Argentina plans to deliver supersonic Super Étendard fighter jets to Ukraine

June 13,2024 1162
Argentina plans to deliver supersonic Super Étendard fighter jets to Ukraine

Argentine President Javier Milei has endorsed a proposal to provide Ukraine with five Super Étendard fighter jets, according to an Infobae report. Argentina never commissioned these jets, which it purchased from France in 2017 due to a British embargo preventing the sale of necessary military spare parts to the country.

Argentine officials, including the Minister of Defense, are actively working to overcome a British embargo that is currently hindering the transfer of five Super Étendard fighter jets to Ukraine. These aircraft, stored at Puerto Belgrano, have not been utilized by Argentina because the embargo affects crucial spare parts for their British-made ejection seats. Discussions with the United States and NATO are underway to facilitate this transfer.

The government of President Javier Milei is exploring a strategic bypass to circumvent the embargo, with France playing a pivotal role. The potential deal would involve Argentina trading the Super Étendards for other military assets from France, such as drones or helicopters. Additionally, France would handle the replacement of the necessary cartridges for the ejection seats, thereby not implicating Argentina directly in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. This arrangement aims to keep the final political responsibility with France, ensuring Argentina’s indirect involvement in the support of Ukraine.

“However, since Macron lost the EU parliamentary elections and scheduled French elections for the end of the month, he is unlikely to pay much attention to matters outside his domestic agenda, and defeat in the elections could mean the end of his presidency. If this happens, then Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right National Rally bloc, will become his successor, and Milei’s plan will remain unrealized,” the text says.

Super Étendard fighters proved their strategic value during the Falklands War when Great Britain and Argentina fought to control the Falkland Islands.

As of June 13, Argentina has joined the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, commonly referred to as the Ramstein format. “We’ve got a lot of work ahead. And fortunately, support for Ukraine is growing and not waning. In fact, I am pleased to welcome Argentina as a new member. [Argentina’s Defense] Minister [Luis] Petri, I am glad to have you with us,” said US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin at the beginning of the 23rd Ramstein-format meeting.

Cover: open sources

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