Guatemala halts purchase of IA-63 Pampa jet aircraft

Recent statements have put a halt on Guatemalan Air Force purchase of FAdeA’s IA-63 Pampa III jet trainers. The agreement, signed by both argentine and guatemalan presidents on July 3rd, 2019, has been contested by the guatemalan national controllership. The fact is that both governments made use of an update of an existing agreement to provide the legal framework in order to perform the operation. This would directly counter legislation on bids and purchases for the guatemalan state. With particular interest in next month’s general election ballotage, this did not go unattended.

Guatemala wants to buy two FAdeA’s IA-63 Pampa

According to sources both in the Fabrica Argentina de Aviones (FAdeA) and the argentine government, the Guatemala Air Force is finishing up the details to buy two new IA-63 Pampa Serie III from Argentina. Several talks and high-level visits took place in the last two years for the agreement to come, according to the website Full Aviacion, the Guatemalan government set up an advance payment of 8 million USD and will cancel what’s due upon delivery of the aircraft, which is set for late 2019. No details are yet available on spares, support and training. These IA-63 will be replacing A-37 Dragonfly light attack / trainers, received from the U.S. in the 1970s. This comes as the first export client of the IA-63 Pampa and the first export aircraft of FAdeA in almost 30 years.

New announcements and updates on argentine IA-63 Pampas

President Macri should announce the air force’s request for three more aircraft, two new airframes and one conversion. This decision of continuing converting aircraft has been internally much debated considering the man hours needed for example to rewire the airframe compared to do so in a new airframe, directly affecting the possible output of this new assembly line.