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Wed, Mar 17, 2010

Venezuela Takes Delivery Of Chinese Fighter Jets

Six Chinese-Built K-8 Aircraft Undergoing Flight Testing

China has delivered six K-8 training and light attack jets to Venezuela it says are for defense and drug interdiction. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez (pictured) has order a total of 18 of the planes.

Chavez turned to China when a deal to buy similar aircraft from Embraer fell through because they include systems developed by the U.S. Reuters reports that the jets will primarily be used to intercept drug traffickers who make stops in Venezuela en route between Colombia and the U.S.

Venezuela, a member of OPEC, has also purchased 10 radar systems from China, as well as Russian fighters. The country had a fleet of F-16's, but can no longer keep them flying because of a U.S. embargo which has been in place since 2006.

FMI: www.dod.gov

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