The Argentine Air Force continues to make headway with its air force modernisation efforts with the recent purchase of a Basler BT-67 turboprop utility aircraft. The procurement comes under an FMS agreement approved by the US State Department on the 18 April 2024.

Besides the single aircraft, the Argentine Government also acquired supplementary equipment including spare engines, logistics and training support – all for $143m (124.37bn pesos).

According to the State Department, the proposed sale will improve Argentina’s capability to meet current and future threats by providing additional capacity for airdrop and airlift operations to service Antarctica during the winter season. It is believed that this will reduce the burden on other airlift assets in the country.

The principal contractor will be Basler Turbo Conversions in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

BT-67 engines

Basler’s biggest selling point when it comes to the BT-67 is that it is equipped with PT6A-67R turboprop engines from Pratt & Whitney Canada.

“The versatility and performance of the PT6A makes it the engine of choice for demanding, high-cycle/high-power applications,” said Balser.

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The PT6A currently powers aircraft in service with over 7,100 operators in more than 180 countries, having accumulated more than 400m flying hours.

Implementation of this proposed sale will not require the assignment of any additional US Government or contractor representatives to Argentina.

New Argentine F-16s

In the same week as the Basler purchase, Argentina’s Defence Minister, Luis Petri, also confirmed his country’s $300m purchase of 24 second-hand Danish F-16s, following a declaration of intent at the end of March 2024.

“These aircraft, equipped with cutting-edge technology, represent a milestone in the modernisation of our air force and underscore our unwavering commitment to protecting our sovereignty,” Petri stated over social media.

The new F-16 fleet will replace the air force’s current fleet of five Super Etendard multi-role aircraft, procured in 1980–82.

Denmark has also earmarked 19 F-16s to go to Ukraine, six of which are expected to be delivered soon.

The F-16 Fighting Falcon, due to be inducted into the Argentine Air Force. Credit: Luis Petri X account.