Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Libya Sells Old Fighter Jets To Pakistan

Libya is selling its old, French-made, fighter jets to Pakistan, which may imply that after years of sanctions crippling Libya’s military programs, the country might be looking to revamp parts of its forces.

According to South Africa’s Mail & Guardian:

Pakistan has turned to old ally Libya to purchase a fleet of Mirage fighter jets and spare parts, an air force spokesperson said on Monday.

“Libya had a fleet of Mirages, which was grounded for over a decade. We have purchased that fleet at a very reasonable price,” Air Commodore Sarfraz Khan said.

“The deal has been finalised, the shipment has started.”

Khan would not reveal the price or the number of craft in the fleet, but press reports said the purchase included 50 jets and 150 engines.

All the jets will be scrapped for spare parts to maintain Pakistan’s existing fleet of Mirages.

[. . .]

The Libyan Air Force had been dormant for several years due to sanctions over its nuclear programme. The sanctions were lifted by the United States last year after Libya revealed the full extent of its nuclear programme to the United Nations atomic watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency.
It will be interesting to see where Khadaffi will turn to buy new fighters. Something tells me he will have Russian, Swedish and French ministers visiting soon...