Twenty-five modified Kfir C.1s were leased to the US Navy and the US Marine Corps from 1985 to 1989, to act as adversary aircraft in dissimilar air combat training (DACT). These aircraft, designated F-21A Kfir, had narrow-span canard foreplanes and a single small rectangular strake on either side of the nose which considerably improved the aircraft's maneuverability and handling at low speeds.
The 12 F-21 aircraft leased to the US Navy, painted in a three-tone blue-gray "ghost" scheme, were operated by VF-43, based at NAS Oceana. In 1988 they were returned and replaced by the F-16N. The 13 aircraft leased to the United States Marine Corps were operated by VMFT-401 at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma. In addition to the blue-gray painted aircraft, the USMC also had some F-21s painted in Israeli colors and desert "flogger" schemes. These aircraft were replaced by F-5Es when the F-21s were returned in 1989.
Kfirs are also used by ATAC, a civilian company that provides fleet tactical aircraft and services to the US military. ATAC provides airborne tactical training, threat simulation, and research & development. They are based in Newport News, VA and also operate the Saab 35 Draken.
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