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A weird legacy of the Falklands War could get Ukraine 5 fighter jets: report


A Super Etendard fighter jet landing on France's flagship Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier in the Persian GulfA Super Etendard fighter jet landing on France’s flagship Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf on January 12, 2016.

AP Photo/Christophe Ena

  • Argentina is holding talks to send five fighter jets to Ukraine, Argentine media reported.
  • Its Super Étendard jets are inoperable due to a Falkland War-era embargo, local outlet Infobae said.
  • France could fit ejection seat cartridges as part of a weapons swap with Argentina, per the outlet.

An unusual legacy of the Falklands War could help Ukraine get a new set of fighter jets.

Argentine news outlet Infobae reported on Tuesday that the country is holding talks with NATO, the US, and France to provide Ukraine with five Super Étendard fighter jets.

The jets have been out of use and stored at an air-naval base since Argentina acquired them in 2019, due to a Falkland War-era embargo the UK imposed on Argentina, according to the outlet.

The Falklands War, a ten-week undeclared war between the UK and Argentina, took place in 1982 over control of the Falkland Islands.

Under existing UK sanctions, the South American country can’t get cartridges needed to enable the pilot’s seat to eject in case of emergency, the outlet reported, making the jets inoperable.

Argentina is now holding talks with France to swap the jets for other military gear, such as drones and helicopters, it said.

According to the outlet, the plan, approved by Argentina’s President Javier Milei, would allow France to then fit the ejection seat cartridges and make them operable for use in Ukraine.

Argentina’s foreign and defense ministries and the Élysée Palace in France didn’t immediately respond to requests for comments.

According to the outlet, Argentina’s foreign minister, Diana Elena Mondino, discussed the issue in a meeting held at NATO headquarters in Brussels with her French counterpart, Stéphane Séjourné, and during an unannounced visit with US national security advisor Jake Sullivan at the White House.

It didn’t specify when these talks took place or what role the US and NATO are playing.

Earlier this month, President Emmanuel Macron said France would send Mirage 2000 fighter jets to Ukraine.

The jet — a multi-role fourth-generation fighter manufactured by French company Dassault Aviation — is a combat-proven aircraft like the F-16, having flown sorties in conflicts in the Middle East and the Balkans.

But its effectiveness is limited by its air-to-air missiles, Justin Bronk, an airpower and technology expert at the UK-based Royal United Services Institute think tank, told BI last week.

Meanwhile, an unnamed Ukrainian military source told Reuters in May that F-16s are expected to start arriving in Ukraine in either June or July.

They could play a vital role in helping Ukraine reclaim Crimea, Frederik Mertens, a strategic analyst at the Hague Centre for Strategic Studies, told BI last month.

Read the original article on Business Insider