Two air forces eyeing Block 60 Kfirs, says IAI

Tel Aviv
Source: Flightglobal.com
This story is sourced from Flightglobal.com

Israel Aerospace Industries is in "very advanced negotiations" with at least two air forces that want to purchase the company's upgraded Kfir fighter in its Block 60 configuration.

"We are capable of delivering the Block 60 within a year, and we have indications that in two to three years two squadrons will be sold," an IAI source says.

The Kfir Block 60 is the latest upgrade for the Israeli-made fighter, which has been flying now for 40 years. The variant is offered with a General Electric-designed J79 engine with zero hours after a total overhaul, and will need another one after 1,600 flight hours.

Elta Systems will supply its EL/M-2032 active electronically scanned array radar, with open architecture avionics to allow a customer to install other systems.

According to Elta, the new sensor will provide an all-aspect, look-down/shoot-down performance in air-to-air and air-to-ground missions, with the capability to simultaneously track up to 64 targets.

All of the ex-Israeli air force Kfirs that have been stored at one of the service's desert bases for several years are to be transferred to an IAI upgrade facility. "This line will be busy in the coming years," the IAI source says.

Current users of previously-upgraded Kfirs include Colombia and Ecuador.