Colombia’s military will purchase roughly US$4 billion in military
hardware including aircrafts, armored vehicles and small arms to
upgrade and modernize its armed forces, El Tiempo reported Tuesday.
The upgrade will modernize several branches of the Colombian armed forces by supplying new military hardware, which will include naval vessels and submarines from France and Germany, and 25 training aircraft to be assembled in Colombia, said Vice Minister of Defense, Juan Carlos Pinzón.
By the end of the year the armed forces will receive 15 U.S.
manufactured Black Hawk helicopters and five Russian-made MI-17
helicopters, and 20 105-mm artillery canons, Pinzón said.
And in March the Air Force will receive four Israeli-built KFir fighter
jets, the first shipment of a total of 24 of the aircraft to be
delivered new or reconditioned and modernized, Pinzón said.
The deal, to be financed through a special tax earlier decreed by the
government, also includes 30 armored vehicles, 12 attack helicopters,
60 fast boats and other vessels, and Caravan and Super King aircraft.
Through an accord with a U.S. manufacture, 25 training aircraft will be
built in Colombia, Pinzón said.
An unspecified amount of unmanned aircraft are also included in the deal.
effectively makes Colombia an arms manufacturer — and the only builder
in the world to make Israeli-designed Galil rifles to be used as the
official rifle of the Colombian soldier.
Military Industries, Ltd, the designer of the rifles) is to see the
possibility to make ourselves a factory, or at least in part, for the
next generation of Galil assault rifles,” Pinzón said.
Through compensation agreements with international corporations,
Colombia will receive the equivalent of $1.2 billion U.S. throughout 10
years reflected in trading technology and trading of knowledge and
education. These agreements have been reached with important industries
in Israel, the United States and France.