Argentina has confirmed that all Air Force Lockheed Martin A-4AR Skyhawk fighters have been grounded.

This comes after a significant period of decline, the Argentine armed forces have ceased to be a capable military force. In August 2015, the Argentine air force retired its Mirage fighters, with only a handful of them even flyable.

The problems don’t stop there, their submarine crews despite benefiting from a recent upgrade, need at least 190 days of immersion practice and in 2014 only spent 19 hours submerged. A similar situation is faced by their four destroyers, they don’t have any weaponry.

Argentine ground forces rarely have the resources for training and are vastly under equipped, their kit dates back to the 70’s and is in very short supply. In addition to this, the Argentine Air Force largely consists of a collection of obsolete aircraft mostly dating back to the 1970’s, which are frequently grounded due to poor serviceability. They’re now even getting rid of their only semi-capable fighter aircraft.

According to IHS Janes

“The Argentine Air Force is drastically cutting staff working hours and decommissioning its last fighter aircraft amid continuing budget issues.

A recently published daily agenda indicates that the service’s working hours have been significantly reduced, from 0800 to 1300; rationing of food, energy consumption, and office supplies has been directed headquarters staff and property residents; and only the minimum personnel required to staff headquarters, directorates, and commands are working.

These orders, issued on 11 August, take effect 18 August. A next step will cut Monday and Tuesday as working days. Moreover, air force officials said any aircraft taken out of service will not undergo maintenance for now.”

This leaves the Argentine military with just two types of jet aircraft A-4’s and IA-63’s and both are subsonic, decades old and barely serviceable. Argentina had looked into buying new Gripen’s from Sweden via Brazil but this was vetoed by the United Kingdom which makes a large number of internal components for the aircraft. They had also looked at JF-17’s from China, but the JF-17s proved too expensive to modify.

All Mirages were officially decommissioned in November 2015. Only 4 of the A-4’s were airworthy with the rest in storage at Villa Reynolds.

When Barack Obama visited in March 2016, Air Force One was accompanied by US Air Force F-16’s because Argentina could only offer Pucarás and Pampas for air defence.

Photo Credit: Chris Lofting [GFDL 1.2 ( or GFDL 1.2 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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Marcoseduardo Tavares

Fighters for what?

Fighters are combat aircraft.

And why Argentina needs them ?
If they have lots of economic problems and no enemies in a peaceful continent called South America.
Rigth now all we need is to kill zika mosquitoes.

You’d have to ask them that

Kent Reynolds

Defence & war put aside, a nations airforce comes in handy for a lot of civil stuff also. As an Australian, I know the RAAF helped in the search of MH370, helped evacuate people from Fiji after a cyclone and helped the people of NZ after an earthquake by deploying communications gear & supplying aid.

No doubt about an Air Force.
Just do not need Air fighters.

Kent Reynolds

Don’t you believe in deterrents?

Against what?
The US?(lol).

Jeremy Hutton

Nobody needs an air force until they do. The only reason we have a base in Belize is because the guatemalans started making moves and the Belizeans got scared.

The biggest threat the countries in the area have now are the mosquitoes of dengue.Fighters are a luxury for the countries in the region right now.
They are using the armed forces to combat the plague.

A little to narrow in your concerns I surmise. . .

Don’t you wish you’d been developing a cure for Zika when nobody had it? Wasn’t really needed at the time. But now you need it, and you don’t have one. Same with fighters.

Ian Petrie

Maybe they’re preparing the fleet for the invasion!

Luke Sidaway

that would be a funny thing to watch them try XD

Ian Petrie

They could be sharpening their spears as we speak!

Mike Inkley

Now must be the perfect time to invade them and subject them to foreign rule against their subjects wishes. That is something Jeremy Corbyn would fully endorse!

Kent Reynolds

Their defence force seems to be a bit of a joke when it comes to engineering. Didn’t they sink the Santísima Trinidad after salvaging equipment and then moving it?

Ian Petrie

It was a sea valve that gave way due to rust I believe. It hadn’t been maintained in years.

