More and more countries are looking for used fighter jets
The past year has seen a notable increase in the number of countries that have chosen to purchase used fighter jets for their air forces.
Malaysia would have wants to expand its small fleet of eight F-18 Hornet fighters. However, he is not looking for additional hornets in the United States. Instead, he hopes Kuwait will agree to sell its fleet of F-18s.
Malaysian Deputy Defense Minister Ikmal Hisham Abdul Aziz recently said Kuala Lumpur wanted to buy the 33 Kuwaiti Hornets “lock, stock and barrel”.
The acquisition of the Kuwaiti fleet for the Royal Malaysian Air Force “will certainly increase the readiness and capacity of RMAF to protect [air]space, ”he added.
(Kuwait Ministry of Defense refused reports that there had been negotiations over a potential sale of its F-18s indicating that “all negotiations to sell Defense Ministry-owned ammunition would be reported directly.”)
Several countries have recently bought or searched for used fighters to bolster their air forces.
In December, the Romanian Parliament approved the purchase of 32 used F-16s from Norway.
The Scandinavian country is replacing its fleet of F-16s with fifth-generation F-35s and is ready to sell its used F-16s to another NATO country. Romania currently operates 17 F-16s. The acquisition of the Norwegian fighters would more than double the size of this fleet and allow Bucharest to replace its much older MiG-21 “Fishbed” jets from the Soviet era.
Croatia also operates outdated MiG-21s. In November, Zagreb signed an agreement with France for the acquisition of 12 used Dassault Rafale F3-R fighter jets. of the French Air Force. France will order 12 new Rafale in 2023 to replace these old Air Force F3-Rs.
Denmark is also acquiring F-35s and plans to gradually sell its F-16s. There was speculation, denial in the Turkish pro-government press, that Ankara might be interested in purchasing these jets.
Turkey was banned from purchasing F-35s after purchasing advanced Russian S-400 air defense missile systems. Now he wants to upgrade his F-16s so they can stay operational and up to date for the foreseeable future. As part of that effort, he requested 40 Block 70 F-16 from the United States as well as 80 retrofit kits for its existing fleet, which includes older F-16 Block 30s that were first introduced in 1987.
Congress may not approve the deal given its objections to many policies of the incumbent Turkish government, including, but not limited to, respecting its defense ties with Russia.
Moreover, even if Turkey were interested in purchasing Danish F-16s, Copenhagen would not be allowed to sell them to Turkey without first obtaining permission from Washington.
In 2006, Venezuela threatened to sell its fleet of 21 F-16s, acquired in the early 1980s in Iran.
“Without the written consent of the United States, you cannot transfer these defense articles, and in this case the F-16s, to a third country,” then warned the spokesman for the US State Department, Sean. McCormack.
Greece is currently in the process of considerably modernizing its existing fleet of F-16s and Mirage 2000s. Last January, Greece also ordered 18 Rafale from France, including 12 used, under a contract for 2.5 billion euros (approximately 2.8 billion dollars).
In September, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis revealed that the southern European country would buy six more, bringing the total to 24.
In July, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar mocked Greece’s build-up of weapons when he noted, “You can’t change the power balance with a few used jets.
The United Arab Emirates, which has just ordered 80 new sleek and shiny Rafale F4 jets from France, could also to sell its Mirage 2000 upgraded to Greece, with which it has a defense pact, in the near future.
There has also been reasonable speculation that one of the reasons Israel has not sought the new F-15EX for its Air Force is that it is waiting for the opportunity to acquire old F -15 used in surplus. Obtaining these old second-hand jets would be much cheaper for Israel, which could then reassemble and reconfigure them to meet its required specifications – something that country has vast experience and expertise.
“If you can get 80% of what you absolutely need on additional F-15s for 20% of the cost by acquiring second-hand jets, this can be a very difficult proposition to pass up ”, wrote Tyler Rogoway in The War Zone. (Emphasis in original.)
While older used jets are invariably less expensive, they may also come with shortened life cells that might require more expensive maintenance and spare parts than an unused hunter fresh off the line. Assembly.
Canada recently purchased seven used F-18s from Australia to bolster its CF-18 fleet. The slow integration of these used jets into the country’s air force has angered the country’s conservative opposition.
Conservative defense spokesman James Bezan has expressed outrage at the situation.
“This is strictly a futile exercise” he said in december 2020. “Here they’re buying 18 rusty old Australian fighters, planes the Auditor General said not to buy… So why are we wasting taxpayer dollars and Canadian Armed Forces resources on getting those old planes into service? “
In 2018, Russia offered to sell second-hand MiG-29 Fulcrum to India 21 at a very favorable price. New Delhi was skeptical of the offer, fearing that “hidden costs” would make the acquisition more expensive over time.
Using a metaphor that nicely sums up the downside of getting hold of older second-hand fighters, the sources at the time aptly compared this proposed MiG-29 deal to buying a printer. Although the actual printer is not that expensive to buy, the ink cartridges required to use it can prove prohibitive in the long run.
On the other hand, India purchases 24 used Mirage 2000s from France to help supply its existing Mirage fleet with 300 critical spare parts.
“Of the 24 fighters, 13 are in perfect condition with the engine and airframe intact and eight of them (almost half a squadron) are ready to fly after maintenance,” according to the Hindustan Times reported in september. “The remaining 11 fighters are partially complete, but with fuel tanks and ejection seats, which will be salvaged to secure parts of the two existing IAF (Indian Air Force) squadrons.