Peru Orders Israeli, Russian Anti-Tank Missiles
In March 2009, Forecast International relayed a report from Chile’s El Mercurio newspaper, which reports that Peru has signed $73 million in contracts for 488 Israeli and Russian anti-tank missiles to equip its armed forces, replacing or supplementing existing wire-guided Russian AT-3B/ 9M14M Sagger and German/Swiss Cobra 2000 missiles.
The Cobra 2000 was a more modern variant introduced in 1968, but the type did not have a good record in combat. The 1960s-70s era AT-3 Sagger may be the most widely produced anti-tank missile of all time. It had some initial success in Vietnam and the Middle east, but basic countermeasures like suppressive fire spoil its effectiveness. Its most recent revival took place during the 2006 Lebanon War, when it found a more suitable niche with Hezbollah as a cheap, infantry-portable, close-range substitute for precision artillery.
Peru’s recent purchases are reportedly an even split…
April 2010: Well, at least we know it’s intimidating. A Spike MR/LR anti-tank missile demo goes 1 for 2 in Peru with dignitaries present, with the off-course missile landing just 50 meters from the assembled dignitaries. RAFAEL has promised an immediate investigation. Aviation Week Ares
March 2009: The deal is announced. Peru will reportedly buy 244 of Russia’s laser-guided AT-14/ 9M133 Kornet anti-tank missiles for $25 million.
Another 244 of RAFAEL’s dual-mode wire-guided or IIR (Imaging Infrared) fire-and-forget Spike missiles will bought for $48 million.
Both missiles are considered to be effective against even modern tanks like Chile’s new Leopard 2A4s, but the Spike missiles have more advanced CLU electronics with built-in training capabilities, and also use an optional fire-and-forget mode.
These purchases are part of a larger military modernization plan that plans to invest $650 million through 2011. El Mercurio also reports that Peru’s Army is exploring the option of overhauling its fleet of Russian-built T-55 tanks, which were modern in the early 1960s. New fire control systems and engines were to be installed in 2004 under Proyecto Arrascue, which appears to have re-started. Israel has considerable experience refurbishing older Soviet tanks, and there are several Eastern European, Ukrainian, and Russian firms who could all compete for that contract when the time comes.