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Congressional Panel Says Israel’s Estimate of Lavi’s Cost is Accurate

A Congressional committee has found “extremely accurate” Israel’s estimates of the costs of the Lavi, its second generation jet combat plane, Israel Radio reported from Washington Wednesday.

The Israeli figures differ sharply from estimates by the Pentagon which found that the production costs — to be borne mainly by the U.S. — were excessive. A prototype of the new aircraft has been built by Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) incorporating many components, including the engine, built in the U.S.

The dispute over costs has held up the project. Israeli officials said the Americans based their higher figures on salaries and other expenses prevailing in the U.S. which greatly exceed production and wage levels in Israel.

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