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Peruvian Army
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History of the Peruvian Army
Battles of the Peruvian Army
Senior officers
Officer rank insignia
Enlisted rate insignia
Military Academy

The Peruvian Army (Spanish language: Ejército del Perú , abbreviated EP) is the branch of the Peruvian Armed Forces tasked with safeguarding the independence, sovereignty and integrity of national territory on land through military force. Additional missions include assistance in safeguarding internal security, conducting disaster relief operations and participating in international peacekeeping operations. It celebrates the anniversary of the Battle of Ayacucho (1824) on December 9.


Military traditions in Peruvian territory go back to prehispanic times, ranging from small armed bands to the large armies assembled by the Inca Empire. After the Spanish conquest, small garrisons were kept at strategic locations but no standing army existed until the Bourbon reforms of the 18th century. The main purpose of this force was the defense of the Viceroyalty from pirates and corsairs as well as internal rebellions.


The Ejército del Perú was officially established on August 18, 1821 when the government of general José de San Martín established the Legión Peruana de la Guardia (Peruvian Guard Legion), although some militia units had been formed before. Peruvian troops were key participants in the final campaign against Spanish rule in South America, under the leadership of general Simón Bolívar, which ended victoriously in the battles of Junín and Ayacucho in 1824.

19th century

Battle of Arica, July 7, 1880.

After the War of Independence the strong position of the Army and the lack of solid political institutions meant that every Peruvian president until 1872 held some military rank. The Ejército del Perú also had a major role in the definition of national borders by participating in several wars against neighbor countries. This included an indecisive conflict against the Gran Colombia (1828–1829), the wars of the Peru-Bolivian Confederacy (1836–1839), two invasions of Bolivia (1827–1828 and 1841) and a brief occupation of Ecuador (1859–1860). Starting in 1842, increased state revenues from guano exports allowed the expansion and modernization of the Army, as well as the consolidation of its political power. This improvements were an important factor in the defeat of a Spanish naval expedition at the Battle of Callao (1866). However, continuous overspending and a growing public debt led to a chronic fiscal crisis in the 1870s which severely affected defense budgets. The consequent lack of military preparedness combined with bad leadership were major causes of Peru's defeat against Chile in the War of the Pacific (1879–1883). The reconstruction of the Army started slowly after the war due to a general lack of funds. A major turning point in this process was the arrival in 1896 of a French Military Mission contracted by president Nicolás de Piérola. By 1900 the peacetime strength of the army was evaluated at six infantry battalions (nearly 2,000 soldiers), two regiments and four squadrons and cavalry (between six and seven hundred soldiers), and one artillery regiment (just over 500 soldiers) for a total of 3,075 personnel.[1] A military school was reportedly operating in the Chorrillos District of Lima and French officers were continuing to assist in the army's reorganization.[2]

20th century

During the early years of the 20th century the Peruvian Army underwent a series of reforms under the guidance of the French Military Mission which operated in the periods 1896-1914, 1919–1924 and 1932-1939. Changes included the streamlining of the General Staff, the establishment of the Escuela Superior de Guerra (War College) in 1904, the creation of four military regions (North, Center, South and Orient) in 1905 and a general professionalization of the military career. Improvements such as this were instrumental in the good performance of the Army in border skirmishes with Colombia (1911 and 1932) and a major war against Ecuador (1941).

Even though the Peruvian Army was not involved in World War II, this conflict had a significant effect in its development, mainly through the replacement of French military influence by that of the United States. A US military mission started operations in 1945 followed by an influx of surplus American military equipment delivered as military aid or sold at a very low cost. Washington also established itself as the leader of continental defense through the creation of the Inter-American Defense Board in 1942 and the signing of the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance in 1947. A parallel development was the founding in 1950 of the Centro de Altos Estudios Militares (CAEM, Center of High Military Studies) for the formation of officers in the major problems of the nation beyond those related to its military defense.

The Peruvian Army was the main protagonist of the Gobierno Revolucionario de las Fuerzas Armadas (Revolutionary Government of the Armed Forces), an institutionalized military government that ruled the country between 1968 and 1980. During this period, defense expenditures underwent exponential growth allowing a rapid expansion of the Armed Forces and an unprecedented level of weapon acquisitions. In the early 1970s, US influence over the Army was replaced by a massive influx of Soviet training and equipment. Political power returned to the civilians in the 1980s, but the rise of the terrorist insurgent group Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) prompted the deployment of several Army units in a counter-insurgency role. Human rights violations associated with this intervention and a sharp decrease in the defense budget due to a general economic crisis caused serious problems for the Army morale and readiness as well as a strain on civil-military relations.

