Lockheed Martin A-4AR Fightinghawk Airplane Videos and Airplane Pictures

Fuerza Aerea Argentina - McDonnell Douglas A-4AR


Lockheed Martin A-4AR Fightinghawk Video - A-4AR Fightinghawk

Lockheed Martin A-4AR Fightinghawk Aircraft Information

Lockheed Martin A-4AR Fightinghawk

A-4AR Fightinghawk

Warbird Picture - An A-4AR during Air Fest 2010

Picture - An A-4AR during Air Fest 2010

Role: Ground attack
Manufacturer: Lockheed Martin
Introduced: December 1997
Status: operational
Primary user: Argentine Air Force
Produced: 1996-1999
Number built: 36 converted
Developed from: A-4M Skyhawk

The Lockheed Martin A-4AR Fightinghawk is a major upgrade of the McDonnell Douglas A-4M Skyhawk attack aircraft developed for the Argentine Air Force which entered service in 1998.

Design and development

Background

The 1982 Falklands War (Spanish: Guerra de las Malvinas) took a heavy toll on the Argentine Air Force, which lost over 60 aircraft. Due to the deteriorating national economic situation and political distrust of the military, the Air Force was denied the resources needed to replace its war losses.

The supply of modern combat aircraft had been restricted since the United States had imposed an arms embargo in 1978 for human rights abuses, there were further restrictions when the United Kingdom also imposed an arms embargo in 1982. The only combat aircraft that the Air Force could obtain were ten Mirage 5Ps, transferred from the Peruvian Air Force; 19 Mirage IIICJs from Israel, veterans of the Six-Day War; and two Mirage IIIB trainers from the French Air Force.

In 1989, Carlos Menem was elected President of Argentina and quickly established a pro-United States foreign policy which lead to the country gain a Major non-NATO ally status. Although the economic situation improved, the funds to purchase new built combat aircraft like the Mirage 2000 remained unavailable.

In 1994, the United States made a counteroffer to modernize 36 ex-USMC A-4M Skyhawks in a US$282 million deal that would be carried out by Lockheed Martin and included the privatization of the Fabrica Militar de Aviones (Spanish for Military Aircraft Factory), now Lockheed Martin Aircraft Argentina SA.

Production

Airplane Picture - two seats OA-4AR taking off

Picture - two seats OA-4AR taking off

Argentine Air Force technicians chose 32 A-4M (built between 1970/1976) and 4 TA-4F airframes from the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona to upgrade. The upgrade plans included:

Complete overhaul of the airframe, wiring looms and the Pratt & Whitney J52P-408A engine
Installation of Douglas Escapac 1-G3 ejection seats
HGU-55/P helmets
Honeywell Normal Air-Garrett's OBOGS (On Board Oxygen Generation System)
Westinghouse/Northrop Grumman AN/APG-66V2 (ARG-1) radar
HOTAS controls and a 'glass' cockpit (2 CRT color screens)
Sextant Avionique/Thales Avionics SHUD
Litton/Northrop Grumman LN-100G inertial navigation system
MIL-STD-1553B data bus
Two General Dynamics Information Systems AN/AYK-14 mission computers
Northrop Grumman AN/ALR-93 (V)1 Radar warning receiver
AN/ALQ-126B jammer
AN/ALQ-162 jammer
ALR-47 chaff/flare dispenser
IFF AN/APX-72

The A-4M airframes were equipped with the TV and laser spot tracker Hughes AN/ASB-19 Angle Rate Bombing System (ARBS) but these were removed after their conversion as A-4AR, as the radar could provide the same data.

The contract stipulated that 8 airframes would be refurbished at the Lockheed-Martin Plant in Palmdale, California and the rest (27) in Cxrdoba, Argentina at LMAASA (ex-FMA).

At least ten TA-4J and A-4M airframes for use as spare parts, eight additional engines, and a new A-4AR simulator were also delivered.

Operational history

Airplane Picture - Overflying the Obelisk of Buenos Aires during the Argentina Bicentennial

Picture - Overflying the Obelisk of Buenos Aires during the Argentina Bicentennial

The Fightinghawks, having received Air Force serials C-901 to C-936, saw their first group arrive in Argentina on 18 December 1997 and the first "Argentine" A-4AR was rolled out on 3 August 1998 at Cordoba. The last one, number 936, was delivered to the Air Force in March 2000. Two aircraft (a one-seat and a two-seat) remain some time in the United States for weapons homologation.

