India on Friday acknowledged Argentina’s interest in the made-in-India Tejas fighter aircraft for the Argentine Air Force.
The talks on Tejas featured during External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar’s two-day official visit to Argentina.
During his meeting with Argentina Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero, EAM Jaishankar reviewed the ongoing cooperation in the strategic sectors of Defence, Nuclear Energy and Space.
Mr Jaishankar and Foreign Minister Cafiero jointly presided over a Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) between the two countries. During the visit, Mr Jaishankar also called on Argentine President Dr Alberto Fernandez.
“India and Argentina reviewed their ongoing cooperation in the strategic sectors of Defence, Nuclear Energy and Space and reiterated their commitment to work together for mutual benefit,” the Joint statement said.
Both said agreed to enhance cooperation in the Defence sector within the framework of the MOU on Defence Cooperation signed in 2019.
The two sides also explored expanding the scope of their partnership through, inter-alia, and the conclusion of further MOUs/Agreements.
“EAM, acknowledging Argentine interest in the Made in India TEJAS fighter aircraft for Argentine Air Force, highlighted the importance of the proposal in enhancing the strategic quotient of the bilateral relationship,” the statement added.
Both sides agreed to promote the exchange of visits between Armed Forces, defence training and collaboration for joint production of defence-related equipment.
The talks on fighter aircraft come as a number of countries including Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines have shown interest in the Made in India jet. India is indigenous aircraft in the defence market which has caught the eye of several nations for superior flying ability, maneuverability, and ease of handling.
The Indian Air Force had recently equipped the Tejas with the French-origin Hammer air-to-ground stand-off missile along with the indigenous Astra indigenous air-to-air missiles.
Indian armed forces have extensively utilised the delegated financial powers granted to them in different phases by the government to equip themselves with the necessary weaponry to handle any conflict or aggression by enemies on both sides.
The Indian Air Force is strongly supporting the indigenous LCA Tejas fighter aircraft programme by adding more and more capabilities to the aircraft.
The IAF has already operationalised two of its squadrons in the initial operational clearance and final operational clearance versions while a contract has been signed for the 83 Mark1As set to be delivered a couple of years from now.
The IAF has also its eyes set on the LCA Mark 2 and the AMCA being developed by the DRDO for it.
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