According to Indian media, Argentina pressured China to lower the price of the JF-17, or it will buy the HAL Tejas


In the opinion of many, the most likely candidate to become the next multirole supersonic fighter for the Argentine Air Force is the Chinese JF-17 Block III. However, still far from the signing of a contract, the negotiations continue and it seems that Argentina is asking for the price to be lowered or will seek a “Made in India” solution.

At least, that’s what the Indian site Defenseview claims. According to the site, the predilection for the Chinese weapons system was big and the contract was about to be signed, but at the last minute, the Argentine authorities changed their mind.

Citing recent news published in various Chinese outlets, the Indian site claims that during the negotiations, Argentina suddenly expressed that the JF-17 is too expensive and pressured China to reduce the price, otherwise the South American country is likely to end up acquiring the LCA Tejas fighter jets from India.

In response, China said: the performance of the JF-17 fighter is absolutely worthy of its 50 million dollar price tag.

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JF-17 Block III prototype

According to Chinese media, compared to the two previous batches, the third batch of Xiaolong fighters (Chinese name of the JF-17 Thunder) is the most advanced.

It has not only an AESA radar installed that greatly improves its detection capabilities over previous generation radars, but it could even detect certain stealth targets.

The propulsion system also changes, incorporating the RD93MA engine from Russia. As thrust is increased, fuel efficiency is improved and flight hour cost is reduced.

Also, the entire avionics system and structural components were improved to increase their combat effectiveness. They can even mount PL-10 short-range missiles, the same ones used by the J-20 stealth fighter.

Although the Xiaolong offered to Argentina may not be equipped with the PL-10s, it could carry a wide range of advanced missiles, such as those used by the J-10C, so while $ 50 million is relatively more expensive, it is definitely worth it. Worth the price according to publications in China.

In contrast, India would be interested in offering its Tejas Mk1A, which its mass production just began for the Indian Air Force.

The Tejas is a lightweight, multi-role fighter in the same category as the JF-17 Thunder. In its most current variant, the Mk1A, is a 4.5 Gen weapon system, equivalent to the Thunder Block III.

However, and as is to be expected, the Indian site states that the Tejas is a superior aircraft to its Sino-Pakistani counterpart, both in its performance and in its avionics.

In fact, they rate the Tejas as one of the best light fighters in the world today. It has a probe for refueling in flight, a light and resistant structure and a low radar signature.

Its systems are very modern, of Indian or Israeli origin. In fact, it carries the powerful AESA radar from Elta, capable of following up to 64 targets and superior to the NRIET KLJ-7A that will equip the JF-17 Block III.

Another important advantage of the Indian model is that it was designed with an open software architecture, which allows the installation of weapons and pods of Israeli, Russian, European, or Indian origin.

To all this, we would have to add a very competitive price of 42 million dollars per unit for the Tejas Mk1A.

To take with a grain of salt

The article from the Indian site goes this far, and since their sources are not published, we should be careful with this information and not automatically take it as true. But it is not advisable to rule it out outright either.

Argentina is in full negotiation with China, Russia, and soon perhaps with the US as well, starting with its pre-offer for the F / A-18 Hornet, so why couldn’t India join in? At least on paper, its Tejas Mk1A meets the requirements of the Argentine Air Force.

Thunder Block III and Tejas Mk1A seem to be very similar, offering more or less the same.

The Tejas would have the advantage of better radar, access to weapons of diverse origin, and a lower price.

However, it has some components of English origin, such as the in-flight refueling probe or the ejector seat. Nothing that can’t be replaced, but the impact on the price should be seen sooner or later.

Negotiation strategies

On the other hand, it is perfectly possible that Argentina asked China to lower the price and mentioned Tejas as part of its negotiation strategy.

It is fair and appropriate for the Argentine government to firmly negotiate with all those who are willing to sell it, to protect and get the best return on their investment, especially when money is tight.

It must be understood that the choice of a weapons system such as a combat aircraft, so primary for the defensive structure of a country, necessarily implies a technical / industrial / military relationship between buyer and seller, which will last decades.

So it is common, and even expected, that the negotiations are to be long, difficult, and to have impasses, twists and turns. It is much more than money that is at stake.

A Russian response to the request for a quote for the MiG-35 is still expected to come to light and there could be news from the US, the Hornets, or another system.

Meanwhile Argentina could send a delegation to India to thoroughly evaluate Tejas and compare its offer with the others, all together on the table.

The situation is yet to be defined. In fact, the “serious” negotiations may only now be starting.

Gastón Dubois
Gastón Dubois
Editor en jefe en Aviacionline Defensa. Editor-in-Chief Aviacionline Defense. Feliz de poder darle letra a esta pasión y compartirla con Uds. Contacto:


  1. Tejas MK1 is World’s best light weight fighter plane with in air fueling facilities. It is far more superior than JF17 and better than JF20.

