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Performance of the Argentine A-4 against the Royal Navy in the Malvinas/Falkland

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Hi pals!. I want to know your opinions about the performance and combat record achieve by the obsolecent A-4 Against the British Task Force at the Malvinas War in 1982. Thank you! :)

The Exocet missile deployed by Super Etendard was a much greater threat to the Royal Navy fleet than the A-4s equipped with 500lb iron bombs, or so it seemed. Argentina had only a limited number of missiles, it was only successful against the HMS Sheffield and the merchant Atlantic Conveyor.

The A-4Bs did a much better job, sinking three ships and damaging several others. The A-4Cs did only manage to damage one though. It caused the heaviest losses, but it wasn't succesful. I read about a full-scale attack on an amphibious landing, but the bombs didn't explode and the 30mm rounds didn't do enough damage. Not to mention, the heavy A-4 losses.

I haven't really dug myself into this war yet. But from what I've seen, there is plenty to find on the internet. This article gives a good overview of the (air) war:

The A-4s were to far from the conflit to be fully effective. The exocet was a greater threat due to the accuracy and stand-off capability. If the A-4s were closer and could carry their full load then they would have done lots of damage. The tatics employeed were a major factor for the relative success against the amphibs. They came in through the mountains and fell upon the fleet. The RN lack of an area SAM system was a major disadvantage also, the amphis were naked! Besides the ships which were sunk, quite a few were damaged by bombs which did not explode. Imagine if they had! Imagine if the Skyhawks had more of them than just the one or two they were carrying. The odds would have been worse of the RN. In air to air combat against the harriers though they were definitely disadvantaged.

Its all in the tactics. The Argentineans proved that with good tactics even an old aircraft can stay effective. And if they hadn’t bought the mk-82’s at Bombs’R’Us, the outcome could have been quite different

By the way, I still love the story about the Harrier crash with the experimental Sea Eagle equipment onboard…

I think there is much behind the A-4. It was not only the airplane, but also the pilots, that were brave to fly over the freezing sea, at minimal altitudes with airplanes that had no chance against Sea Harriers on CAP. The bombs weren't guided or such, so it didn't help much. I think the Argentinean pilots deserve a lot of respect, and in some way have it, because it's recognised all the world round their braveness and faerless atitude.


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