Peruvian Navy Modernizes Amazon Fleet

(MENAFN- The Rio Times) The Peruvian Amazon Navy, operating in the Amazon River basin, plays a vital role in national security and development.

This branch, known as the General Command of Amazon Operations (COMOPERAMA), is headquartered in Iquitos.

Located over 1,000 kilometers from the Callao Naval Base, Iquitos requires a two-hour flight or nearly a week of land and river travel.

Over the past the past 160 years, the Amazon Navy has developed significantly, achieving high levels of professional and technological autonomy.

This growth allows the navy to effectively secure borders with Brazil and Colombia.

This region faces transnational threats, including drug trafficking, illegal mining, logging, smuggling, human trafficking, and former FARC guerrillas.

The Putumayo border area has become increasingly dangerous due to organized crime and coca cultivation.

The navy responds with increased river patrols and joint operations with the Colombian and Brazilian navies. These efforts include the multinational exercise BRA-COL-PER 2024.

This exercise enhances the navy's capabilities to counter transnational threats and crimes impacting security and development in the Amazon.

COMOPERAMA's current assets include the flotilla of river units.

The fleet features the older but capable BAP Marañón (CF-13) and BAP Ucayali (CF-14), alongside the modern BAP Clavero (CF-15) and BAP Castilla (CF-16).

These modern vessels were designed and built by SIMA Iquitos in the last 15 years.

The fleet also includes Amazonas River Control Units (UCF-11) and BAP Loreto (UCF-12), which now serve as floating fixed posts.

The Amazon Marine Infantry Battalion No. 1 and the Special Operations Group No. 3, specializing in jungle and amphibious combat, support these units.
COMOPERAMA Modernization
The Amazon Naval Aviation Squadron provides aerial surveillance and support with Sikorsky SH-3D Sea King helicopters. These helicopters are operated by the Naval Aviation Command.

SIMA Iquitos, part of the Navy's Industrial Service, has produced important projects like the BAP Clavero and BAP Castilla. It also serves as a repair and maintenance center for navy and army vessels.

COMOPERAMA plans to strengthen its capabilities further, including enhancing its air component.

The navy previously operated Mil Mi-8T helicopters and De Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter seaplanes, which are now out of service.

Replacing the older river gunboats will also be prioritized, leveraging SIMA's local production expertise.

Additionally, optimizing control actions through personnel training, supported by the River Coast Guard Operations School, remains essential.

Improving collaboration with the Brazilian Navy and Colombian National Navy will enhance procedures and training, facilitating combined operations in the tri-border area.

This modernization underscores the importance of a well-equipped and trained Amazon Navy in addressing complex regional security challenges.


The Rio Times

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