In from the cold: Can Venezuela really unload the F-16’s?

May 18, 2006

Via RogerSimon, I get to this apparently very knowlegable take by In from the Cold on the possible sale of Venzuela’s F-16’s:

“Well, if those countries want continued access to U.S. military
hardware, they can’t afford to get caught in an illegal arms transfer
involving a pariah state. True, there are some exceptions to this rule
(Israel’s transfer of F-16 technology to China in the Lavi/F-10 program
comes to mind), but it’s doubtful that any current U.S.
customer–especially those with a desire for future arms sales–would
accept the risks entailed in supporting an illegal sale of the
Venezuelan jets.”

“Additionally, the Iranians and Cubans already have access to
fourth-generation fighter technology, thanks to their acquisition of
MiG-29 FULCRUMs from Russia. The FULCRUMs y in the Iranian and Cuban
inventories are, in some ways, more sophisticated than the
early-generation F-16s that Hugo is trying to unload. Iran and Cuba have something else in common, too: both have had
difficulty in keeping their FULCRUMs in the air, despite full access to
Russian training and technical support. Without similar assistance for
the F-16s, those jets would become little more than ramp decorations at
some Iranian or Cuban base, slowly rusting in the sun.”

“Mr. Chavez may be having a fire sale down at the ol’ used fighter lot,
but he’s going to find a dearth of serious buyers, even among our

“One year from now, you’re likely to find Hugo’s F-16s in the same spot
they currently occupy–on the tarmac at a Venezuelan Air Force base.”

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