In 1982,the Royal Navy was ready to fight Soviet nuclear submarines in the North Atlantic.
It was not ready to fight the Falklands War.
It is now.
Every Royal Navy warship,and many auxiliaries,now has the ability to shoot down fast jets and anti-ship missiles,unlike the fleet that sailed south in 1982 with completely inadequate air defences.
The Royal Navy is today very well trained in engaging fast moving air threats,again,unlike in 1982.
This capability was demonstrated when the Royal Navy became the only navy ever to shoot down an anti-ship missile in the Persian Gulf in 1991.
The Royal Navy also has airborne early warning which it lacked in 1982.
The air attacks which Argentina used so successfully in 1982 are no longer viable against the Royal Navy.
In 1982,the Royal Navy’s passive sonars,which were very useful against noisy Soviet nuclear submarines in deep water,proved inadequate against Argentine diesel-electric submarines in shallow water.
Today the Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigates have the world’s best shallow water anti-submarine capability thanks to the Merlin helicopter,Stingray torpedo and low frequency active/passive towed array sonar 2087 and active/passive bow sonar 2050.
In 1982 the Royal navy had a small,old and not very capable amphibious force which was about to be retired from service.
The amphibious force was lacking in both helicopters and suitable vehicles.
Today it has an all new and very capable amphibious capability,including a helicopter carrier and tracked armoured vehicles suitable for the terrain in the Falklands.
In 1982 British ground forces were not combat experienced and were poorly equipped.
Today they have many years of constant,intensive infantry combat experience and excellent personal kit.
One thing has not changed since 1982,the Royal Navy’s submarines can still sink any Argentine warship they can find.
The difference is,today they can do it much more quickly with high speed Spearfish guided torpedos.
Those submarines can also punch holes in runways at convenient times with Tomahawk missiles,as can the Fleet Air Arm and Royal Air Force Harriers if Storm Shadow missiles are integrated.
Again,unlike 1982 when Argentinian airbases were left to go about their business.
With the capacity of the Invincible class carriers now increased to 23 Harriers,and a total fleet of 74 aircraft,a task force is likely to take at least 60 Harriers with it to the Falklands.
The two aircraft carriers would take 46 between them,H.M.S.Ocean cannot sustain Harrier operations but she and many other ships,such as the Bay class,can ferry aircraft and launch them in an emergency.
While the Argentinians significantly outnumbered the British aircraft in 1982,today the British would have a 3:2 advantage,although their fighters would lack radar.
In summary,Argentina has no chance of taking on a modern British naval task group,although it has every chance of overwhelming the meagre defences in the Falkland Islands.
The Argentinians know there is little point invading the Falklands if they can’t hold them for more than a month.
Which is why they won’t invade them,despite the weakness of the defending forces.