Peruvian Navy
Marina de Guerra del Perú
Coat of arms of the Peruvian Navy
Founded8 October 1821
Size25,988 active personnel
Naval headquartersCallao naval base, Peru
PatronMiguel Grau Seminario
AnniversariesOctober 8 – Navy's Foundation Day and Anniversary of the Battle of Angamos
EngagementsGran Colombia-Peru War
War of the Peru-Bolivian Confederation
Chincha Islands War
War of the Pacific
Ecuadorian–Peruvian War
General Commander of the Peruvian Navy [es] Alberto Acalá Luna[1]
Naval ensign
Naval jack
Low-visibility roundel

The Peruvian Navy (Spanish: Marina de Guerra del Perú; MGP), is an executive body of the Ministry of Defense, a branch of the Armed Forces and, as such, it takes part of the Joint Command of the Peruvian Armed Forces.

After Peru's independence in 1821, General Jose de San Martín, regarded as the Protector of Peru, established the Peruvian Navy. The first General Commander was Captain Martin George Guise.

The General Commander of the Navy is the highest-ranking naval authority, who holds the rank of Admiral during the fulfillment of his functions. The General Commander of the Navy and the Chief of the Navy General Staff make up the Naval High Command.

The Peruvian Navy controls, monitors and defends the maritime domain, rivers and lakes, in accordance with the law and treaties ratified by the State to ensure the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic. The Navy acts and participates in controlling domestic order, as provided for in the Political Constitution of Peru and by current laws. It takes part in the social economic development of the country, the implementation of civic actions and providing social support in coordination with public entities, where appropriate, as well as participating in Civil Defense related actions, as stated by law.


Ancient Peru

The relationship of the former Peruvian settlers with the sea dates back to ancient times, to an era when hunter-gatherers, who occupied the Andes descended into the coast to exploit the rich marine resources provided by the Peruvian Current.

The exploitation of resources focused first on the gathering of shellfish at certain times of the year –hence the remains of large shell mounds that today are proof of their activity in some areas of the coast. The abundance of marine species would later lead to the development of fishing, initially using hooks and nets from the shore, as it was evidenced by the ones found in Paracas (8 830 BC) and then setting out to sea. They had to think up the creation of floating devices that would be later called vessels. The arrival of vessels to the current Peruvian coast was owed to the specific needs that each town or culture encountered. It is not possible, based on current evidence available, to determine the date this process began, but certainly, the coastal man's diet begun to include larger fish, which were far from the shore, about 4 500 years ago.

Vessels from that time had their own evolutionary process. Apparently, the earliest ones were made of totora and palo and were used for fishing until they became what are currently known as caballitos de totora [little reed horses] and balsillas [small wood rafts] from the northern coast.

When Europeans arrived at Peruvian shores, they were able to find a vessel similar to some of their own, with cargo capacity of up to 60 or 70 tons. Its ingenious steering system was suitable for European vessels, giving thus birth to the daggerboard or variable keel, a Peruvian contribution to global navigation.

Lastly, at the time of the Spanish arrival, small boats had already started to be used for fishing in some areas of the coast such as Ilo and Chancay.

Tupac Inca Yupanqui – Inca Navigator

Son of Pachacutec and Coya Anahuarque. He was born in Cusco while his father carried out the first expedition against the Colla. His name, which can be translated as “brilliant” or “shining”, was a name given to the most distinguished nobles. Yupanqui was his family name which was inherited by lineage and meant “remembered” or “worthy of memory”.

Pachacutec had initially appointed his eldest son, Amaru Tupac Inca, as his successor, but years later, he chose Tupac Inca Yupanqui with great pomp amid rites and ceremonies.

Some chroniclers report that he commanded the campaign to Chinchaysuyo, while others stated that it was his brother Capspac Yupanqui. He is considered the Conqueror Inca as he led the conquest of the north of the Empire, reaching Tumibamba where his son Titu Cusi Huallpa was born and was later called Huayna Capac. There he heard about the existence of two islands called Auachumbi and Ninachumbi crowded with people and full of riches. He set out in search of these mysterious islands on log rafts, having thousands of men under his command. On his return, he brought to Cusco “black people, a lot of gold and a brass chair”. This trip lasted about nine months and could well be Polynesia, for he was also known as the Inca Navigator.

After building the fortress of Sacsayhuaman, he became ill and died very old in 1493.

Viceregal Peru

During the viceregal period, Callao, as the first port of the Viceroyalty of Peru and the most important Hispanic settlement on the South American Pacific coast, played a major role. The control of sea lanes in the Pacific was established during the viceroyalty, reason why the South Sea Navy was created in 1570 in order to exercise effective control over that vast maritime space.

During the second half of the 18th century, a new organization was set up for the naval forces in Peru, establishing Callao as a main location and where a Port Captaincy was created in 1791 to exercise maritime and naval control of the area. Simultaneously, the Royal Nautical Academy of Lima and the Maritime Department of Callao, with subordinate port captaincies in Valparaiso, Concepcion and Guayaquil, were also established.

This entire process would lay the material and human foundations upon which the Peruvian naval institution would emerge, as a necessary element to enforce the fledgling State that began to form as of July 1821.

Nautical Academy of Lima

The creation of a nautical pilot training center was idea of Viceroy Luis Enriquez de Guzman,[2] Count of Alba de Liste. It began operating in 1657 under the direction of major cosmographer, Francisco Ruiz Lozano. In 1791, Viceroy Francisco Gil de Taboada gave the Royal Order for the creation of the Royal Nautical Academy of Lima[3] to fulfill the following objectives: “train students to become pilots, and, additionally, graduate pilots with sufficient professional background to guarantee their future performances on any ship requiring a pilot”.

In addition, the first permanent vessels of the Royal Navy, Peruano and Limeño bergantines (1794), were built in Spain. Both Viceroy Taboada Gil and his predecessor Manuel de Guirior (1776–80) were the drivers of these changes, given their original situation as naval officers.

La Armada del Mar del Sur

To control and regulate the commerce taking place between Spain and the New World and also be able to repel the attacks made by pirates, privateers and the expeditioners who were enemy of the crown, a system of annual fleets and convoys was created in the middle of the 16th century. One of these fleets traveled from Spain to the viceroyalty of New Spain, which included Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, while the other travelled to the viceroyalty of Peru. This fleet sailed to Nombre de Dios (later Portobelo) in Panama, to participate in a fair where great commercial exchange took place.

The navigation to Panama was initially made by this fleet system, until Drake's unexpected incursion to the coasts of the South Sea that resulted in the creation of the first organized naval group in the viceroyalty of Peru around 1570.

Port of Callao

The origin of the word Callao is unclear, considering the linguistic links between Spanish and the native language. Its inhabitants are called chalacos, from the word Challahaque, meaning 'man of the coast'.

During the viceroyalty, Callao was for Spanish power not only the center of commerce as the most important port of the viceroyalty of Peru, but also as an operations center of the South Sea Navy. In 1687 and 1746, it suffered the ravages of tsunamis that destroyed the population and the existing defensive and port facilities.

Port of Paita

The port of Paita is located in the department of Piura and was established by Pizarro in 1537 under the name “San Francisco de la Buena Esperanza de Paita[4]”. It was the mandatory point of landfall of every ship reaching Peruvian shores, disembarking passengers who would then continue their journey to Lima by land.

Paita claims the honor of having been the place of residence of our ultimate hero: Admiral Miguel Grau, who spent there some of his childhood years when his father worked at the customs office of the port.

Sacramento Pailebot, first vessel to sail the Pacific Ocean under Peruvian flag.
Sacramento Pailebot, first vessel to sail the Pacific Ocean under Peruvian flag.

The Independence Period

During the period of Independence, the sea was the path by which the liberating forces arrived at Peruvian territory and thwarted the royalist forces to finally achieve the independence of Peru.

However, the planning of this maritime operation, considered as the most important one carried out until then in South American Pacific waters, had its history a few years earlier. To maintain the independence achieved in Argentina and Chile, it was necessary to do the same in Upper and Lower Peru. In order to do so, the independentist forces under the command of San Martín were clear that to thwart the core of Spanish power settled in Peru, they would have to take their own forces by sea, not before achieving the control of the sea. Since 1816, Bonaerenses and Chilean privateers had made several raids on Peruvian ports. In 1819, Admiral Cochrane, a British seaman at the service of the libertarian cause, carried out by order of San Martin two expeditions on Peruvian coast successfully attacking the port of Callao, almost neutralizing royalist naval forces.

Once this important step was taken, in Chile, under the command of San Martin, a Liberating Expedition was formed. Its squadron, under Cochrane command, consisted of eight warships and eighteen transports carrying around 4 500 soldiers on board. This naval force sailed from Valparaiso on August 20, 1820, and arrived at its chosen destination, the bay of Pisco, in the south of Lima, on September 7th, disembarking on the 8th and starting its ground operations by dispatching a column of the patriotic army inland.

The main section of this expeditionary army then moved by sea to the north of Lima on October 26, 1820, establishing its base of operations in the city of Huaura. From this location, they were able to make royalists abandon the capital on July 6, 1821. San Martín would later enter with his army and occupy the city, where the independence of Peru was proclaimed on the 28th day of that same month.

Although the capital was in the hands of patriotic forces, the situation was different at the port of Callao that remained under royalty control until September. With regard to the establishment of the naval institution of the Republic of Peru, the government established under the protectorate of General San Martin entrusting the Ship's Captain Martin Jorge Guise, of British origin, with the task of organizing a navy, appointing him its first General Commander. The new Navy inherited the land and port facilities of the Maritime Department of Callao, adopting the Spanish naval ordinances, except for the disciplinary rules on board, which were British.

The first ship to hoist the national flag was the Sacramento schooner, captured on March 17, 1821, by the brothers Victoriano and Andres Carcamo, and renamed Castelli. In September, the Belgrano and Balcarce bergantines, which had served the royalty cause under the name Guerrero and Pezuela, were added. Limeña corvette joined the squadron in November and at the beginning of 1822, Macedonia schooner did the same, followed by Cruz shooner, Coronel Spano bergantine and Protector frigate, which had served the king under the name Prueba.

The initial role of the Peruvian Navy was to block southern ports, an area still occupied by royalists and on which San Martin had planned an operation that began on October 15, 1821, by sending the Limeña corvette and Balcarce and Belgrano bergantines to establish control over the coast between Cobija and Nazca. However, these vessels were not enough to carry out the mission, which was compounded by the lack of blockade knowledge by foreign ships hampering the entrusted task. In the meantime, the so-called First Expedition to Intermediate Ports had been carried out by the end of 1821, capturing the Peruvian squadron the port of Arica. In 1823, the government of Jose de la Riva-Aguero entrusted the command of the Navy to the Ship's Captain Jose Pascual de Vivero, supported by Guise to the head of the squadron, who already held the rank of rear admiral. Both were responsible for planning the Second Campaign to Intermediate Ports.

In February 1824, Callao was later retaken by royalty forces, which led to the extension of the blockade to the port of Chancay. The Peruvian squadron maintained a long blockade at Callao for nearly two years, during which time several raids and a confrontation with the royalty squadron took place. Although hostilities ceased with the Spanish capitation following the victory of the patriotic army at the Battle of Ayacucho on December 9, 1824, a handful of royalists would still remain in the Castle of Real Felipe[5] under the command of Spanish General Ramón Rodil, who would finally desist from his resistance in January 1826, when he surrendered to patriotic forces, thus disappearing the last vestiges of Spanish domination in Peru.