The presidency of Alberto Fujimori (1990–2000) saw the Army regain protagonism in the public scene, but its increased political power led to some cases of corruption. The internal conflict ceased for the most part after the capture in 1992 of Abimael Guzmán, leader of the terrorist group Shining Path, but a brief border war with Ecuador broke out in 1995. During this period, women were incorporated into the Army first as conscripts in 1993 and then as officers in 1997. Army commandos had an important participation in operation Chavín de Huantar which put an end to the Japanese embassy hostage crisis. In 1999, one year after the signing of a peace treaty with Ecuador conscription was abolished and replaced by a voluntary military service.

21st century

Peruvian Infantry disembarking from Infantry Fighting Vehicles in the Cruz de Hueso Exercise, 2007

The downfall of the Alberto Fujimori regime left the Peruvian Army in a difficult state, with some of its senior officers compromised in scandals of corruption and human rights violations. Several reforms were undertaken during the presidencies of Valentín Paniagua (2000–2001) and Alejandro Toledo (2001–2006), among them the prosecution of criminal cases related to the military, the reorganization of the military rank system and an increased civilian supervision through a revamped Ministry of Defense. The outcome of this and other initiatives is a major factor of order, major preparation, new equipment and development of the Ejército del Perú. G-3 America (G3 and Associates International Corporation) facilitated the incorporation of new technology to eliminate or reduce terrorism. They have been working tenaciously in getting the right equipment for the Armed Forces while working with the US State Department and US companies to accomplish it.


Cavalry Regiment of the Chorrillos Military School.

The current Commanding General of the Peruvian Army is General Ricardo Moncada Novoa. Land forces are subordinated to the Ministry of Defense and ultimately to the President as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. They are organized as follows:

Operational units are assigned to one of the following military regions, which are directly subordinate to the Army General Command.

Región Militar del Norte

North Military Region, headquartered at Piura

  • 1st Cavalry Brigade (Sullana)
  • 1st Infantry Brigade (Tumbes)
  • 7th Infantry Brigade (Lambayeque)
  • 32nd Infantry Brigade (Trujillo)
  • 6th Jungle Brigade (El Milagro)

Región Militar del Centro

Center/South Central Military Region, headquartered at Lima

  • 18th Armored Brigade (Lima)
  • 2nd Infantry Brigade (Ayacucho)
  • 31st Infantry Brigade (Huancayo)
  • 1st Special Forces Brigade (Lima)
  • 3rd Special Forces Brigade (Tarapoto)
  • 1st Army Aviation Brigade (Callao)
  • 1st Dragoon Life Guards Escort Cavalry Regiment of the President of Peru "Field Marshal Domingo Nieto" (Lima)
  • 1st Mechanized Cavalry Regiment "Glorious Junin Hussars" (Peru's Liberators) (Lima)
  • 1st Infantry Battalion "Peruvian Legion of the Guard" (Lima)

Región Militar del Sur

File:Peruvian Army Parade - Cusco May 2012.jpg

Peruvian Army March - Cusco, Peru

South Military Region, headquartered at Arequipa

  • 3rd Armored Brigade (Moquegua)
  • 3rd Cavalry Brigade (Tacna)
  • 4th Mountain Brigade (Puno)
  • 5th Mountain Brigade (Cuzco)

Región Militar del Oriente

Orient Military Region, headquartered at Iquitos

  • 5th Jungle Brigade (Iquitos)

Region Militar V

5th (North Central) Military Region

  • 2nd Infantry Brigade
  • 31st Infantry Brigade


Order of battle (click to enlarge)

Personnel (as of 2001)[3]
Commissioned Officers 6,231
Non-commissioned officers 13,586
Cadets 1,090
NCO in training 1,000
Enlisted 54,321
Civilians 11,480
Total 76,228 (excl. civilians)


  • Ranks of the officers, sub-officers and enlisted of the Army [2]


