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The U.S. government is willing to authorize the sale of an Ex-Danish F-16 under very restrictive conditions, which has made a deal to procure an Ex-Danish F-16 at a ballpark figure of $15 million per unit very unattractive. Argentina’s search for fighter jets might have come down to just two which are left in the race that is Indian Tejas and the Chinese JF-17 which will include the off-the-shelf purchase of 12 jets directly from the vendor and local production rights that will allow its state-owned Aerospace company Fabrica Militar de Aviones (FMA). has been told that Argentina has told both vendors that it plans to locally manufacture jets likely in a semi-knocked-down kit (SKD) with Argentinian equipment that may see the procurement of further 30 jets in long run.

Chinese have offered Sanction proof JF-17 that will come with locally produced ejection seats and a WS-13 engine which is copied variant of the Russian RD-93 engine that is used on the Pakistani, Myanmar, and Nigerian versions. India has offered to replace all British Components with local or other imported substitutes but HAL has been told that India will need to bare the cost of such substitute components and their integration as Argentina won’t be doing it.

Argentina has raised concern regarding the WS-13 engine on offer since even its close friend Pakistan preferred Russian RD-93 engines over it and on Tejas they are worried that it might cost more since it still has many British components. The only Advantage Tejas is having over JF-17 is that Argentinian Air Force officials prefer Israeli A2A weapons like Python-5 and Derby due to prior experience with Israeli A2A systems over Chinese PL-12 and PL-10 is considered inferior to Israeli A2A weapons systems.

Argentina had confirmed that it has deferred its decision due to the first study pending evaluation reports of the LCA-Tejas that was done last month and the Danish F-16 that was done earlier this month. Final Decisions might be announced sometime in 2023.

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