Colombia: an opportunity to replace Dassault Rafale M of the oldest Navy?

While the Colombian Kfir C7s will no longer be able to fly beyond December 31, 2024, the Dassault Rafale finds himself facing the Eurofighter Typhoon in a file which will have to be negotiated, and executed, with beating drums, to impose itself in South America. But this new configuration, a consequence of the severe estrangement between Colombia and Israel, could also offer opportunities to France, to replace the Rafale M the oldest which arm its naval aeronautics. Here's how…

The failed debut of Dassault Rafale in Colombia

Just a year ago, the Rafale of Dassault has come within striking distance of a new order in Colombia. The French aircraft had, in fact, been declared as the preferential choice of the Colombian air forces for the replacement of its Israeli KFIR C7, at the end of a particularly severe evaluation procedure pitting it against the Eurofighter. Typhoon, the American F-16 and the Swedish JAS 39 Gripen.

Dassault Rafale French Air and Space Force
Le Rafale of Dassault had been declared the winner of the competition organized by Bogotá in 2022. But difficulties encountered during the final negotiations derailed the contract at the end of the year.

Thus, a few days before the new year, and the end of the investment authorization given by the Colombian Parliament for this file, President Gustavo Petro publicly announced the upcoming signing of the contract with Dassault Aviation.

Obviously a hasty announcement, since the negotiations were not finished, while Bogotá wanted to order, on this deadline, only 3 or 4 aircraft for a little over $600 million, when the French aircraft manufacturer refused to commit on such a small order.

Anyway, at the very beginning of January, Colombian Defense Minister Ivan Velasquez announced that the negotiations had failed. Without calling into question the preferential objective of the Colombian Air Force concerning the Rafale, it was then necessary to resume negotiations on more solid foundations. At the same time, other aircraft manufacturers took advantage of the opportunity to submit new proposals to Bogotá. In this area, it seems that Madrid has distinguished itself, with an offer considered interesting by the Colombian authorities around the Eurofighter Typhoon Block 3.

In recent months, the issue seemed to be turning towards a competition between the European plane and the French fighter, to win in Colombia. But a new piece of data recently came to shake up the picture. Indeed, following exchanges of kindness between Colombian President Gustavo Petro and the Israeli Ambassador to Colombia, Gali Dagan, the two countries are now at loggerheads, including on arms issues.

Colombian KFIR C7s will no longer fly after December 31, 2024

As we mentioned last October, this quarrel could play into the hands of the CAESAR gun with the elimination of the Israeli ATMOS, after, again, the French system had been declared the winner of the competition organized by the Colombian armies , but that the negotiations had failed on questions of budgetary discount.

Kfir C7 Colombian Air Force
The Kfir C7s which today constitute the Colombian fighter fleet will no longer be able to fly after December 31, 2024, and the end of the Israeli maintenance contract.

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  1. Hello,
    The reasoning is coherent but this amounts to closing one of the 3 fleets and having only 24 aircraft left. Does this volume make it possible to ensure the missions and turnover of detachments on the AP? because it will take at least 2 years before we have replacement planes and what about pilot training?


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