Jan 23, 2008 15:34 UTC
In May 2007, “Iraq Issues RFP for COIN Aircraft” noted the Swiss Pilatus PC-9M’s candidacy for Iraq’s purchase of counterinsurgency aircraft. An incident involving the African nation of Chad would appear to have removed this possibility, and shrunk Pilatus’ market sharply in favour of competitors in Korea (KO-1), Brazil (EMB 314), et. al.
Chad’s government borders Sudan, and the same janjaweed forces that have successfully perpetrated the Darfur genocide have also been involved in attacks inside neighboring countries that include Chad. Relations between Chad and Sudan have deteriorated badly in response, with Chad accusing Sudan of having a destabilization plan for their country and using the same tactics of arming and unleashing terrorists that it has used so successfully in Darfur. A series of mediation efforts and agreements have followed, which have mostly been ignored as the fighting continues.
Information concerning Chad’s air force is sketchy, but Swiss reports quote Swiss aircraft manufacturer Pilatus confirming that Chad’s fleet includes 3 PC-7 turboprops, plus 1 PC-9M that it bought in 2006 to replace a PC-7 it had purchased from France. This is where the problems begin – and so too, does the outline of a likely trend in the global arms market…
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Jan 23, 2008 14:01 UTC
See article, below
The Alpha Jet was developed jointly by France’ Dassault Aviation and Germany’s Dornier. In France, they are mainly used as lead-in fighter trainers before pilots graduate to front-line combat aircraft like the Rafale and Mirage 2000, but they were built with secondary light attack capability as well. The Alpha Jet was expected to be the BAe Hawk’s main competitor in the international trainer and light attack market when it was introduced in the early 1980s, but it finished a distant 4th behind the Hawk, which remains in production to this day. Alpha Jet sales were made to France (176), Germany (175), Belgium (33), Cameroon (6-7), Egypt (45), Ivory Coast (7), Morocco (24), Nigeria (24), Qatar (6), and Togo (5). Germany would later dispose of most of its Alpha Jets during its 1990s disarmament drive, with sales to to Portugal (50), Thailand (25), the UAE (32), and the private “Flying Bulls” aerobatic team (3).
France’s DGA defense procurement agency awarded a EUR 22.6 million (about ) euro contract to modernize the avionics of 20 Alpha Jet E aircraft used by the Armee de l’Air. Co-contractors Thales Avionics and Belgium’s SABCA (Societe Anonyme Belge des Constructions Aeronautiques) will run the project, which will take place in 2 phases…
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