Military Aviation

IAI COULD BRING FIVE SRI LANKA AIR FORCE KFIR FIGHTERS BACK INTO SERVICE

The Sri Lanka Air Force acquired six Kfir C.2s and a single TC.2 in 1995–1996. The service added additional nine aircraft to its inventory by 2005

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is said to be in talks with Sri Lanka to restore the serviceability of five Kfir fighters currently grounded.

According to Colombo Page which cites Jane’s Defence Weekly as the source, Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) should replace soon its ageing fleet of Kfirs and MiG 27 aircraft with eight newly built multirole fighters which could be MiG-35 Fulcrum-Foxtrots.

The IAI Kfir is an Israeli-built all-weather, multirole combat aircraft based on a modified French Dassault Mirage 5 airframe, with Israeli avionics and an Israeli-built version of the General Electric J79 turbojet engine.

The aircraft entered service with the Israeli Air Force (IAF) in 1975 and was withdrawn from active duty during the second half of the 1990s, after almost twenty years of continuous service.

The SLAF acquired six Kfir C.2s and a single TC.2 in 1995–1996. The service added additional nine aircraft to its inventory by 2005, including four C.2s and four C.7s acquired in 2000. The SLAF used its Kfirs to carry out attacks against Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels during Sri Lankan Civil War. Two Kfir C.7s were destroyed on the ground in an LTTE attack against SLAF Katunayake air base, part of Bandaranaike International Airport, on Jul. 24, 2001. Three others were lost in non-combat related accidents during the Civil War period while none were lost in aerial combat. In March 2011, two Kfirs collided in mid-air during an airshow rehearsal.

Photo credit: Chamal Pathirana via Wikipedia

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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