The Kfir (lion cub) is an Israeli development based on the Mirage 5, and can trace it roots back to the Mirage IIIC adapted for Israeli use successfully as a Mach 2 all-weather interceptor with success, but they felt it lacked the loiter time that would be needed if a ground-attack role was to be added its task list. As a result of an arms embargo, Israel built the Nesher, which was then improved further and was suitably different to be renamed as the Kfir. It entered service in 1975, and was almost immediately superseded in the air superiority role when the first F-15s arrived from America.
The C2 variant added more swept canards, dog-tooth leading edges to the wings and strakes under the nose, while the C7 had more hard-points added under the air intakes, a new engine with more thrust, in-flight refuelling probe, plus many upgrades to the avionics, which includes HOTAS capabilities.
It continued in service into the late 90s, after which it was replaced by more modern aircraft. The aircraft has been sold to Ecuador, Columbia and Sri Lanka, though all have had to be approved by the US as it uses a licence built J79 engine. During the late 1980s the US Marine Corps & US Navy leased 25 C1 version for adversary training designating them the F-21 Lion.
C2 #874, 101 Tajeset Israeli AF (Two tone grey)
C7 #543 "Zohar" The Arava Guardians Sqn, Israeli AF (Green/Brown/Sand)
C2 N401AX, Airborne Tactical Advantage Company (ATAC), USA