The Republic of the 19th Century

Battle of Punta Malpelo. Angel Chavez.
Battle of Punta Malpelo. Angel Chavez.

War with Gran Colombia (1828-1829)

The first international conflict the new Republic of Peru had to face was against Gran Colombia given its claim for Jaen and Maynas territories, belonging legitimately to Peru since before independence. The declaration of war by Gran Colombian took place on July 3, 1828, which led to preparation of ground and naval forces by the Peruvian government.

As far as the naval campaign is concerned, the first encounter took place in August 1828, when Libertad corvette, under the command of corvette captain Carlos García del Postigo, was in international waters in the Gulf of Guayaquil to control and intercept ships entering or leaving that port. On August 31, 1828, Colombian ships Pichincha and Guayaquileña attacked the Peruvian corvette in Punta Malpelo, their attack was repelled and they were forced to retreat with heavy losses on board.

Peruvian forces then established the blockade in Guayaquil and on the Gran Colombian coast from Tumbes to Panama. The national squadron, under the command of Vice Admiral Jorge Martin Guise, sailed to Guayaquil and made various raids before attacking the defenses of said riverside city from November 22th to 24th, 1828. As a result of this action, the remaining defenses were defeated and much of the enemy artillery silenced. However, on the night of the 23th to the 24th, the Presidente frigate ran aground and defenders took advantage of situation to attack. At dawn, with the increase of the river level, the frigate went afloat, but the last attack of the enemy hit Vice Admiral Guise, who died soon after. The command of the squadron was taken over by first lieutenant Jose Boterín, who continued the siege on the enemy square that finally surrendered on January 19, 1829. After this action, Arequipeña corvette and Congreso bergantine sailed to Panama and managed to rescue one of the merchant ships captured by Colombians.

Guayaquil would remain under Peruvian occupation until July 21, 1829. This conflict would end after signing the Armistice of Piura on July 10th of the same year; however, the border situation would still be pending.

War between Peru-Bolivia Confederation and Chile (1836-1839)

During the viceroyalty period, the territory forming the audience of Charcas or Upper Peru, dependent at first of the Viceroyalty of Peru, became in 1776 part of the Viceroyalty of Buenos Aires. The independence of this territory was in 1826, with the birth of Republic of Bolivia. Years later, an ambitious political project would emerge with Bolivian Marshal Andres de Santa Cruz as main driver, who advocated the creation of a confederate state based on the territories of Peru and Bolivia, historically related by various links, especially economic. This integration sought, among other things, to restore old commercial routes established in both territories since ancient times, as well as to promote a free trade policy with foreigners. After an intense period of political crisis, the Confederation was established in 1836, consisting of three confederate states: North Peru, South Peru, and Bolivia.

On August 21, 1836, Chilean bergantine Achilles arrived to Callao, on what supposedly was a goodwill visit. However, taking advantage of the disarmament state of Peruvian warships in anchorage given the domestic conflicts of previous years, a surprise attack was launched that same night achieving the capture of Santa Cruz ship, Arequipeño bergantine and Peruviana corvette; beginning thus the war between Chile and Peru-Bolivia Confederation.

The first phase of this war had to be defined at sea, which is why both sides tried to take control of it. Regarding the Confederation, this phase was in the hands of the Peruvian Navy, sailing Socabaya and Confederacion corvettes and Congreso bergantine in November 1837 as part of its fleet to raid the enemy territory. First, they attacked the islands of Juan Fernandez, where the garrison in charge of the prison surrendered, releasing the political prisoners. Then, they bombed the Chilean ports of Talcahuano, Huasco and San Antonio, disembarking their troops in San Antonio and Caldera.

The Chilean government and the Peruvian people who opposed the Confederation prepared an expedition which, under the command of Admiral Manuel Blanco Encalada, landed in the south of Peru and moved to Arequipa. After remaining in that city for a long period of time, the expeditionary force of Blanco Encalada was forced to surrender to Marshal Santa Cruz, signing the Treaty of Paucarpata on November 17, 1837 and sailing to his country. The treaty was later repudiated by the Chilean government by sending a squadron of five warships under the command of the British seaman Roberto Simpson to plague the Peruvian coast. These ships were met on the outskirts of the Peruvian port of Islay by a Peruvian squadron formed by Socabaya corvette and Junín and Fundador bergantines under the orders of frigate captain Juan Jose Panizo. Simpson attempted to destroy said naval force on January 12, 1838, but Panizo managed to maneuver cleverly for several hours putting his ships to safety from an enemy which was superior in number and strength. This action, known as the Naval Battle of Islay, was a victory for Peru that ended with the withdrawal of Chilean ships.

However, throughout the year, Chile managed to gain control of the sea and was able to dispatch in September a powerful new restorative expedition with 5 400 soldiers under the command of General Manuel Bulnes. Bulnes's forces, reinforced by Peruvians who were against Santa Cruz, among whom were Gamarra and Castilla, managed to defeat first Orbegoso in August and then Santa Cruz at the decisive Battle of Yungay on January 20, 1839. Eight days earlier, on January 12, 1839, the Chilean naval squadron commanded by Simpson and some ships that had transported the expedition forces of General Bulnes were attacked at the port of Casma by the Confederate squadron made up by Esmond corvette, the Mexican barge, Arequipeño bergantine and Peru shooner under direct orders of French seaman Juan Blanchet. The attack lasted several hours, resulting in the death of Blanchet and the loss of Arequipeño ship, but causing considerable losses to Chilean ships. After the retreat and resignation of Santa Cruz and the defeat of Confederates on the hands of restorative troops at the Battle of Yungay, the Confederation ended with its dissolution, giving way to a restorative government under Agustin Gamarra.

Introduction of steam propulsion and emergence of Peru as a naval power in South America

Rimac steamer.
Rimac steamer.

Large-scale exploitation of guano deposits off the Peruvian coast facilitated the stabilization of Peruvian governments from the late 1940s to the early 1970s. Marshal Ramon Castilla and General Rufino Echenique are among those who paid the most attention to the Navy during this period, they led the transformation of Peru into a naval power through an aggressive procurement program. Among these ships are worth mentioning Mercedes frigate, the first warship that Castilla acquired, and then Rimac, the first steamship in South American waters, built in the United States of America and arrived to Callao on July 27, 1848. The Callao and Amazonas frigates were commissioned in England the following decade. Other warships and transports were also acquired, to the point that the Peruvian squadron became the most important in South America in those years.

However, an unfortunate fact mourned the navy, when Mercedes frigate shipwrecked in Casma on May 2, 1854. That terrible accident, which claimed the lives of nearly 800 people, left a magnificent courage lesson that went beyond the line of duty, when Ship's Captain Juan Noel decided to sink with his ship rather than abandoning it in such difficult time and with many people still on board.

Another major event had arisen a few years earlier. The discovery of gold on the Californian coast of the United States led to a massive migration of adventurers in search of such valuable metal, who arrived by sea in large numbers. Many of these ships not only disembarked their passengers, but also lost much or even the entire crew who were drawn by the so-called “gold rush”. In 1848, some Peruvian merchant ships were abandoned in San Francisco, so their owners asked the Peruvian government to send a warship to protect their interests. This was how General Gamarra bergantine, commanded by Frigate Captain Jose Maria Silva Rodríguez, was sent to San Francisco, where it remained for almost ten months crewing the merchant units and returning them to Peru, while others were sold. The work of Peruvian seamen was widely recognized by the naval authorities of the countries present in California, as well as by the President of the Republic Ramon Castilla, considered as one of the first examples of the projection of naval power as well as naval diplomacy by the Peruvian Navy.

The journey around the world of Amazonas frigate

On October 25th,1856, the Amazonas frigate, under the command of Ship's Captain Jose Boterin, sailed from Callao to Hong Kong to carry out some urgent work at the port's dike. Arriving at the destination, he surprisingly discovered that the Second Opium War had broken out, motivating him to head to Kolkata, where he made the required repairs. During the time spent in that port, several of the frigate's crew members died from cholera. He later sailed to London, where Boterin was replaced by Corvette Captain Francisco Sanz, completing the frigate's armament. Finally, the Amazonas sailed from London to Callao, arriving at our first port on May 28, 1858, after having completed the first journey round the world made by a South American steam warship, in which 17 midshipmen also took part.

Conflict with Ecuador (1857-1860)

Gamarra bergantine. It arrive to San Francisco to safeguard Peruvian interest during the gold rush.
Gamarra bergantine. It arrive to San Francisco to safeguard Peruvian interest during the gold rush.

In 1857, the Ecuadorian government signed an agreement for the payment of a debt to British creditors, granting Amazonian territories belonging to Peru. Peru's objection was unanimous and President Castilla ordered the blockade of the Gulf of Guayaquil, which was carried out by a squadron commanded by Rear Admiral Ignacio Mariategui. The blockade began on November 4, 1858, and lasted more than a year, period during which Ecuador was victim of deep infighting that led President Castilla to decide the occupation of the port of Guayaquil, landing Peruvian forces at that port in mid‑November 1859. On January 25, 1860, the Treaty of Mapsingue was signed ending the conflict.

War with Spain (1864-1866)

After the Battle of Ayacucho, all Hispanic American countries, except Peru, had signed peace treaties with Spain acknowledging their independence. This had not been an obstacle for participating in various acts of goodwill between Peru and Spain, but there were certainly no official relations.

In this regard, a Spanish squadron arrived to the Pacific in the mid-1863. It was composed of Resolución and Nuestra Señora del Triunfo frigates and Covadonga schooner, which carried on board a scientific commission to study the natural diversity of old Spanish possessions, as well as to strengthen or establish commercial and diplomatic relations. Shortly after visiting Callao, an incident occurred at the Talambo estate where a Spanish settler was killed.

Aware of this situation, Spanish Admiral Luis Hernandez Pinzon, in command of the Spanish squadron in the Pacific, protested to the Peruvian government, and incited by Eusebio Salazar y Mazarredo, whose position as Extraordinary Commissioner for Peru had not been recognized by the government, caused that, in retaliation, Spanish forces captured Chincha Islands on April 14, 1864, from where came most of the guano that Peru exported.

After these events, Spain reinforced its Squadron in the Pacific adding Blanca, Berenguela and Villa de Madrid frigates, Vencedora schooner, and Numancia ironclad ship. The Peruvian government, unable to face such a threat, was forced to sign a treaty known as Vivanco-Pareja, which ended the conflict, but it was soon rejected. Colonel Mariano Ignacio Prado began a revolt in Arequipa and after almost a year of civil war managed to seize power, repudiating the aforementioned treaty and restarting hostilities. An agreement had previously been signed with Chile, with the participation of Bolivia and Ecuador, to jointly act against Spain and repel any attempt of aggression against these republics.

Naval Battle of Abtao

When the war with Spain began, the Peruvian Squadron did not have ships capable of directly face the powerful Spanish naval force, as the Huascar ironclad ship and Independencia armored frigate were still under construction in England. For this reason, our four main ships were sent to southern Chile, where they should await the arrival of these new warships to jointly act against the enemy force. Three of these ships, Apurímac frigate and Union and America corvettes, recently acquired in France, took part in the Naval Battle of Abtao on February 7, 1866, in the Challahue Canal and established a formation between the Abtao Island and the mainland. On that occasion, the Chilean schooner Covadonga also took part in the battle. All these ships formed the so-called Allied Squadron that under the command of Peruvian Captain Manuel Villar brilliantly neutralized the attack of the Spanish frigates Villa de Madrid and Blanca, fighting for several hours until the enemy ships chose to retreat.[6]

The Naval combat of Callao

Naval Battle of Callao on May 2. Orlando Yantas, 2016
Naval Battle of Callao on May 2. Orlando Yantas, 2016

After this unsuccessful attempt to bend our forces, Spanish naval chief, Brigadier Casto Mendez Nuñez, reconsidered his attack, opting to bomb the Chilean port of Valparaiso and then Callao. The former was attacked on March 31, 1866, there was no resistance from its defenseless population.

