Tuesday, May 16, 2006

A compliment of F16s for the Iranians?

I question how effectively Iran would be able to integrate these planes into its force, but, it would be a major diplomatic mess for the White House.

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- Venezuela's military is considering the possibility of selling its fleet of U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets to another country, perhaps Iran, a Venezuelan military official said Tuesday.

In response to a U.S. ban on arms sales to President Hugo Chavez's government, Gen. Alberto Muller, a senior adviser to Chavez, told The Associated Press he had recommended to the defense minister that Venezuela consider selling the 21 jets to another country.

Muller said he thought it was worthwhile to consider "the feasibility of a negotiation with Iran for the sale of those planes."

Even before the United States announced the ban on arms sales Monday, Washington had stopped selling Venezuela sensitive upgrades for the F-16s.
For more on Iran's airforce, I recommend Global Security's write-up.

In other news...

AP: "Russia, China: Don't use force in Iran"

IRNA: "Afghanistan offers to mediate between Iran, US"

Reuters: "Iran says will continue nuclear enrichment"


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The big question of spare parts comes into play here, EC. History will repeat itself. Do you remember the brewhaha over the F-14 tomcats that the Ayatollah had "acquired" after the fall of the Shah of Iran? Soon thereafter, they ran low on spare parts and had to cannibalize most of their aircraft assets for two reasons:

1. Poor maintenance and an uneffective preventative maintenance program in place;

2. Lack of training

It'll be the same case scenario with Iran all over again. Who is going to train the Iranian pilots on the F-16, it's fire control and weapons systems, and especially the navigation systems and avionics?

Now, if the aircraft are sold by Venezuela, if the package includes spare parts and training/maintenance, then the US has plenty to be concerned about; I just don't think that this will be a big diplomatic concern.

4:21 PM  
Blogger copy editor said...

Anon, I am as skeptical as you are on the technical side. I'm familiar with the F14 debacle that the Iranians endured, and it's referenced in the Global Security link I included in this post.

I guess the diplomacy is in the eye of the beholder. Something tells me Dick Cheney's going to be upset.

Also, in that CNN/AP story, it makes mention that Venezuela has not received several upgrades on those fighters.

4:25 PM  
Blogger copy editor said...

Moreover, with American air superiority, it's plain stupid to engage with any aircraft save for a select few. Best to bury them in the sand.

4:26 PM  
Blogger Dr Victorino de la Vega said...

After having spent more than $ 900+ billions and dispensed with life the life of 2,500 US servicemen to offer Iraq on a silver plate to the Islamic Republic of Iran, Bush and his Neocon handlers are now creating enemies all across Latin America and shipping brand new F16 fighter jets to Teheran.

It’s kind of like the Monroe doctrine in reverse mixed with a parody of the Iran-Contra arms deal- back then the mullahs only got rusty spare parts at a relatively high price, know they get Fighting Falcons, and for free!

5:53 PM  

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