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As Argentine Defence Minister Jorge Enrique Taiana meets with his Indian counterpart Rajnath Singh in New Delhi for a crucial meeting, India’s cutting-edge modern four-plus-generation TEJAS fighter jet continues to be on track to defeat a crowded field of major rivals and become Argentina’s top choice for the country’s air force.

For the past year, the made-in-India TEJAS fighter plane has been vying for Buenos Aires’ order of 12 fighter jets. Taiana is likely to visit New Delhi and the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) headquarters in Bangalore before making a final decision.

One of the biggest economies in South America was also interested in purchasing China’s JF-17, South Korea’s FA-50, Russia’s MiG-35, and US F-16s as the Argentine Air Force desperately sought to purchase a new fighter amid the ongoing territorial dispute with the United Kingdom over ownership of the Falkland Islands.

Following numerous rounds of discussions, it is thought that India is now presenting Argentina with a modified version of the TEJAS MK-1A that replaces UK-made elements.

Significantly, Argentina continues to be very interested in bolstering its defence capabilities with Indian BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles and the locally designed and developed Light Combat Helicopters (LCH) “Prachand,” which was inducted into the Indian Air Force (IAF), last October.

Taiana visited the BrahMos facility in New Delhi on Tuesday after arriving in India and spoke with Atul Dinkar Rane, CEO and Managing Director of the Indo-Russian aerospace and defence firm.

Additionally, beginning in March 2022, Argentine defence delegations met with HAL, the largest aviation corporation in India and one of the most significant in Asia, on behalf of the nation’s defence ministry.

On June 7, Taiana welcomed a delegation from HAL, led by the Indian ambassador to Argentina, Dinesh Bhatia, who was in the nation to encourage bilateral military industry cooperation.

In order to assess the offer of TEJAS combat aircraft, the travelling delegation also met with Brigadier General Xavier Isaac and his technical team, who are in charge of the Argentine Air Force.

In order to discuss alternatives for helicopters made in India, they also met with the force’s personnel and the nation’s army head, Lieutenant General Guillermo Olegario Pereda.

In order to explore opportunities for product commercialization and joint development, the Argentine Aircraft Factory (FAdeA) and HAL inked a contract on June 19 at the Paris Air Show.

In order to explore opportunities for product commercialization and joint development, the Argentine Aircraft Factory (FAdeA) and HAL inked a contract on June 19 at the Paris Air Show.

According to the Argentine Defence Ministry, the partnership offers FAdeA an excellent chance to enter the Indian industry and subsequently get access to the Asian market. It also gives HAL the possibility to grow in the Latin American market because FAdeA is HAL’s primary partner in the region.

The Argentine Air Force and HAL also agreed on a contract earlier this year during the Aero India 2023 exhibition for the maintenance of the engines on each other’s Lama helicopters.

A high-level Argentinian team attended the DefExpo 2022 in Gujarat’s Gandhinagar last October as both nations continued to explore new alliances in the defence sector.

Along with having lengthy discussions with Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar and IAF Chief Vivek Ram Chaudhari, the visiting group also went to HAL’s aircraft, helicopter, and engine manufacturing facilities, which is where TEJAS are made.

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