The Argentinian Ministry of Defense (MoD) has issued a statement refuting media reports regarding the selection of a fighter jet for the country’s airforce.

The clarification comes in response to several reports that emerged last week suggesting that the country was purchasing 12 Pakistani – Chinese JF-17 Thunder Block III jets.

The reports claimed that the Argentinian Government recently unveiled a draft budget for fiscal 2022 that included funding for the jets. It is awaiting approval from the country’s Congress.

In a statement, Argentinian MoD said: “The Ministry of Defense informs that, by means of a Public Credit Operations Authorization note, it has requested the inclusion for the 2022 Budget of the authorisation to manage credit for up to $664m for the acquisition of multipurpose fighter aircraft, for the surveillance and control of the air space.

“Likewise, this ministry clarifies that it has not been issued regarding the purchase of supersonic aircraft of any origin and is in the technical-economic and financial evaluation stage of five alternatives.”

The JF-17 Thunder is a single-engine, lightweight, multipurpose combat aircraft that was developed jointly by Chengdu Aircraft Industry Corporation (CAC) of China and Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) of Pakistan.

The newest variant JF-17 Block-III features an electronically scanned radar and many advanced electronics.

According to sources, South Korean FA-50 aircraft, Swedish firm Saab’s Gripen multirole fighter jet and more are the other potential options.