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
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.