President Mauricio Macri has approved the purchase of airplanes for the Air Force, patrol vessels for the Navy and armored vehicles and combat rifles for the Army, it was announced Monday to give the Armed Forces back some of their lost firepower, Defense Minister Julio Martínez revealed. The total purchases will surpass 40 billion pesos (2,500 million US dollars), the minister added.
Argentina's Air Force will have no combat aircraft by 2018 since by then the three A4-AR Fightinghawk which remain operational will be decommissioned, according to Argentine defense sources. At the end of 2015, the outgoing Cristina Fernandez administration witnessed the definitive decommissioning of the few operational French built Mirage III.
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.
The Argentine 2015 budget contemplates 25.2 billion pesos (*) for the Defense ministry which includes refurbishing aircraft, tanks, sea vessels and the incorporation of state of the art radars for air space control, according to the bill presented to Congress this last week.
Defence minister Arturo Puricelli said that Argentines “are not prepared to tolerate the usurpation” of the Malvinas Islands ‘for the rest of our lives’ and the honour and glory for those who fought in the South Atlantic “is going to be recalled until we obtain absolute and exclusive sovereignty over our Islands”.
Top Argentine Air Force officers admitted that since the Malvinas war the force never recovered its operational capacity, but in spite of the shortcomings and budget cuts the new generations of military pilots are completing their training and flying hours ‘normally’ even when the press reported to the contrary.