Infantry weapons

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Name Type Caliber Origin Notes
MP9 Semi-automatic pistol 9x19mm Parabellum United States
Beretta 92 Semi-automatic pistol 9x19mm Parabellum Italy
Browning Hi-Power Semi-automatic pistol 9x19mm Parabellum Belgium
United States
Winchester 1300 Pump-action shotgun 12-gauge United States
M16A2 Assault rifle 5.56x45mm NATO United States
M4A1 Assault rifle 5.56x45mm NATO United States
Zastava M21[4] Assault rifle 5.56x45mm NATO Serbia
F2000 Assault rifle 5.56x45mm NATO Belgium Special forces
SAR-21 Assault rifle 5.56x45mm NATO Singapore Special forces
FAD Assault Rifle, Light Machine Gun, Sniper Rifle 5.56x45mm NATO Peru
AKM Assault rifle 7.62x39mm USSR Airborne only
Galil Assault rifle 5.56x45mm NATO Israel
Galil ACE Assault rifle 5.56x45mm NATO Colombia
Assault rifle
Battle rifle
5.56x45mm NATO
7.62x51mm NATO
FAL 50.00
FAL 50.41 / FALO
Battle rifle 7.62x51mm NATO Belgium
G3 Battle rifle 7.62x51mm NATO Germany
Galatz Sniper rifle 7.62x51mm NATO Israel
Beretta PM12S Submachine gun 9x19mm Parabellum Italy
BXP Submachine gun 9x19mm Parabellum South Africa
Submachine gun 9x19mm Parabellum Germany
P90 Submachine gun 5.7x28mm Belgium
Uzi Submachine gun 9x19mm Parabellum Israel
Light machine gun 5.56x45mm NATO Belgium
Ultimax 100 Light machine gun 5.56x45mm NATO Singapore
Mini-SS Light machine gun 5.56x45mm NATO South Africa
Browning M1919A4
Browning M1919A4A6
Medium machine gun .30-06 Springfield United States
Heckler & Koch HK21E General purpose machine gun 7.62x51mm NATO Germany
General purpose machine gun 7.62x54mmR USSR
MAG General purpose machine gun 7.62x51mm NATO Belgium
M2 Heavy machine gun .50 BMG (12.7x99mm NATO) United States
DShK Heavy machine gun 12.7x108mm USSR
MGL Grenade launcher 40mm South Africa
Type 87 grenade launcher Grenade launcher 35x32mm China
Grenade launcher 40mm South Africa
M203 grenade launcher Grenade launcher 40mm United States
M65 Rocket-propelled grenade 88.9 mm USSR
RPG-22 Neto Rocket-propelled grenade 72.5 mm USSR
RPG-7V Rocket-propelled grenade 85mm USSR Airtronic RPG-7 seen with special forces at the 2013 Great Military Parade of Peru.[6]
Alcotán-100 Anti-tank rocket launcher 100mm Spain 74 launchers with 660 rockets, for cavalry, mountain infantry, special forces[7]
Panzerfaust 3 Anti-tank rocket launcher 110mm Germany 181 launchers with 1,700 rockets, for armored infantry and special forces[7]


Name Type Version Quantity Origin Notes
T-55 MBT T-55 50(280) USSR 280, only 50 is in service.
AMX-13 Light tank 35 France
M-113A1 APC M-113A1 280 United States
UR-416 APC UR-416 210 Germany
Fiat 6614 APC Fiat 6614-G 60 Italy
M3 Half-track APC M-3A1 50 United States
BRDM-2/Malyutka Armored car 30 USSR
Fiat 6616 Armored car Fiat 6616-H 70 Italy
M8 Greyhound Armored car 60 United States
M-20 Greyhound Armored car M-20 Greyhound 6 United States
HMMWV Light utility vehicle M1165 112 United States


Name Type Version Quantity Origin Notes
M46 130 mm gun M46 36 USSR
OTO Melara Mod 56 105 mm pack howitzer M56 24 Italy
D30 122 mm howitzer D30 Lyagushka 36 USSR
M101 howitzer 105 mm howitzer M-2A1 63 United States
Yugoimport M56 105 mm howitzer M-56
(copy of the M101A1)
72 Yugoslavia
SOFAM 155 mm howitzer SOFAM 12 France
M109 howitzer 155 mm self-propelled howitzer M109A2 12 United States
RO-107 107 mm multiple rocket launcher Denel RO-107 Mechem 4 South Africa
BM-21 Grad 122 mm multiple rocket launcher BM-21 24 USSR only 14 in service.
9K132 Portable single-tube launcher Grad-1P Partisan 20 USSR
BM-13 Katyusha 132 mm multiple rocket launcher BM-13 Katyusha 2 USSR

