The Government of the Argentine Republic has officially included funding for the purchase of 12 PAC JF-17A Block III fighters in a draft budget for 2022 presented to Argentina’s Parliament. The funding requests $664 Million for the purchase of 12x JF-17s from Pakistan.
The Argentine Air Force has thus chosen Pakistan’s JF-17 Thunder, discarding offers from Russia, USA, and India.
The 12x JF-17s will include 10 single seater Block-IIIs and 2 dual seat Block-IIIs.
The PAC JF-17A Block III is a supersonic, multirole 4+ generation fighter aircraft able to perform combat air patrol, air interdiction, beyond visual range integrated battle, long range maritime strikes, standoff range precision ground strikes, anti-radiation SEAD/DEAD missions and electronic warfare.
The primary air to air weapon on the fighter is the PL-15 with a range over 180 kilometers and a NEZ approaching 100 kilometers. The fighter features superior sensor fusion and avionics (especially electronic warfare systems), as well as a large HUD and Helmet Mounted Display (HMD) targeting systems for the PL-10 High Off-Boresight (HOBS) IR missiles, which are the secondary air to air weapon. The fighter can reach Mach 2.0, has a service ceiling of over 55,000 feet and a newer, more powerful engine that its predecessor variants and has 8 hardpoints for an assortment of weaponry.
The political and military ramifications of having a sensor fusion enabled, networked, smart standoff munition and beyond visual range air combat equipped platform capable of long-range anti shipping strikes with an AESA radar & IFR next to the Falkland Islands are huge.