Based on this initiative, Callao was in imminent danger. Hopes were still placed on the early arrival of Huascar and Independencia warships, both with powerful artillery. Nonetheless, the government arranged for the organization of the necessary defenses in charge of the Navy and Army, placing fifty cannons grouped into several batteries, including one aimed at the area known as “Mar Brava” in anticipation of a rear attack. It was a complete movement of men. Next to adults, children and the elderly were prepared for battle. Foreigners also took action by forming the famous fire brigades –fearing the port fire– and the posts to provide assistance for the wounded.

With regard to Peru's afloat forces, in the absence of the most important ships still in the south, the ones that remained in Callao were located in the center of the defensive zone of the port, near the pier, protecting the populated area of the city, where there were no batteries. This naval force consisted of Tumbes steamer armed with two striped cannons, where Captain Lizardo Montero, as General Commander, hoisted his insignia; Loa was transformed into a monitor, with two cannons: one on the bow and one on stern; Victoria armed with a ram and a single rotating tower cannon; and the small ships Sachaca and Colon, with some artillery pieces. The defenses of the port were led by President Mariano Ignacio Prado himself, deftly supported by his Minister of War, Jose Galvez, who would die during the attack.

The powerful Spanish squadron anchored in front of San Lorenzo since April 26th, under the command of Brigadier Casto Mendez Nuñez, consisted of three divisions carrying about three hundred pieces of artillery. The first division composed of Numancia, Blanca and Resolucion frigates were assigned to attack the southern sector of the port; the second division was made up of Villa de Madrid and Berenguela, they had to strike the forts of the north; while the third was made up of Almansa and Vencedora that had to defeat the Peruvian ships and the defenses located in the central area of the port. These three divisions were supported by the auxiliary ships Marques de la Victoria, Matias Cousiño and Paquete de Maule.

The Spanish force decided to start the bombing of Callao on May 2nd, after noon, the 7 000-ton Spanish frigate Numancia, which sailed under the insignia of Mendez Nuñez, made the first shots, immediately generalizing the attack on both sides extending the battle until 5 in the afternoon, when all Spanish ships had already left the line of attack with breakdowns of various magnitude and with dead and wounded on board, including Brigadier Méndez Núñez. The exchange of artillery was intense on both sides and, in the heat of the battle, Peruvian defenses experienced a harsh blow to the Merced tower, when, as a result of an explosion, the powder keg in the tower blew up resulting in the terrible loss of all people who were there, including the Minister of War and Navy, Don Jose Galvez, from where he had led the battle, embodying the spirit of heroism, courage and bravery shown by Peruvians that day. As for the small Peruvian naval force, under the command of Ship's Captain Lizardo Montero, it approached the enemy ships on two occasions to attack and the Tumbes’ gunners were the ones who made the last shots on that long and glorious day.

The end of this unsuccessful Spanish adventure on South American shores came swiftly, since after their ships retreated to San Lorenzo Island to bury their dead and repair the damages, on May 10th they decided to sailed definitively from Peruvian shores.

The downfall of Peru's naval power

The conflict with Spain led the Peruvian government to seek to increase its naval power, which had already been increased with the acquisitions of Union and America corvettes, Independencia frigate and Huascar monitor. This last unit was built in the Laird Brothers shipyards in England under the supervision of its first commander, Captain Jose Maria Salcedo. In 1878, the then General Commander of the Navy, Captain Miguel Grau, considered it as the best ship of the Peruvian Squadron, recommending that all future ships should have the same characteristics.

In 1868, the Manco Capac and Atahualpa monitors were acquired in the United States of America, both ships were towed from New Orleans to Callao in an epic journey that took more than a year (January 1869 – May 1870) which experienced considerable difficulties.

In the early 1970s, Peru began to feel the effects of a deep fiscal crisis, accelerated by the excessive expenditure incurred based on the commitment of guano revenues. Therefore, it was not possible to react firmly the growth of Chilean naval power, which, with the construction of two ironclads, Cochrane and Blanco Encalada, became the most powerful fleet in the South American Pacific area. In response, Peru could only incorporate the small Chanchamayo and Pilcomayo gunboats into the squadron, the former was lost in 1876 in Falsa Punta Aguja. Another notable loss of those years was America corvette, it stranded as a result of the tsunami that hit the port of Arica on August 13, 1868. The commander of the ship, Lieutenant Commander Mariano Jurado de los Reyes Saavedra, died in this tragic accident.

Pacocha Battle (1877)

On May 6, 1877, a group of Nicolás de Piérola's supporters aboard the Huáscar in Callao, rose up against the government of President Mariano Ignacio Prado. He reacted by declaring the ship outside the law and offering a reward to whoever captured or destroyed it.

Under the command of Captain Germán Astete, the Huáscar went to sea heading south to embark the caudillo. On this journey, several British ships were stopped, in violation of international law.

This prompted Rear Admiral Alghernon M. De Horsey, Commander-in-Chief of the British Naval Station in the Pacific, to intervene.

With the Shah frigate and the Amethyst corvette, he searched for Huáscar monitor and found him on May 29, 1877, in front of Pacocha. The English admiral ordered the Peruvian commander Luis Germán Astete to surrender, who refused to surrender his ship and prepared to fight by affirming the Peruvian flag. The action took place for several hours, in which the British ships, despite their great artillery advantage, could not defeat the monitor, which returned fire and maneuvered with skill, evading not only enemy fire, but also a self-propelled torpedo that the British used for the first time in the history of torpedoes. Having failed in their attempt, the British ships withdrew from the scene, while the Huáscar surrendered to the national authorities the next day.[7]

Pacific War (1879 - 1883)


The reasons for this conflict can be traced far back in history and its deep roots can be traced back to the middle of the seventeenth century, when the Chilean economy was reduced to a condition of true dependence on the prices imposed by Peruvian shipping companies and merchants. The struggles for independence changed this interaction in favor of Valparaíso, but Peru's enormous potential remained a latent threat to reverse this situation. The Chilean ruling class became aware of this early and, much more cohesive and austere than its Peruvian counterparty, managed to lay the foundations for a political stability that led to greater coherence in its long-term plans.

Peru, for its part, subjected to a multitude of internal disputes, failed to unite and wasted the enormous wealth that the nature provided to its territory. Early as it has been narrated, marshal Santa Cruz tried to reunify Upper and Lower Peru, forming the Peruvian-Bolivian Confederation. Chile felt threatened by it and instigated and supported the Peruvians who rejected Santa Cruz., Chile finally declared the war and destroyed the Confederacy.

On the other hand, the definition of the boundaries between Chile and Bolivia was a latent problem since the republican dawn. However, the growing importance of saltpeter, exploited mainly by Chilean capital and labor on the Bolivian coast, led the Bolivian government to impose certain economic measures that were rejected by those affected. The government of Santiago saw in this a reason to intervene militarily and invaded the Bolivian coastline. Peru, united with Bolivia through a treaty of alliance signed in 1873, tried to stop the war by various means. However, the Chilean decision was firm and our country was forced to honor its commitment and entered the war in really regrettable conditions of enlistment.

The Peruvian fleet and the Chilean fleet

The Peruvian fleet, under the command of the Captain Miguel Grau, was made up of the Huáscar monitor type armor, the Independencia frigate, the Manco Cápac and Atahualpa monitors, the Unión corvette, the Pilcomayo gunboat and the Chalaco, Oroya, Limeña and Talismán transports. The latter were to play a very important role during the conflict, keeping the Peruvian supply route open with continuous trips between Callao and Panama, as well as to other points along the coast, transporting troops, supplies and ammunition, outwitting the powerful enemy fleet.

The Chilean Fleet, under the command of Rear Admiral Juan Williams Rebolledo, was made up of the Blanco Encalada and Almirante Cochrane armorers, the Chacabuco, O'Higgins and Esmeralda corvettes, and the Magallanes and Covadonga gunboats, as well as various transports. The balance of power was favorable to the Chilean navy, since its ships, especially the two armored ones, had better artillery, greater speed and armor, compared to the Peruvian ships.

The naval campaign and the Huáscar.-

The first action took place just seven days after the war was declared, on April 12, 1879, when the Unión corvette and the Pilcomayo gunboat attacked and pursued the Chilean Magallanes corvette in front of Punta Chipana. For its part, the enemy fleet bombed Mollendo, Pisagua, Mejillones del Perú and Iquique, before heading towards Callao with the purpose of destroying the Peruvian fleet. However, it failed in this attempt because the national ships had sailed days before their arrival, heading to Arica with the War Supreme Director, General Mariano Ignacio Prado.

Iquique Naval Combat

On May 21, 1879, the Iquique Naval Combat took place, a confrontation between Huáscar and Esmeralda. The latter sank after the third spur led by Captain Miguel Grau; who, after the combat was over, ordered the rescue of the Chilean shipwreck survivors, who were taken aboard the Huáscar and, later, ashore. The actions in this combat gave rise to the title of Knight of the Seas to Miguel Grau, due to his humanitarian performance recognized to this day.

Angamos Naval Combat

The inability of the Chilean naval commands in the face of the continuous incursions of the Huáscar under the command of Miguel Grau, were the cause of popular protests, interpellations in the congress and the censorship of the ministerial cabinet. All this was exacerbated with the capture of the Rímac transport, after which the resignations of ministers occurred and inevitable changes were made in the headquarters of the army and the fleet. The leaders of the war, faced with the impossibility of starting the land campaign to invade the south of Peru, determined that the sinking of the Huáscar was a priority and indispensable to carry out their plans.

One of the first measures was the replacement of Rear Admiral Juan Williams Rebolledo in command of the Chilean Fleet by Captain Galvarino Riveros, who ordered that his ships be subjected to repairs and cleaning their bottoms and prepare to hunt down the Huáscar. For this purpose, they drew up a plan to capture him, organizing their fleet into two divisions, the first, made up of Blanco Encalada, Covadonga, and Matías Cousiño, and the second, made up of Cochrane, Loa, and O'Higgins. The idea was to fence the Huáscar, in the area between Arica and Antofagasta.

Continuing the events, Grau received orders to set sail with the Union and Rímac heading south, with the aim of harassing the Chilean ports between Tocopilla and Coquimbo, while the two Chilean divisions had set sail north in search of the Huáscar reaching Arica on the morning of October 5, not finding his target there.

Meanwhile, the Huáscar, after leaving the Rímac in Iquique, arrived to the Sarco cove in the company of the Unión. There they captured the Coquimbo schooner, to later arrive at the port of the same name and continue south to the Tongoy cove, a town near the important Valparaíso port. Having accomplished the objective of this expedition, Grau and his ships began their return to Peruvian waters.

As the Peruvian ships sailed north back, they ignored the movements of the Chilean ships. The two enemy divisions were advancing from different directions, in an open position, ready to fence their objective. At dawn that day, the Huáscar was sighted by the Chilean first division, forcing Grau to turn towards the Southwest and then return to the North, trying to outrun his enemies. Shortly after, the Huáscar and the Unión met with the Chilean second division in front of Punta Angamos. Realizing that the Huáscar could not evade combat due to its poor speed, the Unión made its way north.

