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Argentine mirage 2000 purchase

This is a discussion on Argentine mirage 2000 purchase within the Air Force & Aviation forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; i understand that the argentine airforce is looking to purchase a number of second hand mirage 2000's in the near ...


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Old February 23rd, 2007   #1
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Argentine mirage 2000 purchase

i understand that the argentine airforce is looking to purchase a number of second hand mirage 2000's in the near future.
firstly,in view of the continuing tensions over posession of the falkland islands with the united kingdom of great britain and northern ireland,how would the mirage 2000 fare against the tornado f3 fighters stationed on the islands should a further conflict take place and secondly does anyone have any further details of the proposed purchase?
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Old February 23rd, 2007   #2
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The Tornados are going to be replaced with EFs so the Mirages would have a real problem.
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Old February 23rd, 2007   #3
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I think that the MOD has shown some foresight. The conversion of No 1435 Flight to Typhoon is now expected to happen before the end of 2007 and not 2009 as first planned (Reports AFM in Jan) Argentine Elections are coming up and the Venezuelan president has urged the islands return to Argentina. AFM quotes but desnt specify a series of confrontaions around the exclusion zones.

As well as the Mirage, the Argentinian airforce have 36 modernised A-4s.

The concern would be the small number of Typhoons (four) and how quickly they could be reinforced.

The question of defending the Islands with a fixed base recieved critisism in the book by Sharkey Ward who led one of the Sea Harrier squadrons. If the runway was taken out then we couldnt reinforce, if it fell we would have difficulty recapturing it. That said Ward was a supporter of carriers and not putting fast jets actually on the islands.
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Old February 23rd, 2007   #4
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To quote this months AFM again, the autor suggest that a Cambrai based squadron might see its aircraft refurbished and sold to Argentina. They would be refurbished to 2000-5 standard.

The French have also mooted the sale of refurbished Mirage F1CT's.

Airforce -technology gives the 2000-5 Mica capability or Super 530D or Sky Flash (which we wouldnt sell), LGB's, exocet, ARMs etc.

The F3 would have a tough time with it although AMRAAM would level the performance field somewhat. With warning and full aircraft servicibility could four Typhoons hold a 3-1 superiority over the Mirage. I expect the many fighter experts on here could assist.
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Old February 23rd, 2007   #5
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I think that the MOD has shown some foresight. The conversion of No 1435 Flight to Typhoon is now expected to happen before the end of 2007 and not 2009 as first planned (Reports AFM in Jan) Argentine Elections are coming up and the Venezuelan president has urged the islands return to Argentina. AFM quotes but desnt specify a series of confrontaions around the exclusion zones.

As well as the Mirage, the Argentinian airforce have 36 modernised A-4s.

The concern would be the small number of Typhoons (four) and how quickly they could be reinforced..
Argentina is very far from being able to launch a conflict by the Falklands. The fact is simple, Argentina has too many problems as to consider think on launch a war with Great Britain over the Falklands. With huge gaps in its radar coverture and the lack of a BVR missile operative in the FAA, while they trust all its air potential in short range missiles like the AIM-9M and Magic, a clash with the modern RAF planes eith BVR weaponry would be suicidal.

On the other hand, I can see a serious problem for the acquisition of the M-2000 on short-term, the money needed.

All we know about the expected and announced acquisition of the Orage and Ouragan on the part of Argentina. What happened with them? Well the operation failed, apparently by the cost derived of the of the obligatory process of cleaning the asbestos to put them in service the ship in the Argentinian Navy.

And added to it they have an important issue with their aircrafts and helicopters with many stored, stopped for a revision that doesn't arrive or all but abandoned to oxide.

With respect to those Sky Hawks quoted by Dave H. There is only nineteen in service, the others are all stored ~20.

Besides there are in service: 8 Finger 3B (+ 6 Stored), 3 Dagger T, 5 Mirage 5P (+ 2 Stored), 7 Mirage IIIEA (+ 9 Stored) and 2 Mirage IIIDA (+ 2 Stored). All five B-707 are out of service

In the COAN they have the Super Etendard, but only agreat total of 12, with 7 in service and five stored.

