The Government of Argentina is reportedly interested to procure FA-50 Fighting Eagle aircraft from the Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI).
The FA-50 fighter jet has been selected after the completion of an evaluation, Jane’s reported citing an unidentified Argentine Air Force (Fuerza Aérea Argentina – FAA) official.
If a firm contract is signed, the FA-50 will serve as FAA’s new interim fighter aircraft.
According to the officer, the government expects to approve the planned purchase of the supersonic, twin-seat light fighter and attack aircraft ‘in the near future’.
The aircraft will replace the airforce’s Dassault Mirage III and Mirage 5 fleets that retired in 2015.
The publication reported that the deal will infuse a new lease of life in the fleet as the ageing Douglas A-4R Fightinghawk fleet is proving increasingly ‘difficult and costly to maintain’.
Argentina sent a team to the Republic of Korea Air Force’s (RoKAF’s) 16th Fighter Wing at Yecheon in September 2016.
At that time, an FAA pilot performed testing of TA-50 Golden Eagle aircraft. TA-50 is an operational trainer variant of the FA-50 fighter jet.
The report added that the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Kfir, the Dassault Mirage F1, the Alenia M-346FT, the Aero L-159 ALCA, the CAC FC-1/PAC JF-17 Thunder, the Saab Gripen, early-model Eurofighter Typhoons were in consideration by the FAA.
Argentine media sources stated that the government is looking to purchase ten FA-50 fighters.
The aircraft features multimode radar, fly-by-wire digital flight controls, integrated identification friend or foe (IFF), night-vision imaging system and embedded GPS/INS.
The FA-50, which is developed by KAI in partnership with Lockheed Martin, can be armed with AIM-9 missile, MK-82, AGM-65 missile, internal 20mm gun, among other munitions.