Recently, the South Korean FA-50 fighter manufacturer KAI refused to sell its fighters to the Argentine Air Force.. This raised questions about London's capabilities, not interested in renewing the fleet of its geopolitical rival, 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 succumbed easily to British pressure, because they doubted the country's financial capabilities to pay for the purchase of new fighters.
British veto reaction didn't take us by surprise. Because we have long expected this not only from KAI, but also from all, who offers us products [I mean combat aircraft] – said Gen..
but, as he points out, now the situation has changed radically. The authorities passed the law, in accordance with which the program for the localization of the release of military products is launched.
To implement it, the National Defense Fund, run by the military, was created in October. (FONDEF). It is assumed, what in 2021 year, its budget will be over 34 billion pesos (420 million dollars). The funds from it should go to the technical modernization of the troops, moreover, it is planned to carry out it relying 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, has shown willingness to guarantee payment for orders. At the same time, the country's Air Force is studying the possibilities 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 in the East - no – Isaac said.
In his words, The Air Force is to some extent constrained in its choices by financial constraints, so they cannot afford expensive systems, such as F-16, Gripen and others. General explained, that it is possible to buy a JF-17 fighter. This Chinese-designed aircraft is manufactured in Pakistan., which 2017 visited a special commission of the Air Force:
We are currently talking about the Block version 3, which is a completely different plane. We're talking technological type, which the air force is looking for.
As the general explains, for the army, the acquisition of this model would be a real breakthrough:
Leap, which we have never done. We had a lot of Mirage, we had a lot of A-4 [American Skyhawks]. We never had last generation aircraft, we had a previous one.
As journalists noticed, interviewers, "There will always be a British veto".
We perfectly understand those, who says, that a "non-Western" product is a bad decision. This solution, which we would not accept, 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 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, sanctions regime, imposed on Moscow, and the pro-American course of the current Argentine government does not even allow it to be raised.