Korea Aerospace Industries has announced that its plan to sell FA-50 jets to Argentina has been put on hold.

“It must have been difficult for Argentina to spend its defense budget for fighter jets when it is experiencing difficulties due to the virus spread,” a Korea Aerospace Industries spokesperson was reported as saying in local media.

The plan to export the FA-50 light fighter jets, a combat variant of the T-50 trainer jet, has been delayed indefinitely.

The Argentine Air Force had evaluated the FA-50 as a potential new platform in 2016 and it was seeking to buy the FA-50 as an interim replacement for the retired Mirage 3, 5, and Dagger force.

The T-50 is South Korea’s first indigenous supersonic aircraft and one of the world’s few supersonic trainers. Development began in the late 1990s, and its maiden flight occurred in 2002. The aircraft entered active service with the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) in 2005 and multiple variants (including the combat capable FA-50) have been developed.

All Argentinian Mirages were officially decommissioned in November 2015. The A-4s were grounded as of January 2016 for lack of spares; in any case only 4–5 were airworthy with the rest in storage at Villa Reynolds.

When Barack Obama visited in March 2016, Air Force One was accompanied by US Air Force F-16s because Argentina could only offer Pucarás and Pampas for air defence, as we reported here.

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Mr Bell

FA50 vs Eurofighter typhoon or F35B or Sampson equipped type 45 destroyer. Hmmm I know what side will easily win that one. UKPLC

Rob N

Yes – I assume the Typhoons down there have Meteors too… i think this year the Falklands will get Sky Sabre air defence system too. The new system is land based Sea Ceptor with Israeli Iron Dome C3. Some reports give the system a 50mile engagement range against multiple supersonic targets at once.

Once they turn on Sky Sabre the Argentina will no longer have an air option over the Falklands…

Daniele Mandelli

Which is why the oft talk of reinforcing the Falklands against the supposed threat of Argentina is not credible.

The UK’s defence posture there is more than sufficient at this time.


How does Sky Sabre handle low altitude threats from different directions? Much better I hope then Rapier Field Standard C systems they will be replacing.

Rob N

It uses the same missile as Sea Ceptor which is designed to take out sea skimming supersonic targets. The missile has its own radar for terminal guidance. The system is 360degree coverage day or night capable. It can attack multiple targets at once. It makes the current Falklands air defence system Rapier look stone age by comparison. It comes with a search radar that is very capable at low level detection and tracking. The system can integrate multiple radar feeds into a single picture and then prioritise targets etc. I should imagine that all the major Falklands radars will be… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli

I have not studied Sky Sabre’s capabilities, but it sounds like a game changer.

What concerns me, as always, is numbers. In the current Rapier FSC Regiment, 16 RA, there are 4 fire batteries, and 1 is rotated at any one time to the Falklands.

I don’t know how many launchers per battery yet. Hopefully more than 4!

Rob N

Hi as fare as I understand the system it is mobile and consists of a radsr vehiclr, a command vehicle and a 12 cell launcher vehicle. All are networked. I think extra lancher vehicles can be added to suit requirements. Tge lanchers can be reloaded…

How many launch vehicles make up a battery is unclear. I would hope it would be at least 4, but I do not know what tgey intend to use on the idlands…

Daniele Mandelli

I would think the same level as now- 1 battery on roulement.


The Typhoon’s at Mount Pleasant are Tranche 1’s.

They carry the BK-27 cannon, Asraam, Amraam C-5’s (and soon D’s) and Paveway IV. And thats it. No Meteor, Brimstone or Spear in the future either.
But a C-5 is plenty good enough, and they’ll be replaced by Amraam D in 2022.


Whilst it is tempting to focus on ‘Fantasy Falklands War 2’ there are wider issues for Argentina. In the end they can no-longer maintain effective QRA of their own airspace. In the event of a terrorist hijacking for example or even something as simple as an Airliner with a radio failure they are forced to rely on their neighbours to perform an intercept.

Rob N

I agree that Argentina is not a threat currently, however it still claims the Islands and who is to say what may happen in the future. It was a lack of British military strength in the South Atlantic that encouraged the junta to invade in the first place. We have to learn the lesson so it does not happen again.

The modernisation of the Falklands defences are a result of the replacement of old systems, nothing more. It is not the UK’s fault if Argentina has fallen into a new military dark age…


“It was a lack of British military strength in the South Atlantic that encouraged the junta to invade in the first place. We have to learn the lesson so it does not happen again.” Whilst constant vigilance is important I wish I had a pound for every time somebody brings up the argument about the Junta being encouraged. I would say the lesson has been learnt and the current defence posture is not only adequate but also more than up to the inclusion of a small number of F/A-50 in the FAA orbat. Two points: 1) The Junta no longer… Read more »


The parlous state of their armed forces is also due to the UK’s boycott and veto on any British components in anything that could upgrade / restore their equipment. This is ongoing since 1982 and has helped to dull the edge of their defence. Even ejection seats from Martin Baker can’t be supplied, which I assume was a big problem for A4s if not the Mirage derivatives.

Rob N

Although there is now no longer a Junta The democratic Argentinian state still claims tge islands. Democracies have been known to go to war too… Also we are not necessarily looking at the current Argentina but a future one that may be in better shape. No one knows the future there could be a military takeover etc. While I freely admit the current British defence is adequate, I reiterate that the New systems are only being put in to replace obsolescent ones and not as a response to a greater threat from Argentina. It just so happens that the new… Read more »


I agree part of the decision to invade the Falklands was the draw down of our military in the area, removing endurance and actively looking to sell Invincible etc. But there was another reason. The Junta was on its last legs, with daily riots in Buenos Aires and rampant inflation. The Junta were looking at a way of maintaining their power and deflecting the country’s issues. The Falklands fit the bill, as a means of ramping up nationalism to reclaim a land from an “imperial invader”.

Andy P

I must admit, when I’ve played ‘fantasy Scottish Forces’ its the Golden Eagle I’ve suggested as a fighter option. Would it see off 4th/5th gen fighters ? No… but the goddamn Bears etc aye. Can carry ground attack weapons too.

Oh, for clarity, I’m not one who wishes for an Indy Scottish armed forces, just for shits and gigs.


I think the worst thing for Argentina and the UK would be a Chinese bail out. In desperate times, Governments are known to make stupid decisions. Argentina is a major producer of beef, wheat and other foods, the Chinese are short on food resources for their 1.6 billion population. Hence their heavy handed tactics in the South China Sea with other Nations fishing vessels. It is plausible to believe a deal between the two Countries could be made, i.e food for cash. Much like a number of Pacific Islands who have used Chinese money, it comes at a very high… Read more »

Rob N

This is the point we can never predict the future. If someone told me the whole globe would be in lock down in 2020 I would not have thought it likely… but here we are. China getting involved in helping Argentina is not so far fetched. However at the moment they do not have the Blue Water power projection or the military lift to support military actions in the South Atlantic. Also the British military infrastructure on the Falklands would be decisive. We could fly in Typhoons, F35, AH64E, more troops, SAMs etc. Not to mention the odd Astute boat.… Read more »