  2. Mejor es un día de vida de león que cien días de chacal. rompe las cadenas y sé libre. JF 17 ofrece libertad a Argentina. cual es la espera?

  3. (1) Tejas has a very small set of weapons integrated with it, mostly Indian and some Western. So, on one hand, you force countries to buy Indian weapons that don’t work for them – or if you get western, they’ll ask, what’s the benefit of buying Indian?

    (2) With Pakistan – the JF17 essentially slots into the Chinese supply chain – which has a HUGE variety of proven and demonstrable weapons. So, people buying the JF-17 already have Chinese weapons to mate or are comfortable with buying Chinese weapons that anyway have a proven track record. In fact, countries with bad human rights records would prefer the Chinese as they don’t impose sanctions.

    (3) China has a Security Council Veto and any country buying weapons from China can have significant influence over any Security Council decisions (same with US or French or Russian weapon sales). India has no such Veto.

    (4) The JF-17 is just a better-slotted plane – if you’re looking to replace MiG 21-27 and Chinese J6 J7 type fighters or older American fighters like the F4 F5 & F104 or upgrade from armed trainers, then the JF-17 offers the right capability and the right price point.

    (5) Tejas is just a very confused aircraft – -it doesn’t fit any known market segment.

    (6) JF-17 is a modest fighter but whatever advancements it brings are solid and proven.

    (7) Tejas is a nightmare – nothing about it is proven – there’s been too much mixing and matching and it inspires zero purchaser confidence.

    (8) Finally, the question of re-export. JF-17 uses mostly Chinese but some Italian (avionics and radar) and Russian (engine) equipment – all of which are cleared for re-export to 3rd countries.

    (9) Tejas uses American engines, Israeli radar, and a mishmash of avionics from countries that will never authorize re-export.

    Shahid Raza, a defense expert from Pakistan, shared similar reasons for JF-17 dominating its Indian counterpart in international export potential. According to Raza,

    (10) Tejas also suffers from the fact that currently there’s no major operator of this aircraft, not even the Indian Air Force, which only has a handful of these aircraft in service. This reduces the confidence of any potential buyer.

    • Lol. How biased are you people are. Tejas is an upcoming aircraft with Indian army procuring more than 60 such aircrafts in a multi billion dollar deal. I’m pretty much sure you won’t even know what a billion dollar means 😂

    • Answers to Propaganda from our Pakistani Stupid Assh*le :
      Use points of his as an argument and my points as an answer –
      1) JF 17 – Weapons from China mainly, Very few from Russia and 3-4 Pakistani Origin
      Tejas – Indian Weapon package which have their upcoming Indian BVR (Astra Series), Israeli Derby and Python one of the lethal weapons in the world, Russian Weapons of each and every kind can be integrated anytime, EU Weapons from MBDA gonna come soon in India as under branding of Made in India so you can avoid sanctions from EU too. US origin weapons is in process of getting integrated means you are gonna have 3-4 replacement of each kind of weapons used in Battlefields.
      2) India don’t impose sanctions and don’t have bad records like Chinese Debt Trap Policy and Spying which Chinese equipment do. Indian weapons are getting tested more than Chinese Weapons and India show results and have democracy to raise objections unlike China. World is moving away from Chinese Supply Chain so it’s like one ship is sinking and you want to board it when you have other ships in line.
      3) You don’t need Veto to stop people from putting sanctions on You and you can clearly see example of it Myanmar. India do have soft power and it comes with a lot of Indian Skilled Human Resource. Chinese MFG is getting costly and companies started to shift plant in India, South East Asian countries and in Mexico so chose right side when you think about International Politics
      4) That’s why they didn’t used JF17 into fight along LAC. They fired AMRAAM from F16 not any weapons from JF17 and didn’t used it in front line too. When you search about Pakistan and China you came across 95% Propaganda and 5% Reality. 95% False Info comes from Pakistan and get consumed by Pakistani people only and rest 5% is from World for World.
      5) LCA Tejas, What do you get from name? LCA – Light Combat Aircraft. Is it too hard to guess for Normal Pakistani who know how to read and write english? No. They just came here to spread misinformation.
      6) JF17 comes from FC1 and which si inspired by Russian Project for their Aircraft which got cancelled due to design flaws. JF17 claims do be integrated with South African T Darter missile but never ever got seen with it so it’s more like a stupid claim.
      7) If you want to believe him then believe guys because i am getting bored while answering his stupid questions and statements now. No country can make whole aircraft on their own without any support from other country still LCA Tejas have a lot of capabilities and soon gonna integrated with Brahmos NG, Russian Kinzal and new version of AMRAAM which got order by USA.
      8) These brain dead Pakistani don’t have good attitude toward Indians so don’t pay attention to them and talk about facts. Why would India pitch Tejas if it is not have license of re-export? I damn sure that you guys know about Business and here is relation of Argentina and India is of Buyer and Seller, so tell me why would seller put something in shop or table when it’s not meant to be sold?
      9) Why don’t they authorize re-export? Russian have extremely good relation with India, Israel never cause problem for his friend and they themselves export weapons to Muslim countries with whom they don’t even have formal relation, Just think about it.
      10) India have Aircrafts and India is currently testing a lot of Indian Weapons for Tejas why don’t you think we are not gonna get them in Air Force? Rudram, Astra, Helina are few projects which are getting run for Indian LCA Tejas, India always tried to build weapon package of Indian Origin after having experience of each and every origin’s equipment and that’s is what we are doing now. Astra is in Advance Phase and a lot of Weapons are in their final stage. Indian Tejas gonna get Uttam AESA radar of Indian Origin

