For decades, the military equipment, which is in service with the Argentine army, is practically not updated, and the samples that come into service are either upgrades to the old equipment, or have very low tactical and technical characteristics. The problem is the poor maintenance of military equipment, as well as the lack of necessary spare parts. Proceeding from this, the level of combat training of the Argentine troops has seriously decreased, especially in the Air Force, said Alexander Khramchikhin, military expert and deputy director of the Institute for Political and Military Analysis.
At the same time, by the start of the Falklands War, Argentina really had powerful enough armed forces that allowed the country's leadership — dictator Lieutenant General Leopoldo Galtieri — to defy Britain, which, although it was no longer the ruler of the seas, remained a strong European power with nuclear power. weapons.
"Super Etandar" Navy of Argentina. In front of the squadron's emblem, the silhouette of the Atlantic Conveyor container ship sunk by this plane is noticeable.
In the war, Argentina relied on its Aviationreasoning reasonably that he could not compete with the British fleet with the help of his Navy. The attacks from air bases located on the mainland, the Argentine military hoped to inflict unacceptable damage on the British fleet. At some point, British Admiral John Forster Woodward mentally admitted the possibility of defeat (he wrote about this later in his memoirs), but Argentina simply did not have enough serviceable aircraft to carry out large-scale air raids. It is estimated that during the fighting, Argentina lost about 100 aircraft and helicopters, including 22 American-made A-4 Skyhawk attack aircraft, about a quarter of the total fleet. As a result of the actions of Argentinean aviation, Great Britain lost two frigates, two destroyers, including the latest Sheffield destroyer, the loss of which was a real blow to the whole kingdom, a landing ship and a landing boat, as well as the Atlantic Conveyor container ship, which sank along with the transported helicopters and equipment to create an airfield on the bridgehead captured by the British. In addition, 3 destroyers, 2 frigates and one landing ship received serious damage.
And yet, Argentina lost. For the country, this defeat was a very painful blow to national pride. It was the direct cause of the fall of the Argentine military junta. As early as June 17, 1982, General Leopoldo Galtieri resigned under the influence of mass demonstrations. Moreover, the need for war and its historical significance are still the subject of truly fierce debate in Argentina, and the country's authorities are still not giving up their claims to the islands. We can say that the Falkland War was the highest peak of the Argentinean armed forces, since then much has changed for the worse.
Argentine army today
Today, the Argentinean armed forces consist of central government, ground forces, air force and navy. In accordance with Argentine law, they are designed to “prevent and repel any external state aggression with the goal of guaranteed protection on a permanent basis of the vital interests of the nation, which include independence, sovereignty and self-determination, as well as the territorial integrity of the country, freedom and security of citizens”. At the same time, there is no military doctrine in Argentina in the form of a single document that would reflect the national defense and security strategy. The Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of Argentina is the president of the country. The president is empowered to declare war with the approval of the national congress, he can also impose a state of emergency in the country, appoint senior officers and mobilize the population. He also determines the main directions of military policy, the construction and use of armed forces. The country also has a Joint Headquarters of the Armed Forces - the highest executive and planning body, with the help of which the Supreme Commander and the operational control of the Armed Forces of Argentina.
Units 9-th mechanized brigade of the Argentine army at tactical exercises; November 2017 year
The total strength of the country's armed forces (excluding civilian personnel) is about 74,4 thousand people, including: ground forces - 42,8 thousand people, Air Force - 12,6 thousand people, Navy - 19 thousand people (Foreign military review. 2016, No. 8, С .17-23).
Argentine Ground Forces
The main and most numerous type of Argentine armed forces are land forces. After 2006, as part of plans for the future construction of Army-2025, three military districts were formed on the basis of three army corps. In this case, the army corps were reorganized into three divisions. In addition to these forces, the commander of the ground forces has a so-called strategic mobile reserve - the rapid reaction force (SSR), which consists of special forces units, a parachute brigade and the 10 mechanized brigade.
The land forces of Argentina consist of infantry, armored, mechanized, artillery, airborne, mountain infantry and other units. In this case, the main unit in the structure of the SV is the division. In addition to the three divisions, the military armies of Buenos Aires, army aviation units, military training institutions of the army, as well as separate units and units of central subordination were included in the northeast of Argentina. The 1 division includes: 2-I armored, 3-I and 12-I infantry brigades for operations in the jungle; in the 2 division - 5-I, 6-I and 8-I mountain brigades; 3 Division - 1-I armored, 9-I and 11-I mechanized brigades.
