Twenty years of the Fightinghawk

Argentina took delivery of its first Fightinghawks 20 years ago in December. Esteban G Brea reviews the fighterbomber’s service with the Argentine Air Force, which has included its fair share of setbacks.

OA/A-4AR in FAA service

Two generations of ’Hawks served together in the Argentine Air Force until 1999. Here an A-4B veteran of the Malvinas/ Falklands conflict is seen alongside its Fightinghawk successor on the tarmac of the V Brigada Aérea’s Villa Reynolds home
Fightinghawks are regularly involved in air policing tasks. One of the most recent was the Operativo Fronteras mission last year, for which the radio frequency was applied to the drop tanks in order to aid communications with aircraft once they were intercepted.
All photos Esteban G Brea

In the wake of the 1982 Malvinas/ Falklands conflict, the Fuerza Aérea Argentina (FAA, Argentine Air Force) needed to replace its losses – which included no fewer than 19 A-4 Skyhawks – a task made more difficult by an international arms embargo. Buenos Aires managed to acquire Mirage IIICJ and Mirage 5P fighters from Israel and Peru respectively, while IA-58 Pucará attrition was made good by new units from the production line of the state-owned Fábrica Militar de Aviones (FMA).

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