Daniel Adams

Now been re floated to be turned into a museum

Daniel Adams

Ironic thst Argentina will have the only surviving type 42 left.

Kent Reynolds

I’m pretty sure Uk def journal did a story on it, fyi. 🙂

Ian Petrie

I think “surviving” is a pretty loose description for it, Daniel Adams !

Daniel Adams

Ian Petrie fair point lol.

James Gale

Kirchners corrupt government has destroyed her country. The A4s were beyond their lifetime.

Ian Petrie

They were beyond their useable life in 1982!

Simon White

They still managed to cause our forces a lot of concern and inflicted a lot of damage though.

They don’t have any quality fighter jet …

Ben Davis

No doubt Zelda will make a claim on the Falklands again to divert the attention.

Jack William Millen

Cue the “yeah, but what does it matter when they go up against American crap, bring back the Harriers that won us the islands back!!” comments

Richard Farrington


Poch Porras Braza

Falklands & co are safe for at least 5 years.

Dave B Philips

We’ll have a carrier strike force soon after that, so id say they’re safe for a generation…

The world sees Argentina for what it is, a bankrupt beacon of corruption and political turmoil.

Anthony Hodges

Falklands will always be safe! Britain would never let it go

Chris Tsielepi


More like 500

Edd Beadling

I read else where that the A4’s had been retired anyway?

Daniel Adams

It gets better and better every month.

Dan Billington

Aha! Another sales opportunity for BAE?

Dan Billington

How long till this post gets removed?

Rubèn Darìo Alvarez (Argentina - Tècnico en seguridad Urbana - Especilialista en Narcotràfico)

Buenas Tardes En realidad si bien no tenemos una buena relaciòn con el reino Unido , no hay una hipòtesis de combate en las Islas Malvinas en parte por el cambio de gobierno y otra por la falta de medios navales de proyecciòn estrategica . En este momento el gran enemigo argentino es el narcotrafico , el contrabando , la enorme corrupciòn heredada (y como siempre los problemas economicos ) . En lo personal no veo la necesidad de un medio Mach 2 de defensa aèrea pero si de aviones COIN , de observacion , control aèreo , radares terrestres… Read more »

Interesting comment. Thank you for your thoughtful insight.

Stephen Brown

oops lol

Graeme Hatton

It’s a deal Corbyn has made with them!

Alan Brown

Would save us shooting them down if they tried it on 🙂

Alan Radisic

Did they have any to ground!!! ?

John Seddon

yippee ! :o)

bill peters

I guess this means that the F35’s don’t have to be sent there eh!!! No Air or Navy, are we all still scared lol

James Bartlett

Maybe its time to re-talk about a profit share on the oil of the Falkland’s. Argentina’s economy is a mess and they have no chance of being able to take them back via military action. Let’s give them 50% of the oil in exchange for then giving up all rights to the island and ending this standoff. I doubt they would go for it, but it wouldn’t hurt to ask. Ok we are giving them oil that rightly belongs to us, but I think everyone involved, and especially the Falkland islanders would be considerably better off if normal relations were… Read more »

Dave B Philips

Appeasement never works… A new Argentine gov’t comes in after a few years, promising a harder line on the oil share deal and more of a share of the profits and using it as a tool for the rights over the islands not to mention an admission such a deal would bring that seemingly acknowledges that UK agrees Argentina has some claim to the islands and the economy. Argentina have no claim. Much of it is based simply on the geography. They claim its close to Argentina, but in fact, its 300-400 miles away from the closest point to the… Read more »


Whilst true, my thought was that if we could get them to agree to a deal where they sign away any claim to the island, then should a successive government decides to play stupid, we would have no issues with the international community. Franky we shouldn’t have any issues anyway, the likes of the US etc should back the islanders right to democracy and to vote for what they want, but clearly the US only applies that rule when it suits them and the same with a lot of other countries. If Argentina gave up their rights via a international… Read more »


“If Argentina gave up their rights via a international treaty, then they would be completely on their own if they tried to play silly git in the future.”

