The argentine AF C-130s needs more and new engines

Today and increasingly, the Argentine
Air Force C-130 and KC-130H’s are having operational setbacks. Engine failures
are not uncommon, and it gets ever more difficult to procure the necessary
funding to properly stock the AF. The argentine C-130’s are without
question, the most important aircraft in the nation, critical for a number of
duties including paradrop, search and rescue, transport and air to air refueling
(only KC-130). An important overhaul and upgrade program were implemented from
2014 and on by the Fabrica Argentina de Aviones (FAdeA) in partnership with L-3
to integrate the Flight II+ suite in the argentine aircraft, also the two KC-130s
have been equipped with a Wescam MX-10 gyrostabilized platform with LLTV and IR/EO
sensors. Such an FMS sponsored upgrade was only recently paid and at a great cost, armed forces land and properties were auctioned in order to procure necessary payment also of brand-new Bell 412 EP helicopters, T-6C Texan II and their conversion to the C+ standard.

The FA-50 is not enough for the Argentine AF

Once again, Argentine mass media takes notice on the proposed purchase of Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) FA-50 Golden Eagle for the Argentine Air Force. We did cover this fact recently and in short, Clarin published already known information but with stating a supposed green light by the President Mauricio Macri to go on and submit this agreement. Such negotiations allegedly are for first squadron of 8 to 10 aircraft and their logistical support and training for the next two years. Financial restraints would prevent the AF to also include advanced weaponry to which will turn to its own arsenal of AIM-9L/M and free fall bombs for the time being. 

Many criticisms come from the fact that no FA-50 in service is capable of using Air to Air Beyond Visual Range (BVR) weaponry and still with no air to air refueling capacity or large capacity conformal fuel tanks (CFT), which would leave the aircraft with internal fuel only and on a very limited combat radius. This is only offered by KAI as a possible development on request. 

The FA-50 is no match in the class of neighboring F-16’s and Gripens but will bring sustainable scalability and capabilities in which the aging and progressively obsolete A-4Ar Fightinghawks don’t make the cut anymore.

The Argentine Army is looking for optical sights and NVG’s

The ARGENTINE MILITARY ATTACHÉ’S
OFFICE IN THE UNITED STATES has made public bids 01/2019 and 02/2019 for
procurement of optical sights and night vision goggles, respectively. These
acquisitions are framed upon the Northern Integration Op. or OPINOR, of which
the armed forces are providing logistical and other support to security forces
deployments and patrols. PB 01/2019, is requesting 217 Vortex Solo 8x36 optical sights. PB 02/2019 is for 40 AN/PVS-7D Night Vision Googles, both of the PBs support infantry and special operations forces.

The argentine IA-63 Pampa won’t be sold to Bolivia, here’s why.

Yesterday, the newspaper Clarin published an article stating that any possible sales prospect of the IA-63 Pampa advanced jet trainers is under pressure by Israel and the U.S. considering Bolivia’s direct links with Iran.The fact is that Bolivia and Iran have just signed an agreement to provide “nanotechnology” for a military academy and Drones for counter-drug and smuggling operations. Although the actual drone which is to be purchased has not yet been disclosed, this is causing serious concerns on Bolivia’s neighbors and sets as the first Iranian drone export in Latin America. Israel and the U.S. are very annoyed by the fact considering their high-level lobbying and Mike Pompeo’s presence in the region to bolster anti-terrorist cooperation and the recognition of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization by Latin-American nations. Argentina and Bolivia have a very important gas trade and to this fact, Gustavo Lopetegui, the argentine Secretary for Energy, proposed that on any compensation required from the argentine state to the bolivian state, it could be paid by the export of IA-63 Pampa advanced jet trainers. This has been seen at first as an opportunity to provide new customers for the Fabrica Argentina de Aviones (FAdeA), but such a salesmanship collided with the fact that it was not thorough in considering that the IA-63 Pampa has components made in Israel, U.K and U.S. which are subject to export approvals.

There’s no better timing for the argentine Airbus C-295s than now

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.

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

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.

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.

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.