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Peruvian Air Force

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Title: Peruvian Air Force  
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Subject: Peruvian Armed Forces, Caproni Ca.114, Caproni Ca.135, English Electric Canberra, De Havilland Canada DHC-5 Buffalo
Collection: 1929 Establishments in Peru, Peruvian Air Force
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Peruvian Air Force

Peruvian Air Force
Fuerza Aérea del Perú
Coat of arms of the Peruvian Air Force
Active 1929 (as Peruvian Aviation Corps)
Country Peru
Part of Ministry of Defense
Engagements Colombia–Peru War
Ecuadorian-Peruvian war (1941)
Paquisha War
Cenepa War
Internal conflict in Peru
Commanders
Commander-In-Chief Dante Antonio Arévalo Abate
Chief of Staff Julio Valdez Pomareda
Inspector General Javier Ramírez Guillen
Insignia
Roundel
Aircraft flown
Attack Su-25, A-37B
Fighter MiG-29, Mirage 2000
Attack helicopter Mi-25D, Mi-35P
Patrol C-26B
Reconnaissance Learjet 36
Trainer MB-339, EMB-312, Zlin 242L
Transport An-32B, C-130 Hercules, Y-12, Boeing 737, DHC-6, PC-6

The Peruvian Air Force (Spanish: Fuerza Aérea del Perú, FAP) is the branch of the Peruvian Armed Forces tasked with defending the nation and its interests through the use of air power. Additional missions include assistance in safeguarding internal security, conducting disaster relief operations and participating in international peacekeeping operations.

Contents

  • History 1
  • Organization 2
    • Ala Aérea Nº 1 2.1
    • Ala Aérea Nº 2 2.2
    • Ala Aérea Nº 3 2.3
    • Ala Aérea Nº 4 2.4
  • Personnel 3
  • Aircraft 4
    • Current inventory 4.1
  • See also 5
  • Notes 6
  • Sources 7
  • External links 8

History

On May 20, 1929, the aviation divisions of the Peruvian Army and Navy were merged into the Cuerpo de Aviación del Perú (Peruvian Aviation Corps, abbreviated CAP). During the Colombia-Peru War of 1933, its Vought O2U Corsair and Curtiss F11C Hawk planes fought in the Amazon region. The CAP lost three aircraft to the Colombian Air Force . The corps was renamed Cuerpo Aeronáutico del Perú (Peruvian Aeronautical Corps, also abbreviated CAP) on March 12, 1936. In 1941, the CAP participated in the Peruvian-Ecuadorian War. At that time, the CAP were equipped with Caproni Ca.114 and North American NA.50 Torito fighters, Douglas DB-8A-3P attack aircraft, and Caproni Ca.135 Tipo Peru and Caproni Ca.310 Libeccio bombers,[1] among others.

During the presidency of English Electric Canberra bombers and the Hawker Hunter, Lockheed F-80 Shooting Star and North American F-86 Sabre fighters. The service underwent a period of considerable expansion throughout the 1970s and early 1980s which included the acquisition of French-made Dassault Mirage 5P and 5DP, U.S. made Cessna A-37B Dragonfly attack aircraft, Lockheed C-130 and L-100-20 Hercules transport aircraft, and the introduction of an important number of Soviet-made aircraft, including Sukhoi Su-22 bombers and Antonov An-26 and An-32 transport aircraft, as well as Mil Mi-8, Mi-17 and Mi-25 helicopters. In 1982, during the Falklands War, the Peruvian Air Force transferred ten of their Mirage M5-P to the Argentine Air Force as a measure of solidarity.

The stagnation of the Peruvian economy during the 1980s and early 1990s forced cost reductions and the downsizing of the fleet size. Budget cuts in training meant Peruvian pilots had a low number of annual flying hours (AFH) per pilot if compared to the 1970s. The number of annual flying hours is of course very important in estimating the individual skill and experience of the pilots of an air force: more annual flying hours suggests better trained pilots and general readiness. There are also a number of possible explanations for FAP`s low AFH: concern over the aging of equipment, scarcity of spare parts - especially for the older aircraft - difficulties with worn airframes and the scarcity of fuel are all contributing factors. It is very likely however that some 'elite' pilots and regiments such as those based in Talara AFB and La Joya AFB received considerably more flying hours. Especially since those regiments until today are equipped with modern aircraft and tasked with homeland defence.

In 1995, the Peruvian Air Force fought the Cenepa War against Ecuador`s FAE thus poorly equipped and prepared losing five fighter planes and 3 attack helicopters in the Amazonian skies.

