October 8, 2005 (by Lieven Dewitte) - The Chilean air force is in negotiations for the acquisition of 20 to 28 surplus Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16s. The aircraft are needed to replace Chile's entire fleet of ageing Mirage-5MA and Mirage- 50C/FC aircraft, which are expensive to operate and maintain.
Although the recent purchase of five South African Cheetah airframes for spares has helped to ease the situation for Chile
, the Mirage fleet replacement is becoming an urgent matter.
The Royal Netherlands
Air Force has also renewed an offer to Brazil for 14 F-16 Mid-Life Upgrade fighters at a cost of $5 million per aircraft. However, the FAB seems to favour a $73 million offer from the French government to lease 12Mirage 2000C fighters equipped with R550 Magic II short-range AAMs and Super 530 medium-range AAMs.