Text: | Print|

Chinese warplanes may be sold to Argentina

2015-02-11 10:27 China Military Online Web Editor: Wang Fan

In the whole war history after the World War II, most of the militaries in the third world, except the military of China, were unknown to fame.

The Air Force of Argentina in the spring of 1982 was a rare exception—In the Malvinas (Falkland) Island War, the Argentine pilots drove warplanes and inflicted heavy losses on the British Navy fleet by using only five "Exocet" anti-ship missiles and primitive free fall bombs.

More than 30 years have passed. If the Air Force of Argentina has the advanced China-made warplanes, early warning airplanes and missiles and still has its courage and wonderful skills of those days, will the British military have sleepless nights?

Britain's Jane's Defense Weekly reported that Argentina's President Christina Fernandez de Kirchner visited Beijing a few days ago, and that China and Argentina have set up the "warplane working groups" to negotiate the introduction of 14 new China-made warplanes to the Air Force of Argentina.

The report claimed that there are two possible options. One is the Chengdu FC-1 fighter, and the other is the more powerful main combat fighter in active service of the PLA Air Force named J-10. In either case, China-made warplanes will be commissioned to the Air Force of Argentina and "put on the blue and white shirt" (color and pattern of Argentina's national flag).

With the president's visit to China, the China-Argentina military technology cooperation will cover sea, land and air

China and Argentina have increasingly close cooperation in the technical equipment, including aircraft, in recent years. In 2011, China worked with Argentina's aircraft company to produce the Z-11 light helicopter.

It is reported that during Christina's visit to China from February 3 to 5, she had signed the agreement with China on a package of military cooperation, including the China North Industries Corporation's export of VN-1 wheeled infantry combat vehicle to Argentina, the China State Shipbuilding Corporation's building of the P18 light frigate (called as "Malvinas-class" by Argentina) for Argentina, as well as the patrol ship, icebreaker, towing vessel, mobile hospital, etc.

The core of the package agreement is naturally the introduction of new-type warplanes from China. Jane's Defense Weekly claimed that Argentina put forward two requirements. One is that it must be involved in the technological upgrade process of the planes, and the other is that China must ensure the continuity of parts supply and establish an effective maintenance support system.

Britain hinders, Argentina runs into snags at every turn in its hard pursuit of new warplanes

The warplanes that were used in the Malvinas (Falkland) Island War period, such as the Israeli "Kfir", French "Shadow" IIIA and American A-4 "Skyhawk", have long since entered museums or plane graveyards in developed countries, but the Air Force of Argentina is still making do with them despite their old ages. Argentina only bought 34 secondhand A-4 warplanes from the U.S. since the Malvinas (Falkland) Island War.

Argentina has been looking for a way out in order to update its air force equipment. Argentina has considered buying the Swedish JAS-39 "Gripen" through Brazil. However, 30% of the parts of such aircraft are produced by Britain. This deal was aborted under the pressure of London. After that, Argentina also tried to buy new planes from France and Israel, but failed after Britain's intervention.

Argentina was even going to buy from Spain the "Shadow" F-1 warplane, a model that has been obsolete by the Spanish Air Force. This behavior which was similar to "junk pick-up" ended up with nothing definite.

Before this, Russia suggested that Argentina should buy its Su-24 fighter bomber, but the Ministry of Defense of Britain believed that such plane could no way affect Britain's defensive stance in the Falkland (Malvinas).

Currently, Britain deploys six "Typhoon" warplanes in the Falkland (Malvinas). The Su-24, which came into the world in the early 1970s, can never ward off the blows from the most advanced "fourth-and-a-half-generation" warplane of Europe.

"But it will make a huge difference if the J-10 is commissioned to the Air Force of Argentina," according to the evaluation report of the Ministry of National Defense of Britain.

A favorable turn, American media claim that China promises to build production lines in Argentina

Actually, there were already signs showing that Chinese warplanes would land on Argentina, the other end of the earth. This time is actually a favorable turn.

As early as June 2013, insiders of the Argentine aircraft factory told Jane's Defense Weekly that China and Argentina planned to jointly produce the FC-1 and that the negotiation in this regard had been going on for two years. However, this negotiation seemed to end up with nothing, and later Argentina renewed its existing "Kfir" warplanes.

Argentineans showed their interest in the "Chengdu FC-1" fighter which was jointly developed by China and Pakistan as early as in the Paris air show in 2013.

The representatives of Argentina stressed that the "Chengdu FC-1" fighter is equipped with the supersonic anti-ship missile CM-400AKG, and its maximum velocity may reach 4 times the speed of sound, with a range of 250 kilometers. The "Chengdu FC-1" fighter that carries such weapons may hit the British aircraft carrier in its dispute with Britain over the island.

America's Defense News claimed that China has promised to build the production line for "Chengdu FC-1" fighter in Argentina. The bigger news concerns the J-10 which has never been mentioned by Argentina before. The Jane's Defense Weekly believed that this plane has the "European Style" duck-wing design, which is similar to the Swedish "Gripen", French "Dassault Rafale" and "Typhoon". The J-10 has "the maximum speed of 1.8 times the speed of sound, with a bomb load of 6.6 tons and 11 mounting points", and may use various advanced air-to-air missiles, anti-ship missiles, anti-radiation missiles and laser-guided bombs.

In the eyes of many military fans, Argentina, which has suffered economic distress for years, can not afford to buy J-10. France once detained Argentina's sailing training ships to force it to pay back its debts.

However, Russian media reported that Argentina exported a large amount of agricultural by-products such as soy and beef to China in recent years, and it is practicable for it to buy warplanes and their technologies from China via barter.

Comments (0)
Most popular in 24h
  Archived Content
Media partners:

Copyright ©1999-2018 Chinanews.com. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.