However President Alberto Fujimori`s plans to get Peru`s revenge via heavily bombardments of Ecuadorian cities and infraestructure that prepared ground for a total peruvian invasion of Ecuador by 1998 meant FAP getting a much needed general overhaul and new purchases.[2]

Therefore one could say the FAP was revived after 1995. In 1997 the FAP acquired from Belarus 21 MiG-29 fighters and 18 Su-25 attack fighters. In 1998 an additional 3 MiG-29 fighters were bought from Russia which along with the 12 Mirage 2000 fighters purchased from France`s Dassault Aviation in 1984, makes a total of 54 fighters in Peru`s inventory.

Peru’s Mirage 2000C/B and MiG-29S fighters form the backbone of its current multi-role fighter fleet, alongside old SU-22 strike fighters and specialized SU-25 close air support jets. The Mirages were bought from France in 1984, while the MiG-29s arrived via a disastrous 1995 deal with Belarus. Fortunately, Peru patched things up with Russia, and RAC MiG agreed to provide service and support.

These purchases have been expensive, and a number of observers have questioned their usefulness against more pressing security concerns, like Peru’s fanatical Marxist Sendero Luminoso (“Shining Path”) guerrillas. On the other hand, the FAP still remembers the 1995 Canepa War with Ecuador, and its Russian fighters are stationed very close to that border at Chiclayo AFB and Talara AFB.

Its Mirage 2000Ps sit at La Joya AFB near the border with Bolivia and Chile; the 3 Andean countries have a minor 3-way maritime borders dispute, and residual tensions with historical foe Chile have been a long-running theme in Peru.

In 2008, RAC MiG began the upgrade of FAP`s MiG fleet to the MiG-29SMT external link standard.

In 2009, Dassault began working with Peru on a comprehensive inspection of the Mirage fleet, coupled with some electronics modernization.

Finally, since 2013 Peru is in talks with Spain and warplane suppliers as part of a low-budget plan to replace aging air force aircraft with second-hand Eurofighters and comparable fighters. FAP currently is exploring the possibility of new purchases such as 36 Eurofighter Typhoon EF-2000 from Spain [3] and 36 Sukhoi 30 from Russia.[4]

Cost is a major issue for Peruvian President Ollanta Humala, who is looking at competitively priced fighter jets that will fit the national budget.

This article covers Peruvian Air Force history and its ongoing efforts to maintain and improve its core fighter fleet.

Organization

A-37Bs are based at Piura with the 7th Air Group
A Peruvian Sukhoi Su-25, the country's main attack aircraft.
Peruvian KAI KT-1P Woongbi have been attached to Escuadrón Aéreo 512, along with AT-27 Tucano, which they will eventually replace in the near future.
MB-339s are used for advanced training.

The current Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force of Peru is General Jaime Marin Figueroa Olivos. Aerial forces are subordinated to the Ministry of Defense and ultimately to the President as Commander-in-Chief of the Peruvian Armed Forces. Operational units are organized as follows:

Ala Aérea Nº 1

1st Air Wing, headquartered at Piura

  • Grupo Aéreo Nº 6 (6th Air Group) based at Chiclayo
    • Escuadrón Aéreo 612 (Fighter Squadron 612 "Fighters Cocks") - operating MiG-29S/SE/SMP/UBP
  • Grupo Aéreo Nº 7 (7th Air Group) based at Piura
    • Escuadrón Aéreo 711 (Fighter Squadron 711 "Scorpions") - operating A-37B
  • Grupo Aéreo Nº 11 (11th Air Group) based at Talara
    • Escuadrón Aéreo 111 (Fighter Squadron 111) - Su-22M/UM (decommissioned in 2007)
    • Escuadrón Aéreo 112 (Fighter Squadron 112 "Tigers") - operating Su-25/UB

Ala Aérea Nº 2

2nd Air Wing, headquartered at Callao

  • Grupo Aéreo Nº 3 (3rd Air Group) based at Callao
    • Escuadrón Aéreo 315 (Light Helicopter Squadron 315) - operating BO-105
    • Escuadrón Aéreo 331 (Helicopter Training Squadron 331) - operating Schweizer 300 (based at Las Palmas)
    • Escuadrón Aéreo 332 (Medium-Airlift Helicopter Squadron 332) - operating Bell 212 and Bell 412
    • Escuadrón Aéreo 334 (Surveillance Squadron 334) - operating C-26B
    • Escuadrón Aéreo 342 (Heavy-Airlift Helicopter Squadron 342) - operating Mi-17
  • Grupo Aéreo Nº 8 (8th Air Group) based at Callao
    • Escuadrón Aéreo 841 (Transport Squadron 841) - operating B-737
    • Escuadrón Aéreo 842 (Transport Squadron 842) - operating L-100-20 Hercules
    • Escuadrón Aéreo 843 (Transport Squadron 843) - operating An-32
    • Escuadrón Aéreo 844 (Transport Squadron 844) - operating C-27J

