Kfir fighters offered to Africa


The Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Kfir Block 60 fighter aircraft that were intended to be sold to Argentina are now being offered to an African country.

Officials from that country recently visited Israel to negotiate the purchase of the upgraded fighter aircraft and other systems like different types of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

Argentina last year halted negotiations about a possible purchase of 12-14 upgraded Kfir Block 60 fighters. Israeli sources said on 15 March that “political reasons” caused negotiations to end.

Other sources said that the US objected the sale. The Kfir is powered by a US-made J79 engine. The Block 60 is offered by IAI with a J79 engine with zero hours after a total overhaul and Elta 2032 AESA radar.

Kfir fighters are in service with the air forces of Sri Lanka, Ecuador and Colombia. The latter’s have been upgraded with Elta EL/M-2032 radar, Rafael Litening targeting pod, aerial refuelling capability and improved cockpit displays.

According to sources in Argentina, the Argentinean government received a proposal from Paris for the acquisition of between 20 to 24 second-hand Dassault Mirage 2000C fighter jets.

IAI subsequently sought to sell the Kfirs elsewhere, such as to the United States for ‘Red Air’ aggressor training. Options include private companies ATAC and Draken International.