Warplanes: Rafale Shot Down by Mirage F1 Refurbs


November27, 2006: As part of a deal to sell Libya over two billion dollars worth of Airbus airliners, France has agreed to refurbish a dozen of Libya's 38 Mirage F1 fighters. Libya bought the Mirage's nearly thirty years ago, and has not gotten a lot of technical support since then. This is because Libya began supporting terrorists and got slapped with arms embargos by most European nations. Libya bought large quantities of weapons, most from Europe and Russia, in the 1970s. More weapons than Libya was able to use, much less maintain. The Mirage F1 is a 16 ton interceptor that can only carry two tons of weapons. With modern electronics and missiles, it would still be a formidable air defense aircraft. This is apparently what Libya is getting, although France would prefer to see them the new Rafale fighter. But Rafale is expensive, about $66 million each, while a refurb of a Mirage F1 would cost less than a third of that.


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