Foreign Assistance:

Analysis of Cost Estimates for Israel's Lavi Aircraft

NSIAD-87-76: Published: Jan 31, 1987. Publicly Released: Jan 31, 1987.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO evaluated conflicting cost estimates that the United States and Israel prepared for the Lavi fighter aircraft, which Israel is developing to replace its older fighter aircraft.

GAO found that: (1) Israel financed 90 percent of the development and initial production of the Lavi with U.S. foreign military sales (FMS) loans that Congress forgave; (2) the U.S. aircraft industry is heavily involved in the Lavi program; and (3) the Department of Defense (DOD) estimated that the Lavi would cost about $22.1 million per aircraft, or 52 percent more than the Israeli estimate of $14.5 million per aircraft. GAO adjusted the Israeli estimate to make it comparable to the DOD estimate and found that: (1) the Israeli-estimated hourly labor rates and other costs appeared low, while the DOD estimate for labor rates was high; (2) DOD overestimated the aircraft's weight; (3) DOD improperly adjusted its calculations for labor hours; (4) DOD overestimated the cost of materials; and (5) the DOD estimate could have been high by as much as $4.3 million. In addition, GAO found that, even using the lowest estimate, the Lavi's cost will: (1) exceed an Israeli-imposed annual spending limit for the aircraft; and (2) cause Israel to spend an increasing portion of its defense budget on the Lavi and damage its ability to meet its other defense needs.

Sep 23, 2020

Sep 8, 2020

Jan 23, 2020

Dec 19, 2019

  • budget icon, source: GAO

    State and Local Governments' Fiscal Outlook:

    2019 Update
    GAO-20-269SP: Published: Dec 19, 2019. Publicly Released: Dec 19, 2019.

Nov 14, 2019

Oct 16, 2019

Jun 26, 2019

Apr 10, 2019

Mar 27, 2019

Mar 22, 2019

Looking for more? Browse all our products here