Then, at 09:40 hours, the encounter being inevitable, the Peruvian monitor secured his flag by firing the tower's cannons on the Cochrane from a thousand meters away. The Covadonga and Blanco Encalada at that time were at six miles distance in the direction of the Huáscar, while the O'Higgins and Loa were heading to cut off the path to the Unión. The Cochrane did not initially return the shots, but shortened distances thanks to its greater speed, and when it was 200 meters to the Huáscar's port side, it fired its first shots, piercing the armor of the hull and damaging the government system.

Ten minutes later a projectile from the Cochrane also impacted the command tower and when it exploded, it blew up Rear Admiral Miguel Grau and left his companion Lieutenant Diego Ferré dying. Then Lieutenant Commander Elías Aguirre took command of the ship, continued the combat with the Chilean ships, until he was also killed by an enemy shot. One after another, the Peruvian officers succeeded one another in charge of the ship, which was repeatedly hit by the Chilean artillery, until the command fell on Lieutenant Pedro Gárezon, who seeing that he was no longer possible to continue the fight for the conditions in which the ship was, with its cannons disabled, its rudder broken, and its crew decimated, he gave the order to open the bottom valves to flood the monitor and thus prevent it from being captured by the enemy.

At 10:55 hours the Cochrane and the Blanco Encalada suspended the cannonade and seeing that the Huáscar would soon sink, they sent an armed crew in boats to take it. When the Chilean sailors came on board, the Huáscar was already 1.20 meters of water and was about to sink from the stern. With a revolver in hand, the Chilean officers ordered the machinists to close the valves and later forced the prisoners to put out the fires that were consuming various sectors of the ship. The fight had concluded, the Huáscar was captured, and the sea was free to initiate the invasion of the Peruvian South.

The South Campaign

On November 2, the Chilean fleet appeared in Pisagua, capturing said port after overcoming the tenacious resistance offered by the Peruvian defenses reinforced by two Bolivian battalions. The Chilean expeditionary army moved quickly on Iquique, occupying it on November 8, after bombing it. The allied forces, under the command of General Juan Buendía, faced the Chilean forces in San Francisco, on November 19, 1879, suffering a severe setback that forced them to retreat on the Tarapacá ravine, where would take place a new bloody battle, in which the Peruvians defeated the invaders and capture their artillery.

However, the lack of ammunition prevented the triumph from being exploited and the withdrawal to Arica had to continue. In February 1880, the Chilean forces landed in Ilo and advanced on Tacna. On February 27, the first bombardment of Arica took place, in which the Manco Cápac Peruvian monitor, under the command of the Captain José Sánchez Lagomarsino, managed to hit the Huáscar, which had been repaired, killing its commander, the Commander Thompson. On the other hand, the front batteries, led by Captain More and endowed by the crew of the unfortunate Independence, supported an artillery duet of the enemy fleet.

A few days after the combat against the Chilean ships, they established a blockade in Arica, which was boldly broken twice on March 17 by the Unión corvette, commanded by Captain Manuel Villavicencio, who arrived at said port transporting the Alianza torpedo boat and other military elements to defend the square.

After landing that material under enemy fire, the Unión set sail again and managed to put to sea again before the absorbed enemy ships, and responding to the fire they made. The Alliance was part of the Torpedist Brigade assigned to Arica, based on Isla Alacrán. Lieutenant Leoncio Prado served in that brigade.

In Tacna, the Peruvian and Bolivian forces met under the combined command of Bolivian President Narciso Campero, and on May 26 the two armies faced each other, after which, due to the enemy's numerical superiority and excessive casualties, the allied forces had to undertake the retreat. With this defeat, the forces defending the Arica's square would be left without the possibility of receiving prompt reinforcement.

The Lima Campaign and the naval resistance

From the beginning of the war, the “War Machines Section” was formed to defend our ports. In Arica it was based on Alacrán Island, where Lieutenant Leoncio Prado served. During the blockade of Callao, the War Machines Section was stationed on the Marañón pontoon, counting among its members the lieutenants Decio Oyague Neyra and Manuel Gil Cárdenas, ensign Carlos Bondy Tellería, and engineer Manuel J. Cuadros Viñas.

Organized by Captain Leopoldo Sánchez Calderón, the activity of this brigade was reflected in the sinking of the Loa transport in the Callao bay, on July 3, 1880; and of the Covadonga gunboat, in Chancay bay, on September 13 of the same year.

Finally, after the Peruvian defeat in the San Juan and Miraflores Battles, the remains of the Peruvian fleet were destroyed to prevent it from falling into the power of the enemy. The Unión, Atahualpa, and Limeña, Chalaco, Talismán, Oroya, Rímac, transports, as well as the Arno gunship were sunk. At that time, any resistance at sea was impossible, but the Peruvian sailors continued fighting on land to defend the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the country.

Peru in the 20th Century

The crew of the Ferré submarine
The crew of the Ferré submarine

A new fleet conformation

As soon as the conflict ended, small transport ships were acquired, among them the Vilcanota (1884) and the Perú (1885), on board of which the Naval Academy returned to function in 1888. The following year the Lima cruise ship arrived, secretly ordered to be built with a twin in Germany in 1880 but held in Britain during the conflict. In the following years, the Iquitos, Chalaco, Santa Rosa and Constitución transports were incorporated into the Navy, and the recovery of the national maritime activity also began.

The latter demanded a growing interest in improving safety conditions for navigation, which led to the creation of the Hydrographic Commission on June 20, 1903, with the purpose of rectifying by means of astronomical observations “the geographical position of cities and important points, particularly those located on the Pacific coast and in the region where the East rivers were”. That commission was the precedent of the current Hydrography and Navigation Directorate.

With the advent of the Mr. José Pardo y Barreda's government, the winds began to change for the institution. There was an express desire to support and rescue it from the ostracism in which it was. In this task, the Finance Minister, Mr. Augusto B. Leguía, who promoted the revival of the Navy, played a very important role.

Caught up in the popular fervor, which was translated into donations at the national level, the Pardo government managed to obtain a loan from abroad, contracting in England the construction of the Almirante Grau and Coronel Bolognesi cruise ships, whose expected arrival occurred in August 1907. With these two acquisitions the foundations were laid for the rebirth of the current Navy. That same year, the first issue of the “Revista de Marina” (Navy Magazine) appeared, with the purpose of serving as a debate forum on various issues related to the maritime sector in general and the naval sector in particular.

In 1904, the services of a French Naval Mission, in charge of Commander Paul de Marguerye, had been contracted to restructure the organization and operation of the Naval Academy, the results being entirely positive. During the Leguía's first government (1908-1912) the French Naval Mission continued in work, increasing the number of its members. It is then that another French officer, Lieutenant José A. Theron, takes over the direction of the Naval Academy, soon determining its transfer to land, initially settling in the Bellavista district. On the other hand, several officers were sent to pursue advanced studies in Argentina, United States, Spain, France and England. During the years of this Naval Mission, the first submersibles in the region, the Ferré and Palacios, were acquired from France. Those became the first units of the century-old Submarine Force.

Members of an R submarine during the Atlantic journey during the Colombia conflict
Members of an R submarine during the Atlantic journey during the Colombia conflict

Colombia and Ecuador Conflicts

In the years prior to the First World War, Peru had to face several conflicts with its neighbors about international limits that have not yet been defined. Given the borderline differences that arose in the Amazon region with Colombia and Ecuador, the Peruvian government once again invested in the acquisition of some fluvial units. The most notable was the América gunboat, built in England in 1904. During his service he participated in the Colombia conflicts in 1911 and 1932, his performance in the first of them being particularly meritorious, when under the command of Lieutenant Manuel Clavero acted in combination with the troops of Colonel Oscar R. Benavides and defeated the Colombian forces at La Pedrera, on the Putumayo River, in a combat that took place on July 11 and 12, 1911.

Most of these problems took place in the Amazon, but the truth is that significant efforts had to be made to address this area of our territorial patrimony. As part of these efforts, and within the framework of the Colombia conflict, the recently acquired Teniente Rodríguez was sent from France to the Amazon. Once the crisis was over, said ship had to join the fleet in the Pacific, becoming the first warship in crossing the Panama Canal, in 1914.

Navy Ministry creation

In 1919, during the Leguía's second government, being necessary to continue with the improvement process of the institution, contacts were made to obtain advice from the United States Navy, and the result of this was the hiring of the American Naval Mission, whose work led to a total reform of the naval administrative system, reorganizing the Fleet, the Naval Academy as well as most of the existing dependencies, having as a model the American naval organization.

One of the important achievements obtained at this period was the creation of the Navy Ministry by Law Nº 4003 of October 13, 1920, separating it from the War and Navy Ministry, which dated from 1821, thereby achieving independence and more adequate management of its resources. Also in the same year, the Navy Aviators Corps had been created, a remote antecedent of the current Air Force, which due to its importance, determined that in 1929, the Navy and Aviation Ministry was created, both portfolios remained merged until 1941, when the Aviation Ministry was created.

Starting in 1922, the general reorganization, in terms of administration and personnel, of the Navy services was carried out, the change being complete and comprehensive. In 1923, a single officer corps was created, the old division between the engine and deck officers, who mutually ignored the others functions, was overcome. On the other hand, in order to give officers more experience and opportunity in the performance of different positions, a positions and commands rotating system was established. In that same year, the North American Commander Charles Gordon Davy, considered the manager of the contemporary Naval Academy, carried out the full reorganization of the Alma Mater.

The use of San Lorenzo Island for naval installations, resulted in the construction of a Naval Station that would serve as a base for the submarines that had been built in the United States, which within its facilities had a dry dock to clean and repair medium-sized ships.

Other improvements of the time were the creation of the Naval Apprentice School in 1928, predecessor of the current CITEN (Naval, Public and Technologic Institute of Superior Education); as well as the creation in 1930 of the Naval War College, which was inaugurated under the direction of Rear Admiral USN William S. Pye.

Unusual photograph took from an R submarine. This unit was sailing to Belen.
Unusual photograph took from an R submarine. This unit was sailing to Belen.

Colombia conflict of 1932-1933

The subsequent years after the overthrow of President Leguía in August 1930 were characterized by great political instability in the country. The Navy could not escape this reality. The situation was complicated by a border conflict with the Republic of Colombia, whose immediate origins went back to the President Leguía's government during which a border treaty, known as the Salomón-Lozano treaty, was signed behind the back of public opinion, which resolved pending border issues with the aforementioned country. During the middle of 1932, this treaty was already known by the public, provoking a total rejection among the inhabitants of the Loreto Department, since it was considered that said diplomatic agreement was against the national interests to the fact that the territory of the so-called Amazonian trapezoid was transferred. This led to a group of the inhabitants of the Loreto Department seizing the Leticia river port, already in possession of Colombia, expelling the authorities of the neighboring country. These surprising events made the Peruvian authorities, led by General Luis Sánchez Cerro, at the time President of the Republic, think at first that it was an action promoted by his political adversaries.

The serious international situation presented provoked the protest of the Colombian government and Peru, determined to support its compatriots, refused to present the excuses of the case and decided to resort to the use of the armed forces. As a precautionary measure, the government decided to mobilize the army to the north, as well as to send a naval force to reinforce the contingents located in the Amazon.

