A-37 Dragonfly aircraft
By Jung Sung-ki
Peru will take over South Korea's A-37 Dragonfly light attack aircraft Friday (Korean standard time) in a ceremony at an air force base near its capital of Lima, the Ministry of National Defense here said.
The donation will lay the foundation for Korea to make inroads into the South American market, ministry sources said.
Last year, South Korea offered eight A-37 jets to Peru for free as part of efforts to improve bilateral ties and defense cooperation. The two nations established diplomatic ties in 1963.
The ceremony will be presided over by Peru's Defense Minister Rafael Rey. Kim Ju-won, head of the South Korean defense ministry's arms and resources maintenance bureau, will attend the ceremony.
Kim will meet with the Peruvian Air Force chief of staff and other officials to discuss ways of increasing defense ties between the two countries, the ministry said in a news release.
Kim will ask Peru to cooperate with South Korean defense companies as the South American nation is seeking to modernize its armed forces, it said.
Peru plans to procure new basic trainer aircraft and portable surface-to-air missiles, and it is also seeking to repair its submarines, said the release.
South Korea bought 20 A-37s from the United States through a foreign military sale (FMS) program. The aircraft, a modified version of the Cessna-built T-37 trainer, was used during the Vietnam War as a ground attacker.
The ROK Air Force retired the aircraft in 2007. The "Black Eagles" acrobatic flight team had been operating the eight A-37 jets.