Peru to Acquire FA-50s and Join the KF-21 Boramae Program

Peru to Acquire FA-50s and Join the KF-21 Boramae Program

 The Peruvian government is reportedly negotiating with the Republic of Korea (ROK) to acquire 20-24 FA-50 light fighter jets for around $780 million and join the KF-21 Boramae fighter aircraft program to modernise its air force. 

On July 1, 2024, “Pucará Defensa” announced that the Letter of Intent (LoI) for the FA-50 is expected to be released soon, and the contract is scheduled to be finalised by the end of the year. According to reports from Peru and Korea, the goal would be a programme comparable to that already. The Peruvian Air Force (FAP) purchased 20 KT-1 trainers, with 16 constructed domestically by SEMAN (Maintenance Service) at Las Palmas Air Base. 

The FA-50s will be assembled in Peru, with some locally produced components. They will replace the Cessna A-37B Dragonfly used by Air Group No. 7 in Piura and the Aermacchi MB-339 operated by Air Squadron No. 513 of Air Group No. 51 in Pisco until 2023. KAI designed the FA-50 as a light fighter aircraft based on the T-50 Golden Eagle light trainer jet. It can perform a range of missions, including light air-to-air, air-to-ground, and tactical reconnaissance. 

The Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) has operated the FA-50 since 2013. The aircraft’s engine is a General Electric F404-GE-102 turbofan with 17,700 pounds of thrust. This aircraft has a maximum take-off weight of 12.3 tonnes and can reach speeds of Mach 1.5. The aircraft has a 20mm three-barrel rotary gun, AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles, AGM-65 Maverick air-to-ground missiles, and JDAM and MK-82 bombs. The FA-50 features a tactical data connection, multifunction display, electronic warfare suite, and self-protection subsystem. 

The ROK government requested Peru join the KF-21 fifth-generation fighter aircraft programme when Indonesia curtailed its involvement, which financially impacted the programme. Peru is seeking fighters to replace its defunct MiG-29s and Mirage 2000Ps, which have been in service for almost 40 years. Peru is considering obtaining 24 F-16 aircraft; however, participating in the KF-21 programme demands more investment. 

 For ROK, this could increase the financial viability of the KF-21 and its competitiveness in the global market after reducing the initial production batch for ROKAF from 40 to 20 units. Currently, in addition to the FA-50, the FAP is considering a proposal from Brazil for 24 Super Tucanos for 480 million dollars, another for the Leonardo M346 for an undisclosed amount, and another from Textron for the Scorpion aircraft. 

Hürjet performs formation flight with ANKA III stealth UCAV) 

Turkiye is one of the few KT-1 users as KT-1T variant. The aircraft has low fly time as it suffers from long maintenance hours. The Turkish Air Force once considered buying additional aircraft to increase availability. The plan is converted for Turkish Hürkuş Training aircraft. The manufacturer of indigenous Hürkuş, Turkish Aerospace (TUSAŞ), has an advanced jet training and light attack aircraft, Hürjet. The aircraft will be on display at the Farnborough International Airshow.