Anti-tank weapons

Name Type Version Quantity Origin Notes
M40A2 106 mm recoilless rifle M40A2 36 United States
Carl Gustav M2 84 mm recoilless rifle Gustav M2 6 Sweden
SPG-9 73 mm recoilless rifle SPG-9 Koype (spear) 2 USSR
9K11 Malyutka Anti-tank guided weapon AT-3 Sagger B 1800 missiles USSR Being replaced by Kornet and Spike ATGMs
Kornet Anti-tank guided weapon Kornet-E 288 missiles Russia
Spike Anti-tank guided weapon MR
288 missiles[8] Israel

Air-defense systems

Name Type Version Quantity Origin Notes
ZSU-23-4 Shilka 23 mm self-propelled anti-aircraft gun 32 Russia
ZU-23-2 23mm towed anti-aircraft twin autocannon 80 USSR
Bofors 40 mm Anti-aircraft autocannon L/60 40 28 Sweden
9K38 Igla MANPADS SA-18 Grouse
SA-16 Gimlet
200 missiles Russia
QW-1 Vanguard MANPADS CPMIEC QW-18 18 China
Grom MANPADS 150 on order Poland 150 sets of missiles and firing systems, plus another 96 missiles in launch containers. To be delivered March 2014.[9]
Poprad Self-propelled anti-aircraft vehicle 6 on order Poland Each eqiupped with 4 Grom missiles. To be delivered March 2014.[9]
S-125 Neva/Pechora SAM 14 Russia
SPYDER SAM 1 battery on order Israel Includes 6 launcher trucks, 1 radar truck, and 1 resupply truck. To be delivered March 2014.[9][10]

Peruvian Army aviation

The Peruvian army aviation (Aviación del Ejército Peruano) was formed in 1971 to support army ground units. A large number of MI-8 Hip Cs were purchased in the mid-1970s to provide an airborne assault assets. This led to the purchase of the MI-17 which now makes up much of the army transport fleet. A number of Aerospatiale SA 315Bs are used for training purposes, also used in the training role are nine Enstrom F28F Falcons that were received in 1992. The mainstay of long range army logistics are three AN-32s acquired in 1994.

Aircraft Inventory

Aircraft Origin Type Version In service Notes
Hawker Beechcraft 1900D United States Custom, VIP, MEDEVAC Beechcraft 1900D 1 Acquisition 2010 for 1, and the amount was $2,694,500.[5]
Cessna 172 Skyhawk United States Training 172 Skyhawk 2 Acquisition 2010 for 2, and the amount was $249,500, each.[5]
Enstrom F-28 United States Training helicopter Enstron F-28F Falcon 4 Acquisition 2010 for 2 new factory, $400,000 each. Acquisition 2011 for 2 used, $250,000 each.[5]
Cessna 208 Caravan United States Liaison 208B Amphibious 1 Acquisition 2009, for $1'550,000
Cessna 303 Crusader United States Liaison T303 Crusader 2
Piper PA-31T United States Liaison Cheyenne II 2
Piper PA-34T United States Liaison Seneca III 1
Ilyushin Il-103 Russia Trainer Il-103 5 All in storage
Antonov An-28 Poland Transport An-28 2 All in storage
Antonov An-32 Ukraine Transport An-32B 2
Beechcraft Super King Air United States VIP transport B300 1
Agusta A109 Italy Light attack helicopter A-109K 4 In storage
Mil Mi-2 Poland Training helicopter Mi-2 6 All in storage
Mil Mi-17 Russia Transport helicopter Mi-17 23 only 9 in services
Mil Mi-26 Russia Heavy transport helicopter Mi-26 3 All in storage

Future Equipment

Peru is expected to acquire between 120 and 170 tanks, Russian T-90S, US M1A1 Abrams, Spanish Leopard 2A4s and Dutch Leopard 2E6s, as well as Ukrainian T-64E and T-84 MBTs are under consideration.[11] By September 2013, the Leopard 2A4/6 entries were disqualified due to logistical complexities. Current contenders are the Ukrainian T-84, Russian T-90S or T-80, and the American M1A1 Abrams.[12] In late September 2013, the South Korean K2 Black Panther was entered in the competition.[13]

Peru is seeking replacement for its BM-21 rocket systems. Norinco is offering its Type 90B and AR-3 multiple launch rocket systems.[14]

Russia is pushing for the sale of 110 BTR-80A armored personnel carriers to Peru. Peru is also looking to replace its SA-3 air defense systems.[15]

