Bolivia Air Force is looking for fighter jets

After retiring the last T-33s in 2017, the South American country has only five armed K-8 jet trainers

Bolivia is looking for a new fighter to equip the country’s air force, Infodefensa said. With a border with five countries, the nation has not had a combat aircraft since 2017 when it took its latest Lockheed T-33 out of service.

Since then, Fuerza Aerea Boliviana has received proposals from possible suppliers. Two of them are neighbors Brazil and Argentina.

Embraer reportedly offered the A-29 Super Tucano light attack turboprop while Fadea did the same with the IA-63 Pampa III light jet.

The proposals closest to Bolivia’s requirements, however, are those made by South Korean KAI, UAC and Chinese Hongdu and Chengdu.

Korean Aerospace Industries bets on the T-50 and the supersonic light fighter variant FA-50, which came to be considered by the Argentine Air Force.

Hongdu, which provided six K-8 training jets to Bolivia ten years ago, would also be participating in the selection with supersonic trainer L-15 Falcon, which is a replica of Yakvlovev’s Yak-130, which would also participate in the competition.

Finally, Chendgu and PAC would have proposed the JF-17, the only de facto fighter on the list. Developed in China, the aircraft is mainly used by Pakistan, but has been offered on the international market.

Hongdu K-8 (alvaro)

Nigeria has just made three JF-17s operational while Argentina evaluates the Sino-Pakistani fighter.

The Bolivian Air Force planned to equip three squadrons (36 planes), but according to Infodefensa, the acquisition should be at least 20 aircraft.

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