Peruvian Air Force
|Peruvian Air Force
Fuerza Aérea del Perú
Coat of Arms of the Peruvian Air Force
|Active||1929 (as Peruvian Aviation Corps)|
|Part of||Ministry of Defense|
Ecuadorian-Peruvian war (1941)
Internal conflict in Peru
|Commander-In-Chief||Carlos Eduardo Samamé Quiñones|
|Chief of Staff||Walter Milenko Vojvodic Vargas|
|Inspector General||Pedro Joaquin Seabra Pinedo|
|Fighter||MiG-29, Mirage 2000|
|Attack helicopter||Mi-25D, Mi-35P|
|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, abbreviated 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.
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, among others.
During the presidency of Manuel A. Odría the corps was reorganized again and on July 18, 1950 it became the Fuerza Aérea del Perú (Air Force of Peru, abbreviated FAP). In the 1950s the FAP was modernized to the jet age with the arrival of the 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 5P to the Argentine Air Force as a measure of solidarity. The economic crisis of the later 1980s forced reductions in the fleet size as well as cuts in training and general readiness.
Under those conditions the FAP fought the Cenepa War against Ecuador in 1995 and lost five planes and helicopters. After the war, in 1996 the FAP acquired MiG-29 fighters and in 1998 Su-25 attack fighters arrived, which along with Mirage 2000 fighters acquired in the late 1980s, are currently the main combat elements of the FAP.
The current Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force of Peru is General Carlos Eduardo Samamé Quiñones. 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 
- Grupo Aéreo Nº 6 (6th Air Group) based at Chiclayo
- Escuadrón Aéreo 612 (Fighter Squadron 612 "Fighters Cocks") - operating MiG-29S/SE/UB
- 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 112 (Fighter Squadron 112 "Tigers") - operating Su-25/UB
Ala Aérea Nº 2 
- Grupo Aéreo Nº 3 (3rd Air Group) based at Callao
- Grupo Aéreo Nº 8 (8th Air Group) based at Callao
Ala Aérea Nº 3 
- Grupo Aéreo Nº 2 (2nd Air Group) based at Vítor
- Grupo Aéreo Nº 4 (4th Air Group) based at La Joya
- Grupo Aéreo Nº 51 (51st Air Group) based at Pisco
Ala Aérea Nº 5 
- 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 (as of 2001)|
|NCO in training||296|
Numbers shown below are derived from open sources, they should be regarded as estimates due to lack of confirmation from official sources.
|Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29||Russia||tactical fighter
multirole fighter trainer
|Contract signed on August 12, 2008 for US$ 106 million with Mikoyan for a custom-made SMT upgrade of six MiG-29S and two MiG-29UB, locally called MiG-29SMP (upgraded -UB's are referred to as -UBP).
Three MiG-29SMP and a MiG-29UBP were presented during an Air Force parade in July 23, 2012.
|Dassault Mirage 2000||France||multirole fighter||Mirage 2000P
|An US$ 140 million budget was announced in Le Bourget Airshow 2009 to invest in the recovery of the Mirage 2000 fleet.
|Sukhoi Su-25||Russia||attack aircraft||Su-25
|The Su-25UB fleet was upgraded for SEAD role between 2004-2005 under the Comadreja (Spanish for weasel) program.
As of February 2013, 4 aircraft are operational.
|Cessna A-37 Dragonfly||United States||light attack aircraft||A-37B||48||10 upgraded with U.S. anti-drug assistance, with work on six complete by late 2002, and the rest to be completed by the end of that year. 8 aircraft and the same number of engines were donated by South Korea on February 3, 2010.|
|Aermacchi MB-339||Italy||lead-in fighter trainer||MB-339AP||13||16 delivered 1981-1982; local production program cancelled. 2 lost in midair collision near Pisco in February, 1985 and 1 lost in 2012.|
|KAI KT-1||South Korea||intermediate trainer
light attack aircraft
|Deliveries scheduled to begin in 2014. To replace Tucanos.|
|Embraer EMB 312 Tucano||Brazil||intermediate trainer||AT-27||18||First 20 ordered and delivered 1987, replaced T-37Cs; 10 more acquired in 1992; some used also in interceptor role for drug-interdiction flights; at least 3 lost to attrition. 6 sold to Angola in 2002.|
|Zlin Z 142||Czech Republic||basic trainer||Zlin 242L||14||18 delivered before July 1998; 4 lost to attrition.|
|Cessna T-41 Mescalero||United States||basic trainer||T-41D||5||40 delivered in 1974. 25 of them released to aviation schools in mid 1970s. Some lost to attrition, retired or sold to private operators.|
|Piper PA-34 Seneca||United States||multi-engine trainer||PA-34-200T Seneca II||2||Delivered in 1982|
|Fairchild C-26 Metroliner||United States||surveillance / COMINT||C-26B||4||Donated for anti-drug role by U.S.; reconditioned for aerial surveillance with a FLIR turret (1 in storage). 2 C-26B were fitted by RADA Electronic Industries with COMINT/IMINT equipment for ISR missioning. The two aircraft are deployed in the VRAEM (Valley of Apurimac, Ene and Mantaro Rivers) for counter-insurgence operations.|
|Learjet 36||United States||reconnaissance / ELINT||Learjet 36A||2||Delivered in 1983 (1 in storage). One Learjet 35A fitted with ESM/ELINT arrays (visually similar to Elisra's Emerald AES-210 - No official confirmation) presented during an air parade held in Lima in December 2012.|
|Rockwell Turbo Commander 690||United States||reconnaissance||Turbo Commander 690B||1||Delivered in 1994. Current status unknown|
|Boeing 737||United States||transport
|Lockheed C-130 Hercules||United States||transport||L-100-20
|2 units in storage
2 units donated by USA in 2012, to be delivered in the near future.
