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Argentinian air power modernisation makes modest progress

8th February 2023 - 18:00 GMT | by Wilder Alejandro Sanchez in Washington DC

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Argentina has modernised its C-130 fleet and is due to receive new helicopters and turboprop utility aircraft from the US. (Photo: FAA)

The Argentinian Air Force (Fuerza Aérea Argentina/FAA) is acquiring new Bell helicopters and is upgrading its combat and transport fixed-wing aircraft fleets.

On 30 January, the Argentinian MoD ratified a 21 December 2022 contract between the country's military and the Canadian Commercial Corporation for six Bell 407 GXi helicopters, a transfer worth $32.4 million. Three aircraft will be transferred to the FAA and the other three to the army. They will be utilised for search-and-rescue operations in mountainous terrain, the MoD explained. However, the ministry did not disclose when the helicopters will be delivered.

Additionally, on 1 February, the MoD displayed a Lockheed C-130H Hercules (tail number TC-64) and an IA-63 Pampa III Block II trainer aircraft. Both had been modernised by the state-owned aircraft factory FadeA and returned to the FAA. TC-64 is the last of the FAA’s fleet of five Hercules that has been modernised, 'extending its operational life for at least 20 years', the MoD noted.

During the redelivery ceremony, Defence Minister Jorge Taiana also noted the upcoming delivery of a new Beechcraft TC-12B Huron aircraft. Argentina acquired a fleet of 12 Hurons from the United States, which have slowly been delivered, with the first arriving in September 2021. The FAA will receive ten examples, while the other two will be assigned to the navy. The MoD has not disclosed how many aircraft are in service so far.

Argentina’s national defence fund (FONDEF) financed acquisition of the Bell 407 and TC-12 fleets and modernisation of the Hercules and Pampa aircraft.

Wilder Alejandro Sanchez

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Wilder Alejandro Sanchez


Wilder Alejandro Sánchez is an analyst who covers defense & security, geopolitical, and trade issues …

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