Saturday, October 3, 2009

Bolivia buys six K-8 jet trainers from China

LA PAZ: The Bolivian government has approved 57.8-million-dollar purchase of six planes made in Pakistan with Chinese technology for use in anti-drug operations, media here reported on Friday.

The deal was finalised on Wednesday in consultations with ministers and stipulates that the aircraft will provide a “contribution to the regional battle against narcotrafficking, ensuring requisite control of national air spaces and areas prone to and affected by this problem,” reported local independent media agency Fides.

The government has not explicitly confirmed the deal but “the president will announce it on October 10”, according to Defence Minister Walker San Miguel, who was cited by La Razon newspaper.

The K-8, or Karakorum, plane is a light fighter jet jointly developed by China and Pakistan in the early 1990s. It is used primarily as a training aircraft, but can also be used for airfield defence. Bolivia is also waiting for five US-made Huey helicopters to be delivered by Brazil. Bolivian President Evo Morales said on Thursday that the delivery was being delayed by the United States, which has yet to give the project a green light.

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