FMA IA-58B "Pucara Bravo"

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Today we’ll be taking a look at an obscure development of the IA-58 Pucara Counter Insurgency aircraft, the IA-58B was a variant created in the mid-late 70s that focused on up-gunning the plane with bigger and better cannons, among other stuff. Although an obscure development of the Pucara, its an interesting modification that could be nice to see in game.

A Brief History:

As the First Pucaras were being made during the mid 70s, FMA decided to propose a modification of the original airframe to increase the offensive capabilities of the Aircraft. The proposal would be done in 1976/77 and after a year of studies construction of the prototype would begin. The airframe, A-525, would be designated AX-05.

The Airframe being modified at FMA

The proposed modification would center itself on the offensive capabilities, a new gunsight, replacement of the original 20mm Hispano HS.804 cannons for the newer 30mm DEFA 553s, this cannons being already in use in the FAA by the Mirage Fleet. This along with improvements in navigational/IFF/SSR equipment would be the main prominent aspects of the IA-58B when compared to the regular version.

The installation of the 30mm guns would require structural modifications, the underside of the fuselage had to be enlarged and reinforced to house the larger and more powerful 30mm guns, this ended up adding to the already strong structural strength of the airframe. The guns themselves, two DEFA 553, were a major step up over the old Hispanos, this guns were electric and had programable settings to fire in bursts. This had a little setback though, the drag produced by the enlarged fuselage created a small penalization when it came to speed.

IA-58B (Left) - IA-58A (right)

Weapon’s testing was done at Cazaux, France (there was also weapon testing/homologation in Argentina), were it also participated at the Paris Air Show (1979), the plane would continue operating until the early 80s after flying around 700+hs.

The IA-58B at the Paris Airshow of 1979 (Exposed with French armament)

Technical specifications:


Specs are based on the IA-58A since reliable data about the IA-58B performance was not found (Most stuff still the same)
Crew: 2
Length: 15.25 m
Wingspan: 14.5 m
Height: 5.36 m
Wing Surface: 30.3 m²

Empty weight: 4020 kg
Max takeoff weight: 6800 kg

Power plant: 2 × Turbomeca Astazou XVI-G turboprop.
Power: 713 kW (956 HP; 969 HP) each.
Max speed: 470/480 km/h at 3000m
Never exceeded speed: 750km/h
Stall Speed 143 km/h
Cruise speed: 430 km/h
Service ceiling: 10000m
G limits: +6/-3 g
Climb-Rate: 18 m/s

When it came to armament, the Pucara Bravo had access to everything the regular Alpha versions carried, but the fact that the Bravo did weapon tests in France may suggest that certain French armaments were homologated on the type.

Internal Weapons:
x4 FN-Browning M2-30 of 7.62 mm with 900 ammunition each.
×2 DEFA 553 30mm cannons.

Suspended Armament: (3 Pylons, up to 1500kg)

  • General Purpose bombs: 115kg/125kg/250kg/etc.

  • Aerial Rockets: FFAR/T-10(?)/ASPID/SNEB(French homologation)/etc.

  • Napalm: INC 100/150/220

  • Others: 70mm Grenade launcher (?)





FMA IA 58 Pucará - Wikipedia
Todo sobre el IA-58 Pucará | Zona Militar
Reseña del IA-58 Pucará

Jane’s all the world’s aircraft (1985)
Capsula Espacial N° 18 - IA 58 Pucara
Aeroespacio Magazine
Modern warplanes - Doug Ridchardson
The Pucara Story - White Series 9121 - Dr. Caballero Ricardo, Carter Phil
MANUAL DE VUELO IA.58 PUCARA (FMA) (flight manual)


+1 for a future Argentine TT