Russian planes are not considered: Argentine Air Force is choosing a new fighter.
Recently, the South Korean manufacturer of FA-50 fighters, KAI, refused to sell its fighters to the Argentine Air Force. This raised questions about the possibilities of London, not interested in updating the fleet of its geopolitical rival, to influence potential suppliers trying to work in the interests of Buenos Aires.
According to the chief of staff of the Argentine Air Force, Javier Isaac, aircraft manufacturers easily succumbed to British pressure, since they doubted the country’s financial ability to pay for the purchase of new fighters.
The British veto reaction did not take us by surprise. Because we have long expected this not only from KAI, but also from everyone who offers us products [meaning combat aircraft]
– explained the general.
However, as he points out, the situation has now changed radically. The authorities have adopted a law in accordance with which a program for the localization of the production of military products is being launched.
To implement it, the military-run National Defense Fund (FONDEF) was created in October. It is projected to have a budget of over 2021 billion pesos ($ 34 million) in 420. The funds from it should go to the technical modernization of the troops, and it is planned to carry it out with reliance on the local production base.
Not a word about Russia
As Isaac points out, now foreign partners have seen the seriousness of Buenos Aires’ intentions, which has shown a willingness to guarantee payment for orders. At the same time, the country’s Air Force is studying the possibility of purchasing fighters not in the West, although there are doubts about this alternative.
There are a large number of service providers and service opportunities in the West, but not in the East.
– Isaac declared.
According to him, the Air Force in its choice is to a certain extent constrained by financial constraints, so they cannot afford expensive systems such as the F-16, Gripen and others.
We are currently talking about the Block 3 version, which is a completely different aircraft. We’re talking about the tech type that the Air Force is looking for.
As the general explains, for the army, the acquisition of this model would be a real breakthrough:
A leap we have never taken. We had a lot of Mirage, we had a lot of A-4 [American Skyhawks]. We never had the last generation aircraft, we had the previous one.
As journalists interviewing noted, “there will always be a British veto.”
We perfectly understand those who say that a “non-Western” product is a bad decision. This is a decision that we would not have made, but it is not final […] We need at least fourth generation combat fighters. If you need to bring them from China, then we will bring them from China.
– explained the head of the Air Force.
At the same time, the question of the possibility of acquiring Russian fighters was not even considered. Apparently, the regime of sanctions imposed on Moscow and the pro-American course of the current Argentine government do not even allow it to be raised.