SriLanka Turn to Refurbish Kfir Fighters


The Srilankan Air Force (SLAF) is planning to replace its obsolete Kfir and MiG-27 fighters with eight used aircraft. Last year the SLAF had only one operational Kfir – the remaining six aircrafts are grounded. “We have seven MiG aircrafts and eight other aircrafts but none of them can be used.” Cabinet Spokesman and Parliamentary Reforms and Media Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka said. The Cabinet of Ministers in Colombo approved a procurement plan for fighter planes but the offers received so far did not provide financing for the acquisition. Offers for new built aircraft were received both from Pakistan and India. Pakistan proposed the JF-17 Thunder, produced by the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex/Chengdu Aircraft Industry Corporation (PAC/CAC). India offered the Tejas light combat aircraft produced by Hindustan Aerospace Ltd. Lacking financial arrangements for the procurement, SLAF is considering the refurbishment and modernization of five of the remaining Kfirs to bring those fighters back into service. Between 1995 and 2005 Sri Lanka acquired a total of 16 Kfir fighter jets from Israel, but seven were lost due to accidents or ground attacks on airbases during the Sri Lankan Civil War.