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Peruvian Air Force
Fuerza Aérea del Perú
File:Escudo de armas FAP.png
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
Commander-In-Chief Carlos Eduardo Samamé Quiñones
Ceremonial chief Walter Milenko Vojvodic Vargas
Inspector General Pedro Joaquin Seabra Pinedo
Roundel Roundel of the Peruvian Air Force.svg
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 language: 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,[1] 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.


A Peruvian Sukhoi Su-25, the country's main attack aircraft.

A-37Bs are based at Piura with the 7th Air Group

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

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/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

Peruvian MiG-29SE at Halcon-Condor 2010 festival.

Ala Aérea Nº 2

2nd Air Wing, headquartered at Callao

  • Grupo Aéreo Nº 3 (3rd Air Group) based at Callao
    • Escuadrón Aéreo 332 (Medium-Airlift Helicopter Squadron 332) - operating Mi-17, Bell 212, Bell 412 and BO-105
    • Escuadrón Aéreo 333 (Helicopter Training Squadron 333) - operating Schweizer 300
  • Grupo Aéreo Nº 8 (8th Air Group) based at Callao
    • Escuadrón Aéreo 811 (Transport Squadron 811) - operating B-737, An-32 and L-100

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 411 (Fighter Squadron 411 "Hawks") - operating Mirage 2000P/DP
    • Escuadrón Aéreo 513 (Advance Training Squadron 513) - operating MB-339AP [on loan from 51st Air Group]
  • 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

Ala Aérea Nº 5

5th 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


MB-339s are used for advanced training.

File:SA-3 EP 2006.JPG

SA-3 Pechora SAM on display at Las Palmas Airbase - 2006

Personnel (as of 2001)[2]
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)


Numbers shown below are derived from open sources, they should be regarded as estimates due to lack of confirmation from official sources.

Aircraft Origin Type Version In service Notes
Fighter Aircraft
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29  Russia tactical fighter
tactical fighter
multirole 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-29 and two MiG-29UB, locally called MiG-29SMP (upgraded -UB's are referred to as -UBP).[3]

Three MiG-29SMP and a MiG-29UBP were presented during an Air Force parade in July 23, 2012.[4]
As of February 2013, 8 Mig-29s have been upgraded, with 11 awaiting upgrades at a cost of US$ 400 million. MiG-29s will likely retire by 2025.[5]

Dassault Mirage 2000  France multirole fighter
multirole fighter trainer
Mirage 2000P
Mirage 2000DP
An US$ 140 million budget was announced in Le Bourget Airshow 2009 to invest in the recovery of the Mirage 2000 fleet.

As of February 2013, 9 aircraft are airworthy. US$ 480 million is needed to modernize the fleet to Mirage 2000-5 standard. Mirage 2000s are to remain in service until 2025.[5]

Attack Aircraft
Sukhoi Su-25  Russia attack aircraft
attack aircraft trainer
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.[5]
Cessna A-37 Dragonfly United States light attack aircraft A-37B 12 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.[6]
Trainer Aircraft
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
Reconnaissance Aircraft
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.[7]
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.
Learjet 45 United States reconnaissance / ELINT Learjet 45XR 1 Delivered in 2013.[8]
Rockwell Turbo Commander 690 United States reconnaissance Turbo Commander 690B 1 Delivered in 1994. Current status unknown
Transport Aircraft
Boeing 737 United States transport
VIP 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.
Antonov An-32  Ukraine transport An-32B 5
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
utility aircraft
16 DHC-6-300 delivered in 1973-1976. At least 9 lost to attrition. 2 sold. 1 in storage

Contract signed for 12 DHC-6-400 in November 2010; to be delivered from June 2011 through 2014.

Pilatus PC-6   Switzerland liaison PC-6/B2-H2 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.[9]
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.[10]
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.[10]
Schweizer 300 United States utility helicopter Schweizer 300C 5 Delivered in 1999. One lost on 25 February 2013.[11]
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 Eurofighters from Spain at a cost $61 million each.[12]

Peru sought to purchase 4 C-27J Spartans for $200 million total as their medium transport aircraft. The medium transport requirement may lead to 12 aircraft purchased.[13] As of July 2013, there are four candidates for the next generation medium transport: the EADS CASA C-295, the Alenia C-27J, the Antonov An-70 or upgraded Antonov An-32, and the Lockheed C-130J Super Hercules. Requirements are cost, logistics and maintenance, high altitude performance, take offs and landings at high altitudes, and use on improvised air strips.[14]


See also



  • 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).

External links

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