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ECONOMY | 26-03-2024 22:37

Denmark to sell fighter jets to Argentina following US approval

Milei government signs letter of intent with Denmark, agrees to buy 24 F-16 fighter jets in “coming years” at a cost of around US$300 million.

Denmark will sell 24 of its F-16 warplanes to Argentina for an estimated cost of 2.1 billion kroner (US$303 million) after receiving approval from the United States.

Argentina's Defence Minister Luis Petri on Tuesday signed a letter of intent to buy the 24 jets with his Danish counterpart Troels Lund Poulsen in Buenos Aires.

"We received the visit of the Danish Minister of Defence, Troels Lund Poulsen, with whom we signed a letter of intent for the purchase of F-16 aircraft and support equipment. We are laying the foundation for cooperation in defence between Denmark, the US and Argentina," said Petri in a post on Twitter.

The purchase, which also includes engines, spare parts, simulators and training equipment, is the first major defence purchase made by President Javier Milei’s government since the Argentine head of state took office last December.

Delivery of the F-16 planes to Argentina is expected within “the coming years,” Denmark’s Defence Ministry said in an emailed statement. The sale of the US-produced jets has been agreed in “close coordination” with the US government, which has cleared the deal, it added.

Despite sharp austerity measures, Milei has also pledged to revamp Argentina’s military defences even though the country historically takes a neutral stance during global conflicts. 

The purchase aligns with Milei’s commitment to pivot Argentina’s relations toward the United States and western Europe after his predecessor prioritised relations with China and Russia. 

Reports in recent years have suggested that Buenos Aires would buy new jets from China or India.

The deal suits Denmark. The Nordic country, which is also donating 19 F-16 planes to Ukraine, is replacing its existing fleet with F-35 jets, though delivery of the new warplanes is facing delays due to technology hurdles at producer Lockheed Martin Corp.

"Danish defence is in the midst of a generational change process, in which our F-16 aircraft are being phased out in favour of the new F-35 fighters," Lund Poulsen confirmed in a statement.

 

– TIMES/BLOOMBERG/AFP
 

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