ISRAEL AIRCRAFT Industries has stepped up efforts to sell its Kfir fighter to the Philippines, with an upgraded variant of the aircraft, dubbed the Kfir 2000, now being proposed.

The Israeli Company is offering the Kfir C-10, which is a post-production model with a revised avionics suite. It had previously been pushing the Kfir C7.

The upgraded Kfir 2000 version will be fitted with the Elta EL/M-2032 multi-mode radar originally developed for the Lavi fighter programme.

Fitting the Elta radar required a redesign of the aircraft's radome. A glass cockpit and ring laser-gyro inertial-navigation system, are part of the package.

The Israeli defence ministry has approved the export of Rafael Python 3 infrared air-air missiles as part of the offer, along with laser-guided bombs and other unspecified weapon systems.

The Philippines parliament has recently approved the budget for the restructuring of the armed forces, including funding for a combat-aircraft purchase.

Israel and the Philippines have been talking about a sale of up to 18 aircraft for over four years. A decision, however, is now expected by the end of this year.

Other contenders include, the USA, which has recently offered second-hand Lockheed F-16A/Bs, along with Russia, which has been seeking to sell MiG-29s, and France, which is offering Dassault Mirage F1s. South Africa has also proposed the Cheetah.

Source: Flight International