The constant disagreements with Venezuela have motivated the Colombian government to study a modernization in its fleet of combat fighters. A few years ago, the South American air force considered buying used Eurofighter Typhoon or Lockheed Martin F-16 fighters, but the negotiations did not evolve.
This time, Colombia has received offers for new fighters that are expected to replace the Israeli Kfir aircraft, in service for three decades.
Among the manufacturers that have already had contact with “Fuerza Aerea de Colombia” are UAC (holding company that controls MiG), Airbus SE and Saab.
The Russians demonstrated the MiG-29 for the Colombian pilots in May, but it is said that there is another model included in the proposal. Meanwhile, Airbus wants to sell 15 new Typhoon fighters from Tranche 3, more modern and capable.
The latest interested in supplying the fighters to Colombia is Saab. In their package, the Swedes want to sell 12 Gripen E and 3 two-seat Gripen F. The manufacturer wants to take advantage of the partnership with Brazil to support Colombians – the Brazilian Air Force has acquired 36 Gripen fighters including the biplace version that will be manufactured in the country itself.
In addition to these competitors, Lockheed Martin would have made an offer with the F-16 Block 70 and even IAI is taking part in the dispute with an upgraded version of Kfir named Next-Generation. As is known, the Israeli fighter uses the cell of the old Mirage III.
Although the issue appears to have gained importance, Colombia does not detail how or when it will decide to replace its current fighters. According to recent reports, the air force would have 21 fighters active.