Warplanes: Killer Kfirs For Colombia

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July 8, 2009: Colombia has received the first of twelve upgraded Kfir fighters. The new gear includes new avionics, a new (EL/M-2032) fire control radar and modern electronic warfare equipment. Colombia is upgrading older Kfir C7s to the C10 standard. The most recent batch will be delivered as Kfir C10s.

It was last year, that Colombia bought 13 Kfir fighters from Israel. This 1980s vintage, 16 ton aircraft is based on the French Mirage III, but much upgraded from the original 1970s design. It can carry six tons of weapons. It can go as high as 75,000 feet, has a max speed of 2,400 kilometers an hour and a normal operating radius of 700 kilometers. Sorties normally last 2-3 hours.

 Israel built 185 Kfirs, and still has over a hundred in storage. Israel has been trying to sell them as an inexpensive alternative to jets of more recent vintage. Kfirs have two 30mm cannon built in. It's only equipped to use short range, heat seeking air-to-air missiles, but can also deliver laser and GPS guided smart bombs as well as Maverick and anti-radiation missiles. Apparently, Colombia will equip the Kfirs with electronic monitoring pods, to track the movements of leftist rebels and drug gangs, and then use smart bombs to attack targets in remote areas. Colombia bought 13 Kfirs C7s in 1989 (for about $15 million each), and still has 12 in service. The Kfir C10s have a new radar, that has a range of 140 kilometers (for air or ground targets.) This new version will probably cost close to $20 million each.

 

 


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