Jan 13, 2014
Argentina seeks Kfir deal with Israel
Argentina is negotiating a deal to purchase 18 rebuilt and upgraded Kfir Block 60 fighters from Israel Aerospace Industries. The acquisition could be an alternative to a planned deal to buy 16 former-Spanish air force Dassault Mirage F1s for the nation's air force.
IAI in September 2013 said it was in advanced negotiations with at least two air forces that wanted to purchase its Block 60-standard Kfir. A company source projected that first aircraft deliveries could occur within a year of a deal being signed, with a market existing to sell "two- to three-squadrons".
As the latest upgrade of the Israeli-made fighter, the new configuration involves giving the General Electric J79-powered aircraft a total overhaul, and re-equipping it with an Elta Systems EL/M-2032 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar and an open architecture avionics suite.
Originally developed for the Israeli air force and first flown more than 40 years ago, the Kfir is currently in active service with three operators: Colombia, Ecuador and Sri Lanka. The Colombian air force's C10/C12-standard examples are the most recent to have been supplied, and are equipped with Elta's AESA radar, large-screen multifunction displays, a Rafael Litening targeting pod. They are also adapted for in-flight refuelling.