The second half of October saw Lockheed Martin's Argentinian subsidiary, Lockheed Martin Aircraft Argentina (LMAASA), lay off its entire 900-strong workforce for six days in an attempt to stem financial losses.

Management opted for the temporary shutdown to gain time and reach an agreement with the Argentinian government, claiming that it did not have the funds to continue operations. Owing to a lack of supplies, LMAASA is unable to finish modernisation work on 10 IA-58A Pucar‡s and five IA-63A Pampas, as well as overhaul work on nearly 100 aircraft engines. Although LMAASA and the government negotiated a new contract in January, no official agreement has been signed.

The Argentinian government owes LMAASA around $47 million - of which $35 million is debt that has been accumulated over the past 10 months relating to maintenance work on Argentinian air force aircraft and production of 12 AT-63 Pampa jet trainers.

Source: Flight International