Austrian Defence Minister Karl von Leutgendorf flew home on Wednesday (1 September) after a four day visit to Israel.
Austrian Defence Minister Karl von Leutgendorf flew home on Wednesday (1 September) after a four day visit to Israel. The main purpose of his visit was for him and other Austrian government officials to inspect the Israeli-made KFIR jet fighter. The latest version - the KFIR-C2 - was unveiled in July.
SYNOPSIS: The KFIR 'Lion Cub' is used by the Israeli airforce. It's a single-seater plane capable of flying at two point two times speed of sound and is designed for aerial or air-to-ground combat. It's based on the design of the French Mirage and has the jet engine of the American Phantom. Priced at about two million pounds (4.5 million U.S. dollars) it's one of the cheapest fighters of its type in the world.
Early reports said that Austria was interested in buying 24 KFIR fighters but at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion airport shortly before leaving Israel, Brigadier von Leutgendorf said this wasn't the case. He said Austrian political parties still had to decide whether or not they wanted to even buy jet fighters. He expected a decision to be made within the next few months.