Argentine upgraded IA-58H Pucara light strike aircraft makes maiden flight

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Argentin’s first upgraded IA-58H Pucara light strike aircraft made its maiden flight on 24 November.

The aircraft selected (tail number AX-561) in June received a re-modelled set of wings from Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) to accommodate the replacement engines, and then went through several ground tests in preparation for the flight.

FAdeA initiated the Pucara’s engine upgrade process in 2011, selecting the ubiquitous PT-6A-62 to replace the discontinued Turbomeca Astazou XVIG, which was proving difficult to maintain.

The project plans to upgrade as many as 20 frames from Argentine Air Force stocks, but currently only one set of re-modeled wings has been received from IAI and it is unclear if more will be forthcoming in the near term.


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