    • Just check origin of that Newspaper and see it’s design similarity with Washington Post because they want to do propaganda just few days back FB banned some profiles and now we should get down this site too.
      Wong INFO in article guys

  4. Even more important than tactics is who will train the pilots to fly tejas, when the IAF has not yet mastered flying tejas.


    i like how pakistanis spread fake news and their propaganda , just like they still not accept that osama bin laden was in pakistan , fatf has grey listed pak for its terrorist activities, us stopped its funding , un designated pakistan as a terrorism supporting nation, btw modified tejas has just been ordered , how can it be grounded lol , stay in dream world and let pakistan lose everytime just like 1948 , 1965, 1971,1999 , all wars lost , pakistan was also cut into two halves by india in 1971

    • Whole world knows who makes fake news and propaganda. International organizations busted indian network of fake websites made on purpose by indian to malign Pakistan. Search DisinfoLab. The link you posted is also managed by indians, None of JF-17s is ever grounded. The same jets which destroyed your 2 jets including SU-30. There are so many websites which seems to be made for europe or elsewhere but when you see hate / propaganda filled content then you see the websites registrars and found out they are managed by full of hatred indians. Pakistan never lost a single war at your eastern theatre. You only won when our troops were 1000s of miles away from supplies and ground / people support. Even US lost in vietnam. Soviets in aghanistan in such situations. 100% credit goes to Bangladeshis. Indians came when Bangladeshis had already won and Pakistan were about to abandon Begal. only to claim so called victory. As far as military capacility is concerned, Pakistan announced before hand they are going to enter into indian airspace on 27th Feb. Indians knew PAF will come, indians were at their highest state of alert ever. Still PAF penerated indian air-defenses, (made videos to prove unlike indians. Where missile is heading towards indian base at the last moments pilot maneuvered it away). only in few minutes 6 indian depots / command stations were targetted at mercy of Pak, 2 indian jets destroyed, 1 pilot captured, 1 heli down, 7 officers killed. Just imagine if Pak conitnued this with india for few hours. Indian would have gone to zero. So don’t believe in 24/7 propagana indian masala news channels and come to real world

      • Haha, Stupid Pakistani Again.
        DisInfoLab is not Indian NGO. Gather info because talking like an stupid person so atleast you can save some respect of your nation left in other’s eyes.
        DisInfoLab is NGO based out of EU having name of EU and having origin of Pakistan. Gather info and read it loud guys, India never publish those reports and it is mainly published in respected and well known Pakistani News Channels and News Papers, not in Indian Papers, We just clarify things if needed.
        JF17 were grounded in Greece and other his client nations too. Every aircraft have maintenance issue and usually aircrafts remain grounded 24% of the time. But Indian Tejas are not grounded if you find and follow Indian defense sites and Youtube Channel, whereas Pakistani JF17 were grounded for sure because everyone know that.

        In recent clashes in Air,
        We used Su30MKI, Mig21 and Mirage.
        Pakistani Side – F16 and JF17, F16 in front line
        They fired 4 AMRAAM on Su30MKI and all of them got dodged by Su30MKI because it’s capacity to do maneuvers against BVR is too good and BVR don’t work against such a objects. Mig21 shot down their Aircraft, just imagine battle field scenario, age old aircraft killing modern fighter.

        If you want to know how to run propaganda then you surely need to join Pakistani Defense Channels like Advance Pakistan because they claims winning all wars against India.
        1947-48 War – India Won and Went into UN thinking UN will give us our right, it was stupid decision by Nehru at that time
        1965 – India killed a lot of troops from Pakistan and stopped their militia and army and went further into Lahore but PMO office have records stating that we don’t want to go against US for now so don’t get beyond Lahore.
        1971 – We gave birth to new nation ‘Bangladesh’ by going against UN, USA and Britain for their human rights. Pakistani Army surrendered against Indian Army and Mukti Bahini – No of soldiers 93,000 highest after WW2. And now they have world record for it on their name
        1999 – Kargil war.
        Read about it guys because you should get to know about it in detail

  6. bruh pakistan lost so many jf 17s in crashes , there has been 0 crash of tejas even after flying thousands of hours , poor pakistan state should invest in welfare not here , ur gdp is falling like anything

    • I had heard Indians are world’s no.1 liars. Now I believe it. Stop hating your neighbors and improve your plane instead making up stories.

