US company Falcon Air has made an offer to the Uruguayan Air Force (FAU) containing eight BAe Hawk jets, plus up to six Embraer EMB-312F Tucano in a package worth US$100 million, Defensa reported.
There would be six single-seat BAe Hawk Mk 200s equipped with radar and two two-seat Hawk Mk 100s equipped with FLIR equipment. The company’s proposal also includes several spare parts and items to update the aircraft, which were produced in the 1990s.
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According to the outlet, which considered the planes “with an appreciable degree of maintenance and hours (of flight) remaining, the last operator of the Hawk was the Air Force of Oman, while the Tucanos are from the French Air Force”.
One of the oldest air forces in South America, the FAU has been looking for aircraft with attack and interception capabilities for some years.
Currently, Uruguay’s main plane that operates in air defense missions are the Cessna A-37B Dragonfly, a low-performance aircraft that is only active in a few nations.
P-80 Shooting Star
In 2020, the Air Force reported having received three proposals to buy new aircraft from the factory: the Leonardo M-346 from Italy, KAI FA-50 from South Korea and the Hongdu L-15B from China.
At the time, there was also talk about a possible offer by Saab for Gripen C fighters. Despite the offers, Montevideo did not move forward with negotiations.
Last year, Uruguay evaluated two other military jets: the L-39NG, by Aero Vodochody, manufactured in the Czech Republic, and the Russian Yakovlev Yak-130, but the conversations did not follow.
Also in 2022, it was considered that the FAU was considering acquiring decommissioned A-29 Super Tucano attack turboprops from the Brazilian Air Force.
The last fighter to fly the FAU insignia was the Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star – the FAU never had a supersonic aircraft. The US-made jet was operated in Uruguay between 1958 and 1969.