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Israeli-built Colombian jets slice through Tucson skies

If you've seen some new shapes in the sky over Tucson lately, you're not alone. Triangular-winged Kfir fighter jets from the Colombian Air Force are making a training stop at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base before heading to Nevada for an air show later this month.

Kfirs are an Israeli-designed aircraft, formerly in use by that country's air force. Six of the planes from the  Fuerza Aérea Colombiana are taking part in a binational training exercise, Relampago ("Flash of Lightning") with F-16s from the 162nd Air Wing here in Tucson, before heading to Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada for the large Red Flag exercise at the end of July.

The Israel Aircraft Industries Kfir ("Lion Cub") was first flown by the Middle Eastern nation in 1973, and went into active duty in 1976. Based on the delta-wing design of the French Mirage fighter, the planes are now flown by the Colombian, Ecuadorean and Sri Lankan air forces.

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Columbian Air Force

A Columbian Kfir jet.