The IA-63 Pampa is a single-engine, high-wing advance pilot trainer. West Germany's Dornier helped Argentina in its efforts to produce a new 1A-63 tactical fighter. The IA-63 was to be an efficient, inexpensive fighter that would prove an attractive export item. It was envisioned that the fighter would be constructed from components built in Argentina and possibly would have a US-built Garrett engine. The IA-63 was supposed to have the performance of an "Alpha Jet" aircraft, but cost half as much.
Nineteen aircraft were orginally built during the 1980s by the Fabrica Militar de Aviones. The aircraft continued to play a major part in the pilot training of the Argentine Air Force. The first flight of the aircraft prototype lasting 50 minutes took place in October 1984, during which a speed of Mach 0.65 and an altitude of around 7,000 m were reached. Manufacture of the first series of a planned sixty basic-advanced trainer IA-63 Pampas began in 1984, though the many difficulties encountered to finance the effort delayed the program schedule for more than a year.
"The construction of the IA-63 military plane has absolute priority, and the budgetary appropriations to develop the project are fully provided for," Defense Production Secretary Raul Tomas stated on 01 March 1985 in Cordoba. He pointed out that the project in question would be incorporated into a program of reactivation of the Cordoba Materiel Area. Tomas disclosed that work was underway with the Air Force to reorganize the plant gradually, furnishing it with greater commercial and industrial capacity. He made those assertions at the end of an act he presided over at the Military Aviation School m connection with the start of the school year, coincident to the 40th anniversary of the first enrollment of cadets.
The IA.63 is a two-place monoplane with a supercritical, nonswept shoulder-wing, single-fin tail unit and tricycle landing gear with nose wheel. New composition materials were used in the new aircraft's design for the first time in the practice of Argentine aircraft construction; the air brakes, tail fin, wingtips and fuselage tail cone are made of them in particular. The ejection seats of the crew members (student and instructor) are arranged in a tandem configuration. The power plant consists of one Garrett TFE731-2-2N turbofan engine with a maximum thrust of 1,590 kg. The fuel reserve (980 liters) is accommodated in integral wing tanks (580 liters) and a fuselage tank (400 liters).
Dornier developed the jet trainer IA-63 PAMPA for Argentina. A new type of international cooperation had appeared in the early 1980s. Whereas heretofore the partners came almost exclusively from European NATO countries, especially with France as the still perferred partner, the German firms seem to be more and more aware of the "world." Indeed, less the United States than the so-called threshold countries.
The IA-63's navigation and radioelectronic equipment provides the capability to train for instrument flights and landings. Most modern warplanes had integrated navigation and firing systems (SINT - Sistema Integrado de Navegaciön y Tiro) of some kind. So. the gap between them and the ordinary training units tended to increase. In order to reduce it, such advancements should be included in an early stage of pilot training. The decision to provide the IA-63 with a SINT was carefully considered and for that purpose the possibility to develop a unit with substantial domestic technology participation was analyzed. In any of the SINT modes, the attitude reference will determine the quality of the data that is to be delivered by the whole system later, within which the price of the platform was significantly important.
The non-linear stick force versus g of the Argentinian IA-63 Pampas jet trainer was developed by Dornier with a pitch feel system based on the Alphajet. This ensured satisfactory trim and response around the lg level, with enhanced static stability forces, while limiting the force at maximum g to comfortable values. This intention was frustrated by official rejection because it exceeded the maximum permitted Level 1 stick force per g gradient in the Mil. Spec, although it fell inside at larger inputs. The Alphajet also violated this requirement, but its handling was considered to be excellent, the pragmatic and correct view having been taken that the only final arbiter of handling is the pilot.
The fuel supply in the internal tanks is 980 liters. Additional 200-liter capacity tanks can be suspended on two inboard underwing pylons. The aircraft is equipped with a single point pressure refueling system. The fuel supply in the internal tanks provides a maximum flight range of 1,500 kh (take-off weight of 3,800 kg, flight speed 560 km/hr, altitude 4,000 m).
The Argentine Air Force command planned to replace the M.S. 760 French-made training aircraft with the IA-63 and to employ them for pilot training for flights on single-engine combat aircraft. The planned training course forthis is 30-50 hours. As of 1985 64 IA-63 Pampa aircraft had been ordered for the Argentine Air Force to replace obsolete trainers. It was planned to begin series production in 1986. Fabrica Militär de Aviones intended to produce 300 aircraft, of which 200 were to be exported.
The Pampa is an extremely capable and economical trainer aircraft that was a competitor for the US Joint Primary Training System (JPATS) program. The Argentine military depot was privatized by Lockheed Martin in 1995. Production resumed under LMAASA in September 1999, and Lockheed Martin Aircraft Argentina, S.A., a division of Lockheed Martin Aircraft & Logistics Centers, delivered a new IA-63 Pampa jet trainer to the Argentine Air Force, the first built since the late 1980s.
Production continued at a very low rate under FAdeA, which is also now proposing a re-engining for the older Pampas. By 2010 about 20 Pampas had been produced for the Argentinian air force.
LMAASA was never able to secure the required approvals from the Argentinian government to export the trainer. The aircraft has never been exported, though in 2002 there were discussions with India about the purchase of 12 aircraft. "There was a lot of gridlock in their internal politics," Covais says. The US President made a determination in a manner consistent with Title IX of the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, Fiscal Year 2000 (Public Law 106-79) to waive sanctions on India in connection with the Glenn Amendment and related provisions. Under Title IX, the issuance of a license for the export of defense articles or defense services to India pursuant to the waiver authority of that Title is subject to the same requirements as are applicable to the export of items described in section 36(c) of the Arms Export Control Act and the Administration is treating authorization for the requested export consistent with these provisions.
A second batch of modernised Pampa IIs was built in 2006. Fábrica Argentina de Aviones (FAdeA) rolled out a new version of its IA-63 Pampa III jet trainer on 10 October 2013. FAdeA was expected to produce an initial batch of 18 of the new aircraft. The company hoped to build a total of 100 Pampa IIIs for Argentina and export customers. Some of those will be configured as an attack variant.
According to FAdeA head Ercole Felippa, the plant will be ready to start production of the 40 Pampa IIIs in 2017 after the enterprise repays its debt to foreign suppliers.
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