|Quoting DL021 (Reply 11):
I never said Venezuela could not....what I said was they won't. It's a non-economically sound idea that the country really cannot afford. The Argentines and Chileans already build perfectly adequate airplanes that never sold well outside their own countries (or inside for that matter) and this won't sell outside either. The internal market is not for more than 20 or so airplanes, so why bother.
I could agree with you on the 20 planes if the rest of the COIN fleet was operative, but unfortunately, it isn't. Of the OV
-10s, around 4 to 8(cannot give exact number)are still operative, and after the silly veto, it became a "we'll see", even though they are going through a series of modifications like adding a FLIR under a modified nose and a gunship version with a 20mm turret where the belly hardpoints used to be, but still, they can only fly for so long.
Then we have the Tucanos, slowly getting old. We tried to buy Super Tucanos to complement them but like I mentioned, DoS told Embraer to not even bother. Same for the R-99's we tried to buy. So, we can't buy from Embraer even if we tried, same for the Argentinean planes which are marketed(and owned) by Lockheed Martin. Chile probably wouldn't sell us what they build, for fear of loosing spare parts supplies for their F-16s for violating the US embargo. The russians don't make COIN Turboprops nor Advanced Trainers.
The Czech Foreign Relations Minister told Aero Vodochody not to sell us anything, because of the embargo(though they are trying to figure out a way to strip the L-159 from all the american equipment, because they want the deal). Pzl Mielec...I'd rather not ask.
Not much of a choice, as you can see, since even the P&W PT6 had to be taken out of original design because of the embargo.
The ideas in Chile and Argentina didn't work mostly because it was more profitable for the politicians' pockets to buy foreign planesss.
I believe that the idea is go the way of the Swedish, build our own planes(and maybe export it to other Mercosul countries) and don't really depend from foreign sales, and still, we are producing a vehicle similar to the HMMVW and apparently Kuwait was interested in getting a hand on several of them, so who knows.
Also, it is a civilian proyect that requested goverment funding to go ahead, and it got it, so its not an idea of the goverment itself.
They can always buy the Chinese airplanes. Not subject to US embargoes.
We are not that desperate yet, and they don't produce turboprops either, other than Y-8/An-12 and Y-7/An-32.
It's kinda ironic, though, since the reasons for the embargo were that we weren't doing enough to fight terrorism, yet the equiment we are getting negated are mostly for COIN against the colombian guerrilla and paramilitaries and Training duties.
They can market it to Cuba and some smaller regional countries. Nothing more. Buena suerte to them Chavez can't stay around for ever.
You never know. And I think the guy is doing a decent job, but then, depends on who you ask and where you get your info.
Nice to know you lived here, though. Part of a military agregate or family?.
[Edited 2007-01-13 07:45:15]
[Edited 2007-01-13 08:02:55]