Central/South American Military News, Reports, Data, etc.


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Despite selecting refurbished Kfirs from
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in 2015,
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is unable to ink a deal. Another opportunity for
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to market the JF-17???


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reports that Argentina has – again – halted negotiations for 12-14 Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Kfir Block-60 multi-role fighters. Argentina had
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in March.

It is not known why Argentina had walked away from negotiations. News reports
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to technical concerns over the aircraft and regulatory concerns regarding the transfer of American systems, such as General Electric J79 turbojet engines. Pricing was also
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an issue.

The Argentinian Air Force is currently undergoing a recapitalization program involving the acquisition of new aircraft, among them trainers and helicopters.

In April, Argentina
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for four Beechcraft T-6C Texan II trainers for $88.2 million U.S. In 2016 the U.S. had approved the sale of 24 T-6C trainers to Argentina for $300 million (with requisite logistics, training and after-sale support). Argentina could
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order another eight T-6Cs in the near-term.

However, the pursuit of a next-generation combat aircraft platform to replace the Argentinian Air Force’s Lockheed Martin A-4ARs has been a perennial challenge. Buenos Aires had
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for possible successors, even including non-traditional options from Russia and China.

Argentina had even
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the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) and Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) regarding the
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. However, Buenos Aires walked away from the platform,
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due to the risk of cost-escalation from incorporating Western avionics.

Since then, Argentina has been pursuing the IAI Kfir Block-60. The marquee feature of the Kfir Block-60 is that is that is available with the Elta EL/M-2052 active electronically-scanned array (AESA) radar.

Notes & Comments:

While matters fell through the previous time, Argentina may remain as one of AVIC and PAC’s standard-bearer markets for the JF-17. Simply put, it would be a gateway to the Latin American market, which is in the process of region-wide defence modernization and acquisition efforts.

The JF-17 program has seen substantive progress since Argentina had expressed interest in the platform. With more than 70 aircraft in service with
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, PAC is at the second-half of the JF-17 Block-II’s production run. Unlike the JF-17 Block-I, the Block-II is a noticeably customized variant comprising of a mix of Chinese, Western and other electronic subsystems. The
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– for operational conversion training – has also flown.

Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group (CAIG) and PAC are also progressing with the
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, which will be the first major update to the Thunder platform. It will include an AESA radar and, if the
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, increased wingspan (for additional stores), reduced wing-loading and three-axis digital fly-by-wire flight control system. While the AESA radar is likely to be Chinese, the PAF could potentially look to further tune the aircraft by incorporating additional third-party subsystems. The integration of
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from Turkey’s Aselsan is an example of this effort.

It is possible that the PAF’s own JF-17 Block-III could align (at least nearer than the Block-I/II) to Argentina’s preferred (Western oriented) configuration. Granted, avionics inputs would have to come from Western vendors that are comfortable with the JF-17, such as Aselsan and Indra. This limits Argentina’s options.

A non-Chinese radar will be a challenge. The issue with a third-party radar (e.g. Leonardo Vixen 1000E) is sourcing medium-range air-to-air missiles (MRAAM) and anti-ship missiles (AShM) from non-Chinese sources. MBDA would necessitate British approval (an obstacle for Argentina), while plausible alternates – e.g. Turkey’s Bozdogan MRAAM and Atmaca AShM – are in the development stage.

If technical aspects are addressed, financing may not be insurmountable. For example, PAC can offer the Argentinian Air Force low-rate or incremental purchasing options (e.g. as was offered to Nigeria). Most of PAC’s production line will support PAF requirements, it is not export-dependent.

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I have very low expectation of JF-17 for Argentina, although JF-17 may be a better option than refurbished kfir.

JF-17 is better because everything of it is new. It has very high Performance/Price ratio because of the full set of Chinese Radar, avionics and weapon suite. All the works (time and money) of integration and testing have been done(paid) by PAC and CAC.

Buying the airframe and engine then replace and integrate radar, avionics and weapon suite from multiple western vendors will greatly increase the cost regardless who does that job. Therefor diminishing the P/P ratio, the point that Argentina is looking for. Considering the limitation and potential pressure from UK to the various vendors, the price of doing it will be even higher than usual (hypothetically JF-17 + Indra to Brazil).

If Argentinians insist on their preference for western systems, I don't see them having any choice other than no air-force at all. This sounds too harsh, but reality is harsh, everything costs.


