Peru Upgrades Its Lupo Class Frigates
Italian-built Lupo Class frigates currently form the high-end backbone of Peru’s navy, with 8 of the 3,000t Carvajal Class ships serving. Four were built under license from 1984-1987, and the 2nd batch of 4 ships was decommissioned by the Italian Navy and sold to Peru in 2004-2006. Within that 2nd group, BAP Bolognesi [FM-57] is currently undergoing upgrades, adding new electronics, radar, and decoy countermeasures, and reportedly replacing the Italian Otomat anti-ship missiles with French Exocet MM40 Block IIIs.
Now, a US DSCA request indicates that their anti-aircraft systems are also set for an upgrade.
August 25/11: The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency announces [PDF] Peru’s formal request to buy 4 NATO Sea Sparrow “MK57 MOD 10” systems. They will replace the existing MOD 2 systems mounted above the helicopter hangar on the 4 ex-Italian ships (FM 55-58: BAP Aguirre, BAP Palacios, BAP Bolognesi, and BAP Quinones).
“MK57” is known as the designation for the new vertical launch system on board the forthcoming Zumwalt Class “destroyer”. It is also the NATO designation for the entire Seasparrow Fire Control System: the 8-box MK29 Launcher, the MK9 radar Tracker/Iluminator (TIS), and the MK73 Solid State Transmitter.
The plan is for Peru to upgrade their MOD 2 configuration with the more modern MOD 10 configuration, including the MK29 MOD 3 launcher. The existing MK29 MOD 2 launchers have been modified to fire Alenia’s similar Aspide missile, but the DSCA says that “Peru intends to move from the ASPIDE missile to the RIM-7 SEASPARROW in a future purchase.” Even with its improved algorithms and mid-course datalink update capabilities, Raytheon’s RIM-7P is still a step behind the most modern NATO standard, the completely redesigned RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile. If Peru should decide to buy the RIM-162 ESSM in future, Raytheon describes the MK57 MOD 12 FCS, with its MK29 MOD 4 launcher, as “a minor upgrade.”
Along with the launch systems, which are being provided without RIM-7 missiles, Peru is requesting MK57 Installation and Check Out (INCO) Kits, spare and repair parts, support and test equipment, publications and technical documentation, personnel training, and other U.S. Government and contractor support. The estimated cost is up to $50 million.
The prime contractors will be Raytheon Technical Service Company in Norfolk VA, and Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems in Portsmouth, RI. Implementation of this proposed sale will not require the assignment of any additional U.S. Government or contractor representatives to Peru.