Argentinean Tanks FULL
Formally, they are armed with a fairly large number of armored vehicles. Only the tank fleet of Argentina has about 400 combat vehicles, but in fact it can be called zero, said Alexander Khramchikhin, deputy director of the Institute for Political and Military Analysis. The basis of the country's tank fleet is 231 tank TAM, which was created specifically for Argentina in Germany. This combat vehicle is a rather peculiar hybrid of the chassis from the BMP Marder and the turret from the Leopard 1 tank. This tank, by modern standards, has an extremely low level of protection, and its weapons are outdated. Also on the balance of the ground forces there are 6 American “Shermans” from the Second World War period, which completely lost their combat capability, 113 old Austrian-made Kirasir light tanks, 39 French AMX-13 tanks of the same old age and 4 own-produced Patagon tanks (the tower from the AMX-13 tank on the chassis "Cuirassira"), the latter will not be mass-produced due to lack of funds and low TTX.
The ground forces are armed with 108 infantry fighting vehicles VSTR, which are the same TAM, on which only the turret is replaced (armed with an 20-mm automatic cannon). There are about 600 BTR - from 329 to 458 tracked American M-113, French AML-90 (32 units) and AMX-13 VCPC (up to 130 pieces). To participate in UN peacekeeping missions, the Argentine armed forces purchased 9 British Tactics armored vehicles, as well as 4 Chinese WZ-551 armored personnel carriers. The gendarmerie is armed with 111 Swiss Grenadier BTR, 40 German UR-416 and 20 English Shoreland.
Another version of the TAM tank in the land forces of Argentina is the self-propelled artillery installation VCA, which housed the tower of the Italian 155-mm self-propelled gun "Palmaria". Such SAUs in the Argentine army 19, also have 24 French SAU F3 (also caliber 155 mm) and 6 extremely obsolete American SAU M7. Ground force towed artillery includes up to 10 US X-NUMX-mm howitzers M-105 (World War II period) and up to 101 Italian X-NUMX-mm light howitzers M-52 and 105 X-NUMX-mm howitzers L-56 and 108 CALX-155 Mortars - 33 VCTM (self-propelled version), 4 AM-30 (39-mm), 338 (50-mm), 120 (923-mm). There is also a 81 MRLS locally-made SAPBA and 214 Pampero, up to the 60 installations of the American Tou NMS. The air defense of the land forces of Argentina includes three French Roland air defense missile systems, six RBS-50 Swedish air defense missile systems and 4 order of anti-aircraft guns of various calibers.
155-mm howitzer CALA30 Argentine production
Army aircraft in size is an impressive force: more than 50 aircraft and about 100 helicopters. It is represented by multi-purpose and transport aircraft: 4 SA-226 “Merlin”, one “Sabrliner-75”, “Beach-65”, “Cessna-550”, “Cessna-560”, 3 С-212, 4 “Cessna-208” 5 ”, up to 207“ Cessna-2 ”, 6 DНS-2. Training aircraft: 41 T-3, 42 DA2. Attack helicopters - from 5 to 109 A-45 helicopters. Transport, multipurpose and rescue: 1 UH-3Н, 332 AS212, one Bell-5, 206, Bell-2, 315 SAXNUMXВ.
Common to the land forces of the country is that all military equipment is significantly outdated. The only exceptions are the Chinese WZ-551 BTR, but there are only 4 units and 155-mm howitzers of their own production CALA30, which in the future should replace almost all the receiver artillery if the necessary financial resources are found.
Argentine Air Force
The basis of the Air Force of Argentina is a military aircraft. In addition, the Air Force has auxiliary aviation, as well as air defense forces and equipment, including fighter aircraft, air defense missile systems, and air traffic control equipment. In total, the Argentine Air Force has eight aviation brigades: three fighter-bombers, one assault, one mixed and one reconnaissance, and two transport brigades.
Light attack aircraft IА-58 "Pucara"
As part of the Argentine Air Force on 27 attack aircraft - American A-4 Skyhawk and its own IA-58 "Pukara." At the same time, Skyhawks, apparently, are no longer able to rise into the air. Among the reconnaissance aircraft: American LNJ-4A 35. Fuel tankers: 2 KS-130H. Transport aircraft: 3 C 130N one L-100-30, 6 DHC-6, 4 F-28 one "Learjet-60», 4 "Saab-340», 2 "Commander-500», 2 RA-25 , 2 PA-28, 2 PA-31, one PA-34, one Cessna-180, 18 "Cessna-182". Most of the airplanes are represented by training machines, which, if necessary, can also be used as combat ones: 16 EMB-312 Tukano, 4 T-6С (there will be 24 in total), 2 T-34С, 12 IА-63 "Pampa", 9 Grob -120. Helicopters - to 3 «Hughes-369», 3 SA315, 7 «bell-212», 2 «bell-412», 2 S-76V one S-70A, 5 Ni-17, 9 MD-500D.