However, the Colombians had gone ahead by sending an expedition under the command of General Alfredo Vásquez Cobo, made up of several armed transports, the same one that was concentrated in Belem do Pará. Given this, the Peruvian naval command ordered the shipment of the Almirante Grau cruiser and the R-1 and R-2 submarines, which made up the so-called Advanced Atlantic Force.

In addition to these ships, the government decided to send more reinforcements, and for this purpose the Lima cruiser and Teniente Rodríguez destroyer were chosen, which were later joined by the Almirante Villar and Almirante Guise destroyers acquired from Estonia. This force had the mission, in case the military actions were unleashed, of harassing the Colombian coast in the Caribbean, stopping the Colombian maritime traffic and attracting the aviation of that country, easing the operations in the Amazon and subsequently penetrating the Amazon to evict the enemy forces established in Leticia.

While the Grau was assigned to operate in the Atlantic, the Bolognesi was entrusted with the mission of patrolling, jointly with the R-2 and R-3 submarines, on the Colombian Pacific coast. After crossing the Channel on May 4, the Peruvian naval force carried out a logistical stopover in Curaçao on the May 8, then on Trinidad Island and finally arrived in Pará in Brazil on May 15, staying there for 10 days. During this period, due to the threat that the Peruvian naval forces represented the tensions subsided, the will of the presidents of both countries changed, and the efforts of friendly countries helped to maintain peace, which is why the Lima and Teniente Rodríguez continued their trip to Iquitos. Once the mission was completed, the rest of the ships would return to Callao, and the two new destroyers would sail towards the Pacific in April 1934.

One of the most important works carried out at this time was the construction of a dock and naval arsenal in the northern area of the Callao port, which would lead to the definitive establishment of the Callao Naval Base, thereby achieving an institutional aspiration of many years for the benefit of the Fleet and the Navy.

B.A.P. Almirante Grau, arrived. 1960.
B.A.P. Almirante Grau, arrived. 1960.

Ecuador conflict of 1941

After various incidents, in July 1941 a conflict of significant proportions broke out between Peru and Ecuador, which ended with the occupation of a part of the Ecuadorian territory by Peruvian forces and in the signing of the Rio de Janeiro Protocol that established the borders between both countries. The military actions were carried out both on the coast and in the Amazon, and in both theaters the naval forces participated.

In the Pacific, the main elements of the Fleet, made up of the Almirante Grau and Coronel Bolognesi cruisers, the Guise and Villar destroyers, and the four "R" submarines, established a maritime blockade between Zorritos and the Jambelí Channel. The work of the Fleet on the adversary coastline was complemented by the patrol boats flotilla that operated from Tumbes controlling the area of the estuaries, managing to capture two small Ecuadorian garrisons, those of Payana and Matapalo, as well as the Ecuadorian boat called Hualtaco, contributing also in the capture of Puerto Bolívar. For its part, in the eastern region, the Amazon River Flotilla provided valuable logistical support during the operations to dislodge the invaders, actively and decisively participating in the combat in which the capture of Rocafuerte, on the Napo River, was achieved. In the course of the Ecuadorian coasts blockade, Admiral Villar pursued the Abdón Calderón gunboat in front of the Jambelí Canal, on July 25, 1941. This persecution, in which some shots were exchanged, ended while the Ecuadorian ship fled to hide in the estuaries.

The Peruvian Navy and World War II

As is known, at the beginning of September 1939, after German forces invaded Poland through a "blitzkrieg", Great Britain declared war on Germany, originating a series of events that generalized the conflict in Europe and then on a world scale. At first, Peru decided not to be involved in that conflict but due to the orientation of the international policy of the President Manuel Prado's government identified with American interests, as well as the evident economic and political influence of the United States, and after this country was attacked by Japan, Peru decided to support the allied cause.

Peru did not take an active part in the different scenarios of the world conflict, however the Peruvian Navy played its role in the protection and defence of the nation's coastline. Notably in the northern part of the country where the Talara refinery was located, which was noted as one of the areas that produced energy resources of vital importance for the operation of the allied war machinery and industry, and of course for national consumption.

The Navy, from early 1942 to mid-1945, despite the lacking means and not having received all requested support from the United States, carried out the missions and tasks assigned to it in the defence of the coastline, thanks to the significant efforts of the crews of the surface, submarine and terrestrial units stationed in the northern zone.

In 1943, the defensive system adopted for the coastline led to the creation of the Naval Commands Force, which three years later was renamed the Coast Defence General Command, the base of the current Naval Infantry Force.

The Peruvian Navy in the 1945 – 1969 period

With the end of the World War II, the Navy, counting on the surpluses of the Allied naval inventories, was only able to undertake a process of renovation of its units, whose time in service and obsolescence were evident. In this way, in 1947, arrangements were made abroad for the acquisition of several ships that were progressively discharged for being war surpluses; thus, a frigate, renamed Teniente Gálvez, two minesweepers, the Bondy and San Martín, two tugboats and four landing barges were first acquired in the United States, as well as two frigates in Canada, renamed Teniente Ferré and Teniente Palacios. Then, in 1951, the Aguirre, Castilla and Rodríguez escort destroyers joined the Fleet. In that same year, two river gunboats, the Marañón and Ucayali, were built in Great Britain, as well as a floating dock, all ships that continue to provide valuable services in the Amazon region to this day.

Regarding the submarine weapon, in 1951 the four R-type submarines, later renamed Casma, Pacocha, Islay and Arica, were modernized in their original shipyards serving until 1959; and between 1952 and 1957 four S-type submarines or modified Mackerel submarines were built in the Electric Boat & Co. shipyards, intended to replace their predecessors that were in service since the late 1920s. These new submarines, withdrawn from service between 1989 and 2001, bore the names of Abtao, Dos de Mayo, Angamos and Iquique.

In 1958, the old Grau and Bolognesi cruisers were decommissioned after 51 years of service. For this reason, and in a great national effort, between 1959 and 1960 the purchase of two British Ceylon-class cruisers, which were renamed Almirante Grau and Coronel Bolognesi, was completed to replace them rendering important services to the Navy until the early 1980s.

Continuing with the acquisition program, between 1960 and 1961, by virtue of the loan and lease law as well as the mutual assistance pact, the United States Congress authorized its government to deliver two Fletcher type destroyers to Peru that received the names of Guise and Villar, as well as two Auk class corvettes, renamed Diez Canseco and Gálvez. In 1963, an attack transport was acquired in the same country and incorporated under the name of Independence, it was conditioned and used as a training ship, on board which the naval cadets made numerous training trips until 1988.

Subsequently, six torpedo gunboats were built in Great Britain, and several patrol boats were incorporated for the surveillance and defense of the coastline, assigned to the Captaincies and Coast Guards Directorate, which saw its actions strengthened when the Captaincy and Coast Guard Corps was created in 1969.

It is important to mention that in 1963 the Naval Aviation was reestablished under the name of Aero Naval Service, providing naval forces with an indispensable support element in naval warfare.

During this stage, another enhanced aspect was the amphibious warfare, and this was materialized with the purchase of the Chimbote and Paita tank landing ships, and the Lomas and Atico medium landing ships, with which the Naval Infantry Force was able to develop its projection capacity towards the land. Regarding the land naval establishment, in 1948 the creation of the Naval Industrial Service, from the old facilities of the Callao Naval Arsenal, marked the beginning of the development of the high-ship naval industry in Peru, whose first important milestone was the construction of the Zorritos tanker in 1957, the largest tonnage ship ever built in South America until then.

B.A.P. Montero (FM-53) built in the Naval Industrial Services - Callao in 1984
B.A.P. Montero (FM-53) built in the Naval Industrial Services - Callao in 1984

Contemporary Navy

During the 1960s, it was the concern of the naval high command to equip the naval forces with new units, and to gradually replace those that were decommissioned due to their obsolescence, as the case of the old Ferré and Palacios frigates retired in 1966.

After the studies carried out by the Staff and the respective efforts by the naval commissioners in Europe, between 1968 and 1969 the purchase of two Daring class British destroyers that were in excellent operational state, the Diana and Decoy, renamed Palacios and Ferré respectively, was completed. The Peruvian naval high command considered submitting both ships to a modernization process, and rightly included in its new weapons system the installation of surface-to-surface missiles, a new and effective weapon that had made its debut during the Arab-Israeli war of 1967, when an Egyptian missile boat of Soviet origin sank the Eliath, an Israeli destroyer. Having taken this decision, reserved arrangements were made with the French manufacturers of a new type of missile, the Exocet, which was still in the testing phase, in order to install them on board the new destroyers. In this way they were subjected to a complete modernization in British shipyards. After their modernization, both arrived in Callao in 1973, becoming the first ships in the region to have surface-to-surface missiles.

That same year, was acquired the De Ruyter, a Dutch cruiser, which was baptized as Almirante Grau, became the new flagship of the Fleet, and the old Grau was renamed Capitán Quiñones.

B.A.P. ISLAY (SS-35)
B.A.P. ISLAY (SS-35)

Continuing with the naval acquisitions plan, in the same year, 1973, a contract was signed with an Italian shipyard, Cantieri Navali Riuniti, for the construction of four Lupo-type missile frigates, two of them in Italian shipyards and the other two with technical assistance in the Naval Industrial Services shipyards, in Callao. The first of them, the Carvajal, was incorporated into service in 1978, and the following year the Villavicencio did the same. The frigates built in Callao were the Montero, delivered in 1984, and the Mariátegui, in 1986.

Additionally, in 1976 another cruise ship was acquired in the Netherlands, the De Zeven Provincien, which was renamed Aguirre and underwent a process of conversion to a helicopter carrier with the capacity to operate three Sea King helicopters armed with Exocet AM-39 air-to-surface missiles or torpedoes for anti-submarine warfare. This new cruiser arrived at Callao in May 1978 accompanied by the García y García destroyer, also acquired in the Netherlands. Between 1979 and 1983 another seven antisubmarine destroyers from the same origin were added: Villar, Quiñones, Gálvez, Diez Canseco, Castilla, Bolognesi, and Guise.

Hull launched of B.A.P.  Pisco, in the SIMA – CALLAO  Shipyard
Hull launched of B.A.P. Pisco, in the SIMA – CALLAO Shipyard

Another addition to the fleet was the Tiburón project, which consisted of the construction of six missile PR-72P type corvettes in French shipyards, which were built between 1978 and 1981 under the names of Velarde, Santillana, De los Heros, Herrera, Larrea and Sánchez Carrión. On the other hand, the Almirante Grau cruiser was modernized in the Netherlands between 1985 and 1988, being equipped with new combat systems and Otomat surface-to-surface missiles.

The renewal and increase of the naval forces not only occurred with surface units, but also extended to the other forces. Between 1974 and 1984 six 209 class submarines were built in Germany, which were incorporated under the names of Islay, Arica, Pisagua, Chipana, Casma and Antofagasta. Also, in 1975, two Guppy IA type oceanic submarines, renamed Pacocha and La Pedrera, were acquired in the United States.

The Aero Naval Service incorporated Tracker S-2F anti-submarine aircraft, Fokker F-27MP maritime exploration aircraft, AB-212 anti-submarine helicopters and Sea King helicopters in anti-submarine and anti-surface versions. The Naval Infantry also received new equipment, including a Portuguese-made Chaimite reconnaissance vehicle company, also acquiring greater capabilities for airborne and amphibious reconnaissance operations.

Finally, in 1969 the Underwater Demolition School was created, which would be the base of the current Special Operations Force.