  7. No Country will ever buy Tejas. Its 1960’s design with new electronics, It has parts from all over the world British, french, US, Israelis. a total mix and painfully slow supply chain, thus mass production means decades long program. Expensive to operate, No serious combat capability. However, F-18s & JF-17s are much better option for Argentina. Aircrafts from single supply-chains, both from super powers with VETO powers. Both technologically advance nations.

  8. Yeah see, it’s good to get debt trapped by China and be their Modern Colony just like Pakistan. Chinese Weapons means Chinese spying system at home, weapons from Chinese origins and Russian if you got lucky. Indian Tejas offer weapons from EU, US, India, Russia and Israel.

  9. Tejas will be an issue from supply chain point of view, potential trap for high cost too. The JF-17 would be ideal for Agentina as this removes British embargoe like what happen to the KAI FA-50. However the jets is not suitable for Malaysia LCA requirements too and this also applies to Tejas. Malaysia relationships are ok wity China and India but the spratly issues with china will be issues on the JF-17 while India is very sensitives which may impact support to Tejas if Malaysia has rows with India. The best option is FA-50 as it would be in line to support Malaysia as the infrastructuee is there and the jet is able to carry the weapons that Malaysia has. It will also less complicate current Malaysia infra as these jets comes from a solid Korean and American FMS supply chain and the US is able to support Malaysia military action and interlink with the US militart

  10. China recently had border issues with india and the indians retreated embarrassingly. Urge smart Argentinians to google abhinandan and tea together for an answer. A pilot captured after JF 17 took out indian migs.

  11. Indian aircraft Tejas is not on the list of successful aircraft. Because he hasn’t come to the field yet. India has so far built about 40 of these aircraft. While Tejas made its first flight in 2001, it was added to the Indian Air Force in 2015. Russian MiGs that have expired but are still being flown by the Indian Air Force. Most MiGs have been involved in accidents. So Modi was forced to gamble on the Tejas plane. Ordered to build more Tejas aircraft.
    In comparison, the Pakistani JF-17 aircraft has been launched with the joint cooperation of Pakistan and China. JF-17 made its maiden flight in 2003 and joined the Pakistan Air Force in 2007. The Pakistan-China joint venture joined the Pakistan Air Force just four years after its maiden flight. It took 15 years for the Indian aircraft Tejas to join the Indian Air Force. Two years ago, in February, the Indian Air Force carried out a fake surgical strike. MiGs and Sukhoi planes were used, but the Tejas was not considered viable. Or maybe the plane was not flown because if it crashed in Dogfight, the market value of the plane would be zero.
    Pakistan-China joint flight JF-17. Used in Pakistan, Myanmar and Nigeria. So far, the Indian Tejas has no operator other than India
    The Indian Air Chief tried to force Bangladesh to buy the Tejas, but the Bangladesh Air Force refused to take the Indian Tejas.

  12. The Tejas may be a good aircraft but India has failed to make up for its lack of fighter jets. He is still forced to fly old mugs. India has built only 37 Tejas aircraft from 2001 to 2021. While Pakistan built JF-17 with the help of China and retired its old planes. Pakistan is still flying old French Mirage planes. Who are meeting his immediate need. While Pakistan has built 132 JF-17 aircraft to cover its air defense needs. In comparison, India has not relied on its own aircraft. They have built only three dozen aircraft in twenty years.

  13. Why should Indian media be believed, specially when every day they print one story against jF-17 and if they consider it Chinese fighter than why similar sentiments and articles are missing on other Chinese jets.
    Truth is Indian Su-30 was shot out of sky by a JF-17 and rest of the Su-30 were not allowed to shot by the Indian agents within Pakistani establishment and parliament.
    On 27th February it was proven that Pakistan can wipe out all of InAF with one squadron but at the same time Indian can rule Pakistan without firing a bullet.

    • I mean you can’t even give the correct name for IAF why is a Pakistani bot to be believed. As well of wiping a Indian squadron, what a joke. You said you captured 2 pilots and 3 in some cases. When only one was Indian. So it means either 1-2 of your own planes were shot down by friendly fire or Indian MiG-21. What a shame. An Indian Mig-21 shooting down an F-16 aircraft.

  14. Tejas has no track record, not even with Indian air force. The words knows this. That’s why no one is even considering Tejas, some of my Indian friends are simply dreaming. JF-17 is is a proven, far superior choice.


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