Old F-16s vs. New JF-17s for Argentina

  • Defensemirror.com Bureau
  • 08:02 AM, August 1, 2023
  • 1054
Old F-16s vs. New JF-17s for Argentina
Danish F-16 jet

The U.S. has joined the race to provide used F-16 jets to Argentina from a stock of 24 aircraft that Denmark is trying to find a buyer.

However, Argentina has a choice of buying 15 brand-new JF-17 Thunder jets from China. India-made Tejas is in the race too- a delegation from the Argentine Ministry of Defence evaluated the aircraft during their recent visit to India.

The White House has requested Congress to approve the $700 million sale of 24 Danish A/B F-16s built in the 1980s to stave off a potential deal with China, reports say.

Argentine publication La Nación said the State Department issued notifications that involves transfer to Argentina of up to 38 F-16s (six F-16 Block 10 and up to 32 Block 15 aircraft) for $338 million and four Norwegian Lockheed P-3 Orion maritime patrol aircraft for $108 million. Final authorization requires approval from both houses of Congress, after which Argentina will be eligible to purchase the aircraft.

Old F-16s vs. New JF-17s for Argentina
JF-17 Thunder @via open sources

Mira K. Resnick, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Regional Security at the Department of State, recently visited Buenos Aires. Following her meetings with Argentine Defense Minister Jorge Taiana and Air Force Commander-in-Chief Brigadier General Xavier Isaac, it became evident that the offer for the Danish fighters was solid. The aircraft could be delivered as soon as in August.

The potential JF-17 deal with Beijing includes transfer of new aircraft, besides a comprehensive and unrestricted package of weaponry and sensors. It will be financed through the Fondef, a special fund created by law to re-equip the Armed Forces.

The Chinese offer also comes with an option to negotiate a second and potentially a third batch. These aircraft will be powered by locally-made engines, and will reportedly come with a complete armament and sensor package with few restrictions.

JF-17s don’t require UK-licensed components—which is a clear advantage considering Argentine Defense minister Jorge Taiana’s demand that Tejas’ British components be replaced by indigenous technology.

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