The Argentine Defense Ministry published a memo on Tuesday (21) outlining the news that the country will acquire JF-17 Thunder, Block 3 fighters of Chinese-Pakistani origin.
On September 17, profile Section AEROSINT PSF — moderated by the Pakistan Strategic Forum of Pakistani Defense Experts — tweeted that Argentina was to include $664 million in funding to buy 12 PAC JF-17A/B Block III fighters (10 JF-17A single-seat and two JF-17B two-seater) in the 2022 draft budget submitted to the government. Soon the news spread across the web, where it was published and republished in various media.
Thus, the Argentine Air Force chose the Pakistani JF-17 Thunder fighter, ignoring offers from Russia, the United States and India.
The 12 JF-17s will include 10 Block III single seats and two Block III double seats.
The PAC JF-17A Block III is a 4+ generation supersonic multirole fighter aircraft pic.twitter.com/94P2rLD3tN
– AEROSINT PSF Division (PSFAERO) September 17, 2021
However, the Argentine device Today, the following note was published: “The Department of Defense has reported that it has requested, through the Public Credit Operations Authorization Memorandum, the inclusion in the 2022 budget of a credit management authorization of up to $664 million for the acquisition of multipurpose fighters, for airspace inspection and oversight. Similarly, this ministry clarifies that the purchase of supersonic aircraft from any origin has not been issued and is in the stage of technical, economic and financial evaluation of five alternatives.” The volume has not, to date, seen the other aircraft evaluated.
The JF-17 is a fighter jointly developed by Pakistan and China (which classifies it as FC-1), with the Pakistanis owning 58% of manufactured parts and China the remaining 42%. The engine is a Klimov RD-93 of Russian origin, based on the RD-33 used in the MiG-29 Fulcrum and other fighters of the family, capable of driving the fighter at speeds close to Mach 1.8 (about 2205 km / h).
The aircraft can use an array of air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles, guided bombs, pods and sensors, and it is in service with the Pakistan Air Force, Nigeria (e) Myanmar.
Since the Argentine Air Force retired Mirage fighters in 2015, the country has been trying to get supersonic fighter jets to serve on air defense missions, which are now performed by a few A-4AR Fightinghawk fighters.
However, the negotiations end up clashing with the British blockade, due to disputes over the Falkland Islands/Malvinas, in 1982, in which the United Kingdom is victorious. Last year, the British government categorically prevented Argentina’s purchase of the KAI FA-50 from South Korea. The aircraft contains at least six major components manufactured in the United Kingdom, which has banned the export of the materials.
The JF-17 uses the PK16LE ejector seat, made by British Martin-Baker, but according to Aerotime NewsArgentine site Aviacion complete, reported that CATIC (China National Aerotechnical Import and Export Corporation) said the JF-17/FC-1 could be equipped with the Chinese-origin HTY-5D seats already in use on the Chengdu J-10, circumventing a UK ban. In May, it was revealed CATIC employees were in Argentina to negotiate the aircraft.
In any case, there is a clear interest on the part of the Argentine government in the JF-17, however, negotiations are just beginning. Russia has also made offers to Argentina, but there is no further information about the talks between Moscow and Buenos Aires.