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.