Czechs Bounce, So Bolivia Goes Chinese

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Canadian T-33, on display(click to view full) The Fuerza Aerea Boliviana wants to replace its 16 obsolete Lockheed T-33s, a fleet of trainer and light attack jets whose design is derived from the USAAF/ USAF’s first jet fighter, the P-80 Shooting Star. American production ended during the late 1950s, but licensed builds ended later, and it is still in service with some air forces around the world. Bolivia discussed possible deals for EMB-314 Super Tucano aircraft with Brazil, and spent a great deal of time negotiating with The Czech Republic for some of its surplus L-159 ALCA/ L-159T advanced trainers and light attack jets. Unlike their popular Soviet-era L-39/L-59 counterparts, however, the L-159 was designed for compatibility with NATO equipment, and featured a number of American components. That proved the sale’s undoing. The USA invoked ITAR military technology transfer laws, and blocked the export to Chavez ally Evo Morales’ government. In response, Bolivia turned to a Chinese/Pakistani joint venture, and will soon receive its jets… The JL-8/ K8 Karakorum K-8 Karakorum(click to view larger) The K-8 Karakorum was jointly developed by China’s Nanchang-based Hongdu Aviation Industry Group (HAIG), and Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) in the 1990s. The original intent was […]

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