Argentina turned down the offering of a former ROK navy Ulsan class frigate

Upon ever increasing relations between both nations, South Korea offered an Ulsan class frigate to the Argentine Navy. After serious consideration, Argentina turned it down, as published by the newspaper Ambito. Some of the official reasons state the complexity in the maintenance of such a propulsion system, which is not in use in the Argentine Navy, and the high costs of bringing the ship from across the world. The Argentine Fleet uses Rolls Royce engines with a high standard of availability and reliability and no serious incidents for over 40 years. While the General Electric LM2500 of the Ulsan class can be maintained by several private companies in Argentina, it is not in the Navy’s interest to acquire them yet.

Ecuador is selling off its HAL Dhruv helicopters

Four years after the decommissioning of the remaining three HAL Dhruv helicopters, the Ecuadorian government is looking to sell them back to Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) its manufacturer, as authorized by article 127 of Ecuador state assets bills. Seven HAL Dhruvs were bought in 2008 for 45 million dollars. Four of them crashed causing three deaths and suspicions arise upon the assassination of General Jorge Gabela, who was investigating alleged corruption on this deal. An investigation upon both situations is still ongoing and both experts and opposition have expressed their concern upon selling them before resolving any pending matters. The Defense Ministry contracted a private firm to assess the current inventory which includes helicopters 602, 606 and 607 with nine Turbomeca TM 333 engines, parts and other spares.

Argentina receives its first upgraded T-6C+ Texan II trainer

The Argentine Air Force has received its first T-6C Texan II upgraded to C+ standard, the E-303 aircraft is one of the first 8 out of a current total of 12 requested aircraft. 4 others are soon to be delivered by Textron to the AAF. This upgrade allows the aircraft to make use of wet/dry hardpoints with fuel drop tanks, bombs, gun pods and rockets. Also specific to the AAF is the replacement of the original Cobham radio set. The remaining 7 original Texan II’s are to be upgraded in Argentina, the 4 other pending aircraft will be delivered as C+ standard.

The time has come for INVAP to develop an AEW&C aircraft?

An Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) aircraft is a long overdue necessity for the Argentine Air Force. Policy trends towards an increasing interest both in air policing and indigenous developments. As of now, the AAF only has one ELINT/SIGINT platform, the Learjet 35 VR-24 with a Thales Vigile 200 suite as the only Electronic Warfare or long-range information gathering platform, but completely unsuitable for control, surveillance or even search and rescue operations support. Since 2006, an important effort has been in place to establish a national integrated surveillance system or SINVICA. As a product of that, Investigacion Aplicada or INVAP, one of the most capable state enterprises in Argentina has developed a set of primary and secondary AESA radars.

Argentine Navy prepares to receive ARA Bouchard and scraps part of its fleet.

The Navy’s CiC Admiral Jose Luis Villan and the Chief Naval Attache in Europe, Captain Marcelo Angel Valverde have visited Naval Group’s facilities while L’Adroit is being refitted for argentine service as published by Gaceta Marinera. They have been briefed on current status for works being done on L’Adroit to enhance ship’s resistance for antartic deployment and other mission equipment replacements. Vessels 2 and 3 are already being built in Piriou and Kership Lorient respectively. Four OPV’s in total are to be delivered until 2023. Villan upon its arrival in France, visited Bormes Les Mimosas, place of birth of the argentine naval hero, Hipolito Bouchard.

Guatemala halts purchase of IA-63 Pampa jet aircraft

Recent statements have put a halt on Guatemalan Air Force purchase of FAdeA’s IA-63 Pampa III jet trainers. The agreement, signed by both argentine and guatemalan presidents on July 3rd, 2019, has been contested by the guatemalan national controllership. The fact is that both governments made use of an update of an existing agreement to provide the legal framework in order to perform the operation. This would directly counter legislation on bids and purchases for the guatemalan state. With particular interest in next month’s general election ballotage, this did not go unattended.

Argentina still struggles to define a long-term defense policy

Paola DiChiaro, Defense Ministry’s Secretary for Military Affairs and Strategy made a briefing on current challenges and development for defense policy in Argentina. These statements provide a broad and concrete snapshot of its status and also what the armed forces are investing in. It has been interpreted by this administration that over 36 years after the last military dictatorship, the trend has started to shift from a negative view of the armed forces. Unfortunately, this outdated agenda was also pushed by officials of the Kirchner administration in previous years, so a recovery took longer and was more difficult than the actual society’s thoughts on it. This set up a priority on reconstructing credibility and a weakened bureaucracy in all Defense levels.

Portugal approves purchase of 5 KC-390 transports

Today, the Portuguese Council of Ministers has approved the purchase of 5 EMBRAER KC-390 Aircraft including logistical support, spares and training as well as a flight simulator and self-protective electronic warfare suites. According to Portuguese media, the agreement for these C-130 replacements is for 827 million Euros. At a fly away cost of approximately 167 million Euros each. Portugal has been an industrial partner of the KC-390 project and now becomes the first export customer. The statement specifies the intended duties for the aircraft as air transportation, Search and Rescue, MEDEVAC with focus on supporting the Portuguese islands as the ability to perform aerial refueling and firefighting when needed.

Colombia issued an RFP for 15 Eurofighter Typhoon multirole aircraft.

Ivan Gonzalez, Sales Director for Combat Aircraft in Airbus Defence & Space, has confirmed that the Government of Colombia has issued a Request for Proposal of 15 brand new Typhoon Tranche 3 multirole fighters as published by Defensa.com. Such a conversation is not new since other requests have been made since 2015.  

These aircraft have been offered with “no restrictions” and current operational status including CAESAR active electronically scanned array fire control. This agreement would be financed directly by the Spanish government, paying exactly what is paid by the Spanish Ejercito del Aire for each aircraft to the builder consortium.  

Logistics, Support and training would be also included as well as technology and know-how transference directly to the Corporacion de la Industria Aeronautica de Colombia (CIAC).