Argentina 'never had in consideration' the possibility of purchasing fighter aircraft from Russia, such as the Sukhoi Su-24, to replace the aging French Mirages to be decommissioned by the end of the year, said Defense minister Agustín Rossi.
However Rossi did confirm that there are other four fighter aircraft models under 'analysis' for their possible purchase: the F1 from Spain; Kfir Block 60 from Israel and the FC-1/JF-17 from China. To these must be added an informal proposal from France which still has to be delivered officially.
Precisely this week Argentina's Air Force chief of staff Mario Miguel Callejo traveled to China to consider if the aircraft offered comply with the capabilities needed and he told me they effectively respond to those requirements admitted minister Rossi.
However until we don't have all the formal offers on the table, will we decide what aircraft to purchase. But our intention is that this should happen before the end of the year. I will be taking the different options to the President so she can make a decision.
Rossi pointed out that the Russian Su-24 were never under consideration for purchase since they are absolutely inaccessible in terms of value. The only discussions currently with the government of president Vladimir Putin are for the purchase of our high seas tugs which are nowhere near any war weapon or equipment.
Earlier this week the London sensationalist daily The Sun published that the UK government was reinforcing Falklands defense because of an alleged Argentine plan to recover the Islands with help from Russia.
However Secretary of Defense Michael Fallon addressing the House of Commons only said that Argentina remained 'a live threat' for the Falklands and thus a review of material, funds and equipment, but no increase in the number of troops or any mention of the alleged Russian support risk.