During operations in the South Atlantic to re-take the Falkland Islands, the air assets of the Argentine Air Force and Navy acted with bravery and skill in confronting the third most powerful navy in the world. Thirty-five years on, Claudio Meunier pays tribute to the heroic men who tried to defend the ‘Malvinas’ and those who fought against them.

Argentine Air Power over the Falklands

Captain Marcos Cerwinszki, a pilot of 8 Group, who participated in a Sea Harrier chase over the islands equipped with Matra missiles. The father of Cerwinszki flew in the RAF as a Second World War fighter pilot serving with a Polish unit.
Skyhawk 3-A-305 piloted by CC Philippi on board the Carrier ARA Veinticinco de Mayo in the first days of May 1982. Skyhawk 3-A-305 dropped its bombs in the 21 May attack on the Frigate HMS Ardent and scored a direct hit, ultimately sinking the ship.
CC Norberto Pereiro, Navy Aviator in the Falklands and the little hangar at the airport in the first days of April 1982. Pereiro comanded the unit EA52 which assigned three Fokker F 28 Fellowship aircraft which flew during the conflict between the continent and the islands, sometimes under enemy fire.
One of the Argentine Air Force Canberras during a training exercise before the war at Paranà.

On 1 May, 1982, on arrival of the British Task Force, Argentine military air operations got underway when Air Forces Daggers and Mirage MIII were launched from the mainland. In what was the first encounter, two Daggers, (C-437) and (C-430), piloted by Capt Moreno, and his wingman, Lt Volponi, met the two Sea Harriers of Lt Cdr Robin Kent (ZA175) and his wingman, Lt Brian Haigh (XZ498). Initially, both sections sought to shoot each other down, but when Kent launched an AIM-9L Sidewinder missile at Moreno’s Dagger, which was successfully avoided, both the Argentinians engaged afterburners and headed back to the mainland.

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