More relevant in the past, the Argentine aeronautical industry is preparing to return to active duty. The defense ministry of the South American country announced on Monday the launch of the IA-100 “Malvina” project, a single-engine basic training aircraft.
The development and production of the aircraft will be carried out by Fábrica Argentina de Aviones (FAdeA), formerly known as FMA. According to the Argentine government, the program will receive $ 2.5 million in funding from the Institute of Financial Aid for the Payment of Retirements and Military Pensions (IAF).
“It is a creative and innovative initiative that constitutes a starting point so that later on other productive investments can be financed in the same way that we are carrying out this one,” said Argentine Defense Minister Agustín Rossi.
The “Malvina” will be the first aircraft developed by FAdeA in more than 30 years, which in 1988 launched the IA-63 Pampa advanced training and light attack jet. “It is an inflection point for the factory that has not produced a new airplane for a long time. It is emblematic for our management and for the factory ”, commented the Argentine minister.
The name of the new aircraft is a reference to the Malvinas Islands, a British territory in the South Atlantic that is officially called the Falkland Islands and which is still claimed by Argentina after the end of the war against the United Kingdom in 1982.
“We launched this initiative at a time when the aeronautical industry is in deep crisis around the world, but in Argentina we decided to invest heavily in this industry, which is one of the most important in the defense industry,” said Rossi.
Argentina was already a pioneer in the production of airplanes in South America. It was the first country to design and build a jet plane in the region, the Pulqui I in 1946, and which was followed by the fighter Pulqui II in 1950 and which had four completed units. None of them ended up being produced in series, but they brought enormous knowledge to the FMA.
Founded in 1927, FMA (Fabrica Militar de Aviones) also produced bombers, transport planes and models under license. The most well-known Argentine aircraft, however, were the turboprop twin engine IA.50 Guarani, the trainer IA.63 Pampa and the light attack aircraft IA.58 Pucará, which was used in the Falkand/Malvinas War.
The IA-100 program, in turn, was created in 2014 as a technology demonstrator, but ended up being suspended two years later. According to FAdeA, Malvina will be produced in the city of Córdoba and will have versions for three and four occupants as well.