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Thread: Mexican Air Force facing serious problems

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    Senior Member Dragunov's Avatar
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    Default Mexican Air Force facing serious problems

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    jorge.medellin@eluniversal.com.mx
    El Universal
    Sunday April 12 2009

    The possibility of attacks by the end of the "Cold War" led to the then President of Mexico to buy a fleet of F-5 fighter aircraft, while his secretary of defense saw it wrong not to update the Armed Forces

    The fleet of 10 jet fighter aircraft F-5E and F-5IIE purchased in 1982 by the Mexican government during the administration of the then President Miguel de la Madrid Hurtado was to defend the country against a possible attack from Cuba.
    The purchase of new combat jets sold to Mexico by the United States government was also completed to deter Central American governments to form a coalition that tried to attack the country because of political differences and the climate of instability in the region, this during the last years of the Cold War, says a declassified report from the Secretariat of National Defense (SEDENA).

    The document called ''Panorama'' also reports that the lack of foreign enemies in the last 25 years and the foreign policy of Mexico have contributed to the idea that an overall update of the Mexican military is not necessary.

    On this point, the book ''The exercise of the presidential mandate'', edited by Porrúa in 1998 and written by former president Miguel de la Madrid briefly explains the context of Latin America at the time of his mandate and noted the seriousness of the political and military conflicts in Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua.
    This whole scenario is worsened by the military initiatives of the United States in the region, "that" seriously worried Mexico, who saw in it a threat to their own national security. " This prompted the decision to purchase the fleet of F-5 fighter aircraft to the U.S. company Northtrop.

    Nowadays, the F-5 fleet, like the rest of the aircraft of the Mexican Air Force (FAM) has been in a time of accelerated wear that presents a danger to the existence of the aerial material.
    According to the document Panorama of the Mexican Army and Air Force, the FAM has a fleet of 369 aircraft (259 aircraft and 110 helicopters), 8 helicopters and 50 planes were added last year.

    Wear, lack of spare parts and the lack of modernization of the transport and combat fleets have endangered the existence of such units in the Air Force said the document from the Ministry of Defense.

    In addition, the FAM is also facing a serious shortage of crews, which currently has 299 flight crews out of the 554 that should have, since it is stated that there should be crews of two showing a deficit of 255. "

    Due to the current situation of the air force only 2500 troops can be mobilized at once.
    However, technically (capacity) the number is reduced to 1800" says the National Defense in its analysis.

    http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/nacion/167113.html

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    Senior Member Siempre_Leal's Avatar
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    I always thought mexico should just purchase a large number of helicopters of two or a single model. instead of 6 of this ...12 of these and 4 of that. As for fighters, i really think they should just buy a good amount of Modern fighters and scrap the F-5's...i say they should just buy Sukhoi's...long range fighters should be a good choice.

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    I think they should just focus on the helicopters for now. They really need it in the on-going drug war. As for figthers, they can go much slower there. They are right next to the US and they face immediate threat from any one much less Cuba at this time. Under better economic condition they can make the neccessary investment in Jet Fighters.

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    Senior Member Siempre_Leal's Avatar
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    yeah you got a point there. they should just focus on helicopters and flight crews.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SiEMpre_Leal View Post
    I always thought mexico should just purchase a large number of helicopters of two or a single model. instead of 6 of this ...12 of these and 4 of that. As for fighters, i really think they should just buy a good amount of Modern fighters and scrap the F-5's...i say they should just buy Sukhoi's...long range fighters should be a good choice.
    Last first: Mexico does not need fighters. No threat.

    First last: 100% cocurr with the idea of 1/2 helo types. Ditto for fixed-wing transports (and get rid of 99.8% of the "vip" fleet).

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    Senior Member Siempre_Leal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panchito12 View Post
    Last first: Mexico does not need fighters. No threat.

    First last: 100% cocurr with the idea of 1/2 helo types. Ditto for fixed-wing transports (and get rid of 99.8% of the "vip" fleet).

    well IF the economic situation gets better...just a handful of modernize fighters ..plleeease?

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    The economy of Mexico and the true threats it faces do not justify Fighter planes. That being said There is also the National Pride of actually being able to defend your airspace.

    It would be nice to see Mexico with a dozen or so Fighters, but the will to spend the money for top notch militaries is weak among Americas neighbors as they know in the end, Uncle Sam will bail them out.

