Argentina holds fresh talks with India to purchase LCA Tejas

Argentina holds fresh talks with India to purchase LCA Tejas
Argentina holds fresh talks with India to purchase LCA Tejas

New Delhi: Argentina has held fresh talks with India to purchase supersonic fighters for the Argentine Air Force.

Ambassador Dinesh Bhatia along with the representatives of the HAL company, the manufacturer of the LCA Tejas fighter jet, held a meeting with Argentina Air Force Chief Brigadier General Xavier Isaac.

The Indian embassy said in a tweet, the purpose of the meeting was to deepen cooperation and the possibility of association with a view to the inclusion of supersonic fighters. Sources told that both the countries are eager to bolster their defence ties.

HAL recently inked a contract to supply components for SA-315B Lama helicopters operated by the Argentine Air Force.

However, sources added that the Argentina Air Force is also considering the options of  the F-16 proposal by the United States and the China's JF-17 Thunder. It appears that HAL Tejas have been sidelined in official consideration, but the meetings between Argentina and India will be able to progress in other segments to deepen defense cooperation at an industrial level with opportunities for technology transfer and local production. Argentina is looking to acquire 15 Tejas Mk-1A fighters.

Besides Argentina, HAL is in talks with at least three other countries to sell its light-combat aircraft. Malaysia has shortlisted the Tejas light fighter jet for an order of around 10 to 20 planes and Egypt and Botswana have also expressed interest. HAL is also in talks with the Philippines to sell LCA Tejas.

The Indian government in 2021 gave a $6 billion contract to HAL for 83 of the locally-produced Tejas jets for delivery starting around 2023 – four decades after the design began in 1983.

HAL plans to use the General Electric manufactured 414 engine on a second generation of light-combat aircraft. During the upcoming Modi's visit to the US,  the deal is likely to be sealed to produce those engines in India.

(Defence Watch– India's Defence News centre that focuses on Defence Manufacturing, Defence Technology, Strategy and Military affairs is on Twitter. Follow us here and stay updated.)

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