ARGENTINA is to purchase sophisticated Chinese fighter jets able to attack the Falkland Islands as part of a “strategic partnership” with Beijing.
The move, which further raised tensions in the South Atlantic last night, follows a three-day visit by President Kristina de Kirchner to Beijing last week, in which Argentina secured 15 economic agreements and significant financial investment to bolster its failing economy.
It comes after a decision by Buenos Aires to abandon talks with Vladimir Putin to secure 12 Sukhoi Su-24 ‘Fencer” bombers, capable of reaching Port Stanley.
Last month the Ministry of Defence revealed that the Rapier air defence system currently based on Mount Pleasant to counter any potential air threat is to be upgraded, with sources adding that the “operational drumbeat” of routine deployments are also being increased.
China has pledged more than £162billion in investments for Latin America over the next five years, and has indicated that it will write off millions loaned several years ago, allowing nations like Argentina to rebuild their economies.
Crucially, the financial package includes military equipment to re-generate Argentina’s crippled air force which, over the past 18 months, has attempted to buy aircraft from Israel, Spain and, most recently, Moscow.
Full article: EXCLUSIVE: China sells fighter jets to Argentina which are able to attack Falkland Islands (Express)