Ala Aérea Nº 3

3rd Air Wing, headquartered at Arequipa

  • Grupo Aéreo Nº 2 (2nd Air Group) based at Vítor
    • Escuadrón Aéreo 211 (Attack Helicopter Squadron 211) - operating Mi-25D, Mi-35P
  • Grupo Aéreo Nº 4 (4th Air Group) based at La Joya
    • Escuadrón Aéreo 412 (Fighter Squadron 412 "Hawks") - operating Mirage 2000P/DP
  • Grupo Aéreo Nº 51 (51st Air Group) based at Pisco
    • Escuadrón Aéreo 511 (Basic Training Squadron 511) - operating Zlin 242L
    • Escuadrón Aéreo 512 (Intermediate Training Squadron 512) - operating AT-27 and KT-1P
    • Escuadrón Aéreo 513 (Advanced Training Squadron 513) - operating MB-339AP

Ala Aérea Nº 4

4th Air Wing, headquartered at Iquitos

  • Grupo Aéreo Nº 42 (42nd Air Group) based at Iquitos
    • Escuadron Aereo 421 (Transport Squadron 421) - operating PC-6, DHC-6 and Y-12

Personnel

SA-3 Pechora SAM on display at Las Palmas Airbase - 2006
Personnel (as of 2001)[5]
Commissioned Officers 1,909
Non-commissioned officers 7,559
Cadets 325
NCO in training 296
Enlisted 7,880
Civilians 8,708
Total 17,969
(excl. civilians)

Aircraft

Current inventory

An Air Force MiG-29 at Halcon-Condor 2010 festival
A Boeing 737 sits on the tarmac at Jorge Chávez International Airport
A Mi-35 in flight
An Aermacchi MB-339 on the taxi way
Aircraft Origin Type Variant In service Notes
Combat Aircraft
Cessna A-37 United States attack 24[6]
Mirage 2000 France multirole 2000P 7[7]
MiG-29 Russia multirole 19[6]
Su-22 Russia fighter / bomber 17[6]
Su-25 Russia attack 18[6]
Reconnaissance
Metro 23 United States surveillance / COMINT 2[6] donated the U.S. for anti-drug operations[8]
Learjet 35 United States photomapping U-36 1[6]
Transport
Boeing 737 United States VIP 1[6]
C-27J Italy transport 1 3 on order[9]
An-32 Ukraine transport 2[6]
DHC-6 Canada utility transport 13[6] 3 on order - STOL capable aircraft
Lockheed L-100 United States transport 2[6]
Metro 23 United States VIP / utility 1[6]
Pilatus PC-6 Switzerland utility / transport 1[6] STOL capable aircraft
Helicopters
Bell 412 United States utility 3 on order[10]
Bell 212 United States utility 3[6]
Mil Mi-17 Russia utility Mi-17/171 11[6]
Mil Mi-24 Russia attack Mi-24/35 16[6]
Bo 105 Germany utility 2[6]
Trainer Aircraft
EMB-312 Brazil trainer 13[6]
KAI KT-1 Republic of Korea primary trainer 2[6] 18 on order
MB-339 Italy jet trainer 5[6]
Mirage 2000 France conversion trainer 2000DP 2[6]
Sikorsky S-300 United States trainer 6[6]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Acig.org: The Most Powerful Air Force in Latin America
  2. ^ Diario La Republica http://www.ecuadorinmediato.com/Noticias/news_user_view/investigacion_peruana_corrupcion_impidio_bombardear_ecuador_2da_parte--11212
  3. ^ Flight Global http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/spain-offers-eurofighters-to-peru-381843/
  4. ^ United Press International http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Security-Industry/2013/03/26/Peru-mulls-replacing-aged-air-force-jets/16101364290342/
  5. ^ http://www.resdal.org/art-rial.htm based on Supreme Decree DS No. 69 DE/SG of 2001.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^

Sources

  • Efraín Cobas|Cobas, Efraín]], Las Fuerzas Armadas Peruanas en el Siglo XXI. CESLA, 2003.
  • Alejo Marchessini|Marchessini, Alejo, "La Fuerza Aérea del Perú"; Defensa 295: 30-42 (November 2002).
  • Alejo Marchessini|Marchessini, Alejo, "La aviación de combate de origen ruso de la FAP"; Defensa 342: 34-36 (October 2006).
  • Alejo Marchessini|Marchessini, Alejo, "El Servicio de Material de Guerra de la FAP"; Defensa 355: 48-50 (November 2007).

External links

  • Official Air Force of Peru Website
  • Peruvian military aircraft Order of Battle
  • Aeroflight
  • Maquina de Combate
  • Order of Battle at Scramble
  • World Air Forces
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