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.