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US nuclear aircraft carrier will pass through Argentina

Porta-aviões nuclear USS George Washington (CVN-73) da Marinha dos EUA. Foto: Divulgação.

Argentina will receive a visit from a nuclear aircraft carrier from the United States for the first time since 2010. The USS George Washington, a Nimitz Class ship, is expected to pass through the country in May and will be visited by a series of authorities, including the president Javier Milei. 

According to Clarín, the ship's passage through the South Atlantic should include visits to other countries, such as Brazil, where it already passed almost 10 years ago during operation UNITAS 2015. The aircraft carrier's visit is seen as a strong gesture of realignment between Washington and Buenos Aires. Argentina has become very close to China in recent years, strengthening Beijing's presence in South America. 

With Milei's arrival in power at the end of 2023, the situation changed for China, repudiated by the new Argentine president, who seeks a rapid rapprochement with the USA. The aircraft carrier's visit, in addition to recent military purchases from Argentina, show that the two countries are already well aligned. One of the next steps is the acquisition of used F-16 fighter jets from Denmark, which has already been authorized by the Americans. Milei is expected to visit the aircraft carrier by helicopter, accompanied by ministers and military chiefs, as well as her sister Karina Milei, current Secretary General of the Presidency.

Caças F-16 da Força Aérea Chilena e F/A-18 Super Hornet da Marinha dos EUA sobrevoando o porta-aviões USS George Washington. Navio deve passar pela Argentina em maio de 2024. Foto: Divulgação.
Chilean Air Force F-16 fighters and US Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet flying over the aircraft carrier USS George Washington. Ship should pass through Argentina in May 2024. Photo: Disclosure.

According to Military zone, the passages of United States aircraft carriers through Argentina began in 1990 with the Gringo Gaúcho exercises, which allowed Argentine naval aviators to practice touch and go attacks on North American ships, after the deactivation of the aircraft carrier ARA 25 de Mayo da Matinha Argentina. The last visit by a US aircraft carrier to Argentina took place in 2010, when the USS Ronald Reagan passed through the country under the command of Cristina Kirchner at the time. 

Designated CVN-73, the USS George Washington was commissioned on July 4, 1992, making it the sixth nuclear aircraft carrier of its class to enter service with the US Navy. The ship has a pair of nuclear reactors that power four steam turbines. The crew is made up of more than 6000 military personnel and the main weapons are the more than 90 aircraft on board, including fighter planes, electronic attack, surveillance, transport and anti-submarine warfare helicopters. 

In 2017, the US Navy began extensive maintenance and renovation of the aircraft carrier, valued at US$2,8 billion. Expected to last four years, the service ended up suffering delays due to the pandemic and the ship only sailed again in May of last year. 

 

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Gabriel Centeno

Author Gabriel Centeno

Journalism student at UFRGS, spotter and military aviation enthusiast.

Categories: Military, News, News

Tags: Argentina, United States, Aircraft carrier