Lieutenant General
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Tragedy of the ARA San Juan

It is with great sadness that we learn the confirmation of the sinking of the ARA (Armada of República Argentina) San Juan (TR1700), one of the three submarines of the Argentine Navy. They were 44 submariners (see below) - including the first South American submarine (Teniente de navío Eliana María Krawczyk) - on a routine mission like many other submarines around the world. In view of all the statements given, one hypothesis is that the submarine was lost on 15 November. Its position remains to be determined and, depending on the latter, the visit of the wreck will most likely be within reach of a very small number of nations

The ARA San Juan communicates for the last time Wednesday, November 15 at 7:30 am (local time - 11:30 am in Paris). The signal is bad and its location looks very complicated, thereby increasing the search area which will, it seems, 500 000 km² is almost the area of metropolitan France. The procedure would be that in case of loss of the means of communication the boat will come up in time of peace. In addition, the ARA San Juan had reported during this last communication a battery failure. One of the worst dangers for a submarine. He was sailing near Ushuaia as he was taking the road to his home port of Mar del Plata. The commander hoped to reach it on November 19 or 20. The ARA announces as early as 15 November that communication with the boat is lost. On the 18th, seven satellite calls to Argentine naval bases are interpreted as an attempt to communicate the submarine which could then have surfaced. Subsequently, and while these calls are not recognized how could have been issued by the crew of the San Juan, noises are recorded and announced on the 20th. The hope is revived but immediately denied the same day. Oxygen reserves and air decontamination capabilities are announced to have a useful effect for seven days.

The ARA San Juan communicates for the last time Wednesday, November 15 at 7:30 While many imagine a submarine between two waters or placed on the bottom in an atmosphere gradually becoming toxic, the fate of the submarine is disastrous. makes known. Around November 22, it is officially announced that a "noise" was recorded three hours after the loss of contact of November 15, or around 10:30 (local time, 14:30 in Paris). Whether a military submarine is 30 or 5 years old, it is designed to produce as little noise as possible from the internal equipment to the blades of the propeller. That's why the triptych to hunt such a boat is the frigate-helicopter pair supported, possibly, by a maritime patrol aircraft with sonars towed, dipped and hulled in support. In this case, the noise was recorded by an acoustic station of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Process Organization. When a network of watch sensors used for detecting nuclear tests manages to hear a submarine, it is almost always because its hull has imploded. It is a seismograph that recorded the sound of the implosions of the hulls of Eurydice and Minerve in France. As of November 23, 2017, the ARA would come to confirm that the "noise" of November 15 was actually an explosion and that the submarine is lost with all its crew.

One of the hypotheses is that the Argentine Navy was aware of the loss of the submarine as a very likely figure of the information it had on November 15 when the routine of the San Juan reports, two broadcasts a day, was interrupted. This is to understand that it is not possible, especially on the human level, to announce to a whole navy, all the crews, and behind, to a whole country, that a boat is lost, without it being localized and without having tried anything. It is therefore perfectly logical for the entire navy to be mobilized in titanic research efforts, calling upon international assistance wherever possible, so that everything is put to the service of the slightest hope. The announcement of the loss of the San Juan comes a whole day after the theoretical extinction of the least reserve of oxygen. It was inconceivable not to have set in motion everything that could be done, and to leave in doubt that a small opportunity might have been abandoned.

The location of the wreckage promises to be one of the issues. Two cases arise: either the boat rests on the continental shelf, or on the ocean floor. There would be nearly 6000 meters difference between the hypotheses. In the first, a submarine rescue capability such as the NATO NSRS is capable of diving up to about 600 meters, while in the second there are relatively few nations in the world capable of diving to the sea. to 6000 meters and maybe even more, that is to say the United States, Russia, China, Japan and France

What could have happened? The only item on the public record is damage to the battery: it can be as much a charge problem as a fire, the last case sometimes leading to an explosion. It is surprising that the San Juan could not surface. The consultation of the last communication will make it possible to appreciate if a fire was in progress, or not, and if the damage, or the damages, can explain why the boat could not reach the surface whereas the ballasts can be operated manually . According to the above mentioned elements, it would take only three hours between a communication of poor quality and the explosion recorded. Rather than the age of the boat, it would be a question of questioning the age and the state of the battery.

The ARA San Juan joins the long list of submarines that have disappeared in peacetime since 1945

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On December 20, Embraer announced that its
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multi-role tanker and transport (MRTT) aircraft has achieved initial operational capability (IOC) with the Brazilian Air Force (Força Aérea Brasileira: FAB).

In its press release, Embraer states, “The achievement of the IOC ensures the necessary conditions have been met for the aircraft to start operations, in accordance with the scope agreed upon with the FAB.”

As part of the IOC process, Embraer received the Provisional Type Certificate from the Brazil National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC) for the KC-390.

Lauding the milestone, the President and CEO of Embraer Defense & Security stated, “The certification campaign has progressed as planned and the tests performed have been very successful, proving the maturity of the aircraft and confirming the performance and the anticipated capacities.”

