Argentina finalises major military deal to 'recover war potential lost during Falklands'

Argentina finalises major military deal to 'recover war potential lost during Falklands'

WATCH: The White House approved sending fighter jets to Ukraine

GB News
George Bunn

By George Bunn

Published: 31/01/2024

- 17:47

The agreement means the country is turning its back on China

Argentina has announced a major military deal in a move that loosens China's foothold in South America.

The South American country has received US backing to buy two dozen new fighter jets from Denmark.

An agreement between President Javier Milei and the White House has seen the US Ministry of Defence enabling his administration to purchase 24 supersonic F-16 planes.

It is a move that loosens the grip of China on South America as Xi Jinping's regime previously floated an arrangement for 34 JF-17 planes with the administration of Milei's predecessor.

\u200bPresident Javier Milei

President Javier Milei campaigned on restoring Argentinian sovereignty to the Falklands


Experts say the announcement brings a soft power victory for the Biden administration. The planes, manufactured by Lockheed Martin, will reportedly be financed by Washington.

For President Milei, the announcement represents a chance for the country to bring back some military prowess, according to Spanish-language publication Infobae who added the purchase would allow Argentina to recoup some of its potential.

The paper reported the 24 new planes would "allow the Air Force to recover the war potential it lost during the Malvinas War in 1982".

Over 60 aircraft were lost during the 10-week Falklands War, which is referred to as the Malvinas War in Argentina.


\u200bAn F-16 fighter jet

An F-16 fighter jet


In the years following the war, an initial agreement with the US saw the country gain 24 new Lockheed Martin A-4AR Fightinghawks.

They entered service in 1997 and have served as the Air Force's backbone in the nearly 30 following years.

The latest clutch of fighters will double the number of serving aircraft to 48, giving the country its largest supply since the Falklands War ended in 1982.

The F-16s will also be Argentina's first-ever supersonic planes when they enter service.

The country could have received another 10 aircraft, but the number on offer was whittled down by the war in Ukraine. According to Infobae, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky received those 10 after lobbying the White House.

Relations between Buenos Aires and London are facing fresh tests following the election of Milei as Argentina's president.

Earlier this month, the President said he expects future negotiations over the sovereignty of the British territory.

During his campaign, he proclaimed that he would gain sovereignty over the islands.

A UK official said: "On the Falkland Islands, the foreign secretary and president Milei said they would agree to disagree, and do so politely. The UK position and ongoing support for the Falkland Islanders' right to self-determination remains unchanged."

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