Russia has again approached the Argentine government to offer defense equipment, including military planes for the air force. The information was released by the InfoDefensa website, which cited a recent meeting between the Russian ambassador to Argentina, Dmitry V. Feoktistov, and the commander of the Argentine Air Force (FAA), Major-Brigadier Xavier Isaac
According to a statement by the Russian embassy, the meeting addressed “prospects for bilateral technical-military cooperation between the two nations.”
Russia had already started talks during the presidency of Mauricio Macri, but ended up interrupted. The current administration, under President Alberto Fernández, has greater political proximity to the government of Vladimir Putin and other allies such as Nicolás Maduro, dictator of Venezuela, a country that operates Russian aircraft.
In previous negotiations, the air force had requested a batch of 15 MiG-29 fighters and another of Su-30 fighters with 12 units. The Russians are still trying to offer the Yak-130 training jet and Mil Mi-17 helicopters, according to local media.
After a period in which it had a respectable fighter fleet, the Argentine Air Force retired several aircraft such as the Mirage III and the IAI Kfir, but without financial resources it was unable to replenish these losses in the inventory. Currently, the country’s air defense uses only six McDonnell Douglas A-4 Skyhawk aircraft adapted for this type of mission.
Argentina recently tried to purchase FA-50 light fighters from South Korea but the UK government banned the deal because it involved components made by the country.
The situation in South America is very unfavorable for Argentina, which sees its neighbors as Chile and Brazil much better equipped with fighter planes. The Brazilian Air Force is about to receive 36 Saab Gripen E fighters, assembled in part in the country itself.