The Air Force only has 7 aircrafts with operational capacity, but they don´t reach the speed nor altitude of the United States aircraft. For escort, the U.S goverment would send 4 F-16s.
Argentina doesn´t have military aircrafts fit to protect the Air Force One. And that would be left in evidence when the United States presidents visits Argentina tomorrow (March 22 2016). Even though the Air Force assigned two turbopropellers IA-58 Pucará and two IA-63 Pampa armed jet trainers, the north american administration would send four F-16 fighters to give air protection to the presidential aircraft.
The main issue that Argentina faces is that the Pucará has a maximum service ceiling of 6000m a maximum speed of 450km/h. The Pampa s able to reach 9000m and 750km/h. Nevertheless, the IAir Force One has a maximum service ceiling 14000m and a maximum speed of 950km/h, well beyond Argentina´s deteriorated airpark.
In the event Obama´s aircraft had to fly at maximum speed and altitude, argentinian aircrafts would be left just as “mere spectators”, according to sources of the Edificio Cóndor. The Ministry of Defense, headed by Julio Martínez, avoided giving definitions about the precarius state of the so-called “defense shield” of the Argentinian air space, but they not denied it also.
The decision of Mauricio Macri was to assign the two airworthy Pampas from the IV Brigada Aérea (4th Air Brigade) in Mendoza, and the Pucaras from the II Brigada Aérea de Reconquista (2nd Air Brigade of Reconquista), in Santa Fé.
The two aircraft types are the only ones that were left operational after the legendary Mirage IIIs, which served Argentina for 43 years and had an outstanding participation in the South Atlantic war of 1982, were retired in 2015.
Those supersonic fighters had the capacity to protect the Air Force One in case of an emergency, but they are part of history now.
Official sources acknowledged to Infobae that the Pentagon would send at least four supersonic F-16, to give protection to the presidential aircraft. The aircrafts can reach a maximum speed of over 1500km/h, and have a maximum service ceiling of 14000m.
The F-16s are well known and appreciated by the Argentinian pilots, who prefered them over the Israeli aircrafts that the government of Cristina Kirchner tried to buy.
It is estimated that re-equiping the Argentinian Air Force with 14 F-16 would cost around 300 million dollars. In fact, they are already present in the region: the Chilean Air Force has 28.
On the other hand, from the United States an AWACS aircraft would be sent, which is a modified Boeing 707 with a dish over its fuselage.
Its main mission is to serve as a radar for the Air Force One: it can detect an ultralight aircraft taking off 500km away.
A third aircraft, according to Edificio Cóndor, would be a Boeing tanker, to refuel the F-16s, which have a short range.
Link to the article in Spanish: http://www.infobae.com/2016/03/21/1798654-la-argentina-se-quedo-aviones-militares-aptos-proteger-el-air-force-one-barack-obama