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Argentina drops fighter replacement plans
April 24, 2017

Argentina drops fighter replacement plans

Argentine Minister of Defence Julio Martinez announced that the Argentine government has suspended plans for new fighter aircraft to replace the Argentine Air Force’s legacy Lockheed Martin A-4ARs, IHS Jane’s reports. Argentina’s strenuous economic problems were cited as the cause.

In its pursuit for new fighter aircraft, Argentina cast a wide net, examining a range of Western and Eastern solutions. Among them was the JF-17, which is co-produced by Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) and Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group (CAIG) and the Saab JAS-39 Gripen.

Those avenues did not come to fruition, but Argentina and Israel opened negotiations for the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Kfir Block-60. Talks froze and resumed intermittently. In January, reports had emerged that Buenos Aires resumed talks with Tel Aviv for 12-14 IAI Kfir Block-60.

At the end of last month, the Latin American defence publication Defensa reported that Buenos Aires was interested in the Mikoyan MiG-29 and sought 15 fighters from Moscow. During the launch of the MiG-35, the deputy director of Russia’s State Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation Anatoly Pinchuk said Moscow will respond with an offer.

Notes & Comments:

At the minimum, the Argentine government’s decision puts a dampener on short-term fighter acquisition, effectively ruling out second-hand or surplus options (unless they are markedly affordable). However, it would be interesting if Buenos Aires could undertake long-term recapitalization, perhaps through a program that is staged several years into the future.

For example, it could tentatively commit to a squadron of new-built MiG-29M/M2 or even MiG-35s from Russia, but with a later production date that is activated once cash is provided (or when Moscow can provide a loan). It is a precarious situation for the Argentine Air Force, one that seems to be worse than previously assumed considering the difficulty it is having procuring surplus fighters.

  • Ali

    Ofcourse UK will threaten us not to provide JF-17’s to Argentina because of Fauklands dispute! Isn’t it a good time we bargain to bring Altaf Hussain to Pakistan if UK doesn’t want us to supply the JF-17’s to Argentina. Guys we need to combine our whatever little bargaining ability with our foreign policy goals! Think about it!

  • Ali

    UK should pay a price if it continues to work against our national security.

    • Superior Shakeel

      and what price that would be do tell?

  • Steve

    The Argentines have no money and Pakistan can’t offer credit. Plus they want antiship and we can’t do that either. UK may or may not have opposed it. They have hardly any naval assets in Falklands only Eurofighters. Argentina is not a threat to them anymore as the county has been bankrupted by mismanagement.

  • OSD

    Does Israel still manufacture brand new IAI Kfirs? I had always thought the airframes were just remanufactured or built from kits provided by France, with engines and other systems installed in Israel.

    • Superior Shakeel

      they don’t manufacture them now these are the airframes that are still in cold storage in the form of knocked down kits and engine is still in production or newer variant of it can be obtained from france overall not a bad offer we could also buy them and have them replace our really old mirages if our relations with israel weren’t so bad/non existent.

      • OSD

        The engine is a J79 which is from America. In any case, even if the airframes are from long term storage, they are still old and will always cause problems. The PAF has a mirage rebuild factory which executes the same thing but they still encounter problems and crash.

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