Argentina's flagship of Antarctica operations is back after ten long years. The refurbished icebreaker ARA Almirante Irizar, called at Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, on New Year before leaving for the 2017/18 summer campaign.
Argentina's Navy icebreaker ARA Almirante Irizar is back on sea trials following almost ten years of recovery and refurbishing after she caught fire in 2007 when returning from Antarctica and was considered almost a wreck given the magnitude of the damages experienced.
Argentine foreign and defense ministers Susana Malcorra and Julio Martínez toured on Friday the recently repaired and refurbished Navy's icebreaker and Antarctica flagship, Almirante Irizar which a decade ago almost became a wreck after she caught fire on return from the annual Antarctic mission.
Argentina's Antarctic exploration flagship icebreaker Almirante Irizar is ready for the sea tests after nine years under repairs in the government's defense shipyard and hundreds of millions of dollars, but an unexpected last minute muddy impediment has surfaced.
Argentina's Defense minister Julio Martínez has only been in office a few days but he already has a huge challenge on his desk: the four Russian sloops recently arrived in Buenos Aires and which according to the previous administration of Cristina Fernandez cost ten million dollars and are very appropriate for naval patrolling.
Four Russian built sloops with polar capacity were delivered in Buenos Aires this weekend and incorporated to the Argentine Navy, all of them with names related to the Falklands/Malvinas Islands. The vessels were formally received during a ceremony headed by Defense minister Agustín Rossi and the navy chief Admiral Gastón Fernando Erice.
The Royal Navy has put its Ice Patrol ship, HMS Endurance, up for sale. The icebreaker served as the Royal Navy ice patrol ship between 1991 and 2008 before an accident during routine maintenance destroyed a large part of her equipment.
The Argentine government and media agree that the country does not have the military capacity to attack the Falkland Islands as feared by Britain. A report in daily La Nacion points out the Argentine armed forces lack landing crafts, troop transport vessels and even the Mirage fighter planes are banned from flying on cloudy days because of repeated problems with their instruments.
It's official: in the coming weeks a technical delegation from Argentina's Air Force will be travelling to China to assess the convenience of purchasing Chinese jet fighters to replace the obsolete French made Mirages. Only a month ago president Cristina Fernandez was in Beijing where she sealed an integral strategic alliance with China.
Chile is planning a strong expansion of its Antarctic and maritime support vessels as well as a major repair yard, according to a recent pledge by President Michelle Bachelet during the opening of the Exponaval and Trans-Port exhibitions in Valparaiso and Viña del Mar.