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No New Aircraft for Mexican Air Force

: Apr 24, 2019 - : 9:17 am

Notwithstanding the austerity measures the government has undertaken, the Mexican Air Force has the necessary number of fixed and rotary wing aircraft needed to protect the country and its people, Manuel de Jesús Hernández González, Commander of the Mexican Air Force, has said.

Efforts to modernize the country’s air fleet has been an outstanding success, the Commander told Daily News in an interview. Acquisition of new aircraft in the near future is not contemplated, in view of the austerity measures announced by the federal government, he added. The various recently acquired fixed wing and rotating wing aircraft gives the Air Force the capability to carry out diverse missions, the Commander said.

The modern air fleet meets the needs of the country. Recently, 18 new generation UH-60M helicopters were acquired, thus adding to the helicopter fleet that includes the EC-725. MD-530 and Ml-17, he added.

Responding to a question on whether the Air Force would acquire an advanced trainer and light fighter types such as the KAI T-50, M-346 FA, YAK-130, the Commander said there were no plans to acquire any new aircraft, including new fighter aircraft. Market studies and investigations into new aircraft have however been carried out, so that the force can move swiftly whenever an opportunity to buy new aircraft arises.

The use of remotely piloted aircraft (RPAs) by the service, which began almost ten years ago, has yielded outstanding results, the Commander said. Among the RPAs that the force has are Israel-made Hermes 450 as well as two systems developed by the Mexican private industry – S-4 Ehecati- and S-45 Baalam. Drones have helped FAM ‘s humanitarian assistance and natural disaster response considerably, the Commander said. The use of RPAs helps the force carry out risk assessment activities and reevaluate the situation in real time, thus improving the ability to respond to the situation in an efficient manner.

On FAM’s fight against narco trafficking in Mexico, the Commander said that since the 1970s, the strategy has been based primarily on the manual eradication of illicit plantings by units of the Mexican Ej ercito. with the support of the Air Force. In 2007, the Air Force introduced aerial eradication as well, through the application of herbicides on illicit crops by using light helicopters.

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