2da Escuadrilla Aeronaval de Caza y Ataque

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Second naval fighters strike squadron
2ª Escuadrilla Aeronaval de Caza y Ataque.png
2da Escuadrilla Aeronaval de Caza y Ataque
Active 1944-present
Country  Argentina
Branch Argentine Naval Aviation
Role Embarked fighters
Garrison/HQ Comandante Espora, Bahía Blanca
Battle honours Falklands (Malvinas)
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Capitan de Fragata Jorge Colombo

The 2da Escuadrilla Aeronaval de Caza y Ataque (EA32) ( English: Second Naval Fighter/Strike squadron ) is the main strike unit of the Argentine Naval Aviation, the air branch of the Argentine Navy.

Seal[edit]

The insignia is nicknamed La Lora (female parrot) and was created in 1956 and inspired on US Navy fighter squadron VF-884/VF-144 Bitter Birds 's Jayhawk, a mythological hawk from the Kansas state, but painted green instead of blue.[1]

History[edit]

In 1944, both naval aviation existing Reconnaissance units are transformed in Attack Squadron receiving their Vought V-65F & V-142A but soon in 1945 the 2nd is changed again as a Bomber Squadron. The 2nd squadron is reestablished in 1949 as a Combat Squadron flying AT-6 Texan and finally took his current name on August 1956 when received Vought F4U-5 Corsair for use on the ARA Independencia aircraft carrier.

In 1980, the Naval Aviation decided to buy 14 Super Etendards, after the United States put an arms embargo in place —due to the Dirty War[2] — and refused to supply spare parts for their A-4Q Skyhawks. Argentine pilots used French flight trainers between November 1980 and August 1981 in France including operations from the Clemenceau aircraft carrier [3] but, although being all A-4Q veterans, they had received only 45 hours [4] of actual flight time in the new aircraft when in April 1982 the Falklands War (Spanish: Guerra de Malvinas) began.

Falklands War[edit]

Five Super Étendards, or Sue (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈsu.e]) as they are called, and five Exocets missiles were already shipped to Argentina in November 1981, when a new arms embargo prevented the delivery of further units. More problematic was the fact that the French technicians working at Bahía Blanca on the integration of the Exocet into the Super Etendard received orders to leave the country as well. Nevertheless the Squadron managed to complete the work [5] and, the ARA 25 de Mayo not being modified to allow them operate embarked yet, they were deployed south to the naval air base at Rio Grande, Tierra del Fuego. One aircraft -SUE serial number 3-A-201- was dismantled to be cannibalized for spare parts use while the rest used aerial refuelling from KC-130 Hercules tankers of the Argentine Air Force to perform the following missions (Showing aircraft used):

  • May 2 Cpt Colombo and Lt Machetanz
  • May 4 Cpt Bedacarratz and Lt Mayora (3-A-202 & 3-A-203) sank HMS Sheffield. Two Exocet fired.
  • May 15 The retirement of the last of the maritime patrol SP-2H Neptunes due airframe attrition affected the Squadron reconnaissance support.
  • May 23 Cpt Agotegaray and Lt Mariani did not find targets at the designated location.
  • May 25 Cpt Currilovic and Lt Barraza (3-A-203 & 3-A-204) sank MV Atlantic Conveyor. Two Exocet fired.
  • May 30 Cpt Francisco and Lt Collavino (3-A-202 & 3-A-205) joined four Air Force A-4C Skyhawks of Grupo 4 in an attempt to strike the HMS Invincible aircraft carrier. According to British sources, two of the Skyhawks were shot down by Sea Dart missiles from HMS Exeter during the final approach, and the last Exocet available was destroyed by a direct impact of HMS Avenger frigate 4.5 inch Mark 8 naval gun.

Present[edit]

Once the conflict was over, the rest of the Super Etendards shipment was delivered and the Squadron performed qualifications on aircraft carrier ARA 25 de Mayo Video. After the retirement of their last carrier, Argentine cooperation with the Brazilian Navy has meant that the naval air wing has continued to operate from the deck of carrier NAe São Paulo during ARAEX exercises video and/or touch-and-go landings on US Navy carriers when they are in transit within Argentine coastal waters during Gringo-Gaucho manouvres video Super Etendard 3-A-203 was lost in a deadly crash on 29 May 1996 while attempting to land on Punta Indio airstrip.[6]

On March 2010, during USS Carl Vinson transit around South America, the squadron performed Gringo-Gaucho / Southern Seas 2010 manoeuvers with the US Navy's aircraft carrier [7][8]

As of 2010, the Squadron is still using Super Étendards [9] and French cooperation to upgrade the aircraft was announced.[10][11]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]