Due to a severe lack of funding and capability, the Argentine Air Force suffered humiliation when the US was forced to deploy its own F-16s to escort Air Force One.

Argentina has no ability to protect the aircraft carrying the US president in the event of an emergency.Reports of the incident have started to emerge in local media in Argentina.

Within the last few years, budgetary constraints forced the disbanding of the Argentine governments own Boeing 707 transport squadron and caused maintenance problems for half of the C-130 Hercules fleet.

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. 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.


    • So you think we shouldn’t defend British Citizens and Territory just because the threat has diminished? Great maybe we should stop doing QRA in the UK too because the threat is tiny!

    • Somewhere between 0.1% and 0.2% of the defence budget, by most reckoning.

      Which isn’t a lot to look after the one bit of the nation that anyone has shown any real intention of invading in recent memory, even if their forces are a bit down at heel at the moment.

  1. Utter B.S The counter measures on AF1 stand it alone in the sky, only time I remember it needing escort was a direct result of sept 11 when air traffic couldn’t hail a commercial jet close by.

  2. i’m argentinean and don’t make me any laught. We should be in peace, and not ridicule a whole country who could be potentially friends. This is my opinion.

  3. Argentina could have asked the RAF if they could send a couple of Typhoons from MP to guard Airforce 1.


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