Chilean navy now operating all seven P68 Observer 2 aircraft
The planes were procured as part of Chile's Piquero Project, an effort to replace the country's aging fleet of O-2A Skymasters. Chilean pilots have been operating the older jets since the 1980s before they were retired in 2014.
Vulcanair's P68 Observer 2 is a twin-engine aircraft designed to perform observation and patrol missions. The plane features a full Plexiglas nose, which the company says allows pilots to fully observe their surroundings.
Navy leaders praised the new plane as a significant upgrade for the fleet.
"The main differences between these aircraft and the former are mainly focused on their equipment and their greater capacity of exploration," Captain Miguel Gallegos said in a press release.
In addition to patrolling the country's coastline, the Chilean navy says the planes will be used to support search-and-rescue operations, medical evacuations, and transport. ■