Argentine military capability almost all gone.
by George Allison · August 20, 2015
After a significant period of decline, the Argentine armed forces have ceased to be a capable military force. In August 2015, the Argentine air force retired its Mirage fighters, with only a handful of them even flyable.
|ARA Santisima Trinidad sunk due to poor maintenance|
Things don’t look any better for the other services, the depleted Argentine Navy rarely puts to sea, has almost no spare parts and for the most part, doesn’t actually have any ammunition. 2012 saw the training ship ARA Libertad seized in Ghana on the orders of a hedge fund seeking reparations from the Argentinian government. Shortly afterward, the corvette ARA Espora was stranded in South Africa for seventy-three days after the German company hired to repair a mechanical fault refused to carry out the work as a result of the Argentine government’s unpaid bills. 2013 saw the sinking of the decommissioned destroyer ARA Santísima Trinidad in port as a consequence of poor maintenance.
Even the submarine crews, despite benefitting 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 the four destroyers: Almirante Brown, Heroina, La Argentina and Sarandí, with engine problems and they need spares, plus they don’t have any weaponry.
The Argentine Army has deployed on operations without some of even the most basic equipment and rarely has the resources for training.
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. Argentina had looked into buying new Gripen’s from Sweden via Brazil but this was vetoed by the United Kingdom which makes a large number of internal components for the aircraft. They had also looked at JF-17’s from China, but the JF-17s proved too expensive to modify.
Looking at the bigger picture, any revitalisation of the Argentine military will depend on the broader Argentine economy and that seems a long way off yet.