Saturday, October 2, 2010
Air Force Taking Control of Dutch F-16s
Holland is transferring ownership of 18 used F-16 fighter jets to Chile on Wednesday, Oct. 6. The change starts a refurbishment process in which the warplanes will get software updates and otherwise be adapted for use by the FACH. Meanwhile, dozens of Chilean technicians will be trained. Deliveries are set to start at year-end, with the arrival of the first three planes. The $270 million acquisition gives the FACH a total of 44 F-16s, including the 10 Block 50 samples purchased new from the U.S in 2002. The Dutch aircraft have undergone the mid-life upgrade (MLU). UPI quoted analysts who believe the F-16s will be armed with the Python 4 and Derby missiles -- two of the most advanced air-to-air weapons. Both are made by Israel's Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. Even before the latest acquisition, Chile's air power was tops in Latin America, rivaled perhaps only by Venezuela's SU-30MK jets.