China is facing severe pressure from Argentina to reduce the price of its JF-17 Thunder jets being negotiated to sell to the Latin American country according to an Indian news portal. KeralaKaumudi Daily is among the largest circulated newspapers in Malayalam which is based in Kerala which is more than a century old.

Following the retirement of its latest Dassault Mirage III in 2015, the Argentine Air Force is out of supersonic fighter jets in its fleet and has been using subsonic A-4 attack aircraft while negotiating the purchase of intercept aircraft.

After negotiations with Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) failed to offer the FA-50, Argentina has received offers from Russia, which includes the MiG-35, and from China.

In this case, the aircraft involved is the JF-17 fighter, produced in partnership with Pakistan, which is its largest operator. According to the country’s press, the Chinese export company CATIC intends to close an agreement for the supply of 12 fighters. For that purpose a delegation is in Argentina this week, according to the Zona Military website.

Among the places to be visited by the Chinese are the facilities of FADEA, an Argentine aircraft manufacturer, which may be involved in a potential assembly of the fighters.

The option for the MiG-35 and JF-17 fighters comes after a British government veto prevents the sale of South Korean planes, which are equipped with avionics produced in the United Kingdom.

Like the MiG, the JF-17 uses an engine of Russian origin, the RD-39, a variant developed from the RD-33 used by the MiG-35. The Chinese fighter, however, is lighter and less capable of carrying weapons.

However, Argentina is exercising immense pressure on China to drop JF-17 price or else it says it would have no other option but to go in for the Indian made indigenous TEJAS jet, the price is slated to be on the higher side principally because the fighter is a derivative copy of the 62 years old the Soviet era made MiG-21 design.

If this happens, India will definitely kill two birds with one stone. This is what Argentina, with whom we are familiar with football, now thinks.

Argentina is currently in talks with China for this major arms deal. The purchase of twelve Chinese JF17 Thunder jets has been under discussion for years.

A few months ago, a delegation from China arrived in Argentina to discuss arms sales.

Later, the Argentine Air Force expressed interest in purchasing 12 JF-17 Thunder jets. Argentina changed its mind shortly before all the initial negotiations for the transfer of the aircraft were completed and the order was to be signed.