For a long time the Colombian Air Force (FAC) has been studying the idea of changing its Kfir fleet of air combat. For the Minister of Finance, Alberto Carrasquilla, it is an “absolute necessity”, since the Israeli fighter-bomber fleet that currently has the FAC was purchased three decades ago and it is difficult to get spare parts.
Hence it is pointed out that high-end airplanes are quite outdated for the national security and defense challenges facing the country.
In this sense, the Colombian Government analyzes the possibility of buying a new fleet of airplanes that could exceed USD $2 billion and proposals from manufacturing companies in Spain, Sweden and the United States are already heard.
A source assured PanAm Post that there is an interest from the Government of Iván Duque in acquiring the Kfir fighter jet squad. For now, there are three aircraft that are under the eyes of the Colombian Air Force; SAAB Gripen, Airbus Eurofighter and the Lockheed Martin F-16 Block 70.
The United States has made a lobby in Colombia to position the F-16 Block 70 fighter. General Andrew Croft, commander of the 12th U.S. Air Force. UU. and of the Southern Air Forces, he told the Foreing Policy that it would be a great advance to add a batch of 15 F-16 fighter jets to the arsenal of the Colombian Military Forces.
Although the FAC noted that the Kfir C-10 and C-12 are equipped with state-of-the-art technology to defend airspace, they are in the replacement plan because of the cost-benefit ratio of having this type of equipment and the complexity of Get the spare parts of the supply chain. In addition to the life of the aircraft structure.
“We need air superiority aircraft, that is, high-performance jet airplanes, with a high capacity for weapons and that meet the expectations of Colombians.
The F16 is one of the aircraft that meets those expectations,” said the commander of the Colombian Air Force, General Ramses Rueda.
On July 23, the FAC said in a statement that “replacing aircraft is a process that takes time for the management of resources to finance the project, the willingness to provide them, the production lines for the purchase of new aircraft or the availability of squadrons , among many other factors to consider”.
From his perspective, renewal is important, because “you cannot continue to ignore that the country has a latent threat to Venezuela and the regime’s allies,” he said.
“Renewing the aircraft fleet is not a warlike act. Precisely, Colombia is a country that, due to its internal conflict, developed military capabilities for an asymmetric war, never for a confrontation with another country. In this sense, Venezuela constitutes a threat and one way of deterring it is by acquiring this type of air capacity”.
He added that it is necessary to acquire the anti-aircraft missile system that is also a priority for the country.