F-16 fighter with Argentine markings

Argentina ends a decade-long hiatus and will once again have a genuine fighter jet

On Tuesday, the country signed a contract for the acquisition of 24 F-16A/B MLU jets belonging to Denmark

The Argentine Air Force is expected to soon end a decade-long hiatus in which it did not have a supersonic fighter in its fleet. On Tuesday, April 16, the country’s Defense Minister, Luis Petri, signed an agreement to acquire 24 F-16 fighters belonging to Denmark.

The ceremony comes after back-and-forth over choosing a replacement for the Dassault Mirage III fighters that were retired in 2015. Since then, the Air Force has improvised subsonic A-4 attack jets in air defense missions.

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The package signed with the Danish government includes not only one- and two-seat aircraft, but also weapons, support and four flight simulators.

Argentine Defense Minister Luis Petri (AMD)

Argentina has not revealed when the F-16s will begin to be delivered, but the Royal Danish Air Force has painted one of the aircraft with emblems and identification in the South American country’s pattern.

“Today we are concluding the most important military aeronautical acquisition since 1983. There are 24 F-16 aircraft that have been modernized and equipped with the best technology, and which today are at the level of the best aircraft flying in the skies of the South American and Western region. world,” said Petri.

Argentina and Denmark signed a deal for purchase of 24 F-16 fighters (AMD)

Denmark’s second-hand F-16 became the most likely aircraft to be acquired by Argentina during the previous government, led by leftist Alberto Fernandez.

Until then, the Sino-Pakistani JF-17 Thunder III jet was considered the favorite of the Argentine Air Force. A new and cheap aircraft, the fighter produced by Chengdu and PAC seemed the perfect solution as it did not include British components, which are vetoed by the United Kingdom.

The Joe Biden administration, however, decided to offer the chance to rely on second-hand F-16s, aircraft that, although older than their competitors, are proven in combat.

The election of Javier Milei as Argentine president facilitated negotiations as the ultra-rightist brought the country closer to the United States.

With the F-16s, Argentina will be more in line with its neighbors who have their own Lockheed Martin fighter (Chile) and Brazil, which has ordered 36 Saab Gripen E/F.


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