Argentina to Acquire 24 Surplus F-16 Fighter Jets from Denmark

Argentina has signed an agreement to buy 24 surplus F-16 fighter jets from Denmark.

Denmark is replacing its F-16 fleet with new F-35 jets, both of which are made by the American company Lockheed Martin.

Argentine Defense Minister Luis Petri and his Danish counterpart Troels Lund Poulsen signed a letter of intent for the sale in Buenos Aires on March 26. The U.S. ambassador to Argentina, Marc Stanley, attended the event.

“Denmark is donating 19 F-16 jets to Ukraine, and the government has decided to sell 24 Danish F-16 jets to Argentina,” Lund Poulsen said in a statement, describing the transaction as a “possible sale.”

“The decision to sell the Danish jets to Argentina has been carried out in close collaboration with the American government, who has approved the sale of the US produced aircrafts,” the Danish Defence Ministry noted in the statement.

Local military sources in Buenos Aires, speaking to Defense News on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of military deals, said Argentina will pay $320 million for the acquisition. They also said banks and the U.S. will provide loans to help finance the deal, which not only includes the aircraft but also weapon systems and other equipment made by U.S. businesses. Denmark is also set to provide simulators and a spare.

Those sources added that the final contract will be signed by the end of April in Copenhagen.

The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency will manage the sale and transfer of weapon systems such as AIM-120 advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles, under the Pentagon’s Foreign Military Sales program.

Denmark’s Acquisition and Logistics Organisation will handle the transfer of surplus F-16s, while the Argentine military’s logistics directorate will surpervise the procurement process.

Negotiations for the deal, which began under Argentina’s previous government led by then-President Alberto Fernandez, also considered the procurement of newly built Chinese/Pakistani-made JF-17 fighter jets.

The potential acquisition of the JF-17 was rejected over concerns it could jeopardize relations with the U.S. military.