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Fresh upgrade boosts Colombia's Kfir fleet

Israel Aerospace Industries has upgraded the Colombian air force's Kfir fighters to its latest C-60 standard, enabling the type to carry an expanded range of weapons and sensors.

Benjamin Cohen, general manager of IAI's Lahav division, says the avionics suite at the heart of the upgrade is similar to the one installed in the Lockheed Martin F-16 Block 52.

In its C-60 configuration, the Kfir receives a "zero-hour" GE Aviation J79 engine, and retains the Israeli-produced type's Elta Systems EL/M-2032 active electronically scanned array radar. This uses an open-architecture design, enabling customers to install other systems to their aircraft.

Colombia had previously modernised its Kfirs to IAI's C-10/12 configuration, fielding its first example in that standard in 2009.

In a further boost for the nation's air force, Bogotá also has acquired two Kfir TC-2 two-seat trainers. The assets will replace four aircraft lost to attrition between 2009 and 2014.

Colombian officials had considered returning two surplus Dassault Mirage 2000-5s to use before buying the additional Kfirs several months ago.

Flight Fleets Analyzer records the Colombian air force as having an active fleet of 21 of the IAI-produced combat aircraft, with its newly acquired trainers yet to enter use.

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