Mon, Sep 20, 2004
While More Than Half The Country's F-16 Fleet Is Grounded By
Perhaps it's like having the
best of both worlds. The Venezuelan Air Force has reportedly signed
a deal with Russia for 50 MiG-29s, all equipped with the latest in
armaments and avionics, according to UPI. The wire service cited US
and South American sources suddenly very worried about what
Venezuela might want to do with that kind of firepower.
Right now, Venezuela's air force as 22 US-built F-16 fighters.
But half of them are sitting on the ground because of maintenance
problems. Venezuelan defense officials are also quoted as saying
they want another military relationship, since the one it has with
the US is quickly deteriorating.
"The total quantity of airplanes provided is of 40 single-seat
planes and 10 twin-seat planes," said Venezuelan air force. Those
two-place aircraft are, according to defense analysts, generally
used for deep-strike ground support and bombing missions.
The Moscow Times quotes Venezuelan military leaders, who say a
handful of highly-qualified pilots have been sent to Cuba for
MiG-29 training. Cuba has six of the high-performance
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