ISRAEL MAY RECONSIDER plans to sell eight Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) Kfir fighters to Ecuador following intervention by the US Government. Washington has acted after a request from Peru, which believes that the deal could damage peace talks with Ecuador.

The $40 million deal, was concluded in late December following, approval by the USA. The Clinton Administration has now asked Israel more questions about the deal. Four Kfirs are ready for immediate delivery. The other four have to still to be overhauled after being stored for more than a year.

Ecuador purchased 12 Kfirs in 1981. Those aircraft from the Israeli air force inventory were overhauled by IAI. The new deal will also involve overhaul and a basic upgrade, to be performed by IAI. Israel had to ask for US approval, to sell the aircraft because, the Kfir is powered by the, General Electric J79.

Ecuador and Peru were engaged in an undeclared war early in 1995 over territory.

Ecuador already has one of the best-equipped air forces in Latin America, boasting a fleet of Dassault Mirage F.1s and Kfir interceptors, backed up by Sepecat Jaguars, British Aerospace Strikemasters and Cessna A-37s.

Peru also has a large air force, incorporating Dassault Mirage 2000s and Mirage Vs, and Sukhoi Su-20s and Su-22s.

Source: Flight International