BUENOS AIRES --- Argentine state-owned Fábrica Argentina de Aviones SA (FAdeA) has rolled out the first production IA-63 Pampa III trainer aircraft.
A Pampa III prototype was completed in 2014. The aircraft was actually one of the original IA-63 Pampa prototypes. It had been converted to the Pampa II configuration in 2004 and, subsequently, to the Pampa III standard in 2014. It made its initial flight as a Pampa III in August 2015.
The first new-build Pampa III was rolled out in October 2013. This aircraft made its initial flight in March 2016. Now FAdeA has added a production version of the aircraft to the mix. It is the first of a batch of three to be built for the Argentina Air Force. A contract for a larger batch is being negotiated.
The Pampa III is equipped with a 4,000-lbst Honeywell TFE731-40 engine and an Elbit Systems avionics suite. The avionics suite includes a full glass cockpit with three multifunction displays. The Argentinean Air Force intends to procure 18 Pampa IIIs for use in flight training. The service has also had tentative plans to acquire 22 Pampa IIIs in an IA-63GT light attack configuration, but economic and financial circumstances may preclude acquisition of the GT model.