The Peruvian Air Force (FAP) is still interested in acquiring 10 to 12 of the A-29 Embraer Super Tucano light attack jet fighters to be used in the fight against narcoterrorist elements in the VRAEM (Apurimac, Ene and Mantaro Rivers Valley).
According to data published by several local media, these aircraft will be added to an unspecified number of unmanned aerial systems, along with two dozen helicopters.
The Peruvian government has maintained its intention to purchase early-awareness aircraft, electronic warfare and air surveillance, an essential platform to conduct independent interdiction of irregular flights in border areas with Brazil and Colombia, since the prior administration.
Furthermore, the government was also interested in a dual system, such as the C-295 AEWC Airbus Military. Excluding the maintenance calendar (a period in which the aircraft is non-operational), the size of the area demands the use of more than one aircraft of this kind, which is the ideal complement for ground-based radars.
Moreover, the FAP is executing a contract for the joint production of turbo-prop KT-1P aircraft, capable of conducting land attack missions in low-intensity asymmetric scenarios, such as the VRAEM, for which Super Tucano capabilities are excessive. Should further fire power or quick-airplane interdiction be occasionally required, they could be conducted by the Sukhoi Su-25 jets, which are part of the institution’s inventory and awaiting maintenance and modernization.
The costs of the Super Tucano – $11 to $12 million per unit – are higher than the EMB-145 AEW&C aircraft, manufactured by Embraer, and a shortage of units is one of the FAP’s main weaknesses. The purchase of a sole unit, when the minimum should be three units, will only partially help to solve the airspace coverage of the South American country.
There are also turbo-prop options in AEW&C, such as the C-295 and the SAAB 2000, the latter with a speed record in its category, secondhand models of which are available.