They’ve already done that, the Arana-Southern Treaty (signed 24 Nov 1849, ratified 15 May 1850) that stated that all existing disputes had been settled (they even gave up making their annual “form complaint” over the Falklands, right up until they thought that Britain might lose WWII, when they renewed their claim).

jon livesey

Sounds benign, but you would be giving an awful lot of ideas to an awful lot of crooks.

Simon White

The Argentine government have a proven track record of whenever they have problems at home they bury there head in the sand and go back to the default setting that gets the nation almost United and in hysterics. That’s the Falkland issue. Wouldn’t surprise me that in the next few week we read something about the Argentine government going to the UN about it.

Paul Phillips

They go to The UN every year like a stuck record, yet refuse every request from The UK Government to take their case to the ICJ, because they know they would lose.

Dave Dolan



There goes their most capable fighter bomber… though remember that now comes an even greater need for them to re-arm.

But there is little imperative, even if the government “uses” the Falklands to distract their people; unlike ’82 their people have the internet and can see for themselves.

Just a good thing they are on relatively good terms with their neighbours.


Sounds just like this country !

Daniel Adams

Why we have loads of aircraft.

Dave Paul

Only in bbf.

Daz Vallis

Very silly and inaccurate comment


The Brazilian skyhawks are still flying past 1990 and so was the RNZAF. In fact the Brazilian AF-1 just gone though a upgrade to last then 2 2020. Just because at this time there is no enemies doesn’t mean there’s not going to be one down the track. The enemy is ISIL. They can strike any where any time. How do you know there’s not a silent cell in Argentina now waiting. Countries need fighters for Defence of the country.

Paul No Mates

Thank God for that, It’ll be a few years before we get the new carriers running then they can kick off again.. 😉

Stuart Kingswood


Jason Surrage

Oh dear how sad never mind.

Dan Billington

WTF are you idiots still in 1980s! Warmongering. The article is that they have no air force, yet still people are banging on about aggro-Argies.Grow the F-up, move on. They have recently elected a new more mainstream government that wishes to be a closer part of the international community, yet still they get trashed for something that happened 30 odd years ago!

Daniel Adams

We will see how diferent the new government turns out to be

Dan Billington

We will, but the government over the last 30 years hasn’t invaded as they have been incapable and unwilling to do so. If they continue along a centerist political track then the ‘benefits’ gained by international trade agreements and insetives that the IMF, World bank and the trade opportunities bring will be too much to give up for any aggression. Besides, as they have no effective military its a mute point. They can’t even if they wanted too, apart from a handful of hardliners. As the new government is moderate these voices will get sidelined. They also need to re-equip… Read more »

UK Defence Journal

No need to be rude to people, keep it civil.

Dan Billington

Edited accordingly ?

Dave B Philips

Hey! We’re British, or at least i am…

We still get ‘trashed’ for things we did 300 years ago!

It isn’t a trait limited to one nation. It appears to be a mankind thing.

Daniel Adams

BAE systems supplying weaponry to them? Please please say your joking?

Daniel Adams

No weapons system with parts built in the uk will ever be sold to them. And as for companies thst supply weapons with parts not built in the uk then they can kiss any future contracts with the uk goodbye.

Dan Billington

Daniel Adams Not joking, not suggesting it either. It just wouldn’t surprise me.

Dan Billington

Well, the last round of Argentinan hardware was dominantly US built with a sprinkle of French. Again, not suggesting it, but surely its better if an allied state provides it rather than Russian or Chinese (who are steadily getting a foothold in the economies of both Africa and Latin America)

Supply hardware and then you control supplies of consumables and techical support. Much like the F-14s sold to Iran before the revolution, which had maintenance pulled out after the Islamic revolution, therefore making them redundant.

H Nelson

the Iranian F-14’s are still flying!

Daniel Adams

I’m just going of precedent with the proposed sale of saab gripens to argentina thst got scupperd due to uk components bieng withheld if the sale went ahead.

