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Colombia buys 24 Israeli jet fighters

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Amid mounting tensions between Colombia and Venezuela, Colombian defense

minister announces the purchase of 24 Israeli fighter jets.

 

Colombia's Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos made the announcement after

meeting with Israeli War Minister, Ehud Barak.

 

"There is an agreement to buy 24 renovated Kfir fighter planes from Israel,

whose construction has already started. And the planes will be delivered at

the start of next year," Santos said.

 

In his visit to Israel the Colombian minister also held meetings with senior

military officials as well as Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert.

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Arent the kfirs prety outdated by now.

 

 

If they bought C.7s then by about 20 years. C.10s would be about 14 or 16 years old.

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Arent the kfirs prety outdated by now.

 

 

I'd specualte the airframe life would be extended and the avionics suite probably upgraded to the latest standard. Remember the Israeli Elbit (is it ?) company that did amazing job offering upgraded Mig-21.

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I'd specualte the airframe life would be extended and the avionics suite probably upgraded to the latest standard. Remember the Israeli Elbit (is it ?) company that did amazing job offering upgraded Mig-21.

 

 

MiG-21 2000? Just did some research and those Kfirs they are buying are C.10s.

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Those C10s are pretty badass for a 30yr old design/airframe. Just because they're from the 70s, don't expect them to have only steam gages and freefall bombs...

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Just did some research and those Kfirs they are buying are C.10s.

 

Even then, like I said there's a good chance the C.10 will be upgraded further, avionics suite and "refurbished" airframe. I'm quite certain the the Israeli's aren't just going to deliver aircraft's with 15 year old avionics, bet you there'll be some new goodies under the skin of these "new" C.10's

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Eh, it's Colombia. They're keen to let Chavez know he's not going to go building up his forces and have free rein...publicity is key.

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Well who other than Sri Lanka and Columbia are likely to buy Kfirs in this day and age even if they are refurbished, wouldn't they be better off buying secondhand F-16's?

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JM, since you're involved in the field, got a question for you, when an article quotes a price for the sale, does that also include after sales support such as spares, training etc ?

Edited by Atreides

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It's by whoever does the accounting and for whatever agenda they're pushing! :biggrin:

Usually the unit cost is called "flyaway" costs and is nothing beyond parts and labor to make one plane. I believe I saw the F-22A's "flyaway" cost was $141 million last year when LockMart signed a contract with the USAF for a single extra F-22 for some reason or other. Of course, usually there's a discount when you buy more than a few, but as multi year, multi unit contracts are already in place, adding just one plane isn't going to affect things much.

In this case, I have no idea how they arrive at that number. At a minimum it's for the cost of the planes. Is upgrading/refurb included? I'd guess. Parts and spares? Maybe. Armament to go with them? Possibly. Training, simulators? Who knows? Lifecycle costs for the amount of time they're expected to stay in service? Another possibility.

 

That's why I've always laughed at quoted numbers for planes like the B-2 and F-22. When you have a small number of planes and you decide to put not only the cost of procurement but all those other things I mentioned PLUS EMD testing PLUS the original R&D and then divide by the number of planes bought, of course the B-2 shows up as billions per plane! In reality, I think to build one from scratch costs about as much as 2 1/2 large airplanes like C-17s, which really isn't that bad a deal.

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To add a little detail to what was already reported,

  • The 24 new airplanes are all ex-Israeli Kfir C10's, which will be refurbished prior to delivery.
  • These airplanes will join 9 Kfir C7's already in Columbia's inventory. As part of the deal, some or all of the existing C7's will also be upgraded. These aircraft currently make-up Columbia's 111th Squadron.
  • Less publicised but equally important, is that the arms sale is expected to include the delivery of additional munitions and missiles, including Litening targeting pods and Griffin laser-guided bomb kits, as well as Python 4 and Derby air-to-air missiles.

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Colombia Fighter Deal With Israel Includes Tanker

By barbara opall-rome

Published: 4 Mar 17:58 EST (12:58 GMT)

Print | Email

 

 

TEL AVIV, Israel - The December deal that will send 24 upgraded Kfir multirole fighters from Israel to Colombia has a second, secret part: an aerial refueling tanker to support the jets, according to defense and diplomatic sources here.

 

The $200 million deal to upgrade the Kfirs' avionics and structures was confirmed during an early February visit here by Colombian Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos.

Related Topics

Americas

Middle East & Africa

Air Warfare

 

But neither Israeli nor Colombian officials agreed to speak publicly on the estimated $60 million sale of a Boeing 767 to be converted by state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).

 

The sources said Bogota aims to boost its aerial strike capabilities and strategic standing in a region increasingly dominated by Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez and allied leftist leaders in Bolivia, Ecuador and Cuba.

 

Santos told reporters in February that work on the planes - taken from IAF excess inventory - had already begun, and that Colombia expected first deliveries to begin early next year.

 

But no one would talk on the record about the tanker purchase, which will greatly extend the reach of the Colombian Air Force, nor even about burgeoning bilateral defense trade, which last year exceeded $300 million in new orders.

 

Talk of Colombian-Israeli military ties, always sensitive, grew particularly quiet after the Colombian Air Force hit an insurgent camp across the border in Ecuador on March 2. More than a dozen rebels from the FARC terrorist organization were killed in the strike, which used Israeli precision missiles and targeting gear.

 

In response, Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa recalled his ambassador in Bogota. An outraged Chavez shut down his country's embassy in the Colombian capital and deployed tanks and troops along his western border.

 

Alternately denouncing Colombia as a vassal state in the U.S. empire and "the Israel of Latin America," Chavez stopped short of declaring war on Bogota.

 

"We don't want war, but we aren't going to permit the U.S. empire, which is the master [of Colombia]... to come divide us," Chavez was quoted by the Associated Press as saying in his weekly broadcast from Caracas.

 

U.S. Export Approval

 

Contracts for the Kfirs and the airborne tanker required Washington to grant export licenses for the American J79 turbojet engine powering the Kfir and the U.S.-built 767 airframe housing the aerial refueling system.

 

"Everything was done by the book, with full coordination and authorization by the U.S. authorities," an Israeli official said.

 

According to government and industry sources here, both contracts were signed at the end of 2007, involve participation of multiple Israeli defense firms, and will be managed by prime contractor IAI.

 

IAI's Lahav Division will lead work on the Kfir upgrade program while the firm's Bedek Division will be responsible for converting the Boeing passenger jet into an airborne tanker.

 

Sources here said the estimated $60 million sole-source tanker contract will be implemented under a government-to-government agreement that holds Tel Aviv responsible for all work provided by IAI.

 

Colombia already operates IAI-upgraded Kfir fighter bombers equipped with Python air-to-air missile and other Israeli-developed subsystems delivered in the late 1980s as part of an estimated $200 million, 14-aircraft modernization package. Similarly, its older-model Mirage aircraft have been upgraded with Kfir-related technologies, including fire-control radars, navigation and targeting systems, weaponry and in-flight refueling capabilities.

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