July 29, 2015

JF-17 looses to Israel Aircraft Industries' Kfir Block 60 for Argentina's next-generation multirole fighter program

Argentina has decided not to purchase the FC-1 Xiaolong, a multirole fighter jointly developed by China and Pakistan also known as the JF-17 Thunder, reports the Shanghai-based Guancha Syndicate.

Argentina has opted for Israel Aircraft Industries' Kfir Block 60 as its next-generation multirole fighter. Though the Xiaolong's lower price had been attractive, China refused to provide anti-ship missiles under diplomatic pressure from the UK, according to the Moscow-based Military Parade.

The price of the Xiaolong would not have been too much of a bargain in the end, since Argentina had insisted that China install avionics and weapons systems purchased from Israel as part of the deal.

Israel Aircraft Industries has declined to comment.

Internet users from Pakistan mocked Argentina's choice, saying the Kfir is an obsolete military aircraft introduced in the 1980s. It currently serves with the Israli Air Force in a ground attack role instead of aerial combat. Additionally, Argentina will be buying previously used planes.

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