Argentina's decision to buy US-made F-16 fighter jets to counter Beijing's momentum: Analyst

Ronit Kawale
Ronit Kawale - Senior Editor
4 Min Read

With Argentina's recent decision to purchase F-16 fighter jets made in the United States and its announcement in early April to cooperate with the US military at a naval base on the southern tip of South America, international affairs analysts are increasingly concerned about foreign policy. Change is visible. According to Voice of America, this could have significant implications for both China and the United States.

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For nearly ten years, Beijing has been trying to sell Argentina the JF-17 fighter plane, which it has developed jointly with Pakistan.

According to London-based Argentina expert Christopher Eccleston, the decision was “pretty much inevitable” given the pro-democracy, anti-communist stance of recently elected Argentine President Javier Meili.

Some Chinese pundits lamented the setback when Argentina decided to buy 24 F-16s from Denmark rather than accept a rival offer from China.

Meanwhile, Rick Fischer, a senior fellow at the Washington-based Center for International Assessment and Strategy, said Argentina was very close to surrendering itself completely to Beijing and deepening military, political and economic cooperation with the nation. According to Voice of America report, this would have had a very bad effect on America, however, Miley's anti-communist stance has turned the tables.

If China were successful in selling its jets as well as other weapons such as armored vehicles, China would have access to Argentina's defense and security infrastructure, Fischer said, adding, “Other Latin American countries would also have access to it.” Would have been encouraged to follow.” Its footprints.”

According to analysts, Miley's choice to cooperate on a broader scale with the United States, including a naval facility close to the Strait of Magellan, was equally significant.

It was widely publicized that China was committed to working with Argentina to develop the facility.

Meanwhile, Miley said in a speech earlier this month that Argentina and the US would work together to build the Ushuaia naval facility. Miley made her statement following her flight from Buenos Aires to meet with U.S. Army four-star general Laura Richardson in Ushuaia, Voice of America reports.

This month's visit to Argentina is his third since taking over the leadership of US Southern Command in October 2021.

Richardson listed further planned or ongoing US arms exports and investments in Latin America, indicating that the country is beginning to pay more attention to the region after years of watching China's gains south of its border .

In addition to the F-16 fighter planes and C-130 Hercules transport aircraft that the United States delivered to Argentina at the end of an 11-month lease, he told the Argentine press that 250 Stryker armored vehicles were planned. According to Richardson, there have also been discussions about building a plant in Argentina to maintain the Strykers.

According to him, other equipment such as King Air aircraft and P-3 observation aircraft are also on the list of things that can assist Argentina in coastal patrolling.

Additionally, Richardson revealed that the United States was close to completing construction of an emergency operations center in the western region of Neuquén, Argentina, where Beijing has been running a deep-space station since 2018.

According to experts, the station operates in a similar manner to Chinese military outposts abroad and is closely linked to electronic and space warfare, including tracking and surveillance – a claim China denies.

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