The Argentine Air Forces are unique in the sense that despite the presence of more than 100 combat aircraft (including those stored), there are no fighters not only of the 4, but also of the 3 generation. This makes the Argentine Air Force one of the most archaic in the world. Relatively new in the composition of the Air Force of this country are only training aircraft of the Argentine production "Pampa" and Russian Mi-17 helicopters. Attempts by Buenos Aires to acquire at least 3 generation fighters (the French Mirage-F1 or the Israeli Kfirs) were once successfully blocked by London.
The highest operational alliance of the Argentine Navy is the operational command. It consists of 5 commands: submarine forces, surface forces, marines, naval aviation and transport fleet, as well as a rescue service at sea, a search and rescue service and a service of operational situation, weapons and EW. In addition, the territorial components — the river zone, the Atlantic zone, the southern zone and the main naval base of the country Puerto Belgrano — are directly subordinate to the command of the Navy.
The military structure of the Argentine Navy includes: formations of the fleet (division of frigates of URO, destroyers of URO, ships and boats of marine patrols, landing-transport ships and auxiliary vessels, patrol boats, division of minesweepers and a group of hydrographic ships), formation of naval aviation (two patrol boats) and anti-submarine squadrons, one fighter-bomber, one reconnaissance, training and auxiliary squadron), the formation of marines.
Corvette type MECO 140 / Espora
The Argentine Navy has two submarines (one of the TR1700 Santa Cruz, one of the 209 / 1200 projects), the 4 of the destroyer Almirante Braun, and their classmate, the destroyer Sheffield, is currently used as landing craft, almost all the armament from the ship was dismantled, there are also 9 frigates (sometimes classified as corvettes: 6 type MEKO 140 / Espora and 3 type A-69 / Drummond), 2 missile and 5 patrol boats. All warships were built either in Germany or in Argentina, but exclusively for German projects. The exception to this rule is the English Sheffield, which was bought from Britain before the Falklands War, as well as French frigates (Drummond).
Formally, naval aviation, like the Air Force, is large enough in composition; you can also add planes and coast guard helicopters to it. But of the combat vehicles in the ranks, only one French supersonic carrier-based attack aircraft, the Super Etandard (another 10 machine is in storage). Airplanes were previously used as deck until decommissioning of a single aircraft carrier from the fleet. Naval aviation antisubmarine aircraft are represented by: American P-3В (3 units) and S-2UP (4 units). Training aircraft: 10 T-34C. Anti-submarine helicopters: 6 SH-3H (ASH-3H) and one S-61, 4 AS555. Multipurpose: up to two SA316. Coast Guard aircraft: 5 C-212, 2 Beach-350, 4 PA-28. Coast Guard helicopters: 4 AS365, 2 SA330 (1 L, 1 J), 2 AS355, up to 6 S-300С.
The Argentine Marine Corps has battalions: amphibious armored personnel carriers, artillery, air defense, communications, and the 2 – 5 battalions of the marine corps. They are armed with 14 BTR (90 "Panar" VCR, 1 LVTP-68, 31 LXB) ZRK RBS-21, 7 anti-aircraft guns GDF-16.
Summarizing, it can be noted that the existing level of combat readiness and combat capability of the Argentine armed forces provides the country's leadership with the necessary level of political freedom in making decisions and protecting the territorial integrity of the state. Along with this, a significant technological lag between the Armed Forces of Argentina and the armies of the leading countries of the world remains. It is most pronounced in the material and technical support of the troops (which is also hampered by a large variety of combat vehicles in service, some of which are represented literally by the piece), radar and reconnaissance support, communications equipment, military equipment of the ground forces, air force and navy, and vehicles (sea and air). Technical re-equipment of all types of the Armed Forces of Argentina is carried out with a significant backlog of plans due to insufficient funding and a desire to load the Argentine industry, which currently is simply not able to produce high-tech weapons and military equipment, as a matter of priority.
Even despite a significant reduction in the number of the Armed Forces of Great Britain over the past few decades, the Armed Forces of Argentina have no chance of returning the Falkland Islands by force. At the same time, there are currently no direct military threats to the country in South America, since Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay bordering it have purely symbolic armed forces, and Argentina has never had serious conflicts with Brazil, Alexander Khramchikhin said. At the same time, the country has clashed with Chile in the past; its armed forces have now achieved overwhelming military superiority over Argentina.
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