Spoiler for :
The Colombian Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Colombiana - FAC) is looking to procure a new fighter aircraft type "over the next three to four years" to enhance its top-end air combat capabilities, a senior service official said on 14 November.
Speaking at the IQPC International Fighter Conference in London, Brigadier General Carlos Bueno, Air Operations Commander, FAC, said that the air force is considering a number of modern fighter types, such as the Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon, Sukhoi Su-30 'Flanker', Dassault Rafale, Dassault Mirage 2000, Saab JAS 39 Gripen, "and some more".
The FAC's frontline fighter fleet is currently composed of 19 single-seat Israeli Aircraft Industries (IAI) Kfir C.10/12s (plus three twin-seat variants for conversion training). It is understood that the new fighter will augment the FAC's newly upgraded Kfirs to boost the air force's air-to-air capabilities.
Given the potential candidates named by the general, it looks likely that the FAC will be looking to procure surplus aircraft rather than new-build. With the exception of the Rafale and Gripen, there are numerous used examples of the other types that might suit Colombia's needs.
Colombia has already embarked on an effort to replace its aging Cessna A-37 Dragonfly and Rockwell OV-10 Bronco ground attack platforms. Initial candidates include the Alenia/Embraer AMX, Aero Vodochody L159 ALCA, and BAE Systems Hawk.
Separately, Gen Bueno said that the FAC is looking to acquire an airborne early warning (AEW) capability. While he did not name potential aircraft types, his briefing slide showed the IAI G550 Conformal AEW (CAEW) platform.
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