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    They have been having this problems more than five years>>>>>>

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    The U.S. has never really bailed us out militarily, if anything, no other country in the world has invaded us so many times. Believing that the mentality behind Mexico's leadership has always been that "we don't need an air defense capability because we have our neighbor to bail us out" is erroneous at best. The mentality is we would never be able to have an air defense capability capable of deterring a U.S. attack so we rely on our foreign policy to protect us. Because of it we really don't have any enemies out there in the world who would come all the way over here to attack us (what for?) and because we are not a threat, the U.S. also would have no justification to do so itself. Mexico does not go out there in the world picking fights, interfering in other countries' affairs, and just plain making enemies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Panchito12 View Post
    Last first: Mexico does not need fighters. No threat.

    First last: 100% cocurr with the idea of 1/2 helo types. Ditto for fixed-wing transports (and get rid of 99.8% of the "vip" fleet).
    Under that criteria you can also say that Belgium and Austria has no need for fighters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ren0312 View Post
    Under that criteria you can also say that Belgium and Austria has no need for fighters.
    Austria's airspace has been violated until extremely recent times by Serbia.

    Belgium's AF actually goes on overseas combat ops.

    Anything else?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Felix U. Gómez View Post
    The U.S. has never really bailed us out militarily, if anything, no other country in the world has invaded us so many times. Believing that the mentality behind Mexico's leadership has always been that "we don't need an air defense capability because we have our neighbor to bail us out" is erroneous at best. The mentality is we would never be able to have an air defense capability capable of deterring a U.S. attack so we rely on our foreign policy to protect us. Because of it we really don't have any enemies out there in the world who would come all the way over here to attack us (what for?) and because we are not a threat, the U.S. also would have no justification to do so itself. Mexico does not go out there in the world picking fights, interfering in other countries' affairs, and just plain making enemies.
    Regardless of historical military and international political situations, the threat from above is real.

    The events of 9/11 could have easly happened in Mexico City just as it did in New York and DC. A commercial airliner can be converted as a guided weapon in mid-air depending upon the situation. To counter such threat, an argument can be made for interceptors that can be rapidly deployed and intercept the target in short time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ordie View Post
    Regardless of historical military and international political situations, the threat from above is real.

    The events of 9/11 could have easly happened in Mexico City just as it did in New York and DC. A commercial airliner can be converted as a guided weapon in mid-air depending upon the situation. To counter such threat, an argument can be made for interceptors that can be rapidly deployed and intercept the target in short time.
    I totally agree with you that we need them, and way more than a dozen, given the size of our country and the number of large cities that we have. In no way should the mentality that we should rely on our northern neighbors for protection should persist in any way. To think that way is irresponsible.
    I was merely pointing out the philosophy that had taken our leadership to maintaining the existing conditions. However, I don't think that neither Calderon or Fox espouse to this philosophy, it is more of the remnants of the old system that remain in our legislative power that oppose having a modern military. Take for example all the hoopla around allowing the navy to participate in this year's Unitas. The navy practically has to beg the senate for permission to send two ships. It's like being opposed to send your kids to school.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Felix U. Gómez View Post
    However, I don't think that neither Calderon or Fox espouse to this philosophy, it is more of the remnants of the old system that remain in our legislative power that oppose having a modern military. Take for example all the hoopla around allowing the navy to participate in this year's Unitas. The navy practically has to beg the senate for permission to send two ships. It's like being opposed to send your kids to school.
    At issue is the current chain of command and doctrine. The Mexican Air Force is under ths same department as the Army. Therefore one should expect the prevailing attitude of the air force's primary role in ground support and logistics. This argument is supported with the current offensive against the cartels where the Air Force's transports and helicopters are essential. I think this reflects Calderon's priorities at this time.

    One could advocate that the Mexican Air Force should follow the Colombian Air Forces' example in having a more balanced air fleet with upgraded interceptors.

    In regards to UNITAS. Such interaction with the USN should not be viewed strictly as a political military alliance with the USA. But rather as a means to better communicate with international forces against common issues such as fisheries protection, smuggling, piracy and SAR. The Mexican Navy has demonstrated its inter-operability with other nations in times of crisis such as in the case with Indonesia and Hurricane Katrina. However, time can be less wasted on liason and discussing whether or not an Mi-8 can land on a USN vessel or a SH-60 can land on a Mexican OPV if they don't try it in UNITAS.

    Another critical factor for the armed forces is the media and public support. Much of what I've read in the Mexican media about military issue is highly inaccurate and not much emphasis on fact checking on part of the highly competitive Mexican press. It would be prudent for the military to improve is public media offices in providing accurate data and make corrections on erroneous reports by press releases.

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