All of the A-4ARs were delivered to the 5th Air Brigade (V Brigada Area) at Villa Reynolds, San Luis Province, where they replaced two squadrons of Falklands/Malvinas veteran A-4P (locally known A-4B) and A-4C. They were soon deployed in rotation around the country from Rio Gallegos in the south to Resistencia in the north where they were used intercept smugglers and drug trafficking airplanes.

In September 1998, just months after their arrival and again in April 2001, United States Air Force F-16 visited Villa Reynolds for the Southern Falcon joint exercise, known as Aguila (Spanish for Eagle) in Argentina. In 2004, the A-4ARs went abroad for the joint exercise Cruzex, along with Brazilian F-5s and Mirages, Venezuelan F-16s and French Mirage 2000s.

In November 2005 they were deployed to Tandil airbase to enforce a no-fly zone for the Mar del Plata Summit of the Americas and later met Chilean Mirage Elkans, Brazilian AMXs and Uruguayan A-37 at Mendoza for the joint exercise Ceibo.

In July 2006 they were deployed to Cordoba province for the Mercosur's 30th Presidents Summit, while in August and September they went north again to Brazil for the Cruzex III joint exercise with Brazil, Chile, France, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.

In June 2008 they were deployed to Tucumxn province for the Mercosur's Presidents Summit.

In August 2009 they were deployed to Bariloche for the UNASUR Presidents summit. Later that month they participated at Reconquista, Santa Fe of the Pre-Salitre an exercise of preparation for the Salitre II of next October in Chile with Chile, Brazil, France and the United States

On 1 May 2010 they participated on the Air Fest 2010 show at Morxn Airport and Air Base

On 25 May 2010 three A-4AR flew over the 9 de Julio Avenue at Buenos Aires as part of the Argentina Bicentennial shows.

On August 2010, enforce a no-fly zone at San Juan for the Mercosur's Presidents Summit. On September they join the rest of the air force aircraft at Reconquista, Santa Fe for the ICARO III integration manouvers

Operators

Argentina

Argentine Air Force

Accidents

As of January 2009, after 11 years of service, two A-4ARs have been lost:

6 July 2005: near Justo Daract, San Luis Province, pilot Lt Horacio Martxn Flores (29 years old), died.
24 August 2005: near Rxo Cuarto, Cordoba, pilot ejected safely.

Specifications (A-4AR Fightinghawk)

Data from FAA Official site and A-4 Skyhawk

General characteristics

Crew: 1 (2 in OA-4AR)
Length: 40 ft 3 in (12.30 m)
Wingspan: 27 ft 6 in (8.38 m)
Height: 14 ft 11 in (4.57 m)
Wing area: 259 ft (24.15 m)
Empty weight: 4,900 kg (10,803 lbs)
Loaded weight: 11,000 kg (24,251 lbs)
Max takeoff weight: 24,500 lb (11,136 kg)
Powerplant: 1x Pratt & Whitney J52P-408A turbojet, 5,100 Kg ()

Performance

Maximum speed: 1080 km/h (671 mph)
Range: 1,700 nm (2,000 mi, 3,220 km)
Service ceiling: 42,250 ft (12,880 m)
Rate of climb: 8,440 ft/min (43 m/s)
Wing loading: 70.7 lb/ft (344.4 kg/m)
Thrust/weight: 0.51

Armament

Guns: 2x 20 mm (0.787 in) Colt Mk 12 cannon, 100 rounds/gun
Missiles: 2x AIM-9M Sidewinder
Bombs: 9,900 lb (4,490 kg) on five external hardpoints

Related development

A-4 Skyhawk
A-4SU Super Skyhawk
Project Kahu

Comparable aircraft

A-7 Corsair II
AV-8B Harrier II

Related lists

List of attack aircraft
List of military aircraft of the United States

(Spanish) Argentine Air Force official site
(Spanish) Aerospacio Magazine El programa A-4AR avanza
(Spanish) Aerospacio Magazine Halcones al Sur, llegan los A-4AR
(Spanish) La Nacion newspaper 1997 Nuevos aviones para la Fuerza Area
(Spanish) La Nacion newspaper 1998 Ejercicio militar con los EE.UU
(Spanish) La Nacion newspaper 1998 Aviones argentinos interceptarxn aeronaves norteamericanas
(Spanish) La Nacion newspaper 2005 Habilitan un puente areo con EE.UU.

Living Warbirds: The best warbirds DVD series.

Source: WikiPedia

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