Argentina is advancing in negotiations with Israel for the purchase of the multi-purpose combat aircraft Kfir Block 60, which is supposed to replace the aging Mirage III, on service for over four decades.
According to the dialy 'Haaretz' an Argentine military delegation recently visited Israel to sign the deal to acquire the aircraft which have been non operational for two decades and need refurbishing.
The Israel daily reports that the Israel Air Industry accepted to update the avionics of the old aircraft to be sold to Argentina, despite the tension between both countries because of Argentina signing a memorandum of understanding with Iran to try and solve the AMIA 1994 bombing.
According to Haaretz, members from Israel defense industries said the deal has been reached, and is waiting for the definitive signature. Negotiations with Israel were re-launched last January. Apparently negotiations took off following the collapse of the deal to purchase 16 Spanish Mirage F1, fighter-bombers.
The Israel Kfir were designed and built in the seventies and eighties by Israel's Defense Industry with an approximate cost of 200 million dollars. Tens of these aircraft were sold to Air forces from Sir Lanka, Colombia and Ecuador, some of them with the advanced Elta radar.
If the deal is finally confirmed it would Argentina's second great purchase of Israel combat aircraft, following on the acquisition in 1978 of 39 second-hand Neshers, developed by Israel.
Also identified as the 'Daggers' in Argentina, the aircraft were particularly active during the Falklands conflict in 1982.