The Navy in the last third of the twenty century had to face great challenges and difficulties. It actively participated in two international conflicts with Ecuador, in 1981 and 1995, covering the maritime and river flanks. In the same context, several members of the institution actively participated in the negotiation process that followed each of these conflicts.

On the other hand, the loss of several of its members as a result of the Pacocha submarine sinking in the waters of Callao, on August 26, 1988, after being collided by a Japanese fishing boat, must have been lamented. The heroic behavior of its commander, Lieutenant Commander Daniel Nieva, and of all its crew members, rose to the occasion. The subsequent refloating of the ship was a triumph for the Diving and Salvage Service that contributed to alleviate the institutional regret for these losses.

At the beginning of the new century, the Peruvian Navy undertook a process of institutional modernization to be prepared for the challenges that the new world order demands of the country. Thus, within the general restructuring framework and by virtue of an agreement signed between the governments of Peru and Italy, four Lupo-class missile frigates were acquired, in order to ensure the maintenance of the naval balance in our region and the protection of the territory and national sovereignty, as well as collaborating in the solution of contemporary international problems that had the sea as their stage.

In first stage, the incorporation of this type of naval units to the Navy Squadron was materialized with the arrival of the BAP Aguirre and the BAP Palacios at the Port of Callao in 2005. These units have a displacement of 2,280 tons at full load and powerful armament such as OTOMAT MK-2 surface-to-surface missiles, Sea Sparrow surface-to-surface missiles in MK-29 octuple launcher and MK-32 triple torpedo launchers and MK- 44 torpedoes.

Subsequently, the last two frigates arrived in the country: the Bolognesi in August 2006 and the Quiñones in January 2007, units with the capacity to carry out maritime patrols against criminal actions such as illegal fishing, drug trafficking and piracy. Their presence in the traditional territory allows our Navy to expand its participation with a greater number of naval units to help in the maintenance of world peace at the request of the United Nations and in multinational operations.

Modernization of the Peruvian Submarine in the SIMA – CALLAO Shipyards.
Modernization of the Peruvian Submarine in the SIMA – CALLAO Shipyards.

As part of the plans for renewal of units and recovery of operational capabilities of its naval forces, and in the framework of Law No. 30191, “Law establishing measures for the prevention, mitigation and adequate preparedness for response to disaster situations,” the Peruvian Navy acquired in June 2004, the combat supply ship Amsterdam in the service of the Royal Netherlands Navy, which has been renamed BAP Tacna, in honour of the heroic southern region of Peru. With this unit, the logistical capabilities of our naval forces have been expanded, since it will allow its units to operate for a prolonged period of time without the need to return to their bases to resupply, in addition to becoming an important element of logistical support in the event of natural disasters, given its great capacity to carry fuel (both diesel and aviation fuel), water, dry and refrigerated food, as well as its infirmary and capacity to carry out aero-medical evacuations.

Another unit of recent incorporation to the Navy, has been the BAP Ferré, a unit that was transferred by the Republican of Korea, through an agreement signed in August 2015, with the Peruvian Government. This ship arrived at the port of Callao on July 15, 2016, incorporating to orders of the Directorate of Captaincy and Coast Guard as an ocean patrol vessel, but in August 2018, it was reclassified as a costal corvette and reassigned to the Surface Force.

Another aspect that has been emphasized during this decade has been the new impulse given to naval construction as part of the renewal process of naval units for the Surface Force and the General Directorate of Capitanies and Coast Guard. Within this new impulse to the naval industry, between 2012 and 2015, the construction of the sailing training ship BAP UNION, a four-masted sailing ship with brick-barge rigging, built in the SIMA PERU shipyard, was part of this new impulse to the naval industry. This project achieved the long-desired institutional objective of providing the Navy with a ship of its characteristics for the training of its personnel, also providing an itinerant embassy, which promotes the image and potential of Peru in all the seas and ports of the world.

A second project developed at the SIMA shipyard in collaboration and technical assistance from the South Korean company Daesun Shipbuilding & Engineering, has been the construction of the multipurpose vessel BAP Pisco, the same that was commissioned in June 2018 and has capabilities to perform naval and amphibious warfare operations, in addition to civic actions and humanitarian aid. Currently, a second similar unit is being built in the same shipyard which will be named BAP Paita.

Another of the construction programs being carried out is that of six maritime patrol boats of the Rio Cañete class, in charge of the SIMA shipyard in Chimbote, under a technological exchange and consultancy agreement with the Korean company STX Offshore and Shipbuilding. In 2016, the maritime patrol vessels BAP Rio Pativilca and BAP Rio Cañete were completed and commissioned, followed the following year by the BAP Rio Piura and BAP Rio Quilca. The last pair, the BAP Rio Tumbes and BAP Rios Locumba, were completed in 2020.

On other hand, in orden to contribute to social action, SIMA, through its operations center located in the city of Iquitos, has built four PIASS (Plataforma Itinerante de Acción Social con Sostenibilidad – Itinerant Platform for Social Action with Sustainability) vessels, which represent a great achievement that undoubtedly contributes to integrate the most remote villages in the Amazon to the rest of the country. Likewise, the same shipyard has built the river gunboats BAP Clavero and BAP Castilla, ships of its own design, destined to reinforce the surveillance work of other river units in the Amazon.

Another extremely important project was the construction of the BAP Carrasco, a polar oceanographic vessel, at the Spanish Shipyard Freire Shipyard between 2014 and 2017. This ship has a series of laboratories and equipment for oceanographic and scientific research, as well as for hydrographic surveys, with a capacity for 110 people between crew and scientific personnel. Its main mission is to carry out oceanographic research cruises in the Peruvian maritime domain and in Antarctica, the continent where the Peruvian base Machu Picchu is located, to which it has led ANTAR scientific expeditions.

Regarding the modernization process of the naval forces, in November 2017, an ambitious modernization program of the four submarines type 209/1200 began at the SIMA Callao [8]facilities, work that has the technical assistance and technology transfer from the German shipyard Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems GmbH.

Kaman SH-2G Super Helicopter
Kaman SH-2G Super Helicopter

The first unit in which modernization work began was the submarine BAP Chipana, followed by the BAP Antofagasta. In both units, the work included the dismantling of onboard systems and equipment and the cutting of the hull into two sections, in order to install new engines and electric motors, as well as the replacement of batteries. With these works, which also include the modernization of sensors and combat systems, the useful life of these submarines is expected by 15 more years. It is planned that when the work on both units is completed, the BAP Angamos and BAP Pisagua will undergo a similar modernization.

In the case of Naval Aviation, an aircraft renewal program has also been carried out, consisting of the acquisition of six Enstrom F-28F Falcon training helicopters in 2007, followed by four Fokker 60 transport and maritime patrol aircraft and four UH-3H Sea King helicopters in 2010; two Fokker 50 transport aircraft and five Kaman SH-2G Super Sea Sprite helicopters in 2014 and three Augusta -Bell AB-412SP helicopters in 2007.


Organizational Structure

The Peruvian Navy is organized to ensure its employment in wartime; therefore, the organization in peacetime derives directly from the organizational needs in wartime, on the external front, internal front or both. The fundamental criterion applied is that the entire organization can move quickly and orderly from peacetime to wartime without major changes.

Likewise, according to the Law, the Peruvian Navy is composed of the following boards and their specific functions and attributions:

Coat of Arms of the General Command of the Navy
Coat of Arms of the General Command of the Navy

High Command

The Navy General Command is the highest command organ of the Peruvian Navy. It is exercised by the General Commander of the Navy, who reports to the Minister of Defense. It is held by the Vice Admiral appointed by the President of the Republic among the three (03) Vice Admirals with the highest seniority in the ranks of active Officers; for which purpose, if applicable, the Chief of the Joint Command of the Armed Forces is not considered; he/she is given the distinctive denomination of Admiral, while holding the position.

The General Staff is the highest-level planning and advisory board. Its main function is to carry out institutional strategic planning, formulate the programming and supervise the execution of the corresponding institutional budget, as well as the supervision of institutional objectives and the evaluation of managements goals, in order to achieve them in the short, medium and long term.

It elaborates institutional policies related to the protection and promotion of maritime interests and advises the Commanding General in decision-making in the different areas of its competence. The position of Chief of the General Staff of the Navy is held by a Vice Admiral, preferable the next in seniority to the Commandant General of the Navy.

Inspectorate Board

The Inspector General's Office is the board in charge of the control, supervision and investigation of military, operational and disciplinary matters within the scope of its competence, in accordance with the legal regulations in force. The position of Inspector General will be exercised by a Vice Admiral, preferable the next in seniority to the Chief of the General Staff, who directs, coordinates and controls the functioning of the Inspector General's Office in the fulfillment of its functions.

Internal Administration Boards

These are in charge of carrying out the processes and activities to fulfill the specific function of administrative support of personnel, material, economic-financial, education and others inherent to the functions of the Peruvian Navy. They act as institutional technical regulatory boards in the areas of their responsibility, with the legal regulations in force on the matter. The General Directorates are under the command of an Admiral Officer and are as follows:

1) General Directorate of Navy Personnel.

2) General Directorate of Education of the Navy.

3) General Directorate of Marine Material.

4) General Directorate of Marine Economics.

Likewise, there are also the Directorates, which are technical administrative boards in charge of carrying out the processes and activities to fulfill the specific function of administrative support, intelligence, health, welfare, hydrographic affairs, maritime interests, information, telematics, naval projects, land infrastructure, naval enlistment, supply, transportation, shipping activities of the Peruvian Navy, mobilization and other inherent to the functions of the institution.

Line Board

The General Operations Commands are boards that exercise the command of the operational elements and naval zones assigned to them, aimed at exercising control, surveillance, and defense of the country's maritime, river and lake patrimony in their responsibility. Prepares, conducts, and evaluates the training of the operational and auxiliary elements assigned and of the land naval establishment of responsibility.

Participate in the execution of civic and social support actions in coordination with public entities when appropriate. Execute, within the scope of their responsibility, tasks related to the protection of the environment and water resources, in coordination with the competent government agencies and the navies of the countries of interest, in accordance with bilateral agreements and current regulations. The General Directorate of the Coast Guard is the board that administers, regulates and exercises control and surveillance over the aquatic areas, the activities developed in the maritime, fluvial and lake areas, the vessels and naval artifacts; it exercises maritime, fluvial and lake police functions, in compliance with national regulations and international instruments to which Peru is a party, in order to ensure the safety of human life at sea, rivers and navigable lakes, the protection of the aquatic environment, and the repression of illegal activities within its jurisdiction. The General y Guard Coasts applies the National Maritime Authority.

Shield of the General Command of Pacific Operations
Shield of the General Command of Pacific Operations

General Command of Pacific Operations

The General Command of Pacific Operations exercises maritime control and complies with the Surveillance and Defense of the “Mar de Grau” (Sea of Grau) through Offshore and Submarine Naval Units, which due to their autonomy can travel long distances, and can be supported by Air Naval Units. Likewise, it has Naval Infantry and Special Operations units that are in permanent preparation and maintain their maximum combat potential to ensure National Defense.

It also has units for Border Surveillance and Operations in Maritime Areas close to the coast, and auxiliary units to effectively support to the Naval Forces operations conduction; as well as contributing to socio-economic development, providing support to the most remote places through civic actions and participating in the country's Civil Defense.

