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 (http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/fdl-1.2.html) or GFDL 1.2 (http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/fdl-1.2.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

117 COMMENTS

  1. 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 , una digna fuerza de helicopteros de observacion y aviones ligeros. Debemos progresar en este sentido o seremos Colombia o Mexico con una argentina destruida por las narco organizaciones

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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 returned. Not to mention that the oil drilling out probably be a lot cheaper if they didn’t have to worry about Argentina interference.

    • 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 mainland (Southern Patagonia) Thats very nearly UK to Iceland… Perhaps we should lay claim to that on geographical influence instead? Iceland have an excellent renewable energy potential!

      Their historic claims are equally farcical. They once had a hut on the islands with a few mutinous soldiers in it, and approximately a year later, the British arrived and claimed it…

      By this measure, Japan have an equal claim to the islands as Argentina have…

      • 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 treaty, then they would be completely on their own if they tried to play silly git in the future.

        Equally they will be financially better off and so hopefully they won’t have an excuse for playing it in the future.

        It would be a win win, but I doubt the government of Argentina is strong enough position with its people to risk trying it, better to just leave the issue as is.

        I guess there would be a question of validity of the agreement, since we would be trading something that they could argue that they owned anyway.

        • “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).

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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..

  11. 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) Placing all islanders on a financial blacklist (also backed by several SA countries)

    This is just 5 examples the FI government will give you 45 more examples! So as I said aggression is not just military!

  12. 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 ‘Hand of God’ won’t intercede this time.

  13. 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 ‘Hand of God’ won’t intercede this time.

    • 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.

  14. 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

  15. Argentina still has a capable land army… Their military isn’t configured for offensive operations anymore… It is intended for defending Argentina mostly from threats within, which today are almost non-existent. Argentina doesn’t really have any enemies worth going to war with anymore apart from terrorists.

    I’m British and I support the British claim to the Falklands, but I would rather pursue a peaceful solution to the matter rather than just “invading Argentina” or “nuking Buenos Aires” as I have seen several people suggest… Yeah, let’s just murder 20 million innocent people for the sake of a matter which can be solved through dialogue… Idiots.

  16. I’d love to read your final review of Unplanned when you finish it! It782#1&;s one I think I’d like to read, but my reading time is so limited that I try to make highly informed choices.

  17. Good news- Falklands population of 3000 sovereign British citizens who have lived on the Falkland’s for over 300 hundred years and been British citizens for that entire time will be glad to hear that Argentina cannot afford to maintain its airforce.
    As of next year when HMS Queen Elizabeth enters service I would think the Falklands will be safe from the threat of a successful invasion for another 50+years.
    What I struggle with is why Argentina even thinks the Falklands belongs to them- UK citizens have been living there for hundreds of years. They even democratically voted by an overwhelming majority to remain where they are- in their homes, as British overseas protectorate citizens.
    Pity their air force is in such a state it would have been interesting to see them go up against Eurofighter typhoons, sea ceptor armed frigates and aster 15 and 30 armed type 45 destroyers. not to mention HMS QE and her F35b’s.

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