The US pressures Argentina to choose the old F-16s instead of Chinese or Indian aircraft

The Capitol is close to authorizing the sale of 24 F-16 fighter jets to Argentina, with the aim of becoming the main weapons supplier after the Malvinas War.

28 de July de 2023 13:25

The Danish-made American F-16 model offered to the Ministry of Defense.

The White House has again put pressure on Congress to approve the sale of 24 F-16 fighter jets to Argentina , which has not yet decided whether to buy the Pakistani-made JF 17 Thunder or the Indian-made HAL Tejas from China.

The estimated cost of the aircraft is about US$700 million , but the dilemma is not because of price competition, but because whatever the decision, it is at the center of a global geopolitical dispute between Western and Asian powers.

Two months ago, the Capitol had already dealt with a similar operation involving the F-16s, but with Turkey. Now, the obstacle is the military embargo imposed by the United Kingdom as a result of the Malvinas War, which has come restricting Argentina's access to the international arms market, thus blocking the way for the delivery of the planes in question, now coming from Denmark.

Sources from the State Department assure that the United Kingdom has lifted that barrier, and now all that remains is to agree on the financial conditions.

The concrete conduct of negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) currently represents the best guarantee of Washington's strategic interest in having the plane come from Denmark instead of China, despite the fact that the latter offers better financial conditions with only a small payment initial.

The presence in the Southern Hemisphere in April of this year of two heavyweights of American defense, the number two of the State Department, Wendy Sherman , and the head of the Southern Command, Laura Richardson , evidenced the strong commitment of the United States for supplying Argentina.

Recently, Mira K.Resnick, Deputy Undersecretary of Regional Security of the Department of State , recently visited Buenos Aires. After her meetings with the Minister of Defense Jorge Taiana and the Commander in Chief of the Air Force, Brigadier General Xavier Isaac , It became clear that the bid for the Danish fighters was strong, as Congress would pass the law allowing the sale and the plane could be delivered in August.

The urgency of the United States to seal the aircraft agreement with Argentina aims to counteract the proposal for the JF-17 produced by China and Pakistan, which consists of fewer units (15) but are new and offer the possibility of ordering a second and one third.lot.

A significant difference between both offers is that China's includes a complete and unrestricted package of weapons and sensors.The purchase would be financed through Fondef, a special fund created by law to reequip the Armed Forces.

A team of experts from the Argentine Defense Forum (FAD), headed by Santiago Lucero Torres , analyzed the alternatives presented for the reequipment of the capabilities of the Armed Forces, according to the newspaper La Nación.

“Currently, they are considering the second-hand Lockheed Martin F-16 A/B Fighting Falcon, operated by Denmark – originally of the American model, although they were manufactured between Holland and Belgium in the 1980s – and the Chengdu JF-17 Thunder Block, three new ones, offered by China,” military sources confided.

In technical specifications, the F-16 qualifies as a more powerful aircraft with more weapons capacity than the JF-17, according to FAD experts, although it has a very low engine intake port that tends to ingest a large quantity of foreign objects.

By Agenda Malvinas

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