F-16 is not compatible, JF-17 have logistic issue, Indian Tejas is the only choice: Argentine Air Force

Argentina Air force plans to spend about $684 million to procure 12 new fighter jets and build related infrastructure.

On September 15 The Argentine Air Force delegation submitted an assessment report on the Tejas MK1A and three other alternative fighters. Interestingly, in this evaluation report, there are also F-16s from the United States, Russian MiG-35s, and Chinese JF-17 competing for orders from the Argentine Air Force. For now, the JF-17 Block 3 will be the biggest competitor for Tejas.

Argentina wants a multirole fighter jet fitted with an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, an in-flight refueling system compatible with the tanker aircraft currently in the inventory of the Argentine Air Force, a tactical data link and an electronic warfare defensive suite.

In a recent interview with Infodefensa The head of the Argentine Air Force provided details on the choice of the country’s future 4th generation fighter.

“We have in mind a squadron of no less than 18 planes. That’s an acceptance number for the FAA (Argentine Air Force) to start with while keeping in mind that the a4s are going to keep flying” said by chief of Argentina air force Isaac.

According to him, Rusian MiG-35 is already out of the competition and now the list has been narrowed down to just three candidates- JF-17, F-16, and Tejas and the winner out of 3 will be made before the end of the year.

According to him the best suitable option for Argentina is JF-17, Tejas, and F-16.

But due to pressure from the UK and the negligence of the US Govt Argentina failed to evaluate the Danish F-16 block 40, USA is the guarantor of this operation with Denmark. Even Argentina dont which variant of F-16 will they get. And now the in Ukraine, Denmark may use it longer. So basically Argentina is waiting for a concrete offer, in writing, to be able to finish the comparison matrix. Also, there is one more bigger problem is that F-16 is not compatible with the Argentina air force refueling system while Tejas and JF-17 are compatible. So basically F-16 is nearly out of the competition.

Next is China’s Jf-17 BLOCK 3. When asking about this fighter Isaac said JF-17 has a major logistical problem. And yes he is completely  right half of the Pakistan Air force JF-17 are grounded dude to logistical and shortage of components. Even Myanmar Air Force has grounded the majority of its 16 JF-17 fighter jets due to a lack of spares and technical issues.

Also, Chinese components are so cheap they can betray you any time that’s why China’s so-called best ally Pakistan denied using the Chinese-made WS-13 engine on the JF-17 and go for Russian RD-93 engine. And we all know the life span of the Russian engines not more than 4,000 hour while F-16 and Tejas GE engine life span is more than 8,000 hours. Also Argentina never used Chinese made fighter jets so in the future, it will definitely make problems for the FAA.

Next is Indian Tejas MK1A mutirole fighter. This fighter is equipped with AESA radar, tactical data link, EW, and air to air refueling. The problem is that Teja using UK made ejection seat and either Argentina or UK will allow this. But India stated they will going to solve these problems, that’s why Argentina will do another deep analysis on Indian Tejas in October before announcing the final results.

India is currently in talks with NPP Zvezda, a Russian manufacturer of ejection seats. Their K-36 ejection seat is a competitor to Martin Baker. In fact, NPP Zvezda was close to clinching the contract for even the American fighter F-22 Raptor and the Joint Strike Fighter. Currently, the K-36 sports various variants used in Russian fighters, such as the MiG-29, Su-27, Su-30 and Su-57. K-36 is also a zero-zero ejection seat at par with Martin Baker.

A radome is an electromagnetically transparent protective shield that encloses mmWave Radar sensors and the antenna. It protects the mmWave antenna and electronics from external environmental effects such as rain, sunlight, and wind, providing a structural, weatherproof enclosure. The LCA Tejas featured a radome from Cobham Limited, a UK aerospace manufacturer. The indigenous Uttam radars will most likely replace it

Another culprit is Dunlop, the Scottish brand that makes the tyres for the LCA Tejas. Indian manufacturer MRF Tyres is reportedly replacing Dunlop. Over 15 LRUs were sourced from various British manufacturers for the LCA Tejas. Currently, HAL seems to be calling upon the Indian industry, including various Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) like Bharat Electronics Ltd.,(BEL) and Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. (BHEL), for innovative indigenous replacements to secure the Argentine contract.

The argentine air force needs a budget-friendly fighter jet. An operating budget that accompanies the fond provided by Govt. He also mentioned that FAA is also working very hard for new infrastructure. The infrastructure of the bridges, runways, taxiways, hangers, etc.

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