Russia is reportedly planning to sign a deal to lease 12 Sukhoi Su-24 Fencer aircraft to Argentina in exchange for food.
The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) will be reviewing the Falkland Islands air defences, as it considers full operating capability of the two new Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers and the aircraft deliveries would be a potential threat to the islands, reports DefenseNews.
Four Eurofighter Typhoon jets are currently operated by the islands, as are Rapier Surface to Air Missile (SAM) systems. There are also approximately 1,200 troops permanently stationed in the South Atlantic base, reports Jane’s news agency.
The MoD conducts regular assessments of possible military threats for the Falkland Islands in order to ensure its defensive capabilities, it said.
According to UK analysts, Argentina’s acquisition of a combat jet force can affect the strategic balance in favour of Buenos Aires.
Russian aircraft and weapons expert and International Institute for Strategic Studies in London senior air analyst Doug Barrie was quoted by DefenseNews as saying: "The Su-24 is not what Argentina needs.
"They have competent crews but they need a multi-role platform not a single-role air-to-surface aircraft, which is expensive to fly and expensive to maintain."
The Su-24MK is an upgraded front-line bomber which can be operated in favourable and adverse weather conditions at any time amidst varying altitudes. It has special features including pinpoint destruction of ground and naval surface targets.