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Montevideo, April 25th 2024 - 07:19 UTC



Milei deepens ties with Washington by choosing used F-16 jets

Thursday, March 21st 2024 - 09:07 UTC
Full article 7 comments
No further details as to when will the aircraft be handed over were disclosed No further details as to when will the aircraft be handed over were disclosed

Argentine President Javier Milei announced Wednesday that his country would purchase second-hand US-built F-16 fighter jets from Denmark, which would represent “the biggest advance in Defense in the last 20 years” according to a social media user eventually validated by the head of state.

With this move, Buenos Aires would further align with Washington since it would mean dropping other options such as China's JF-17s which were also under consideration last year.

According to the U.S. Air Force website, the F-16 Fighting Falcon is a compact, multi-role fighter, providing a relatively low-cost, high-performance weapon system. Among its main features are its outstanding air combat performance, maneuverability, and radius.

“It can locate targets in all weather conditions and detect low-flying aircraft by radar. In an air-to-surface role, the F-16 can fly more than 860 kilometers, deliver its weapons with superior accuracy, defend against enemy aircraft, and return to its starting point.”

The F-16 cockpit gives the pilot an unobstructed forward and upward view. “It has excellent flight control of the F-16 through its fly-by-wire system. Electrical wires transmit commands.” In addition, its systems include high-precision global positioning and inertial navigation systems, or EGI, in which computers give directional data to the pilot.

No further details as to the transaction have been disclosed.

Argentina's rapprochement with the United States would also be proven by CIA Director William Burns' meeting at the Casa Rosada with high-ranking government officials, which will be followed in early April by the presence of US Southern Command Chief General Laura Richardson.

Burns met with Cabinet Chief Nicolás Posse, Security Minister Patricia Bullrich, and Federal Intelligence Agency (AFI) Director Silvestre Sívori. They were joined by US Ambassador Marc Stanley.

The US top intelligence officer was reported to be concerned with alleged activities in the region by the Lebanese organization Hezbollah in addition to the expansion of drug trafficking coupled with cyber-attacks carried out by Vladimir Putin's Russia and China's increasing influence.

Burns is a career diplomat specializing in Middle East conflicts, who previously served in the successive administrations of George Bush, Bill Clinton, George Bush (h), and Barack Obama. Known as the “secret weapon of diplomacy” of the United States, he was appointed to head the main world intelligence agency in 2021 by President Joseph Biden, replacing Gina Haspel, who was appointed under Donald Trump. In January, Posse and Sívori met with Burns in Washington DC to establish a common agenda regarding national security threats.

In little over 100 days in office, the Argentine President has held talks with US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken; the Undersecretary of International Finance of the Treasury Department, Brent Neiman; the Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Gita Gopinath; and the Undersecretary of State for the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, Brian Nichols. However, on his February trip to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, Milei explicitly supported former President Donald Trump's bid to return to the White House.

Richardson's mission is believed to be focusing “on the organization of a control system against China's deployment in the South Atlantic” and on evaluating the current situation of armed violence linked to drug trafficking in Rosario. She is also scheduled to meet Bullrich as well as Defense Minister Luis Petri while a private sit-up with Milei has not been ruled out.

Regarding China's scientific base in the province of Neuquén, Richardson said in a recent interview that “It is up to Argentina to decide how that facility will remain, whether it stays there and what is the way forward.”

She is also expected to visit Ushuaia's Almirante Berisso Integrated Naval Base as well as the Neuquén-based research facility that counterbalances China's deployment.

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules
  • Dirk Dikkler

    Seeing is believing! will watch this space but the jury is out on these aircraft being delivered.

    Mar 21st, 2024 - 11:17 am +4
  • imoyaro

    Airplanes take money...

    Mar 21st, 2024 - 12:01 pm +3
  • darragh

    These Danish F16s are 'block 1' airframes built 50 years ago.

    Perhaps Argentina could sing 'Happy Birthday' to them

    Mar 21st, 2024 - 12:41 pm +3
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