|Harbin Y-12||China||transport||Y-12 II||4||6 ordered in 1991 and scheduled to be delivered by the end of that year; one lost May 1993 near Atalaya, and one lost April 1995 in crash on takeoff from Iquitos, three crew killed. The remaining 4 in storage and presumed non-operational.|
|de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter||Canada||utility aircraft
|16 DHC-6-300 delivered in 1973-1976. At least 9 lost to attrition. 2 sold. 1 in storage
Contract signed for twelve DHC-6-400 in November 2010; to be delivered from June 2011 through 2014.
|Pilatus PC-6||Switzerland||liaison||PC-6B Turbo Porter||2||13 delivered in 1974-1976. 7 lost to attrition. 3 retired. 1 sold. 1 in storage|
|Mil Mi-24||Russia||attack helicopter||Mi-25D||16||12 Mi-25s delivered in 1982; 7 Mi-25s were procured from Nicaragua in 1992, one Mi-25 shot down by Ecuadoran SA-16 in 1995; two crashed in collision in August 1995 near Arequipa. 4 of the Mi-25s were upgraded in October 2012 to increase service lives by seven years; three more are expecting upgrades.|
|Mil Mi-35||Russia||attack helicopter||Mi-35P||2||2 Mi-35 initially ordered in late 2010 for COIN duties in the VRAE jungle. A second, undetermined batch is expected to be acquired in the near future.|
|Mil Mi-17||Russia||transport helicopter||Mi-17||14|
|Mil Mi-171||Russia||transport helicopter||Mi-171Sh||3||6 Mi-171Sh were acquired along with the Mi-35P, three for the Air Force and the rest for the Peruvian Army. A second, undetermined batch is expected to be acquired in the near future.|
|Schweizer 300||United States||utility helicopter||Schweizer 300C||5||Delivered in 1999. One lost on 25 February 2013.|
|Bölkow Bo 105||Germany||utility helicopter||Bo-105LS||5||six delivered in 1991|
|Bell 212||United States||utility helicopter||Bell 212||6|
|Bell 412||United States||utility helicopter||Bell 412EP||1||originally two, second unit fate is unknown|
Future Acquisitions 
Peru made a formal request to buy 16 of the Eurofighters from Spain at a cost $61 million each.
The Sukhoi Su-22 was the backbone of the Peruvian Air Force until the late 90s
Bell 212 armed with rocket pods
- Acig.org: The Most Powerful Air Force in Latin America
- http://www.resdal.org/art-rial.htm, based on Supreme Decree DS No. 69 DE/SG of 2001.
- FUERZA AÉRA DEL PERÚ FIRMA CONTRATO PARA REPARAR MIG29. Ministry of Defense (2008-08-12). Retrieved on 2008-08-13.
- La Fuerza Aérea de Perú muestra su capacidad de combate. Defensa.com (2012-07-25). Retrieved on 2012-07-25.
- Spain offers Eurofighters to Peru - Flightglobal.com, February 4, 2013
- Ministro de Defensa recibirá este jueves ocho aviones donados por Corea. Andina (2010-01-03). Retrieved on 2009-01-03.
- Peru Gets Upgraded Mi-25 Gunships to Boost Drug Fight - Rian.ru, October 20, 2012
- Perú recibirá dos helicópteros MI-35 rusos para combate contra Sendero. RPP.com.pe (2010-02-20). Retrieved on 2009-02-21.
- Air Forces Monthly. Stamford, Lincolnshire, England: Key Publishing Ltd. April 2013. p. 32.
- Cobas, Efraín, Las Fuerzas Armadas Peruanas en el Siglo XXI. CESLA, 2003.
- Marchessini, Alejo, "La Fuerza Aérea del Perú"; Defensa 295: 30-42 (November 2002).
- Marchessini, Alejo, "La aviación de combate de origen ruso de la FAP"; Defensa 342: 34-36 (October 2006).
- Marchessini, Alejo, "El Servicio de Material de Guerra de la FAP"; Defensa 355: 48-50 (November 2007).
See also