As recently published in El Pais newspaper, the Uruguayan Air Force Chief of Staff has presented a request for both the Defense Ministry and the Parliament, to reduce its roster from 80 aircraft of 18 different classes to 40 from just 12.
Looking forward to making more efficient its expenditure, according to the AF, this would also turn to improve the current availability from 35 to approximately 85%. Such a critical reorganization should be accompanied by a purchase of new aircraft, the most urgent ones in the next 18 months and with continuity to extend this to the entire fleet from 2025 to 2030.
The Uruguayan AF has also required the ongoing support for its A-37 Dragonfly’s ejection seats, a long-range comms system and also the required support for the MSS-7000 maritime surveillance system onboard the Casa 212 aircraft. These requests would also be related to ongoing maintenance and overhaul done on Pilatus PC-7U turboprop trainers, Leonardo T-260U piston trainers and both UH-1H and Bell 212 helicopters.
The restructuring is also representing an important change on the responsibilities and pressing issues based on the new role other than the traditional national defense and community support to supporting law enforcement operations against drug trafficking, smuggling and other operations made by organized crime.
To that purpose Uruguay has recently upgraded two Indra ASDR 3D radars to M standard but have become insufficient to the current air defense needs. The Air Operations Command controlled in 2018, 24310 flights over Uruguay. 13 of these have required a deployment of air assets and 5 of them have been effectively intercepted by the Uruguayan AF.