Radar Upgrades May Be on the Horizon in Uruguay

by C. Zachary Hofer, Electronic Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

The arrival of two ex-Portuguese Air Force C-212-300MPs in Uruguay offers the potential of upgrade contracts. The Uruguayan Air Force settled on purchasing the C-212-300MPs in December 2014. These maritime patrol aircraft were built in 1993, and both are thought to carry outmoded Telephonics APS-128 radars in their exaggerated nose cones. Clearly, improvements to the aircraft can be made.

The Uruguayan Air Force will be happy to have two “new” aircraft that can start to take over duties from the service’s even older C-212-200MPs. The aircraft were reportedly purchased for EUR1.7 million ($1.9 million), which should leave Uruguay with some headroom in its budget to bring the C-212-300MPs up to a more modern standard. This is something the country may pursue, especially in consideration that the aircraft last saw service in 2011.

The most recent maritime patrol variant of the C-212, the C-212-400MP, has often featured Thales’ Ocean Master radar. With a cabin upgrade, it may be possible to fit the new radar, which would greatly expand the aircraft’s surveillance range and accuracy.

Of course, Uruguay could go with another option or choose to forgo an electronics upgrades altogether. Only time will tell.

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