Mexico City (Feb. 5)
– Mexico’s Defense Minister, Gen. Felix Lopez, announced here that his country will not buy the Israel-made Kfir jet fighters for its air force, but he praised the Israeli army.
Lopez arrived in Israel Jan. 11 at the head of a 16-man military delegation to inspect military installations and, specifically the Kfir, the first combat aircraft designed and built in Israel. During his six-day visit he inspected the Kfir production line at Israel Aircraft Industries. Mexico reportedly had been interested in the Kfir for some time as part of a program to reequip its air force. It was expected to order 24 of the aircraft.
But the Kfir had to compete against the American-made F-15E and apparently the order will not materialize. Lopez told a press conference here, however, that he “saw the Israeli army and it is one of the best in the world.”