A Danish F-16AM shortly after take-off.

The last 24 airworthy General Dynamics (Lockheed Martin) F-16AM/BM Fighting Falcon multi-role fighters of the Royal Danish Air Force might continue their military service in Argentina. The two countries are in the final steps of closing the deal, with the United States government agreeing with the likely sale.

As the Danish armed forces are slowly switching to the new-generation Lockheed Martin F-35A “stealthy” combat jets, the F-16s become obsolete after more than 40 years of service. Denmark has promised to donate 19 of its remaining 41 F-16s to the Ukrainian Armed Forces, and of what is left 24 are deemed good enough for a still long operational life with the Fuerza Aérea Argentina (FAA). In total the Royal Danish Air Force had about 30 F-16AM single-seat and 11 F-16BM dual-seat fighters on strenght until recently.

Argentinian remaining air-to-air capability

At Villa Reynolds Military Air Base they are to replace the dinosaur McDonnell Douglas/Lockheed Martin A-4AR Fightinghawk of which the Argentinians have officially 24 on strength. It is the only remaining air-to-air combat capability there, after the FAA retired its French-made Mirage III, Mirage 5 and the Israeli Mirage 5 derivative IAI Dagger years ago. But the Fightinghawks are hardly a match for any of today’s and yesterday’s combat adversaries.


At Denmark’s sole combat base of Skrydstrup the first quartet of operational F-35As arrived in September 2023, with a total of 27 ordered. Six are permanently based at Luke Air Force Base in the United States for training duties.

Block the sale of Russian and Chinese jets

The American government has been openly supporting the deal between Denmark and Argentina, as it will likely block the sale of Russian or Chinese fighter jets to Argentina. And since the green light from Washington is necessary for the sale of US-made aircraft, there is not much in the way for the Danish-Argentinian deal. The deal is worth about EUR 280 million. | © 2024 Text and photo Marcel Burger, nordicreporter.com