The General Command of Pacific Operations’ mission (COMOPERPAC) is to carry out strategic operational planning, prepare, conduct and evaluate the operations and logistics activities of Naval Forces and Zones assigned; as well as formulate its doctrines, in order to contribute to the fulfillment of the Institutional objectives, as well as assume as Maritime Operational Command (COMA) when the war theater is activated and in peacetime carry out the tasks entrusted by the Chief of the Joint Forces Command.

Shield of the General Command of the Amazon Operations
Shield of the General Command of the Amazon Operations

General Command of The Amazon Operations

The General Command of the Amazon Operations carries out the Border Surveillance guaranteeing national sovereignty, and defends the Amazon Fluvial Basins, through units according to the area that allow the fulfillment of its function. Likewise, it has hospital ships and topical ships to provide support to the units in operations within their scope, and additionally contribute to the socio-economic development and Civil Defense of the area.

The General Command of the Amazon Operations, established in the Fifth Naval Zone, fulfills its mission through the Command of Fluvial Units Fleet, the Jungle Infantry Battalion No. 1, the North East Special Operations Group and the Amazon Aeronaval Squadron, which permanently protect our Amazon's fluvial and strategic interests, demonstrating its high degree of readiness and operability, carrying the message of peace and development, exercising fluvial traffic and guarding sovereignty control through gunboats , Naval Detachments and logistics transport helicopters. Shield of the General Command of the Amazon Operations

The Jungle Infantry Battalion No. 1. composed by iron men discipline that makes them capable of operating on all types of ground and, therefore, in the Amazon, exerts its dissuasive presence in the Putumayo and Amazon fluvials, through the border naval detachments of Gueppi, Estrecho, Santa Rosa and Chimbote, which have all the comforts in their facilities to mission fulfillment, which is to strengthen control fluvial traffic and prevent, and combat the narco-terrorism actions on our border with Colombia.

The surveillance and safety function of human life in the fluvials is intense and is under the Iquitos Port Captaincy's responsibility, a department that exercises Fluvial Police functions, controlling and protecting natural resources and wealth, as well as all fluvial environment activities.

The Iquitos’ community, and the Peruvian East, highlights the Institution's work through Civic Action, which is carried out by the fluvials, aboard the BAP Morona “Hospital Ship” and the Ucayali, Amazonas, Marañón and Loreto gunboats, carrying the Peruvian message, providing medical care, delivering food and medicine, providing knowledge for the best use of the jungle's power.

Shiel of the General Directorate of Captaincy and Coast Guard
Shiel of the General Directorate of Captaincy and Coast Guard

General Directorate of Captaincy and Coast Guard

The General Directorate of Captaincy and Coast Guards of the Peruvian Navy is the Maritime, Fluvial and Lacustrine Authority, whose mission is to regulate and ensure the human life's safety, the environment and natural resources’ protection as well as repress all wrongful act; exercising control and surveillance of whole activities carried out in the maritime environment, in compliance with the law and current international conventions, thus contributing to the national development.

To fulfill its mission, it has 19 Coast Guard Captaincies in all ports open to maritime, fluvial, and lacustrine traffic, as well as the operational support of the Coast Guard Operations Command made up of surface and air units.

It has seven maritime patrol boats, eighteen port patrol boats, and speedboat of bay control, fluvial patrol boats, fluvial speedboat, speedboats, lacustrine patrol boats, lacustrine speedboat, fluvial interdiction boats, Focker F-27 aircraft, a Twin Otter hydroplane and the BAP "Puno" lacustrine patrol boat; as well as a fleet of operational vehicles that reinforces the coastal police operations of the Captaincies Coast Guard.

Its functions are framed by Law No. 26620 which it controls and monitors the maritime activities carried out in the sea environment, dictates standards for compliance with laws and international agreements, controls and records the afloat material dedicated to the maritime, fluvial and lacustrine activities. Likewise, it regulates the activities carried out by natural and legal persons in the maritime field, their training, qualification and promotion, in the merchant navy areas, fishing and recreational boating.

For affected vessels’ search and rescue, it has the national ship notification system that transit throughout the national maritime zone; with the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS), which works with INMARSAT geostationary satellites and with the COSPAS-SARSAT international satellite system, which receives alarm signals from ships and generates alert information to the control post of the Coast Guard Operations Command.

Naval Aviation

Main article: Peruvian Naval Aviation

The Naval Aviation Force (in Spanish): (Fuerza de Aviación Naval, AVINAV) is the air branch of the Peruvian Navy, its roles include anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, maritime surveillance, reconnaissance and transport of marine personnel. It is also responsible for airborne operations of the Peruvian Marines.

Naval Infantry

Main article: Peruvian Naval Infantry

Naval Infantry Brigade
Other units

Shiel of Cyberdefense Command
Shiel of Cyberdefense Command

Cyberdefense Command

Since 2017, the Peruvian Navy has been carrying out IT security operations in cyberspace through the Directorate of Telematics and the Directorate of Intelligence in order to defend our IT assets and face attacks, attending IT incidents in the institutional telematics infrastructure.

In 2018, the Peruvian Navy adapts to technological changes and, according to these, makes the decision to create the Cyberdefense Command in order to have an institutional organism with the purpose of planning, organizing and execute cyberdefense operations inside or outside the institution upon request.

Functions and activities

Scope of the Peruvian Navy
Scope of the Peruvian Navy

Competence Area

The Peruvian Navy controls, monitors and defends the maritime, river and lake domain, in accordance with the law and the treaties ratified by the State, with the purpose of contributing to guarantee that independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic. Intervenes and participate in the control of internal order, in accordance with the provisions of the Political Constitution of Peru and current laws. It participates in the social and economic development of the country, in the execution of civic and social support actions in coordination with public entities when appropriate, as well as in actions related to Civil Defense, in accordance with the law.

Maritime Area

It covers the jurisdictional waters up to 200 nautical miles of the National Maritime Domain,[10] including its bed and subsoil, the Search and Rescue Region that Peru has assumed before the international community within the Global Maritime Search and Rescue System; as well as, the waters where the protection of the Maritime Lines of Communication and the defense of the National Interests require the naval presence. Strategic maritime areas are defined as those areas of the sea that a country needs to control and maintain in order to ensure internal maritime traffic, necessary for its economy and life, as well as to sustain the war effort.

Fluvial and Riverine Area of the Peruvian Amazon

It has more than 18,000 km of navigable rivers located in a territory of approximately 670,000 km2 of the Amazon basin. The fluvial systems of the Amazon and Madre de Dios rivers are natural connection routes to the Atlantic Ocean, which makes Peru a country with a bioceanic projection.

Lacustrine Areas

They include thousands of lakes and lagoons where aquatic activities are developed, with the main expression being the binational Lake Titicaca, whose national portion has almost 5,000 km2 of surface, the Junín, Parinacochas and Rimachi Lakes, as well as the Arapa, Lagunillas, Umayo and Puca-Yacu Lagoons, among many others, with a water surface that is expressed in tens of thousands of square kilometers.

Antarctic Area

Peru, as a consultative member of the Antarctic Treaty, has scientific interests and strategic and economic projection.

The Machu Picchu Base is a polar scientific research station established in Antarctica by the Peruvian State, a consultative member of the Antarctic Treaty. The purpose is to carry out geographic, geological, climatological, and biological studies in this area. The base is located in Almirantazgo Bay, McKellar inlet of King George Island (or 25 de Mayo Island), which is part of the South Shetland Islands.


The Peruvian Navy, within the framework of its competencies and in accordance with the legal system in force, performs the following functions:

1) Guarantee the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of the Republic, within the scope of its competence.

2) To exercise control, surveillance and defense of the maritime domain, the fluvial and lacustrine areas of the country.

3) Participate in the control of internal order, in accordance with the provisions of the Political Constitution of Peru and the legal regulations in force.

4) To participate in the execution of States Policies in matters of National Security and Defense.

5) To participate in the elaboration of policies related to the use of the Navy National Merchant, as a component of the naval reserve.

6) To develop intelligence activities oriented to the National Security and Defense within the scope of its competence.

7) Exercise, through the General Directorate of Captaincies and Coast Guard, the maritime, river and lake authority at the national level, within the scope conferred by law.

8) To participate in the execution of States policies in matters of economic and social development of the country, civil defense, science and technology, archeological and historical objects, Antarctic matters, Amazonian. Matters and environmental protection, in accordance with the legal regulations in force.

9) To conduct the actions of preparation, education, training, specialization, improvement, training, maintenance, and equipment of the Naval Component of the Armed Forces, in accordance with the objectives and the National Security and Defense Policies.

10) To conduct the Aquatic Traffic Information and Monitoring System within the scope of its competence, through the General Directorate of Captaincy and Cost Guard.

11) To participate in Peace Operations summoned by the United Nations Organization (UN) or other international organizations.

12) To maintain through naval means the presence of the Peruvian State in the Antarctic continent.

13) To develop academic and scientific-technological research in the naval field; as well as to develop oceanographic, meteorological, biological, and maritime, fluvial and lake resources activities; acting alone or in collaboration with other national or foreign institutions.

14) Exercise functions according to law, in the field of Nautical and Oceanography Cartography of Perú, as well as manage the activities related to environmental sciences in the maritime, fluvial, and lacustrine fields.

15) To participate with the organism of other sectors in the formulation of the objectives and policies for the development of the National Maritime Interests.

16) To promote and to participate in the scientific and historical research destined to the protection of the underwater cultural patrimony, in coordination with the corresponding sector.

17) To promote and foster the naval industry through the Navy Industrial Services.

18) To arrange before the Ministry of Defense the sponsorship of military personnel subject to investigations or legal proceedings because of the exercise of their functions.

19) Any other duties established by law.

Strategic Roles

From the analysis of the mission and vision, the strategic roles of the Peruvian Navy are derived, which are expressed as competencies in Legislative Decree Nº 1138, Law of the Peruvian Navy, and other regulations that govern the activities of the institution; strategic framework represented in the Long Term Plan, which includes the institutional objectives and their associated policies, which are defined from these roles, in each of the four (4) institutional aspects oriented to the institutional mission.

Defense of National Sovereignty
Defense of National Sovereignty

Role of Sovereignty Defense

To contribute, within the joint action, to guarantee the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity in the face of external threats; as well as to protect national interest where required. The strategic concept employed will be “Deterrence”, through the demonstration of real capabilities during joint training of the Armed Forces. This concept is complemented by maintaining an effective presence in our jurisdictional areas, as well as in the region by participating in combined exercises and operational visits.

Infantry operative in the VRAEM
Infantry operative in the VRAEM

Role of Participation in the Control of Internal Order

Contribute, within the joint action, in the internal defense of the territory and participate in the control of internal order when decreed by the President of the Republic, according to law.

The strategic concept employed will be “deterrence, containment, and interdiction”, deploying units in patrol and surveillance operations in the area of interest, as well as strengthening the stations and detachments deployed in the area.

Exercise Role of the Maritime Authority

To ensure compliance with the laws in the maritime, river and lake areas, protecting the national patrimony, contributing to the development of productive activities carried out in this environment, avoiding the development of illicit activities such as drug trafficking, smuggling, crime in its different forms, environmental pollution, over-exploitation of hydrobiological and mineral resources, participating in support activities in case of disasters and environmental protection, as well as in the protection and safety of human life in the aquatic environment within the responsibility of the Peruvian Navy to honor international treaties and conventions to which Perú is a party, such as those related to search and rescue.

The strategic concept employed will be “control, surveillance, prevention and repression,” using naval units, detection and monitoring systems, and the deployment of Coast Guard and Coast Guard units with emphasis on the areas where the commission of these crimes is most relevant in their respective areas of responsibility.

