France has held back on delivery of five modernized Super Etendards aircraft sold to Argentina as the latter is yet make payment for the retired French naval patrol aircraft.
The $14.5 million contract for five Etendards, a simulator and spare engines was signed on January 26 by Argentine President Mauricio Macri and French counterpart Emmanuel Macron. However, Paris is still waiting for payment from Buenos Aires to transport the aircraft to Argentina, La Tribune reported Tuesday.
Argentina plans to deploy Etendards during G20 meeting planned for 2018 to provide air protection. The Argentine Navy had bought 14 Super-Etendard from Dassault Aviation in July 1979. Some of them were engaged in the Falklands war. The Etendards carried out two successful strikes against British Type 42 guided missile destroyer, HMS Sheffield and Atlantic Conveyor sinking both of them during the Falklands war.
Argentina will put three of the five modernized Etendards to service once they receive to re-train its pilots as the existing ones are grounded. The other two aircraft will be used to modernize the grounded Super Etendards.