FADEA (Fábrica Argentina de Aviones) has delivered a new IA-63 Pampa III trainer/light attack aircraft to the Argentine Air Force. The new aircraft will be assigned to the 6th Air Brigade of the Argentine Air Force, based at Tandil Military Air Base in Buenos Aires province. The aircraft is in the Block II configuration that features a ‘state-of-the-art technological update, which significantly improves flight analysis capabilities through the incorporation of virtual training software and a communication system between aircraft. The IA-63 Pampa is an advanced jet trainer with combat capability, produced in Argentina by Fabrica Militar de Aviones (FMA) with assistance from Dornier of Germany.
Although influenced by the Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jet design, the FMA IA-63 Pampa differs in being a smaller aircraft, it is also single-engined and has straight supercritical wings rather than the swept ones of the Alpha Jet. It is constructed mainly of aluminium alloy, with carbon-fibre used for components such as the air intakes. The crew of two sit in tandem under a single-piece clamshell canopy. The avionics systems are also simpler than the Franco-German aircraft, which has an important secondary combat role. The Pampa prototype first flew on 6 October 1984.
The IA-63 Pampa III Block II aircraft features a digital cockpit and data links with embedded virtual avionics (EVA) that enable simulation of various flight scenarios including that of fourth and fifth generation aircraft. The aircraft is equipped with a head-up display and full glass cockpit. A third batch of forty new units of the redesigned Pampa was announced by FAdeA on 10 October 2013. The Argentine Ministry of Defence reached a deal worth $30.3 million with FAdeA for the production of an additional three Phase 3 Pampas in February 2018, after the deal was first revealed in December 2017. The first Pampa III, serial E-824, made its maiden flight on 21 September 2018. The last of a total of 6 Pampa III’s was delivered on 27 March 2020.
The Argentine Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Argentina, FAA) has ordered six new IA-63 Pampa III Block II trainer-light attack aircraft besides upgrades to three IA-63 Pampa II produced in Argentina by Fabrica Militar de Aviones Brigadier San martin’ (FaDeA). In the light attack mode, the aircraft can be equipped with a 30mm cannon, up to 250 kg bombs and rocket pods. The Pampa III fleet is one of the few modern aircraft remaining in the Argentine Air Force’s inventory and are primarily used in northeast border. The deal is worth a total of $103.2 million for FaDeA, the sole domestic aircraft manufacturer which will produce Pampa III Block II aircraft at the rate of 2 per year.