With all these issues and without any serious asset to mount an amphibious operation with the INMARA... The possibilities of a repeat of 1982 is very far of the reality.

Pics of the A-4AR stored for preservation. (Photos from SAORBATS)
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Last edited by Gladius; February 23rd, 2007 at 10:33 PM.
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Old February 24th, 2007   #6
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Skyhawk.org states that that by 2000 the A4M/A-4AR upgrade and refurbishment was completed and all 36 aircraft were flying at the Villa Reynolds Airbase. Former USN instructors were involved in the training programme. Global security refers to the spec having APG-66 as part of a package by Lockheed.

They are flown by 2 squadrons at Villa Reynolds, the 1st and the 2nd. Even stored aircraft that have undergone a recent modernisation should be considered a serious threat as there are two active squadrons

As to the political situation, there were several incidents highlighted in last years press. Military flights probing the radar coverage, testing QRA speeds. A British patrol detected a submarine off South Georgia (not sure how far or what sort of patrol).

In June last year the Argentines referred the matter to the UN Decolonisation Committee, calling UK actions Illegitamate.A row prompted over fishing rights amongst other things. This year is teh 25th Anniversary and that might inflame Argentine tempers particularly as we won. The Political tone might just turn nastier.

Even a desired revamping of argentinian armed forces must be viewed with some concern in light of the previous wars particularly as they are freiends with Chavez wh may be keen to make mischief for one of the US closest allies. Also last year Argentinian ministers held talks with Russia about possible future arms purchases as did Venezuela. (although denied by the Argentinian Govt)

British forces are at overstretch. I dont think any Argentinian action is imminent but the UK forces are particulary stretched should they wish to ramp up the political pressure. Merely deploying more advanced aircraft in the area of the exclusion zone would need a response from the UK in terms of beefing up the defences. There lies the difficulty. Already bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan, our spearhead units such as 3 Commando Brigade are committed, we are struggling to meet requirements for heavy lift and helicopter support. Training requirements have been cut back.

Any UK reinforcement would need to be flown in, far too many of our warships are in reserve condition needing time to work up. We havent got many spare ships to rush south and wave the flag and the sea harrier has gone.

If Argentina ever wanted to strike again they will have to do so before 2015-2017 when the Carriers and F35's arrive, its that narrow window that might provide danger.

They dont have to take the islands, they might just have to carry out limited action at a time when we are stretched. The UK would win out but more conflict isnt needed at this time.
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Old February 24th, 2007   #7
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ok then,if theoretically the argentinians decided to launch an attack utilising mirage 2000's in a fighter role and specifically to mix it with the f3's currently based there,how do we think they would fare?...would they f3's take them out with amraams and even if they did what about close in combat?i understand that the f3's now have asraam too so would that be decisive too?
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Old February 24th, 2007   #8
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resply of the falklands shouldn't be a problem if the RAF planes can do CAP as C17s can renforse from asention, degio garcia or even the UK if they have tanker support.

the RAF alredy fly in fighter planes to the falklands
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Old February 24th, 2007   #9
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Not if the Argntinians managed to do some decent damage to the runways at Mount Pleasant and Stanley we could'nt. If we werent fighting wars in the middle east at the time we might have enough tankers and we only have 5 C17's.

There lies the risk in building an airbase but only keeping a token force of four fighters there. Reinforcement is a days flying time away, fine if we got advance warning.

Just hope they dont do as the Venezuelans have done and buy russian. Cruise missiles in the argentine armoury would make things very hot.

Even just carrying out large scale exercises off the exclusion zone would require a UK reinforcement. We havent got the ships or aircraft to permanently beef up the garrison unless the defence budget were increased, which it wont be under this present Govt.
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Old February 24th, 2007   #10
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If they get the 2000's within the next ten months then a decent match but by the end of 2007 they would likely be matched against the Typhoon.

