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IAI Nesher (Vulture)

Israel (1972)
Picture of IAI Nesher (Vulture) Multi-Role Fighter Aircraft

The IAI Nesher was an Israeli take on the French Mirage 5 attack platform - fewer than sixty-five were produced.


Detailing the development and operational history of the IAI Nesher (Vulture) Multi-Role Fighter Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 6/19/2017. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

The nation of Israel, in its modern incarnation, was born into war and this meant that a ready and willing military needed to be established for the country to exist when surrounded by largely Arab neighbors. In the early going, it was simple enough to purchase military equipment from retired stocks found around the globe and the first generation Israeli Army even featured M4 Sherman tanks among other classic vehicles. In time it soon became apparent to authorities that local initiatives should be undertaken to help create a more independent Israel in terms of military power. This work begat a slew of products of which some became successful additions to the Israeli arsenal and others faded into history.

The IAI "Nesher" (Hebrew for "Vulture") was brought along the lines of a multi-role platform with strike capabilities built into the design while also retaining fighter-like prowess. The basis for the aircraft became the French Dassault "Mirage 5", a globally popular multirole fighter introduced during the 1960s and produced to the tune of 582 aircraft. The Israelis entered into talks with the French government to procure the type but regional tensions led to an embargo on Israel - though the initial batch of aircraft was allowed to complete its production run.

However, these aircraft were never officially handed over to the Israeli Air Force (IAF) - Israel was refunded their purchase money by the French government. From this, two sides of a story emerged with one claiming that the Israelis rebuilt the line from blueprints and another claiming that the French did, indeed, delivered unassembled Mirage Vs to the Israelis in secret. At any rate, the Israeli-manufactured version (whether officially licensed or not) of the Mirage 5 became known as the IAI "Nesher". IAI Bedek Aviation Division even completed the French SNECMA Atar 09C turbojet engines for the line.
The primary difference between the Mirage 5 and the Nesher was in the latter's reliance on Israeli-developed avionics. It also provided the pilot with a Martin-Baker JM6 series "zero-zero" ejection seat. Additionally, the armament suite supported both the American AIM-9 "Sidewinder" short-ranged air-to-air missile as well as the indigenous Rafael "Shafrir" ("Dragonfly") AAM and Rafael "Luz" air-to-surface missile. The SNECMA engine produced 13,670 pounds of thrust with afterburning which gave good performance in service.

The Nesher, in prototype form, went to the air for the first time during September of 1969. A short period of testing and evaluation followed which led to deliveries in 1971 and service entry coming in 1972. Fifty-one of the combat-ready planes were taken on as well as ten of the two-seat trainer form. They received their baptism of fire during the Yom Kippur War (1973) and gave an excellent account of themselves - managing over 100 air kills in the conflict.

"Nesher S" marked the base, single-seat attack forms for the IAF and these were followed by the "Nesher T" designation marking two-seat trainers. When the upcoming IAI "Kfir" aircraft entered into IAF plans, the IAI Nesher was marginalized and eventually offered for export - to which Argentina took the Israelis up on the offer. These were then designated as "Dagger A" and "Dagger B" respectively and delivered in batches during 1978-1979 and 1981-1982. Numbers totaled 35 of the single-seat attackers and four trainers. At least five were procured by the South African Air Force.

Because of its close association with the French Mirage 5, dimensions and performance figures for the Nesher were quite close in comparison. Overall length was 51.35 feet with a wingspan of 26.97 feet and height of 14.76 feet. Empty weight was 14,550 lb against a Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) of 29,762 lb. Maximum speed reached 1,460 miles per hour with ranges out to 808 miles, a service ceiling of 58,000 feet and a rate-of-climb nearing 16,400 feet-per-minute.

Israeli use of Neshers officially ended in 1977.






Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

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Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 1500mph
Lo: 750mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (1,460mph).

    Graph average of 1125 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the IAI Nesher (Vulture)'s operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
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Pie graph section
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Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
61
61


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
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National Flag Graphic
Origin: Israel
Year: 1972
Type: Multi-Role Fighter Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) - Israel
Production: 61
Global Operators:
Argentina; Israel; South Africa
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the IAI Nesher (Vulture) model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
1


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
51.35 ft


Meters
15.65 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
26.97 ft


Meters
8.22 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
14.76 ft


Meters
4.5 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
14,551 lb


Kilograms
6,600 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
29,762 lb


Kilograms
13,500 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x SNECMA Atar 09C turbojet engine developing 13,688lb thrust with afterburner (9,435lb dry).

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
1,460 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
2,350 kph


Knots
1,269 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
808 mi


Kilometers
1,300 km


Nautical Miles
702 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
58,005 ft


Meters
17,680 m


Miles
10.99 mi


Performance
CLIMB RATE


Feet-per-Minute
16,400 ft/min


Meters-per-Minute
4,999 m/min

Supported Weapon Systems:

Graphical image of an aircrat automatic cannon
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition
Armament - Hardpoints (5):

STANDARD:
2 x 30mm DEFA 552 internal cannons

OPTIONAL:
Up to 8,800 lb of conventional ordnance across five external hardpoints.
Variants: Series Model Variants
• Nesher - Base Series Name
• Nesher S - Base Fighter-Bomber model; 51 examples
• Nesher T - Two-seat trainer variant; 10 examples
• Dagger A - Export Nesher S to Argentina; 35 examples
• Dagger B - Export Nesher T to Argentina; four examples