A delegation made up of representatives from the Danish Air Force, the United States Air Force and Lockheed Martin arrived in Argentina this week to negotiate the sale of F-16 fighter jets to the Argentine Air Force (FAA), reported Zona Militar.
According to the outlet, the visitors intend to assess the local conditions for operating and maintaining the fighter jets, as well as suggesting upgrades or the construction of new infrastructure for the use of the F-16 in Argentina. The aircraft offered to the FAA are second-hand F-16A/B fighters stored by the Danish Air Force.
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In response to the website, FAA Chief of Staff Brigadier General Xavier Isaac stated that the delegation will visit air bases in Argentina. One of these locations is the VI Brigada Aérea de Tandil, in the province of Buenos Aires, which is suggested by the Argentine command as one of the possible places where the Lockheed Martin fighter can be deployed.
Competition with JF-17 and LCA Tejas
In addition to used F-16s from Denmark, other models of fighters were also offered to the FAA with the differential of being new from the factory. Options on the table for Argentine officials include the Chinese-Pakistani Chengdu-PAC JF-17 Thunder and the Indian LCA Tejas.
The MiG-35, produced in Russia, was even considered for the dispute, but ended up excluded from the selection due to sanctions against Moscow due to the war in Ukraine.
Argentina lost its supersonic capability in 2015, the year the air force disabled its last Dassault Mirage III interceptor fighters, which were veterans of the Falklands War.
With the retirement of the French fighter, Argentina’s main combat aircraft became the old McDonnell Douglas A-4 Skyhawk, with subsonic performance and more suited to ground attack missions.