As political violence continues in Argentina, President Jorge Videla saw a demonstration of a counter-insurgency aircraft in the province of Cordoba on Thursday (28 April).
As political violence continues in Argentina, President Jorge Videla saw a demonstration of a counter-insurgency aircraft in the province of Cordoba on Thursday (28 April). The military junta seized power just over a year ago and is trying to destroy guerrilla groups, and end alleged corruption within the regime of Senora Maria Estela Peron. Argentina's armed forces were recently reported as having virtually wiped out their guerrilla enemies, but the bomb attacks and gun battles have continued.
SYNOPSIS: President Videla, who's a member of the three-man junta, wore his general's uniform for the visit, and was met at Cordoba airport by high-ranking members of the armed forces. Within six months of taking power the military wiped out the leadership of the Marxist People's Revolutionary Army, although the group claimed responsibility for an assassination attempt against the President in February.
President Videla saw round the assembly plant where Argentina's own fighter plane, the Pucara 1A-58 is produced. The aircraft's main function is target surveillance and the back-up of land operations. The Pucara is powered by two French 1,000 horsepower twin turbo-prop engines. It can keep airborne for ten hours without refuelling. The French power plant was included in a weapons deal under which France supplied Argentina with 12 Mirage jet fighters.
the demonstration for President Videla. The armament includes two Swiss-made 20 millimetre guns and four United States Browning machine guns. The Pucara can also carry rockets and bombs. Other countries interested in it include Chile, Bolivia and Peru. The plane has a range of between 560 and 1,350 miles, with a maximum load.
The Pucara has had a somewhat chequered career. It first flew in 1969, but production was severely delayed over several years. However, it is now in full operation with the Air Force.