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03:01 PM, January 1, 2015
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Russia May Barter Su-24 Aircraft With Argentina For Beef, Wheat
File photo of Su-24 Fencer aircraft carrying a bomber.

Russia and Argentina are looking at a deal under which Moscow would lease 12 Sukhoi Su-24 Fencer aircraft to Buenos Aires in return for beef and wheat, according to the London based paper Sunday Express.

As a result, the British Defence Ministry has reportedly launched a review of the air defenses of the Falkland Islands, a UK overseas territory Argentina lays claim to.

MoD stated that it regularly reviews the military situation around the south Atlantic islands and would adjust force levels on the Falklands to meet any new threat posed by Argentina.

"The MoD undertakes regular assessments of potential military threats to the Falkland Islands to ensure that we retain an appropriate level of defensive capability to address any threats” said MoD.

“We continue to remain vigilant and committed to the protection of the Falkland Islanders," MoD added.

Argentina's acquisition of a credible combat jet force could significantly tilt the strategic balance in favor of Buenos Aires, unless London reinforces the Falklands, British analysts said.

The Falklands are protected by four Royal Air Force Typhoon jets, Rapier surface-to-air missiles, and fewer than 1,200 troops, supported by a warship.

Even with only four Typhoons, the British would come off better in any fight with a squadron's worth of the Su-24, said Doug Barrie the senior air analyst at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London and an expert on Russian aircraft and weapons.

"I'd back four Typhoons every day of the week against the threat posed by the 1960/1970s technology of the Russian jet," he said.

The Su-24MK is a twin-engine, all-weather land and maritime attack aircraft with a flight range of 2,775 kilometers, according to data from Sukhoi.

Just how effective the Su-24 would be in the hands of the Argentine Air Force is depended on the weapons package that came as part of any deal with the Russians, Barrie added.

"The Su-24 is not what Argentina needs. They have competent crews but they need a multi-role platform not a single-role air-to-surface aircraft, which is expensive to fly and expensive to maintain," he said.

Argentine press reports said Defence Minister Agustin Rossi has denied there is any new defense deal with Russia for fighter jets.

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