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Conflicts, Military and WarArgentina's Defense Acquisition: India's Tejas Fighter Jet Deal Hangs in Balance Over UK Component Issue

Argentina’s Defense Acquisition: India’s Tejas Fighter Jet Deal Hangs in Balance Over UK Component Issue

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BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA (TEH)— Argentina has expressed interest in procuring India’s Tejas fighter aircraft, a significant milestone in South Asian country’s ambitions to expand its arms export portfolio. However, the inclusion of British-manufactured components in the Tejas is causing a hurdle in this prospective defense deal, as per Argentine Defense Minister Jorge Enrique Taiana, reports WION.

Taiana, who recently paid an official visit to India, voiced these concerns, highlighting the potential roadblock to India’s defense export objectives. Argentina’s top defense official unveiled that Argentine pilots have already tested the capabilities of the Tejas, but the issue of the UK-made parts remains a significant sticking point.

“Until the parts made in Britain are removed from the Tejas aircraft and replaced with components from another country, there will be a cloud of doubt on this deal,” stated Taiana with clarity. The Tejas, although an indigenous Indian fighter jet, contains parts sourced from numerous nations, posing a challenge for the manufacturer, Hindustan Aeronautical Limited (HAL). Replacing the British parts in the aircraft is not a straightforward task.

Taiana embarked on a four-day visit to India, during which he engaged with his Indian counterpart, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh. Apart from these high-level talks, the Argentine defense minister also visited BrahMos Aerospace, gathering information about the world’s fastest supersonic missile developed through an Indo-Russian joint venture. Argentina’s potential acquisitions also extend to India’s BrahMos missile and several home-grown helicopters.

At the core of these discussions is the intention to deepen the bonds between Argentina and India. Taiana stressed his dedication to fortifying the defense cooperation and overall relations between the two nations. “There are many things in common between the two countries in the way we look at the world and the principles that we uphold. Such as non-interference in other countries’ affairs, respect for territorial integrity, and resolution of all conflicts,” he said, noting the shared vision as the foundation of the robust India-Argentina relations.

Commenting on the Tejas acquisition, Taiana described India as a rising nation with an advancing defense sector boasting high-tech and appealing features. Argentina, in its quest for supersonic fighter aircraft, is exploring various options, not limiting itself to mere purchases. Instead, the South American country aims to collaborate on shared opportunities.

Notably, Argentina’s technical commission has been on a global tour, assessing different types of aircraft. “We are at the end of the process of selection. The decision of the commission will not be taken now but in a month or two,” added Taiana.


The matter of UK components is a sensitive issue for Argentina due to the ongoing Falklands dispute with Britain. The islands, geographically closer to Argentina, are under British control. The 1982 Falklands War over this territory deepened the Anglo-Argentine enmity, making Argentina wary of any defense equipment containing British parts. This includes the Tejas, where 16 components have been procured from the UK. The manufacturer must now find suitable replacements for these parts, a challenge that is being closely watched by the global defense industry.

As the world’s eyes turn to this developing defense deal, the success or failure of this negotiation will undoubtedly send ripples through the international arms trade. With the historical and political tensions at play, it presents a complex but crucial challenge for India’s defense export ambitions.


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