As of 2007, the Peruvian Navy comprises 1 cruiser, 8 frigates, 6 corvettes, 6 submarines, 4 tank landing ships and 3 replenishment oilers and other auxiliaries and river ships. Ships are given the prefix BAP, short for Buque Armada Peruana (Peruvian Navy Ship). The Marina de Guerra del Perú celebrates on October 8 the anniversary of its creation (1821) and of the Battle of Angamos (1879).
The Marina de Guerra del Perú was established on October 8, 1821 by the government of general José de San Martín. Its first actions were undertaken during the War of Independence (1821-1824) using captured Spanish warships. Shortly afterwards it was engaged in the war against the Gran Colombia (1828-1829) during which it conducted a blockade against the seaport of Guayaquil and then helped with the occupation of this city by Peruvian forces. It saw further action during the wars of the Peru-Bolivian Confederacy (1836-1839) and during the Chincha Islands War with Spain (1866). The breakout of the War of the Pacific (1879-1883) caught the Peruvian Navy unprepared and with inferior forces in comparison with the Chilean Navy. Even so, hit-and-run tactics carried out by Peruvian Admiral Miguel Grau, commander of the ironclad Huáscar, delayed the Chilean advance by six months until his death and defeat at the Battle of Angamos.
After the war, the Peruvian Navy had to be rebuilt from the ground up. This lengthy process started in 1907 with the acquisition in the United Kingdom of the protected cruisers Almirante Grau and Coronel Bolognesi, followed by the arrival of two submarines, Ferré and Palacios, from France in 1911. During the Presidency of Augusto B. Leguía (1919-1930) a Navy Ministry was established as well as a Navy Aviation Corps, both in 1920. Border conflicts with Colombia in 1911 and 1932 and a war with Ecuador in 1941 saw Peruvian warships involved in some skirmishes in support of the Army. The attack on Pearl Harbor brought World War II to the Pacific and even though Peru didn't declare war on the Axis until 1945, its Navy was involved in patrol missions against possible threats by the Imperial Japanese Navy from early 1942 up to mid-1945. During the 1970s and the first half of the 1980s the Peruvian Navy carried out a major buildup programme which allowed it take advantage over its traditional rival, the Chilean Navy. This proved to be temporary because the economic crisis of the second half of the 1980s forced the decommissioning of several warships and resulted in a general lack of funds for maintenance. The economic upturn of the 1990s and 2000s has permitted some improvement although at a reduced force level compared to the early 1980s.
Operational units are divided between three commands:Comandancia General de Operaciones del Pacífico Pacific Operations General Command, it comprises the following units:
Amazon Operations General Command, tasked with river patrolling in the Peruvian portion of the Amazon Basin.Dirección General de Capitanías y Guardacostas Coast Guard, tasked with law enforcement on Peruvian territorial waters, rivers and lakes.
Although most of the fleet is based at Callao, this is not considered an ideal location because it is also the main outlet for Peruvian trade, causing space and security problems. During the 1980s the building of a new naval base at Chimbote was considered but high costs and a bad economic situation made the project unfeasible.
|Personnel (as of 2001)|
|NCO in training||1,533|
|Total||25,988 (excl. civilians)|
Type 209/1200 class
Type 209/1100 class
Terrebonne Parish class
|Bell 212||OTHT / ASW helicopter||AB-212 ASW||5||built by Agusta|
|Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King||ASuW / ASW helicopter||ASH-3D||3||built by Agusta|
|Antonov An-32||transport aircraft||An-32B||2|
|Beechcraft Super King Air||maritime patrol aircraft||B200T||5|
|Beechcraft T-34 Mentor||training aircraft||T-34C-1||5|
|Bell 206 JetRanger||training helicopter||206B||3|
|Enstrom F-28||training helicopter||F-28F||6 ordered||Contract signed in January, 2008; first two units would be delivered in the next months|
|Cessna 206 Stationair||liaison aircraft||206||1|
|de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter||seaplane||DHC-6||1|
|Fokker F27 Friendship||maritime patrol aircraft||F27||3|
|Mil Mi-8||transport helicopter||Mi-8T||3||One damaged in a crash during the rescue operations near Pisco after the 2007 Peru earthquake|
The Almirante Grau is currently the only operating gun cruiser in any navy, and Peru is one of only four nations to operate any cruisers at all, along with the United States, Russia, and France.