Dan Billington

Daniel Adams Yep, and I agree with that, but that was a year or so ago and under a diffirent, sabre-rattling government.

Martin Wood

Dan Billington – Those F-14s are still flying.

Dan Billington

Martin Wood Really? I knew they were giving them an overhaul and trying to modernise there systems but didn’t know they were active. Interesting. I did hear they were embarking on there own home-grown fighter.

jon livesey

Odd how winning the Falklands War still cause some people such pain.

David Harris


Richard Redford

We would give Argentina another bloody nose if they try anything

Daniel Adams

According to the article they no longer have a nose to bloody

David L Thomas

Times can change – Argentina could strike a deal with Russia or China to provide more upto date weaponery which could be used and also these planes with Exocet missilles still did a lot of damage in the Falklands War.

J. I. Morgan

Argentina is looking at purchasing Chinese-made J-10 fighter jets,

Robert Howells


James Punt

Frankie Hayward

Glen McAllister

Lol at Argentina Pusey’s

Geoff Carter

good news,,remember this is south america where governments are often taken over by force by rebels or the military who tend to be violent and unpredictable,,what we have now may be temporary

احمد محمود

Mohamed Elseoudy Mohamed

Alejandro Molde

yes i know we had all ours planes in pedestals like models ja ja jaaaa

John Stevens

Argentina would lose a military campaign if it tried to take back the Falklands… The uk could send extra Typhoon jets plus a army or marine size group of troops fairly quickly… The enhancements that the uk armed forces will be receiving after the recent SDSR over the next ten years will give Argentina basically NO CHANCE of ever trying anything militarily against the Falklands..

Andrew Watson

As someone who served 2 tours in the FI, we had constant alerts from Argentinian aircraft ‘testing the boundaries, aggression doesn’t just come in the form of military action it cones in many forms…. 1) Argentina issuing arrest warrants for oil company employees and executives. 2) Baring any cruise ship that visited FI or South Georgia from making port in Argentina (and getting several southern American countries to follow suit? 3) Not allowing any flights from Chilie travelling to FI to fly in Argentinian airspace. 4) Barring all companies from trading with the islands but allowing trade to UK. 5)… Read more »

Ian Beedles

Why don’t the UK return the favour and do a 1982 on them. We could invade their country at the beginning of April, (because there is no Navel or Air forces to speak of, just like ’82), install a puppet government to sort out the alleged corruption (again, just like ’82), re-name the country ‘Greater Falkland’ (hmmm, did someone mention ’82) and lay claim to all the fishing, mineral and oil rights in the surrounding areas. Seems it is only right that we let them play a ‘Home’ game, seeing as they had to play ‘Away’ last time. Hopefully the… Read more »

Ian Beedles

Why don’t the UK return the favour and do a 1982 on them. We could invade their country at the beginning of April, (because there is no Navel or Air forces to speak of, just like ’82), install a puppet government to sort out the alleged corruption (again, just like ’82), re-name the country ‘Greater Falkland’ (hmmm, did someone mention ’82) and lay claim to all the fishing, mineral and oil rights in the surrounding areas. Seems it is only right that we let them play a ‘Home’ game, seeing as they had to play ‘Away’ last time. Hopefully the… Read more »

Ryan Postlethwaite

Let’s attack them now then lol

Spike Hunter

I know a fella I the Argentine Air Force, he said this is not true.


Confirmed by Argentine Minister of Defence on January 26.

Apparently it was initially a temporary grounding because the explosive charges on the ejector seats had effectively died of old age, but they’ve been kept grounded for unspecified reasons.

John Stevens

Type 45 Destroyer,Typhoon jet’s, Rapier air defence missiles, Army starstreak air defence missile: Four layers of air defence for the Falklands, no need to say any more on this subject really!! hehe

Ryan Campbell

That’s an unfortunate situation to find ones self in, oh dear.

John Stevens

well, that would be a potent air defence dome to have over the Falkland islands!!

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