Argentina completed the purchase of 24 F-16 fighters from Denmark

A technological leap with NATO standards, to which is added the training, contracts and potential of the new aircraft.

16 de April de 2024 17:50

This morning, Defense Minister Luis Petri leading the delivery ceremony, at the Skrydstrup base.

In a ceremony held at the Skrydstrup base , seat of the Danish fighters, the Minister of Defense Luis Petri signed the contract for the acquisition of the aircraft with his Danish counterpart Troels Lund Poulsen .

In this way, Argentina recovered its supersonic fighter capacity with the acquisition of 24 F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft - 16 F-16 A/M (single-seat) and 8 F-16 B/M (two-seat) aircraft. belonging to the Royal Danish Air Force.

The incorporation of the fighter known to the world as Viper is an operational and technological leap that pushes the Air Force to the standards of NATO members.

In a ceremony held at the Skrydstrup base , seat of the Danish fighters, the Minister of Defense Luis Petri signed the contract for the acquisition of the aircraft with his Danish counterpart Troels Lund Poulsen. He was accompanied by the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Brigadier General Xavier Isaac and the of the Air Force, Major Brigadier Fernando Mengo.

At the air base, Petri ended a 9-year agony after the deprogramming of the Mirage in 2015. Gone were the projects and offers from the Mirage F-1M (France), KFir Block 60 (Israel), MIG-35 (Russian Federation) , HAL Tejas (India) and Thunder JF-17 (China).


New alignment

The assumption of the LLA government moved the military orientation towards a clear alignment with the United States and at mach speeds like those reached by these aircraft, it decided on a purchase that had been delayed for a decade.

“Under the leadership of President Javier Milei and with the support of allies such as Denmark and the United States, Argentina acquires 24 F-16 combat aircraft, marking a milestone in its defense and strengthening its Air Force to preserve sovereignty and freedom,” the minister tweeted.

Denmark and Norway, seller of 4 American-made maritime exploration and surveillance aircraft, Orion P-3C/N for the Naval Aviation whose first payment has already been released by the Economy, are among the priorities of strategic linkage with intermediate powers that defined the international policy of Defense by the secretary of the area, Juan Battaleme.

Both states belong to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a political-military structure to which Argentina aspires to become a “global partner” (partners acorss the globe).

The operational relevance of these aircraft for combat is indisputable. High-ranking military sources familiar with the operation assured that the cells (structures, fuselage) are in an excellent state of maintenance with a potential remaining hours for 20 years of operation.

The Danish Air Force upgraded them to the MLU (Medium Life Upgrade) standard. The mid-life upgrade includes a cockpit similar to that of the F-16C/D Block 50 with color multifunction displays, modular mission computer, upgrade APG-66(V)2 radar, digital terrain system, GPS, AIFF, IDM (Improved Data Modem) data link and electronic warfare management system, plus provisions for a reconnaissance pod and helmet-mounted display of the pilot.

Modernizations that give the Air Force a configuration common to the other NATO F-16A/B users in Western Europe participating in the MLU program: Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands and Norway.

It would be said that once the national pilots achieve the necessary training, they would be able to interoperate on missions with aircraft of the Atlantic Alliance.


The weapons equipment

The arms contract is another milestone in the acceptance of alignment on both sides; It is made with the supplier, the United States, includes AIM-9X Sidewinder missiles (short range), AIM-120D AMRAAM (medium range) and air-to-surface weapons , among others, although it is known that there are more weapons systems not released to public disclosure.

Training and contracts

Acquiring the F-16 involves two contracts, one for 340 million dollars in aircraft, spare parts, fixtures, test benches and tools and another for 310 million dollars for North American weapons.The weapons are negotiated separately and a financial tool of the Department of Defense, Foreign Military Financing (FMF), intervenes in the operation, offering a 2 percent credit rate to allied countries.

The restrictions on the export of military material that the United Kingdom still maintains 42 years after the end of the Atlantic conflict were left without the possibility of application.

By Agenda Malvinas


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