Uruguay in need of new equipment, restructures its AF

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.

Farewell to the last of the argentine Fokker F-28’s

It has been disclosed that cracks
were found on the wing spar of the last operational Fokker F-28 of the
Argentine AF. Such transport and cargo door version, TC-53, had its final deployments
these last weeks on official duties. It was incorporated to the AF in 1975 with
uninterrupted duty for over 44 years. This sad but inevitable development has
left the Argentine AF with no more jet transports other than small Learjets. The Argentine AF had implemented minor
upgrades within this 21st century to keep the aircraft both operational
and airworthy to the current air operations requirements.

FAdeA and Argentine AF need the IA-63 Pampa Serie III exports

As a situation of public knowledge, the recent Argentine Peso 30% depreciation after the general primary elections has taken a toll in the Argentine AF’s budget. Due to the impact of the new currency rate to the U.S. dollar, the Defense Ministry, according to the Ambito newspaper has cut on the requests for the Argentine AF to the Fabrica Argentina de Aviones (FAdeA) from 4 to 2 IA-63 Pampa Serie III for this year. Also, a decision was made on provisions made on behalf of the production for the 5th aircraft to be delivered. This has come as blow right after the suspension of the purchase agreement with Guatemala for 2 with an option of 5 (which as you have seen have been temporarily absorbed by the Argentine AF) and the loss of those millions of dollars which are critical to FAdeA’s financial stress. Still, everything is not lost,
since the Aug 11th Guatemalan general election proved successful to
the official candidates and there are chances that following the inauguration, talks
could be in place to establish a renewed and streamlined acquisition process.

Brazilian upgraded AEW&C E-99M makes first flight

The Airborne Early Warning and
Control (AEW&C) EMBRAER E-99M had its first flight this Friday 16th. This is an updated version of already existing E-99 AEW&C from the Brazilian
Air Force which has been developing since September 2018. According to the Brazilian AF,
the E-99M is receiving newly updated mission control equipment, the aircraft is
based on the ERJ-145 airframe. “We began by dismounting all the equipment and
then redesign the interior to have a new configuration. Today’s flight closes
one upgrade stage demonstrating that the aircraft is airworthy after such an update”.

Colombia aims for 20 twin engine fighters as Kfir COA replacements

As we recently published, an
important push has been made by aerospace manufacturers considering the
Colombian AF’s intention to replace the IAI Kfir COA’s in service. Among the
options that have been publicly recognized are Airbus’s Eurofighter Typhoon,
Lockheed Martin’s F-16V Block 70 and SAAB’s JAS-39 Gripen NG. Defense analyst Erich Saumeth, in talks with colombian congressmen has been confirmed that the focus of the AF is on 20 twin-engine heavyweight multirole fighters. For that purpose, the early list of which we have been reporting about would leave a single contender, the Eurofighter Typhoon. Still, another candidate may be behind the curtain and most likely related both to a specific Colombian interest and another way to reinforce Colombian – U.S. relations, Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornet.

Landing incident with an Argentine DHC-6 Twin Otter at Antarctica

An Argentine AF DHC-6 Twin Otter crashed this Wednesday while
landing on a glacier at Ross Island, Antarctica. AF sources indicate that were no casualties although the crew sustained minor injuries. A rescue operation is in place by a Chilean helicopter from President Frei base to pick them up. Unnamed sources indicate that the aircraft did not suffer major damages and a salvage operation will be deployed shortly to recover it.

The Argentine Army is to receive self-propelled artillery, trucks and weapons

There has been some reactivation
on the Argentine Army’s past years plans for various purchases in the U.S., with
particular interest on 36 M109A5 self-propelled howitzers. After a Joint Visit
Inspection, these surplus M109A5 will be or have been refurbished before being transferred
to the Argentine Army as Excess Defense Articles proceedings state. These
self-propelled howitzers were long offered until actual negotiations took place
and moved forward in 2017, as FMS case AR-B-IAS. Most likely these are to
replace the AMX F3 self-propelled howitzers which have been taken out of service
a few years ago. The M109A5 in different versions is also in use by the
Brazilian and Chilean armies.

Could this aircraft be a definitive joint Argentina-Brazil development?

As published by AINOnline, within the LABACE Convention which is taking place in the Congonhas Airport in Brazil, Desaer, a recent company with aeronautical engineers, formerly employed by Embraer and former military presented the ATL-100 light commuter concept. “Created by former Embraer
employees in 2017, Desaer resides at Incubaero, an incubator for start-ups
and new aerospace projects at the Fundação Casimiro Montenegro Filho, one of
the technology development institutes within the DCTA facility at São José dos
Campos. Parented by the Brazilian air force, the DCTA (Departamento de Ciência
e Tecnologia Aeroespacial, department of aerospace science and technology) is
Brazil’s national military research center for aerospace projects and
activities.”

As for the
ALT-100, a brief was presented that quotes: “To be powered by two turboprops in
the 1,000-shp class, the ATL-100 is an unpressurized transport of high-wing,
T-tailed configuration with low cost of acquisition and operation as key design
drivers. It has a square-section cabin that can be arranged to accommodate 19-passenger
seating in a single row on the left and double row on the right, 12 paratroops,
and two jumpmasters on sidewall tip-up seats, stretchers for the aeromedical
evacuation/air ambulance role, or three LD3 containers. The latter cannot be
accommodated within current utility types such as the Bandeirante, Viking Twin
Otter, Dornier Do 228, or LET 410.