Sunday, July 14, 2024

LCA Tejas & LCH Prachand On The Cards During Argentinian Defence Minister’s India Visit

By Staff Correspondent

The Argentine Defence Minister, Jorge Enrique Taiana, arrived in New Delhi on July 17, 2023, commencing a four-day diplomatic visit aimed at bolstering bilateral defence ties between India and the South American nation. The Argentinian Defence Minister is scheduled to engage in comprehensive discussions with his Indian counterpart, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, as the two nations seek to further consolidate their defence cooperation. Amidst the itinerary, the Argentine minister will pay his respects at the National War Memorial, honouring India’s fallen military personnel.

This visit comes after Argentina expressed interest in 2022 in the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, a product of Indian ingenuity, for its own air force. A subsequent dialogue ensued in June this year, between the Indian Ambassador to Argentina, Dinesh Bhatia, and Brigadier General Xavier Isaac, the Chief of the Argentine Air Force, concerning cooperation in the realm of LCA Tejas and a range of helicopters crafted by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

Ambassador Bhatia, along with a delegation from HAL, met General Isaac and a technical team from the Argentine Air Force to discuss potential areas of cooperation. These advancements were further acknowledged by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, who emphasised the strategic implications of the proposal to strengthen bilateral ties through this defence partnership.

Earlier, during Aero India 2023 as well as DefExpo 2022, the Argentinian Air Force had shown interest in the LCA Tejas and LCH Prachand attack helicopters. In addition to aircraft, both countries concurred on enhancing military ties through the exchange of visits between their respective Armed Forces, mutual defence training and the joint production of defence-related equipment.

The LCA Tejas, a product of a collaboration between the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and the Aircraft Research and Design Centre (ARDC) of HAL, is an indigenous light multirole fighter aircraft. Its potential acquisition by Argentina underscores the growing influence of India in the global defence industry.

This collaboration is a testament to the cordial relations between India and Argentina. Last year, Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar visited Argentina, paying homage to Mahatma Gandhi at the Republica de la India Street, reinforcing the mutual respect shared by the two nations. Taiana’s visit to India, particularly Bengaluru – a significant hub for India’s defence industry – is set to further solidify the foundation of the bilateral defence relationship between Argentina and India, opening new chapters of strategic and defence cooperation.

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