The Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is in talks with Sri Lanka to upgrade Kfir fighter jets of the Sri Lanka Air Force, The Jerusalem Post has learned.
Sri Lanka purchased a total of 16 Kfir jets from Israel between 1995 and 2005; at least seven were lost during the 26-year-long Sri Lankan civil war and IAI is in talks with Colombo to upgrade and return to service its five grounded Kfir jets.
Manufactured at the Lahav division of the Military Aircraft Group in Israel, the Kfirs are designed as a versatile all-weather multi-role supersonic combat jet. The jets can fly at an altitude of 30,000m. with a maximum speed of 2,285 kph and has a range of 1,300 km. It has a maximum take-off weight of 14,600 kg. and can carry several air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles, bombs and other munitions.
While it is an Israeli-built jet, the Kfir had a short operational history with the Israel Air Force, entering service in 1975 and withdrawn from the IAF in the second half of the 1990s, just some twenty years later. Nonetheless, the Kfir has been sold to the air forces of Sri Lanka, Colombia and Ecuador. The jets are also used by ATAC, an American civilian company that provides enemy staging and trials for the US Navy.
Sources : news24
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