - Export of Nesher T to Argentina; four examples