Argentina buying 18 Israeli Kfir Fighter Planes

Argentina is negotiating the purchase of a batch of Israel Aerospace Industries Kfir Block 60 fighters.

The Block 60 is the latest upgraded version of the Kfir, which was used by the Israeli air force between 1975 and 1994. Some aircraft are being offered with General Electric J79 engines with zero hours following a complete overhaul, while other examples would need to have this work performed after their powerplant reaches 1,600 flight hours.

The upgraded fighter will carry an Elta Systems EL/M-2032 active electronically scanned array radar, which can operate in simultaneous air-to-air and air-to-surface modes and is capable of tracking up to 64 targets. Its open architecture design will also allow the customer to integrate other systems, industry sources say. Argentina could pursue a deal to acquire 18 of the combat aircraft from Israel.

There are currently a combined 36 Kfirs in operational use with the air forces of Colombia (pictured), Ecuador and Sri Lanka.

China’s FC-1 Xiaolong, a multirole fighter jointly developed by China and Pakistan also known as the JF-17 Thunder, had a lower price but China would not provide anti-ship missiles because of pressure from the UK.

The UK imported $26 billion of goods from China in 2014 Argentina imported $10.4 billion from China in 2014.