Indian Tejas fighter could get Russian ejection seat to compete in Argentine tender

Manufacturer HAL will have to replace all components of British origin if it wants to supply the aircraft to the Argentine Air Force

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), India’s state-owned aircraft manufacturer, is one of the competitors in the Argentine Air Force’s competition to choose a new supersonic fighter.

The company offers the LCA Tejas, a light single-engine fighter that was developed for many years in the country and which today equips the Indian Air Force (IAF).

However, like other companies already out of competition, HAL has among its suppliers British companies, such as Martin Baker, specialized in ejection seats.

Since the Falklands War 40 years ago, the United Kingdom has imposed military equipment sanctions on Argentina, which prevents the current Tejas from being supplied.

Indian Air Force Su-30 (USAF)

The solution is to replace the items with similar ones and, according to Indian media, the Tejas’ ejection seat could come from a controversial source, Russia.

According to Zona Militar, the seats would be the Zvezda K-36, present in the MiG and Sukhoi Su-30 fighters of the Indian Air Force, with which HAL is very familiar.

But given the situation in Russia, affected by economic sanctions from the West after invading Ukrainian territory, the hypothesis becomes delicate as Argentina may come under pressure from US countries.

Danish F-16

The Biden administration is even managing the approval of the sale of Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter jets retired by Denmark to Argentina.

Royal Danish Air Force F-16A (DanNav)

To obtain them, the Argentine government will need to sign an agreement in which it accepts the US endorsement if it intends to transfer the F-16 fighters in the future, a common practice in this type of transaction.

Although older and more expensive to operate than the Tejas and the Sino-Pakistani competitor JF-17, the F-16 is a more capable aircraft and would be supplied in greater numbers – 38 aircraft against 12 from HAL and PAC-Chengdu proposals.

The Argentine Air Force has been without an authentic fighter since 2015, when it removed its last Dassault Mirage IIIs from service.


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