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Colombia would invest more than US $ 1 billion to renovate fighter jet fleet

The South American country has about 20 K-firs bought 30 years ago, so it considers the replacement of aircraft as a priority

Fuel supply aircraft and K-fir aircraft in flight

Gasoline supply plane and K-fir aircrafts during a flight / Reference image/ Pixabay

Reuters | Luis Jaime Acosta

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Colombia is evaluating proposals from the United States, Spain and Sweden to renew its fleet of Israeli-manufactured K-fir aircraft used to defend its sovereignty, the Air Force said on Tuesday, a purchase that could exceed US$ 1 billion, according to military sources

Leer en español: Colombia invertiría más de US$ 1.000 millones para renovar flota de aviones de combate

The South American country has about 20 K-firs bought 30 years ago, so it considers the replacement of aircraft as a priority, although they have the technology to respond to operational requirements, their lifespan is close to a limit.

"Different countries, including Spain, Sweden, and the United States, have submitted formal proposals to Colombia to replace its air superiority squad," said an Air Force statement.

"In this regard, aircraft such as SAAB Gripen, Eurofighter, and F-16 are under evaluation, a process that will allow the institution to present recommendations for decision-making, when the National Government needs it," the statement added.

The Air Force said that replacing aircraft is a process that takes time because of the resource management to finance the project, the willingness of bidders to provide them, production lines for the purchase of new aircraft or the availability of used squads, among many other factors to consider.

Also read: Colombia wants to enter the world copper market

Despite budget constraints, Iván Duque's Government is in favor of modernizing the equipment of the Military Forces to maintain a capacity for reaction, offensive and dissuasive that does not imply an arms race.

Recently a senior Airbus executive said the company presented an offer to sell 15 Eurofighter Typhoon planes to renew Colombia's air defense fleet.

Colombian Air Force sources said that although the ideal number would be a squad of 24 planes, the country's budget constraints will lead to a purchase of not more than 15 aircrafts.

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