The Fuerza Aérea Colombiana (FAC) is to launch a procurement initiative to purchase new short- and medium-range air surveillance radars.
The FAC is expected to spend up to $440 million (€333 million) on the acquisition of new air surveillance radars, and is said to have shown an interest in acquiring Thales GM200 and GM400 three-dimensional systems.
The S-band GM200 has a surveillance range of 250km (134nm), and a ceiling of 80,000ft (24,384m) while the GM400, also an S-band system, has a detection range in the region of 470km (253nm), and a ceiling of up to 100,000ft (30,480m).
There is no word on how many of these radars the FAC may procure. However, it is possible that they may choose to split their purchase with the GM200s and GM400s each comprising half of the order.
The FAC is currently known to use Northrop Grumman AN/TPS-43 and AN/TPS-70 systems, and the
GM400s could replace these circa 450km (242nm) range radars.
Peru has awarded a consortium of companies including Northrop Grumman, Bumar of Poland, and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems a contract worth $140 million (€106 million) to upgrade the country’s air defences.
The deal includes the supply of two Northrop Grumman AN/TPS-78 400km (215nm) air surveillance radars, an unknown number of Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Spyder, plus six Bumar Poprad, SHORAD systems.
ChainHomeHigh reported in March that the country had announced plans to purchase up to $160 million (€121 million) of air defence equipment. The country’s air defences are in need of major modernisation given that they currently include 9K310 Igla-1 (NATO reporting name ‘SA-16 Gimlet’) and Thales Javelin Man-Portable Air Defence Systems.
Deliveries of Peru’s new air defence systems are expected to be completed by 2014. The country has experienced narcotics trafficking using light aircraft, and the new systems will provide an improvement to the country’s ability to detect and intercept such flights.
Flight operations at Colombia’s AlfonsoBonillaAragónInternationalAirportwere disrupted in January following an attack by the FARC-EP (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia – Ejército del Pueblo) insurgent organisation on a radar station in the Cauca Department in the southwest of the country.
Reports on 22nd January noted that the radar serves the airport, but also aids in anti-narcotics operations of the Fuerza Aérea Colombiana (Colombian Air Force).
There has been no word on the radar type which was attacked by the FARC-EP. However, it is possible that it could have been one of the Westinghouse Defense and Electronics Division/Northrop Grumman AN/TPS-43 or Northrop Grumman AN/TPS-70 3-dimensional air surveillance radar.
Both of these systems have been supplied to Colombia by the United States to aid the country in its anti-narcotics efforts.