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China prepared to help Argentina recover its air force with new fighter jets

Wednesday, February 25th 2015 - 05:01 UTC
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China's JF-17 fighter partnership in Pakistan has proven a moderately successful pilot for production programs. China's JF-17 fighter partnership in Pakistan has proven a moderately successful pilot for production programs.

China has agreed to supply Argentina with new fighter jets that will replace its aging fleet of single-engine Dassault Mirage planes. Defense experts said two types of China-developed fighters are likely candidates: the Chengdu Aircraft Corporation-built FC-1/JF-17 and the J-10, according to a report from Chinatopix.

 Argentina earlier sought to buy from Brazil, 14 Sweden-developed multi-role Saab Gripen fighters to upgrade its air force fleet but Britain successfully blocked the deal.

Three weeks ago, Argentina President Cristina Fernandez visited Beijing and secured a deal for the transfer of several military equipment, including navy patrol vessels and jet fighters.

As a show of support, China has repeatedly echoed Argentina's claim on the Falkland Islands and compared the rift to China's dispute on islands in the South and East China Seas.

Defense experts said the fighters that China will likely supply to Argentina has their pros and cons. The Chengdu FC-1 is a cheaper and less-capable combat jet but Argentina could buy more FC-1s.

A big concern among military observers is that Argentina's Air Force could have a hard time getting oriented to non-Western hardware. But, experts said exporting jet fighters to Argentina would have a special political importance for China.

The sale could bring prestige and it could open doors to new fighter jet sales for China in South America.

It is believed China most likely provided good financing terms for the sale and it would probably pay special attention to training and maintenance.

China's JF-17 fighter partnership in Pakistan has proven a moderately successful pilot for production programs. The Pakistan Aeronautical Complex and China developed the JF-17 and FC-1 in a pairing that started in 1995.

In 2013, Chengdu Aircraft was in talks with Argentine aerospace firm Fabrica Argentina de Aviones to co-develop the FC-1 in a similar way as the deal in Pakistan. Four years ago, Fabrica and the Aviation Industry Corp. of China agreed to produce the CZ-11 single-engine light multi-purpose helicopter.

Top Comments

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  • chronic

    And rotting roadkill wins the J-10's that everyone else turned down. lol.

    Feb 25th, 2015 - 05:18 am 0
  • LEPRecon

    Before all the malvinista's start getting hard ons with fantasies of 'invading the Falklands' over this they should ask this very simple question, what do the Chinese want in return for these aircraft?

    I mean your government has already given away parts of Argentina to China, so what else has your government promised them? Because it is certain that Argentina doesn't have the money to actually buy these. Perhaps the Chinese will be putting a military base in Argentina to further its own claims to the Antarctic?

    Never mind, eh? By all means Argentina buy new aircraft. Never mind that children are starving to death in your country. Never mind that your economy is about to implode. Never mind that these are second rate aircraft, at least they're a step up from what you have already.

    It will take upwards of 10 years to get these aircraft (although China may have dozens in 'stock' because they couldn't unload them onto any other'customer') and train the pilots and ground crew. And given Argentina's record in looking after military hardware (all that money meant to maintain it just magically disappears), this could turn out to be a very expensive lemon for Argentina.

    Feb 25th, 2015 - 05:55 am 0
  • zathras

    It was reported on August 13th 2012 that the then Argentina minister of Defence Arturo Puricelli who warned that the British military presence in the South Atlantic “is the only element that upholds the usurpation of that part of our national territory”.

    Thanks to Terence Hill & HansNiesund, for finding the quote.

    Tip to certain Trolls if you make a claim, back it up with the reference.

    So Argentina is Militarizing the South Atlantic, come on Trolls do your worse

    Feb 25th, 2015 - 09:00 am 0
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