New production delays weigh on An-178 for Peru, what will happen

Peru could reconsider and select C-27J for Police.

Problem An178 Peru C27J
Fuerza Aérea del Peru C-27J.

Many were surprised when in September 2019 the Ministry of the Interior of Peru announced the choice of the Antonov An-178 to replace the old An-32B of the Peruvian Police.

What confused the experts was mainly the selection criterion. Peru relied exclusively on the technical data provided by the manufacturer, without carrying out any flight tests, but above all, it did not consider that the C-27J could have brought great economic savings in logistics and training as it is already in service with the Fuerza Aérea del Peru.

The development of the An-178 is suffering from many problems. After the first flight, which took place in 2015, the ukrainian manufacturer began a long ordeal to be able to obtain certification. The An-178 is the military variant of the civilian An-158 certified by the Russian authorities prior to the Crimea crisis. It is therefore unlikely that Russia can now grant an extension of the certification from 158 to 178 given the difficult relations between the two countries.

In addition, the Ukrainian Aviation Training and Certification Center, the delegated body of the government of Kiev for the aircraft certification, is not recognized by the European EASA or by the US FAA. So there cannot be a simple "handover" but the process takes a lot longer.

The An-178 was developed in the early 2000s when Russia-Ukraine relations were still good. A few years later, the Kiev-Moscow friction deteriorated the exchange of technology between the two countries with repercussions for both sides. Antonov was therefore forced to replace all Russian-made components.

But the problems that afflict the An-178 order for Peru are not over. Antonov has complained several times that it has not received funds for the manufacture of the first production aircraft for Peru.

The problem could be related to the procedural part, since the contract was not signed by Antonov, but by a third-party exporter, Spetstechnoexport.

This delay could actually affect the pace of construction of the aircraft, as Antonov risks running out of capital to purchase components.

Ukraine An78 Peru

Under the terms of the contract with the Ministry of the Interior of Peru, the new An-178 must be delivered to the customer 24 months after payment and it is unlikely that Peru will be interested in waiting for the resolution of the conflicts between the two contenders as well as waiting still years before receiving the aircraft.

Such problems could lead the nation to retrace its steps and make the most sensible choice, to introduce the C-27J instead of the An-178. The nation has already had the opportunity to test the effectiveness of Leonardo's aircraft for a long time, benefiting on many occasions from the Spartan's great operational capabilities. Police personnel would have the opportunity to take advantage of the FAB's intense experience with the aircraft, which could ensure the training of technicians and pilots.


© This article contains some unpublished details, please quote Blog Before Flight if you share them.

Written by Matteo Sanzani
Photo Credits: Leonardo, Government of Ukraine

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