6 Mart 2012 Salı
France to refurbish Libyan F1 fighter jets
France will refurbish the Royal Libyan Air Forces’ fleet of Dassault Mirage F1 fighter jets and train its personnel as part of a future military cooperation agreement signed between the two nations.
The French Defence Minister Gerard Longuet signed a letter of intent with Libya to set up a joint committee to develop bilateral defence cooperation during his visit to the nation in February 2012.
French defence ministry spokesman Gerard Gachet was quoted by Defense News as saying that Longuet’s visit was not aimed at selling French defence equipment, such as the Rafale fighter, but to help Libya evaluate its military needs and set the basis for cooperation.
As part of the agreement, France will also assist Libya in taking control of its national borders and in conducting coastal surveillance missions. The French personnel have been helping to de-mine Libyan ports.
The cooperation would help the Libyan authorities in developing their military organisation and express requirements for capabilities, Gachet added.
The Libyan air force, which was devastated by the Nato bombing campaign and imposition of a no-fly zone, currently operates a fleet of 12 Mirage F1 ground attack fighter jets.
"Working groups are studying the cooperation projects and would report to the joint committee, due to meet in Tripoli at the end of April or beginning of May,” Gachet concluded.