Chilean Air Force begins to receive 18 refurbished f-16 fighters
This week Holland will be delivering 18 refurbished F-16 fighter bombers to the Chilean Air Force. The Dutch Defence ministry said the ceremony will take place at the Leeuwarden base when Lex Hendrichs, head of Dutch Defence Material will be symbolically handing his Chilean peer Jorge Rojas a scale model of the US manufactured aircraft.
The first three F-16 fighters are expected in Chile towards the end of the year. Before leaving the whole fleet of 18 is to be adapted to Chilean colours and symbols. Holland will also help with the instruction of 75 maintenance engineers that will be responsible for the aircrafts once they arrive in Chile.
The purchase of the F-16 by Chile was announced in April 2009 by then Defence minister Francisco Vidal in the midst of controversy because at the time the deal involving 270 million US dollars was not yet closed. However a few weeks later it was confirmed and Chile in early 2011 should have a fleet of 44 fighter bombers.
Meantime in Spain Chilean Defence Minister Jaime Ravinet visited the Airbus Military facilities. In October 2007 the Chilean navy signed a contract for the purchase of three military transport C-295, with the option for another five.
On Tuesday Ravinet is scheduled to visit the Spanish Emergencies Military Unit in Torrejón hosted by his Spanish peer Carmen Chacón.