It would all depend on what missiles the french supplied though amraam and asraam should do the trick. In a dogfight the F3 would be best running away and shooting from range.
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Old February 24th, 2007   #11
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Yeah Deave, the 32 A-4AR & 4 A-4TAR have a variant of the APG-66 (V) 2, with a shortened antenna, called ARG-1, but the Fifth Fighter Group of the V Air Brigade of FAA based on Villa Reynolds have less than 30 pilots qualified for the Sky Hawk on his two A-4AR/TAR squadrons and by strategic decision adopted by the FAA (again the money question is present) some years ago, only the half of the entire fleet of A-4AR is in service on any time, the remainder half is stored or, at timed revisions in the AMACUAR (Area Material Río Cuarto) thats is the reality, whatever said Skyhawk.org. And remember, they have an important dependence of the tankers to extend the range of the Sky Hawks and they only have two (2) KC-130 (and one of those, the TC-69 is out of active service) to do this, added to that, their best teeth against the Tornados and soon Eurofighters, are AIM-9L & M only...

Dave, like I said before, the Argentinians have too many problems to think about any action against the Falklands. And with Kirchner and Nilda Garré restricting the resources destined to the armed forces, pay for M-2000 is out of question, at this moment. The scarce money available would be better used on recover all their aircrafts and helicopters, now out of service.

Last edited by Gladius; February 24th, 2007 at 06:35 PM.
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Old February 25th, 2007   #12
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I'll add another perspective... even supposing the Argentines managed to take out the Port Stanley airstrip, they would have to run an amphibious operation to take control of the Falklands. With which ships ? With which aircrafts ? They lack any operational LPDs (as mentioned already, the French are not sending over the '60s vintage LPDs) and lack sufficient number of cargo planes from which to launch airborne troops.

Still, I would put at least 6 Typhoons, not 4. With 6 AIM120 each they would wipe out the entire Argentine air force's operational fighters...

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Old February 25th, 2007   #13
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I'll add another perspective... even supposing the Argentines managed to take out the Port Stanley airstrip, they would have to run an amphibious operation to take control of the Falklands. With which ships ? With which aircrafts ? They lack any operational LPDs (as mentioned already, the French are not sending over the '60s vintage LPDs) and lack sufficient number of cargo planes from which to launch airborne troops.

Still, I would put at least 6 Typhoons, not 4. With 6 AIM120 each they would wipe out the entire Argentine air force's operational fighters...

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Yes, 4 seems a ridiculously small number, especially if allowance is made for at least one to be in maintenance and not immediately available. I would also think that the RN ought to maintain at least one SSN on station in the South Atlantic to further reduce the chances of an amphibious assault.

IMO, Argentina needs more modern aircraft, but from what Gladius reports it is even more imporant to develop a better infrastructure to properly maintain and operate whatever assets they have. IMO, they also need potent air to air missiles to go with a Mirage 2000 purchase and a good stock of modern long range air to surface missiles to have any chance against a defence based on even a small number of Typhoons.

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Old February 25th, 2007   #14
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But if the airfield is wiped out they don't need any LPDs. This is not going to be an opposed landing.

They could just take some normal civilian ships and use them for transporting their troops.
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Old February 25th, 2007   #15
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But if the airfield is wiped out they don't need any LPDs. This is not going to be an opposed landing.

They could just take some normal civilian ships and use them for transporting their troops.
Hence the value of an SSN in the area! Unlike 1982, at least the RN has a frigate to back up the patrol vessel. SSNs are sometimes deployed to the South Atlantic but info about this is classified. As I said before I think there should always be at least one on station.

I understand that the UK has responded to recent tensions by bringing forward plans to replace the F3s with Typhoons from 2009 to 2007, but evidently they don't consider the threat level to be sufficient to increase the size of the force. My understanding is that there are 16 hardened shelters, so a full squadron could be deployed. Also it doesn't seem that the need for a ground based air defence system for the airfield is seen as necessary. Hopefully British intelligence is better than it was in 1982!

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