The IA-58 Pucará is a twin turboprop aircraft designed and manufactured in Argentina, which is characterized by its ability for close attack, among other missions. The aircraft, manufactured in the 1970s by FAdeA, called Fabrica Militar de Aviones (FMA – Military Aicraft Factory) at the time, has its operational base in the III° Air Brigade in Reconquista, Santa Fe.
Initially designed as a STOL aircraft (Short Take Off and Landing) with specific counterinsurgency operations (COIN) characteristics, showed during its baptism of fire in the Malvinas War to be highly effective in tactical support missions with high damage tolerance, besides being an important helicopter hunter.
FAdeA performs aircraft maintenance at all levels, as well as MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul) on engines, propellers, accessories, components, instruments and avionics.
It also provides support services such as training, spare parts manufacturing, modernization of systems and structures. It also offers logistics system support of spare parts and ground support equipment to operators.
Modernization and operational future
Based upon Ministry of Defense decision and being a national aircraft tested in combat, of almost unique configuration and significant structural potential, the Pucara is undergoing a re-engineering process to modernize it at different levels.
In the first stage the aim is to maintain a transitional operational fleet, fixing and modifying any flight priority system, such as communications and navigation.
The second stage aims at the comprehensive modernization of engine and propellers, which are the most critical elements from a logistics point of view. Besides the new engine other systems will also be modified, such as avionics and the other packages developed in the first stage, to have in the near future a modern fleet to comply with the requirements of the Argentine Air Force.