The building up to the South American qualifier for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, between Argentina and Peru, which was played in Buenos Aires on Thursday evening, resurfaced the strong political and military alliance of the two countries, particularly referred to recent events such as the Falklands war in 1982.
Argentine reportedly has agreed to purchase several refurbishedDassault-Breguet Super Étendard fighter bombers originally from the French navy. Apparently the Mirages are similar to those Argentine used during the Falklands conflict in 1982 and will be incorporated to the Air Force, as part of an Argentine re-equipment of its military forces.
Argentina's Air Force commemorated with a parade and display of force the 35th anniversary of its ''Baptism of Fire”, which occurred on May first 1982 when Argentine fighters completed over 50 sorties in an attempt to repeal the British Task Force sent to recover the Malvinas Islands.
Argentina is in the process of purchasing 24 T6-C Texan II training aircraft from the United States, which will also be employed in border control and combating drugs. Apparently the operation has been approved by the US Defense Department and was one of several good news Secretary of State brought last week when he visited Buenos Aires.
Argentina said farewell to its remaining fleet of French built Mirage fighter bombers which have been operational since 1972 and played a crucial role during the South Atlantic conflict when they clashed with the British Task Force sent to recover the invaded and occupied Falkland Islands in 1982.
After almost two years of negotiations and endless speculations surrounding the question of what fighter jet Argentina would go for, Argentine media report that a decision has been made to purchase the IAI Kfir jets to replace the Air Force’s Mirages. According to the report, in Interdefensa Militar Argentina, the decision is currently awaiting final approval from the Cabinet.
Last week the Argentine Air Force formally bid farewell to the remaining French built Mirage jet fighters, which saw combat during the Falkland Islands conflict in 1982, since in three months time they will be decommissioned after four decades service. The occasion was the 103 anniversary of the Air Force (10th August but celebrated on the 13th).
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.