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SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG

The Chief of the General Staff of the Argentine Air Force (FAA), Brigadier General Xavier Julián Isaac speaking to local media has confirmed that the country has narrowed down its fighter jet requirements to just three candidates, that are LCA-Tejas, F-16, and JF-17, and has dropped the offer of Mig-35 after detailed studies on all aircraft.

Isaac highlighted a few drawbacks of these 3 candidates and said that Argentina has never operated a Chinese jet in the past are worried about logistics and spare support on the JF-17, F-16 on offer cant be refueled by the C-130 Hercules that has been modified for this role and Indian Tejas has a lot of British origin components.

By October, Argentina Air Force officials plan to conduct a detailed study on the LCA-Tejas offer that might see Argentinan air force officials visiting India and checking out production facility and also have talks with Indian state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited that plans to present a roadmap for British component-free LCA-Tejas Mk1A aircraft customized for Argentina.

Argentina Air Force officials earlier this year visited China and Pakistan to carry out a detailed study on the JF-17 that is on offer and submitted their findings in a report. F-16s on offer by the United States are pre-operated by the Danish Air Force which will be getting Block-52 upgrades before being delivered to Argentina if it wins the tender.

Argentina Air Force plans to announce the winner of the tender by early November after which it plans to procure 18 jets in the first batch and more in the second batch that will be further customized to include Argentinian-made avionics and weapons.

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