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Colombia freezes Kfir replacement programme

25th May 2021 - 15:39 GMT | by Wilder Alejandro Sanchez in Washington DC

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The Colombian fleet of Kfir fighters is approaching obsolete status. (Photo: Colombian MoD)

Colombia may be left without a viable fighter fleet from 2023.

Budget constraints have prompted new Colombian finance minister José Manuel Restrepo (in post since 3 May) to place on indefinite hold the long-awaited acquisition of new multirole fighters to replace the air force’s fleet of 23 ageing Kfir aircraft.

'What is a priority and what is not?… I can tell Colombians: for those planes there is no money, they are not a priority,' Restrepo explained to Colombian media outlet Blu Radio on 5 May, adding that the Kfir replacement programme is 'postponed indefinitely'.

Instead, the Colombian government is prioritising social programmes but time is running out before the Kfirs reach

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