Although it has the Sino-Pakistan fighter JF-17 as its virtual favorite, the purchase of 12 combat aircraft by the Argentine Air Force (FAA) has gained a new chapter, according to sources on the Zona Militar website.
United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), the company responsible for Mapo-MiG, would have improved its offering of MiG-35 supersonic jets in order to beat the competition.
According to Zona Militar, Russia would commit to building a maintenance unit and a training center in Argentina at no extra cost.
The inclusion of these items in the proposal would have been requested by the FAA and reveals a common concern with military equipment originating in Russia, which usually has issues such as low availability and lack of spare parts.
Improved version of MiG-29
Equipped with two RD-33MK engines and more modern avionics, the MiG-35 is a technically stronger candidate of the Argentine competition.
According to UAC, the combat aircraft is an improved version of the MiG-29, with a lower radar signature, increased weapons-carrying capacity and a much lower cost of flight time than its predecessor.
Despite this, the jet does not have customers abroad yet. Although the Russian proposal is not public, it is estimated that the MiG-35 would cost more than the $664 million made available by the Argentine government to purchase 12 aircraft.