KAI and argentine aerospace manufacturers push for a piece of the LMF pie

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Much has been published recently regarding the probable argentine purchase of korean Lead In Fighter Trainers, KAI FA-50. South Korean state media, Maeli, quoting statements by both Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) and South Korean government sources that push for this deal to come through. Patience is running out. Supposedly, requests of a counteroffer by the Leonardo consortium and their M-346 FA aircraft have not come through or have been considered inadequate.

8 FA-50 aircraft with 2 of them free of charge, including a Flight Simulator, spares, technical support and training for under 400 million dollars. Approximately a little over 30 million dollars for each aircraft. This is the final proposal made by South Korea both considering requirements by the Argentine Air Force and actual financial possibilities. This is pending Defense Minister Aguad’s signature, who is now under heavy fire due to the Congressional Committee’s conclusions upon the wreckage of the ARA San Juan submarine in November 2017. KAI’s ultimatum demands an actual sign off or to suspend negotiations within weeks and not months.

The newspaper Ambito has informed that 4 of these aircraft would be assembled at the Fabrica Argentina de Aviones (FAdeA), but as little Transfer of Technology (ToT) this represents, members of the argentine chamber for aerospace manufacturers (CARAE) have demanded their participation considering current legislation by the bill 27.437. Which also surfaced a conflict within argentine government for responsibilities between ministries that should be administrating such offsets as the law dictates.

For better or for worse, looks like the argentine Lightweight Multirole Fighter acquisition program is to be at its final steps.

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