Mar 2, 2015
Argentine technical mission to China to evaluate JF-17
Only a month ago president Cristina Fernandez was in Beijing where she sealed an “integral strategic alliance” with China.
Negotiations remain secret but according to Argentine sources the purchase could range between 14 and 20 aircraft, basically the FC-1/F-17 'Thunder'. The single engine fighter is considered modern, affordable for developing countries, and has been tested in combat.
Another option is the Chengdu J-10B, and according to the website China Military Online, closely linked to the Red Army, this fighter has the capability of confronting the “RAFs' Typhoons stationed in the Falkland Islands”.
Likewise Argentina's defense links with China are believed to be quite advanced in reference to the supply of 'Malvinas Class' offshore patrol vessels, a polar icebreaker exploration vessel to replace the ”Almirante Irizar” and the 21-ton infantry armored vehicle Norinco VN1 8x8 with 105 mm gun and 120 mm mortar-armed versions, which also includes an amphibious version.
If the agreement is concluded, it could mark a major step in Argentina's long-standing effort to revive its military capabilities and would constitute a major success for China's 15-year endeavor to expand its military influence and market share in Latin America.