Saturday, January 24, 2015

Is Air Force Souring on its F-16s?

Chile's Air Force let out an unusual critique of the F-16s it acquired from the Netherlands, raising questions about the condition of the country's front-line aviation assets. The news came in a roundabout way. Colombia's air force is shopping for new fighter jets, and is considering used F-16s. As part of that evaluation, Colombian aviators checked in with Chile's Air Force, which is the largest operator of F-16s in Latin America. Chile's response wasn't encouraging: Think twice about buying used F-16s, they said. Chilean officers said the cost and effort to upgrade the used F-16s have been more than expected, according to a report in Defensa.com. The article also quotes a Dutch officer who says some key components were replaced with used parts of lower quality before the planes were transferred to Chile. Moreover, to win U.S. approval for the sale, the Dutch had to downgrade key elements of each plane, including the radar, software, and had to remove the hardware to fire AIM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air missiles and anti-radiation missiles. FACh is upgrading all second-hand F-16s, which have already gone through the midlife upgrade, to the Tape 4 standard, which includes capabilities for advanced air-to-air missiles, advanced targeting pods and other electronic upgrades.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

So how capable are those F-16s really?

Juan Carlos Arancibia said...

Let me put it this way: They are just as capable, if not more so, than anything Peru, Argentina and Bolivia can put in the air.

Anonymous said...

When the Niederland DECOMMISSIONED part of its F-16 fleet was for a reason. Those airplanes no longer meet the standards for active service, in other words got OBSOLETE, but Chilean buyers jump and bougth at overprise value such fleet. When you buy a second hand car, ship or airplane you assume the risks of maintenance , obiosly too much surpraises have happend with it. Thats why they are not sure if those expensive toys can perform propely under extreme stress.

Cristian Lagow said...

1-The f-16 were not obsolete, the RNLAF sold them due to budget cuts, some of them where just updated to MLU others had the MLU done in Chile.
2-The F-16 are very capable, the point it has taken a lot of work to put them up to the Block-50 that where bought new.
3-There is no information about any Chilean air force personnel stating to think twice before buying a second hand F-16... what it is known.
4- What it is know is that the pilots from Colombia want new airplanes after all the problems they had with the Kfir.... What it is known is the all pilot from Colombia want NEW airplanes... and i cannot blame them, everyone wants new but another thing is getting it.