Bolivia is looking for a new fighter to equip the country’s air force, Infodefensa said. With a border with five countries, the nation has not had a combat aircraft since 2017 when it took its latest Lockheed T-33 out of service.
Since then, Fuerza Aerea Boliviana has received proposals from possible suppliers. Two of them are neighbors Brazil and Argentina.
Embraer reportedly offered the A-29 Super Tucano light attack turboprop while Fadea did the same with the IA-63 Pampa III light jet.
The proposals closest to Bolivia’s requirements, however, are those made by South Korean KAI, UAC and Chinese Hongdu and Chengdu.
Korean Aerospace Industries bets on the T-50 and the supersonic light fighter variant FA-50, which came to be considered by the Argentine Air Force.
Hongdu, which provided six K-8 training jets to Bolivia ten years ago, would also be participating in the selection with supersonic trainer L-15 Falcon, which is a replica of Yakvlovev’s Yak-130, which would also participate in the competition.
Finally, Chendgu and PAC would have proposed the JF-17, the only de facto fighter on the list. Developed in China, the aircraft is mainly used by Pakistan, but has been offered on the international market.
Nigeria has just made three JF-17s operational while Argentina evaluates the Sino-Pakistani fighter.
The Bolivian Air Force planned to equip three squadrons (36 planes), but according to Infodefensa, the acquisition should be at least 20 aircraft.