Embraer did not provide the specifics of the KC-390’s IOC tests, but the company outlined that the aircraft – via its two prototypes – flew a combined 1,500+ hours and saw through 40,000 hours of non-flight tests relating to its subsystems. The KC-390 will soon complete its structural tests.

Embraer plans on acquiring the Final Type Certificate for the KC-390 from the ANAC in 2018, which is also the expected timeframe in which the FAB is to receive its first serially-produced KC-390s.

Notes & Comments:

Designed as a potential successor to the Lockheed Martin C-130B/E Hercules, the KC-390 can lift a payload of 23 tons to a range of 2,815 km (in contrast, the C-130J-30 can fly 3,334 km with a similar payload). The payload can translate into either 66 paratroopers, one 8×8 armoured fighting vehicle, one Black Hawk or other medium-lift utility helicopter or two armoured 4×4 vehicles (
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The KC-390 is powered by two International Aero Engines (IAE) V2500-A5 turbofan engines. The IAE V2500-A5 also equips the Airbus A320, which means that the KC-390 benefits from the fuel efficiency and lifecycle cost-effectiveness of an ubiquitous commercial airliner – Embraer claims the KC-390 has the “lowest life-cycle cost on the market” for military transport aircraft of its class.

Besides transport, the KC-390 can also serve as an in-flight refueling (IFR) tanker using two Cobham Wing Air Refueling Pods with hose-and-drogue systems. The KC-390 uses Rockwell Collins’ Pro Line Fusion on-board avionics suite (e.g. cockpit human machine interface system). In terms of cargo management, the KC-390 uses a Continuous Computed Drop Point (CCDP) algorithm to account for speed, wing and altitude to provide an optimal release point for the cargo and parachuting personnel.

With a forecasted market of 700 legacy C-130s needing replacing worldwide, Embraer hopes to secure at least $1.5 billion U.S. in business per year through KC-390 sales. Besides pitching the KC-390’s apparent cost-effectiveness and versatility, Embraer might also be able to offer prospective customers a credit line
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for the purpose of supporting the country’s defence exports.

Portugal is negotiating for five KC-390s. If closed, this would be the KC-390’s first export sale (currently, Embraer’s firm orders – i.e. 28 aircraft – are solely from the FAB). Other prospective sales are in Argentina, Chile, Colombia and the Czech Republic, which could collectively result in up to 26 aircraft.

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related to the post right above is U.S. Participation in Search for Sunken Argentine Submarine Ends Today
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The United States will end its portion of the search for missing Argentine submarine ARA San Juan in the South Atlantic today, after spending five and a half weeks searching for the sub that sank with 44 crew members onboard.

A small team of military and civilian personnel will remain in Argentina until Jan. 2, when the last strategic lift assets depart the region, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet spokesman Cmdr. Erik Reynolds told USNI News. Today will be the last day U.S. naval assets in the water participate in the ongoing search.

After San Juan was reported missing on Nov. 17,
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within 24 hours, according to a SOUTHCOM news release. R/V Atlantis, an oceanographic research ship under charter with the U.S. Navy’s Office of Naval Research, had been one of five ships still actively searching the waters where the Argentine Navy believes its submarine sank.

“At its height, U.S. contributions to the search and rescue effort included three advanced aircraft, over 200 search and rescue personnel, four submersibles, one specialized underwater rescue unit, one ship, and more than 400 sonar buoys dropped in support of the operation,” according to the news release.
“Additionally, the United States provided the most advanced sonar system in the world, which was mounted on Argentine search vessels. U.S. planning and analytical specialists supported the efforts through data analysis; an effort that will continue.”

The Argentine Navy assigned U.S. assets various search areas, which U.S. assets swept twice each. Upon completing this tasking, U.S. forces decided to depart the area to resume work previously taking place before San Juan went missing.

Over the past few days, five ships have participating in the ongoing search: Argentine destroyer ARA Sarandí (D-13) and tugs ARA Puerto Argentino (A-21) and ARA Islas Malvinas (A-24); Atlantis, which has also
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; and Russian intelligence and oceanographic vessel Yantar. Russian remotely operated vehicle Panther Plus had been operating off Islas Malvinas, which was operating alongside Sarandí to explore possible contacts the destroyer detected.

The five ships and their ROVs found many possible contacts in recent days, all of which have turned out to be unrelated to the San Juan. Bad weather has also hampered efforts to explore possible contacts.

An Argentine Navy news release notes that, despite the U.S. search mission ending and Atlantis departing the region, “the United States will continue to provide support through expert personnel in data planning and analysis.”

“On behalf of the people of the United States, we offer our respects to the families of the crew of A.R.A. San Juan and the people of Argentina,” Rear Adm. Daniel Abel, SOUTHCOM director of operations, said in the SOUTHCOM news release.