Colombia’s limited budget has constantly postponed the replacement of its frontline fleet. Many options have been considered before, even second hand spanish Eurofighter Typhoons but more of make belief than an actual serious replacement considering operational cost of these heavyweight aircraft. Israel reportedly has offered in different occasions its F-16A/B Netz fleet to Colombia but until now such offerings have been turned down.
Many parts of Downtown Buenos Aires are locked and protected with security forces blockades, public transportation is very limited and the first manifestants are gathering.
Just a few days from the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, argentine and U.S. troops are coordinating efforts to tackle any possible conflicts or attacks on this reunion of the 20 most relevant governments and leaders of the world. Mass media has reported that 1000 U.S. Government operators, being intelligence, Secret Service and Special Operations Command have converged in Buenos Aires to guard every inch of president Trump’s schedule. Other than VH-60N, “Marine One” helicopters, has come to our attention that the U.S. has deployed 4 MH-60M+ helicopters from the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment and 100+ Company troops in support of government officials, ready to be called in if necessary. This comes within a new defined context of urban threats, which has been in SOCOM’s crosshair since Trump´s inauguration in 2016 and therefore many exercises have been made consequently in large U.S. cities. Media reports have confirmed that argentine special troops from the Army, Navy and Air Force will be also in alert with Rapid Deployment Force (Fuerza de Despliegue Rapido, FDR) ready to be mobilized with support of the 601 Helicopter Batallion.
USS Ramage, an Arleigh Burke Flight I class destroyer is to be on alert during this G20 Summit. The Destroyer, recently refitted, is temporarily serving roles for U.S. Southern Command’s 4th Fleet. It has been recently spotted in the Brazilian port of Pernambuco, and the U.S. has scheduled a port visit to Montevideo on Dec 2nd, right after the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires. This Destroyer is one of the most recently deployed ships in the USN, as stated in official media, 45% of the time of these last three years, Ramage, was in ports other than his own. This Arleigh Burke Flight I is specialized in air defense, with its AN/SPY-3D long range radar and SM-2 missiles.
An agreement between the Air Force and INVAP was signed in December 2017 for the provision of this RPA-170M radar, the conversion of a TPS-43 radar to MTPS-43 standard and the update of the MTPS-43 prototype.
Just recently, the Argentine Army Aviation and Fabrica Argentina de Aviones (FAdeA)’s mechanics have begun to overhaul the AB-206B-1 helicopters received from the Italian Carabinieri a few months ago. The helicopters were out of service for years and became exposed to the open weather once the argentine agreement started to stall and the hangar was vacated. None the less, an agreement was signed and this generated the needed traction for the transfer process to start. Of these 20 aircraft, one is still in Italy which was used to perform on the job training for this overhaul and the other 19, already in Campo de Mayo Airstrip, are being sent in batches to Cordoba for the works to start. 5 of these will be transferred to the Gendarmeria Nacional Aviation Service and the other 15 will remain in the Army.
The Air Force’s process of replacement with Piper Seneca and the replacement of written off Aerocommanders with Cessna Grand Caravan is yet to be determined in another time, accordingly to current debs as for the argentine government’s zero deficit fiscal policy.
This deployment will include KC-135 tankers, C-17 Transports, three early warning aircraft E-3 Sentry and three F/A-18 Super Hornet fighters, with 400 troops.
Almost half of the proposed new airframes for the Argentine Air Force and prospected customers have been already built but there are difficulties to assemble and complete the aircraft
The argentine armed forces have been taking new roles in surveillance for incursions on the Argentine northborder, both Fernandez de Kirchner and Macri administrations identified thiscritical requirement as a needed repurposing of an outdated and ineffective defense system. This being the leitmotiv of Frontera Norte and Integracion Frontera Norte operations, on military support of security forces on border surveillance with drug trafficking and smuggling in mind, from international crime organizations. For this purpose, many requirements for equipment have been submitted and some of them even fielded already. While being seen as an opportunity to a long delayed re-equipment of the armed forces with new and capable hardware, some turn to rejection of these new duties and the loss of military power itself turned to securitization. New radars for ground based short range surveillance have been required and determined by the Argentine Army from 2015 onward.