Israel state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) said Wednesday that it recently signed a deal worth $50 million with Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Defense to upgrade Kfir aircraft for the South Asian country’s Air Force.
Kfir aircraft had used widely in Sri Lanka’s war against the Eelam Tamils, which also been used to bomb civilian targets.
“The deal includes replacing the aircraft’s basic avionics with advanced 4+ generation fighter aircraft avionics in order to one day integrate advanced radar, sensors, communication systems, and new helmets. The upgrade process will also include transfer of related knowledge and skills to Sri Lankan Air Force personnel. The upgrades will be completed in cooperation with the Air Force and in its facilities,” Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) said.
In 2006, the Sri Lankan Security Forces used Israeli Kfir aircraft to bomb Sencholai children’s home where 400 girls lived. In which 53 schoolgirls and three teachers killed.
“As the bombs fell, the girls ran in all directions and took cover by lying on the ground face down, hoping that the bombers will go away after attacking once. But the Kfir jets returned firing additional munitions directed to our facility,” a survivor said at that time.
IAI Executive VP and GM of IAI’s Aviation Group, Yossi Melamed, now said, “I am proud that IAI’s Kfir has been chosen by customers around the world, including in the United States and as the Columbian Air Force’s primary fighter jet. I am grateful to Sri Lanka’s Air Force for choosing to renew their Kfir selection and continue using the Kfir as their Multi-Role Combat Aircraft. I believe this deal is an early step in preparing for future upgrades to the advanced model KNG (Kfir New Generation).”