Correction: A previous version of this story mislabeled the status of Argentina’s A-4M Skyhawk aircraft. They are currently unserviceable.

SANTIAGO, Chile — Argentina’s president has ruled out the possibility of procuring supersonic fighter jets for the country’s Air Force in the short term.

In an interview with the Financial Times’s “Global Boardroom” program last week, Alberto Fernandez was asked about the aircraft program, saying “there are other priorities before buying weapons, definitely.”

“There are no war problems, peace is the common denominator between us,” he added, referring to South American nations.

The president’s statement follows the completed inspection and assessment by an Air Force team of a batch of secondhand F-16s offered by Denmark. Other aircraft under evaluation included India’s Tejas and China’s Chengdu FC-1.

Argentina previously considered — and then discarded the possibly of — buying Israel Aerospace Industries Kfir jets and Dassault Mirage F1 fighters, both secondhand. It also studied the possibility of acquiring Saab Gripen and Korea Aerospace Industries FA-50 fighters, but that also didn’t work out after the U.K. blocked the supply to Argentina of key British-made parts in those aircraft.

Argentina has not had supersonic fighter jets in its operational inventory since 2015, when the last Mirage aircraft retired after 45 years of service. The Air Force’s combat fleet is currently made up of armed IA-63 Pampa jet trainers and a handful of around six to eight A-4AR Fighting Hawks.

“Once more, the Air Force was left to dream about getting a supersonic fighter for a while, dedicating time and resources to inspect, evaluate and study solutions that came to nothing,” Luis Piñeiro, a Buenos Aires-based independent defense analyst, told Defense News. “Apparently blind to the buildup of air power in neighboring Brazil and Chile, President Fernandez sees only peace in South America.”

Brazil operates a fleet of about 50 F-5 modernized fighters jets upgraded with beyond-visual-range missiles, and the country is starting to receive the first of 36 advanced Saab Gripen NG aircraft on order. Meanwhile, Chile has a fleet of 42 F-16s, including Block 50 and MLU variants, plus 11 modernized F-5s.

José Higuera is a Latin America correspondent for Defense News.

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