The Argentine Air Force is on the verge of decommissioning the last of its Fokker F-28 transports as recently happened with the F-27. Thus, the argentine military has no medium transport aircraft other than the C-130 operated by the AF, since the navy operated F-28s and the Army’s G-222A have been long scrapped. A tender was proposed in 2015/2016 in which both Leonardo’s C-27J and Airbus C-295 were competing and the cost-effective Spanish built transport took the lead.
Unfortunately, the financial situation combined with lack of political interest delayed indefinitely this process of which at the time was disclosed the possibility also to include MPA/SAR variants and as AEW platform. Still, only Chile operates the Persuader MPA version and there’s no customers for AEW yet.
Airbus’s main interest today is the Indian contract for 56 aircraft, 16 to be built in Sevilla, Spain and 40 to be built by Airbus in partnership with Tata. Still, this proposal is running since 2011 although government sources claim that in the short term will give the sign off, it is not certain. Airbus’s C-295 is to replace decommissioned Avro HS748 transport aircraft and to provide a complementary transport to An-32’s which are being upgraded locally under Antonov assistance, HAL on the other hand proposed to re-engine and overhaul completely the Avro HS748.
The main interest on these 16 airframes could provide both an interest to Airbus and to FAdeA, of which the Defense Ministry would provide aircraft for all three armed forces which will contribute to their liaison, logistics and transport needs as of the way to stop using the C-130 Hercules as an almost exclusive transport for all types and missions or means of opportunity as the Army’s C-212 and Grand Caravan could be.
Such an agreement framed within a Government to Government context between the Kingdom of Spain and the Argentine Republic might set up a new era in developing both nations aerospace industries and diverse offset benefits. Other options as the C-27J, ATR-72 or even from China would not have such a standing impact both politically, industrially and considering the long-standing relations for argentine and Spanish armed forces.