IA-58 PUCARÁ gallery

Pucará was designed for counter insurgency and ground attack missions. It had the baptism of fire in late 1976 against rebel forces in northwestern Argentina, being quite effective thanks to its excellent mobility and attack capacity.
This example was captured by British forces in the Falklands War and is one of the 6 that can be seen in several UK military museums. This belongs to the IWM Duxford’s collection and has the numeral A-549 (ZD487).
Unfortunately for Argentines, the Pucará detachment was put out of action after enemy fire and sabotage carried out by SAS commandos. This event prevented the Pucará from proving its worth against the British, who would have had their ground advance much more difficult.
This Pucará has a suitable camouflage scheme for areas of high vegetation, where usually missions against guerrillas and rebel paramilitary forces are carried out.
The misfortune seems to have accompanied the Pucará during its career, having suffered numerous contract’s cancellations and having suffered an unmitigated defeat during its highest demand in service, as was the Falklands War, where all the deployed aircraft were lost.
Many improvement programs have been tried over the years to provide the Pucará with better capabilities, especially in armament, but in the end none of those projects had the necessary budget and have all been canceled.
Several prototypes were manufactured such as the IA-58B, with a 30mm DEFA gun and improved avionics, the IA-58C with two DEFA guns and possibility of operating with air to surface and air to air missiles, or the IA-66 with new Garrett engines and new Dowty Rotol high performance propellers.
The Pucará is a low cost and simple to manufacture aircraft, made entirely of aluminum, which makes it quite resistant to damage, as demonstrated by an example in the Malvinas conflict, shot down after being hit by no less than 20 gun hits.
Although Pucará‘s capabilities are quite limited and the aircraft may seem outdated, it is a good option for countries with drug trafficking and terrorism problems in which jet aircrafts may seem a very expensive and inefficient alternative to fight against forces that use jungle or rough terrains in their operations.
Despite the interest shown by many countries in incorporating the Pucará to their Air Forces, finally only a few managed to be exported. Only Colombia, Sri Lanka and Uruguay purchased this attack aircraft and currently, only Uruguay has 5 active aircrafts (on the image).

Entradas relacionadas