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The writing of this book, the first in-depth and fully detailed research about the early years of the Chel Ha'avir - from the light-plane days to the supersonic fighters received roughly ten years later - is the culmination of a long research period by the author. Research that was made harder by the tight - but understandable and respected - security measures involving Israel's Forces. An exceptional source of information has been the help provided by many Chel Ha'Avir veterans who fought in the early days during 1948/1949, and those who helped establish a viable air force in 1949-1956 in spite of tight budgets, obsolescent equipment and lack of experience, and also those who fought in Sinai in late 1956, establishing the seeds for its future role as the airborne shield of Israel. As the reader will discover, the beginnings were extremely hard, and the Chel Ha'Avir had to face unfriendly attitudes from both the United States and the United Kingdom, which took place while many people - civilian and military - were dying in the newborn Hebrew state. But in observing that official policies do not always reflect the citizenship's feelings, most of the colorful band of foreign volunteers that helped the Chel Ha'avir - and the other defense forces - to resist, fight back and win, came from those countries. These foreign volunteers, mostly with combat experience in World War II, provided a core in which many highly talented young Israelis learned fast. One thing was certain, then and now; Israel exists because of the resolute people that live in this small country, both civilian and military, but above all because of the Chel Ha'avir which in the following years would be proclaimed the most combat experienced air force in the world.
Covering the aircraft of 21 nations, this book offers illustrated portraits of 330 of the best-known and most significant military aircraft in history, from the canvas-covered biplanes of World War I to the technological marvels of today, and includes technical data and aviation lore.
The Lavi fighter program, the largest weapons-development effort ever undertaken by the State of Israel, envisioned a new generation of high-performance aircraft. In a controversial strategy, Israel Aircraft Industries intended to develop and manufacture the fighters in Israel with American financial support. The sophisticated planes, developed in the mid-1980s, were unique in design and intended to make up the majority of the Israeli air force. Though considerable prestige and money were at stake, developmental costs increased and doubts arose as to whether the Lavi could indeed be the warplane it was meant to be. Eventually the program became a microcosm for the ambitions, fears, and internal divisions that shaped both the U.S.-Israeli relationship and Israeli society itself. But the fighter never made it to operational service, and until now, the full breadth and significance of the Lavi story have never been examined and presented. Lavi: The United States, Israel, and a Controversial Fighter Jet traces the evolution of the Lavi fighter from its genesis in the 1970s to its scrapping in August 1987. John W. Golan examines the roles of Israeli military icons and political leaders such as Ezer Weizman, Ariel Sharon, Menachem Begin, and Yitzhak Rabin in the program and in relation to their counterparts in the United States. On the American side, Golan traces the evolution of government policy toward the program, detailing the complex picture of the U.S. foreign policy apparatus and of U.S.-Israeli relations in general--from President Reagan's public endorsement of the program on the White House lawn to Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger's unremitting attempts to cancel it in succeeding years.
Never before has there been a book published on the aircraft, units and exploits of the Israel Air Force in such depth. Interest in the IAF has always been high and seldom are its aircrew and aircraft out of the world's headlines. Previous books have failed to satisfy, either being sensationalist and low on factual content, or lacking in fundamental research. Bill Norton has trawled through thousands of documents, reports, and illustrations to produce a work that is staggering in its depth and knowledge. Those that think they know the IAF will find a wealth of new material and countless previously published 'facts' re-evaluated and righted. Detailed type-by-type coverage supported by a barrage of photographs of the IAF from the mixed bag of aircraft of its formative days, through the Suez Campaign, the Six Day War, Yom Kippur and on to be a sophisticated, well-equipped force, arguably the most experienced in the world. Included for the first time are all of the badges and heraldry of the units of the IAF, in full color.
Written by more than 100 international scholars and experts, this encyclopedia chronicles the individuals, equipment, and drama of nearly a century of aerial combat.
Impartial documentation and background information fundamental to the understanding of Arab-Israeli relations. Key Features: * Covers in detail the years since the first Arab-Israeli war and the statehood of Israel, in 1947-48, to the most recent developments in relations between Israel, the emerging Palestinian political entities and the Arab States * A chronology provides an at-a-glance record of events from 1947-2001 * A Documents on Palestine section gives essential background to the various ongoing areas of dispute * Profiles of prominent political figures * A bibliography section * A series of maps illustrating the history of Arab-Israeli conflict and recent peace initiatives and settlement issues.

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