The Royal Jordanian Army and Air Force (RJAF) is attempting to sell more than two dozen aircraft, including six recently delivered Rainbow CH-4B unmanned air vehicles (UAV) built by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC).
The country’s armed forces posted its intent to sell the aircraft online on 3 June without explanation. It will close bidding on 1 July.
The RJAF declines to explain specific issues with aircraft or sale prices, says Colonel Ayman Al Habahbeh, chief of aircraft supply branch.
“We are selling these platforms to meet our plans in restructuring our air force and downsizing it to be more effective, and have a common configuration of platforms that can be more-easily sustained,” he says.
In total, the Jordanian armed forces are advertising 29 aircraft for sale: two Airbus C-295 transport aircraft; two CASA/IPTN CN-235 transport aircraft; one Lockheed C-130B transport aircraft; 12 BAE Systems Hawk jet trainers; six CH-4B UAVs; and six MD Helicopters MD 530 light helicopters.
Many of the aircraft are well worn. For example, its six MD 530 helicopters have an average age of nearly 31 years, according to Cirium’s Fleets Analyzer.
However, its six CH-4B UAVs were reportedly delivered about two years ago. The RCAF told Shepard Media in November 2018 it was not happy with the aircraft’s performance and was looking to retire them.
CASC has been accused of copying the design of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems' MQ-9 Reaper UAV, due to the CH-4B’s close resemblance. Nonetheless, many countries in the Middle East have chosen to buy what critics call “knock-off” Chinese UAVs because the Missile Technology Control Regime restricts the USA to exporting its large, fast-moving UAVs to only its closest allies.
Updated on 5 June to include comment from the RJAF