SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG
Poor export sale of JF-17 is hindering China’s fighter export market that continues to downward trend even after the export model of J-10 was made available in the fighter jet market, According to the latest media reports to clinch orders from Argentina, China has agreed to take more than 50% of its payment for the JF-17 jets in beef export from Argentina and also has agreed to provide long credit line.
Argentinian delegation that has evaluated the latest JF-17 block-III fighter jets were left not so impressed with the capabilities of the jet and also have asked for local upgrades to the jet along with the local assembly of the jet so that some of the systems can be switched.
China already has agreed to remove British-made ejection seats in the Argentian-specific JF-17 Block-III jets that are on offer but Argentina wants many more upgrades to the jet since it won’t be capable of taking on more advance 4.5 gen fighters in its present configuration.
Chinese are planning to break into the South American market and the Argentinean assembly line will give them a foothold and improve the export potential of the jet in this market like Cuba, Chile, and Venezuela. The Argentinean assembly line will get most of its components and airframe from current established facilities in China and Pakistan in CKD Kits it is not impressed with Block-III and wants more customization with local and Chinese systems.
Myanmar air force which is the second-biggest operator of JF-17 after Pakistan had to ground some of its jets due to a lack of spares and others due to prolonged technical issues that the local ground crew was unable to fix, Pakistani team from PAC and PAF were sent on Chinese request to fix grounded jets and also help in setting up of Ground simulators to improve pilot training.
India’s Tejas Mk1A which is also on offer to Argentina without British-made components and systems but lax payment terms requested and shaky economic condition of the Argentinean government meant that the risk of default plus payment in barter deal might be only resort is high. Argentina also has been offered 12 used F-16s from Danish Air Force that were decommissioned recently, this is the original F-16A/B variants that Lockheed has upgraded to MLU15.
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