Heroes and Patrons

  • Patron of the Army: Francisco Bolognesi Cervantes
  • Patron of the Infantry branch: Andrés A. Cáceres Dorregaray
  • Patron of the Cavalry branch: Ramón Castilla y Marquezado
  • Patron of the Artillery branch: José Joaquín Inclán Gonzáles Vigil
  • Patron of the Engineering branch: Pedro Ruiz Gallo
  • Patron of the Communications branch: José Olaya
  • Patron of the Legal Service: Mariano Melgar
  • Patron of the Health Service: José Casimiro Ulloa Bucello
  • Patron of the War Material Service: Leoncio Prado Gutiérrez
  • Patron of the Intendancy Service: Pedro Muñiz Sevilla

Anthem of the Army

Spanish lyrics

El ejército unido a la historia
por fecunda y viril tradición,
se corona con lauros de gloria
al forjar una libre nación.
Evocando un pasado glorioso
del Incario su antiguo esplendor,
Ayacucho, Junín, Dos de Mayo
libertad conquistó con valor.
Zarumilla, La Breña y Arica
gestas son que a la historia legó
Bolognesi ¡oh, sublime soldado!
por patrono ejemplar te aclamó.
Las fronteras altivo defiende
cual guardián del honor nacional
de su pueblo recibe las armas
y es bastión de justicia social.
Soy soldado que en filas milito
y un deber tengo yo que cumplir,
a la patria vivir consagrado
y por ella luchar a morir.

English translation

The army tied to history
by fecund and virile tradition,
is crowned with laurels of glory
by forging a free nation.
Evoking a glorious past
from the Incas its ancient splendor,
Ayacucho, Junín, Dos de Mayo
liberty conquered with bravery.
Zarumilla, La Breña and Arica
heroic deeds are bequeathed to history by
Bolognesi ¡oh, sublime soldier!
as exemplary patron acclaimed you.
The borders he proudly defends
like a guardian of national honor
from his people receives the arms
and is bastion of social justice.
I am soldier who in these militate ranks
and a duty I have to fulfill,
to the fatherland I shall live consecrated
and for it I will fight to the death.

See also


  1. Keltie, J.S., ed. The Stateman's Year Book: Statistical and Historical Annual of the States of the World for the Year 1900. New York: MacMillan, 1900. p 887. (Retrieved via Google Books 3/4/11.)
  2. Keltie 1900, p. 887.
  3., based on Supreme Decree DS No. 69 DE/SG of 2001.
  4. [1]
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Programas de modernización y principales adquisiciones de las FAS de Perú. (2011-05-12). Retrieved on 2011-05-15.
  6. USA Now An Exporter Of The RPG-7 -, 1 August 2013
  7. 7.0 7.1 Peru receives, displays new anti-tank weapons -, 4 August 2013
  8. "SIPRI arms transfer database". Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Information generated on 25 August 2011. Retrieved 25 August 2011. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2
  10. Peru Goes Wide For Air Defense Needs -, April 5, 2012
  12. Peru; Future main battle tank projects lags on despite criticism -, 2 September 2013
  13. Peru; Korean contender enters MBT competition -, 30 September 2013
  14. NORINCO of China invites Peruvian military delegation to present latest generation of MLRS vehicles -, 5 July 2013
  15. Russia to promote Pantsir-S1 air defense system to Brazil and T-90S main battle tank to Peru -, 9 October 2013


  • (Spanish) Basadre, Jorge, Historia de la República del Perú. Editorial Universitaria, 1983.
  • (Spanish) Cobas, Efraín, Las Fuerzas Armadas Peruanas en el Siglo XXI. CESLA, 2003.
  • Cruz, César, "Latin America Air Forces Survey - Peru". Air Forces Monthly 220: 77-78 (July 2006).
  • International Institute for Strategic Studies, The Military Balance 2000-2001. IISS, 2000.
  • (Spanish) Mejía, Lewis and César Cruz, "La Aviación del Ejército del Perú".
    Defensa 290: 42-48 (June 2002).
  • (Spanish) Ministerio de Defensa del Perú, Libro blanco de la defensa nacional.
  • (Spanish) Rial, Juan, Los militares tras el fin del régimen de Fujimori-Montesinos.
  • (Spanish) Tecnología Militar, N°1/2006 ISSN 0 722-2904
  • (Spanish) Marchessini, Alejo, "Plan Bolognesi: Actualidad y Futuro del Ejército del Peru". Defensa 347 (March 2007).
  • Aircraft information files Brightstar publishing File 344 sheet 4

External links

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