Colombia is set to receive a $50 million Boeing aircraft from Israel, which will be unveiled at a celebration to mark 90 years of the country’s air force, reports El Espectador.
The Boeing KC 767 will be one of the largest aircraft in the Colombian fleet. It is equipped with two refuelling pods and can hold up to 215 people, according to commander of the air force General Julio Gonzalez.
Also on show at the event to be attended by President Santos will be the the first training aircraft to be produced in Colombia, which will replace the old T-34 mentor planes that have been in use since 1954.
The first T-90 Calima aircraft to be presented this weekend is part of a $10 million project that will see 25 planes produced by 2012.
The aircraft are being manufactured at the air force base in the municipality of Madrid, near Bogota, and there are plans to export the planes once the initial quota of 25 has been reached.
General Gonzalez stressed that the $10 million price tag was much more economical than purchasing the new planes abroad.
“Colombia has decided to introduce the technology of composite materials … and to move from analog to digital aviation,” said Gonzalez.
The aircraft can accommodate two pilots and an instructor, can reach speeds of 160 knots, and is able to fly at a height of 18,000 feet.