Bolivia will purchase six China's fighter jets

15:31, January 19, 2010      

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In recent years, some South American countries have changed their old traditions relying on the US-made weapons and begun to show interest in inexpensive Chinese weapons. On January 14, Bolivia's defense minister said that the country will buy six Chinese fighter jets used for anti-drug operations.

Some media agencies reported that Bolivia plans to purchase China's K-8 Karakorum coach/fighter aircrafts.

Mainly used for anti-drug efforts along border

According to reports form the U.S. "Defense News" website, Bolivian Defense Minister Walker • San Miguel said on January 14 that the country will buy six of Chinese-made fighter jets and 10 Russian-made helicopters, used for combating the increasingly rampant drug-related crimes and smuggling.

Miguel said to the local media that Bolivia will allocate 58 million U.S. dollars to purchase Chinese fighter jets, which are expected to deliver within 18 months. And these fighter jets are the Chinese-made K-8 "Karakorum" coach / fighter aircrafts.

Cutting off "air corridor" of drug traffickers

Located in "Silver Triangle", drug-producing area of South America, Bolivia is the world's 3rd largest coca leaf producer next to Colombia and Peru.

In recent years, drug traffickers have begun to transport drugs by aircrafts. In 2008, Bolivia seized six drug trafficking aircrafts. In 2009, the country intercepted a plane with 340 kilograms of drugs.

Compared with the well-armed drug traffickers, Bolivia's air forces is weak. The major equipment of Bolivian air forces consists of Beechcraft T 34 Mentor War Plane of the U.S. and T-33 “silver star” coach/attack airplane of Canada, which are too old.

Bolivia is determined to buy Chinese fighters in the hope of strengthening the country's air power and cutting off "air corridor" of drug traffickers.

By People's Daily Online
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