Argentina’s Ministry of Defense will start the process of purchasing F-16 fighters from Denmark for the Air Force

After nearly ten years of back and forth, analysis, and evaluations of all kinds, the Ministry of Defense of the Argentine Republic, with the approval of the Executive Power, will soon begin the formal process of purchasing F-16 MLU fighters for the Argentine Air Force. During yesterday’s session, through various local media, it was confirmed that in the coming days, the Minister of Defense of Denmark, Troels Lund Poulsen, is expected to visit, and he will meet with Luis Petri to advance an agenda focused on cooperation between both countries in this area, with the acquisition of the Fighting Falcon as one of the main topics to discuss. It is likely that Copenhagen will sell to Argentina the jets it previously wanted to give to Ukraine.

As pointed out by Zona Militar on several occasions, the acquisition of the F-16A/B MLU from the Royal Danish Air Force involves a complex operation, which encompasses not only the aircraft themselves but also their arsenal of air-to-air missiles of various types and guided munitions. This has been authorized and approved by the Government and Congress of the United States, who gave the green light for the sale to the country of up to 38 aircraft that will be decommissioned by Denmark. This number would be reduced to 24 units (plus an additional one for training and ground formation) considering the operational requirements of the Argentine Air Force.

In addition to the associated issues, it should also be noted the necessary investment in new infrastructure works to allow the proper operation and maintenance of the new weapons system. This is reflected in the 2024 budget project that presented specific allocations for building works and upgrading facilities of the VI Air Brigade in Tandil, Buenos Aires province, and in the Río Cuarto Material Area in Córdoba. The former is where the fighters will operate and be based, while the latter will provide support and maintenance for the F-16s.

Following the previous reports, Clarín reported yesterday on the visit of the Danish Minister of Defense, Troels Lund Poulsen, which will take place in the coming days, initiating a series of high-profile meetings. One of these will be held in early April with the arrival of the Commander of the United States Southern Command, General Laura Richardson, to discuss various defense-related bilateral agenda items with Argentina.

Regarding the F-16s, in light of the meeting between Petri and his Danish counterpart, it is expected that the formal process of purchasing the fighters will begin, which are being replaced in Denmark by the F-35A stealth combat aircraft. Sources consulted by Zona Militar have also indicated that the documentation signing process, reflected in a Letter of Intent, which would begin to confirm Argentinean willingness, will conclude in April with the visit of the Minister of Defense to the Northern European country. This step would mark the end of a decision-making process that has been prolonged for almost ten years. With their incorporation, the Argentine Air Force would regain supersonic interception capability, as well as incorporating new technologies, such as Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missile launch capability and guided armament against ground targets.

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