Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Pari Passu My Ass: Russia to Lease Long Range Strike Aircraft to Argentina

Before continuing with the armaments story take a quick scroll through FT Alphaville's coverage of what they call the "pari passu saga".

Go ahead, I can wait, and seeing the headlines flash by is almost hypnotic, which may be important to getting buy-in for my conclusions.

From Jane's Defence 360:
UK reviews Falklands defence as Russia offers Su-24s to Argentina
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is to conduct a review of its plans for the defence of the Falkland Islands following reports that Russia is to supply Argentina with Sukhoi Su-24 'Fencer' strike aircraft, UK media reported on 28 December.

The review follows a report in the Daily Express newspaper that Russia is to lease 12 Su-24s to the Argentine Air Force (Fuerza Aérea Argentina - FAA) in return for foodstuffs.

According to the media report, the Su-24s would be delivered to the FAA ahead of the introduction into service of the first of the UK's two Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers in 2020 (full-operating capability for the Queen Elizabeth is currently slated for 2023).

The potential arrival of Su-24s into Argentine service ahead of the introduction into service of the UK's new aircraft carriers could pose a "real window of vulnerability", MoD officials reportedly told the Daily Express .
With Argentina arguing sovereignty over the islands that it refers to as Islas Malvinas, the UK maintains a force of four Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft, Rapier surface-to-air missiles, and about 1,200 troops permanently stationed on the Falklands. These are supported by visiting Royal Navy warships, and while the MoD won't comment publically on such deployments it is understood that nuclear-powered attack submarines are often sent to the South Atlantic as a further layer of defence for the islands.

While the MoD declined to address the specific threat of the Su-24s with IHS Jane's , it did provide a statement which read, "The MoD undertakes regular assessments of potential military threats to the Falkland Islands to ensure that we retain an appropriate level of defensive capability to address any threats. We continue to remain vigilant and committed to the protection of the Falkland Islanders."

For some years now, Argentina has been trying to replace its antiquated and increasingly unserviceable Dassault Mirage IIIEA, IAI Dagger, and McDonnell Douglas A-4 Skyhawk fighter fleets with a newer and more capable type....MUCH MORE
The deal is for Argentina to pay in wheat and beef so Putin gets around the sanctions and President de Kirchner can talk with Elliott Management's Paul Singer.

Here's the Express exclusive.

According to The Aviationist, the four Eurofighter Typhoon jets based on the Falklands should be able to handle a dozen SU-24's so it has to be Elliott that the Argentines are thinking about.