Maintain the international presence in terms of training trips abroad, the promotion of the image of the country and the Navy through the development of technical, scientific, academic, and mutual trust-building activities, as well as the presence, protection and safeguarding of our interests in the Antarctic. The strategic concept employed will be “Protection, cooperation and international participation,” deploying units in peace operations or multinational exercise or other types of activities that allow the promotion of the institutional image of the country abroad.

Participation of the Peruvian Navy in the Civil Defense Actions
Participation of the Peruvian Navy in the Civil Defense Actions

Role of Participation in Civil Defense Actions

Participate in support operations in the events of emergency situations or disasters, supporting the national effort to reduce their effect with the assigned means. The Strategic Concept used will be “Support and Active Participation,” deploying in Humanitarian assistance operations and support in emergency situations or in case of disasters, to contribute to reduce their effects on the population.

Contribution Role to the Economic and Social Development of the Country

Contribute to the economic and social development of the country by controlling water activities, promoting research activities, development and technological innovation. Strengthen the installed capacity of the naval arsenals by increasing the naval industrial development and metal mechanics in support of other State entities, and guarantee the strategic transport of hydrocarbons, promoting the National Merchant Navy.

Increase people knowledge of the existing potential in maritime, fluvial and lacustrine activity, highlighting the Institution's role and the importance of maritime interests; promote maritime interests by developing programs at the national level, through educational, business, union and government sectors, incorporating the national population in national defense matters; as well as, contribute with other State agencies to improve population's conditions in specific areas, mainly in the Amazon. The Strategic Concept used will be “Diffusion. Promotion and Active Participation” of its specific competence that allows to improve the population's socio-economic conditions.

Support role to foreign policy

Protect National Interests abroad, participating in international conferences and forums, increasing active participation through naval attachés, and coordination, cooperation and exchange with the most important Navies and Organizations in the world; assuming the responsibility of contributing to regional and global security; including the participation of the Institution's media in medium or long-term operations outside jurisdictional waters as part of Multinational Forces and in Peacekeeping Operations, cooperating in preserving peace task and world order.

Foreign Policy

The Peruvian Navy participates in Multinational Operations exercises such as:


International Exercises

It is a biannual exercise between Peru and the United States of America, for the training of surface, submarine and air units in the anti-submarine warfare area. During the exercises, the interoperability level between the submarine, surface and naval air units and those corresponding to the United States Navy increases, as well as the training level of participating units.

It is the largest international maritime warfare exercise in the world. RIMPAC, is held every two years during June and July of even-numbered years in Honolulu, Hawaii. It is organized and administered by the Third Pacific Fleet of the United States Navy (US Navy), based in Salt Lacustrine-Hawaii vicinity, together with the Marine Corps, Coast Guard, National Guard of Hawaii, under the State Governor's leadership. With RIMPAC, the Pacific Command of the United States of America seeks to improve interoperability between the Pacific armed forces, as a means of promoting stability in the region for the benefit of all participating nations. The Pacific faces several potential conflicts that the United States Department of Defense anticipates may require the joint naval forces’ intervention. Peru has participated with Naval Units and / or Staffs since 2002.

UNITAS Multinational Exercises are carried out annually by the United States Navy join with other Latin American Navies. These exercises arise from the First Naval Conference held in Panama in 1959 and are carried out within the framework of the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (TIAR). In the beginning, the participating countries were Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Uruguay, Peru and Venezuela. Over time other countries were incorporated.

On August 28, 1960, the operations were carried out for the first time in Venezuela territorial waters, and their purpose is to train, educate, cooperate and establish bonds of trust between the region's navies, changing their headquarters each year. Likewise, operations have gradually expanded towards different aspects of maritime warfare, adapting to occurred changes in world scenarios and the appearance of so-called new threats. In 2021, the UNITAS PACÍFICO exercise is scheduled, with its headquarters in Peru.

It is one of the largest tactical exercises in the world. Annually, the Southern Command sponsors exercises focused on securing the Panama Canal as a flow mechanism of commercial maritime traffic at global level. The PANAMAX exercises are integrated by: Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Jamaica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, the United Kingdom and the United States of America forces participate.

The annual DESI / SUBDIEX exercises provide valuable training opportunities to combat and expeditionary groups of the United States Navy against quiet diesel-electric submarines. Part of these exercises include maneuvers results analysis, which allows evaluating capacities and operational levels.

This program has focused mainly on training with South American Navies that use diesel submarines, which, although they do not have the firepower, speed, or deployment capacity of nuclear-powered submarines, they have proven very difficult for American submarines to track down. Peruvian submarine units have been participating satisfactorily in the Diesel Electric Submarine Program (DESI) of the United States Navy, since 2002, deploying a submarine unit during the “SUBDIEX” operational displacement, for periods of approximately SIX (6) months.

Exercise that has its origins in 1974 with the protocol visits to Peru of the fluvial units and military personnel of the Brazilian Navy and the Colombian Navy. This exercise is done once a year.

United Nations Contingents and Peacekeeping Missions
United Nations Contingents and Peacekeeping Missions

United Nations Contingents and Peacekeeping Missions

Implemented to create lasting peace conditions in conflict-affected countries, peace operations have evolved over the years to meet the demands of different types of violence. In May 1948 the first mission was established, deploying more than 70 peacekeeping operations, and more than one hundred thousand military and civilian personnel serving in the 16 peacekeeping missions around the world.

Peru has not been alien to international participation in Peacekeeping Operations, since 1958 we have participated with officers such as Military Observers within the United Nations Security Council framework, as a result of the invasion of southern Lebanon by Israel”. It has also participated in: Lebanon, Israel, The Golan, Iran-Iraq, Namibia, Western Sahara, Sierra Leone, East Timor, Burundi, Cyprus, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Ethiopia - Eritrea, Haiti and Sudan.

In 2000, the United Nations Security Council approved integrating women in the establishment activities, maintenance and consolidation of peace, for which Peruvian women (Officers and NCO) began their participation in 2004 fulfilling with success the work as military observers, in staff and contingents.

Training Trips Abroad
Training Trips Abroad

Training Trips Abroad

From distant times the navies saw the need to have a Tall Ship as essential for the personnel training on board, these ships keep intact the spirit, the mystique and naval traditions, in the fascinating natural environment at sea. In this framework, future sailors are formed with their own characteristics, such as sailor skills: discipline, leadership, science, technology, among others, which together generate their unmistakable identity.

Thus, in the “Unión” Tall Ship, cadets and students enrich their experience, solving unprecedented problems in complex maneuvers with unfolded sails, to carry out with precision the inherent movements to the actions on board, while promoting work skills in equipment, in organizational environments and with a technological support, which strengthen the relationship between sailors and the sea.

It is plausible to recall that the B.A.P. "Union" being the Nation patrimony, it is homeland in the sea, in whose trips abroad it contributes with the State foreign policy as "Itinerant Embassy", carrying the message of friendship and peace around the world. It is worth noting that this naval unit, having been built in the Navy Industrial Services, also bears the expression of a laborious and creative country, which is immersed in its continuous economic and social growth.

"Union" was the corvette's name that was part of the fleet commanded by the "Knight of the Seas" during the Pacific War. This ship, of French construction, was acquired in 1864 and commanded by the Lieutenant Commander Miguel Grau.

Among other significant historical facts in the choice of this unit name, is the motto "Firm and Happy for the Union", coined on the Sol de Plata coins of 1825.

The history that precedes it is extensive. There are several factors that led to the choice of "Union" as the baptismal name for the first Tall Ship in Peru.

A factor that influenced the choice of the name is the very meaning of the word "Union", which conveys a message of concord, alliance and cohesion between people. Also, this word is easily translated into multiple languages.

Likewise, another fact that surrounds the creation of this vessel is the placement of a pound of gold at the Popel Main Mast base. Another coin is found at the Proel Main Mast base, which was minted from the national collection carried out 100 years ago for the Tall Ship construction that was not completed until January 27, 2016.

Likewise, the B.A.P. “Union” participates in the most important nautical competition of Rendez-Vous Tall Ships Regatta, and in 2017 was the winner in its category, in which more than 20 Tall Ships from 14 countries participated, with more than 450 miles and 43 hours of navigation.

International Organizations Participation

Peru is a member of the Council of the International Maritime Organization (IMO); This organization is made up of 163 countries around the world, but only 40 are part of the Council, divided into three categories, “A” made up of 10 states, “B” for 10 states and “C” for 20 states. Being Peru, a member state in category C since 2013, giving this situation an international recognition as "Maritime Country".


Antarctica Politics

National Development

Humanitarian assistance in natural disasters
Humanitarian assistance in natural disasters

Humanitarian assistance in natural disasters

The Peruvian Navy carries out constant days of humanitarian assistance for the benefit of low-income populations in the most remote and needy places, in the different departments of the country.

Humanitarian assistance actions are also carried out in the event of any natural disaster that may strike our country. Faced with this possible problem, the Peruvian Navy, together with State institutions, multiply efforts by developing immediate actions to support and assist the victims.

Social action
Social action

Social action

In these years of laudable work, civic action has been oriented to medical assistance, through its health personnel and for this purpose, providing functional health modules to serve residents in the specialties of general medicine, dentistry, pediatrics, gynecology, among other

As part of this program, they receive talks on nutrition and family planning. This great experience and resources are promoted by the Government and the Congress of the Republic, unifying all State entities, the private sector, local authorities and social organizations to help the most depressed areas of the country. Within this framework of social assistance, the Zone Commands stand out, whose staff has understood the concept of Social Inclusion, carrying out actions that are characterized by sustainability over time.

Itinerant Platforms of Social Action (PIAS)

Itinerant Platforms: bringing development and hope in remote populations

The Itinerant Platforms of Social Action (PIAS, by its acronym in Spanish) have been implemented by the Ministry of Defense, through the Peruvian Navy, an initiative that is limited to State policy with development and social inclusion programs, and that seeks to incorporate the rural Amazon population in a sustainable way into the basic services provided by the government.

The Peruvian Navy, in coordination with the Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Populations, have implemented the PIASS, units that are multisectoral platforms that bring the State closer to the rural populations furthest from the Amazon.

For example, RENIEC, registers people without documentation or newborns. The Comprehensive Health Insurance not only provides medical care, but also registration to this system. DEVIDA, for its part, has a prevention program.

Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Populations offices are transferred with information from the "Juntos" (Together) programme, Pension 65, as well as a “Banco de la Nación” office, facilitating teachers’ monthly payment, without leaving the basins, which, before meant a month without classes.

Participating Units
Auxiliary Vessels Hospitals
Itinerant Social Action Platforms

R + D + i activities

“QHAWAX” Project.

Development and installation of a MAGE system to support electronic warfare for Naval Surface Units in order to optimize maritime surveillance through the automatic identification of RF signals from ship and aircraft radars.

"SACAF" Project

Development of automated systems that use .50 caliber machine gun and state-of-the-art optronic sensors to fluvial control artillery. Renamed for maritime units as "GUARDIAN".

"KALLPA" Project

Design and implementation of a Combat System, through the development of a sonar, fire control system, plotting system and command and control table for Submarine Units.


Design, manufacture, and programming of a real-time monitoring system for the control of lighthouses that are in charge of the Hydrography and Navigation Directorate.

"VARAYOC" Project

Development of a Command and Control System, which integrates the sensors and weapons of a Missile Frigate and allows, in turn, to share resources through a link for the information transmission between Units.

"KHUSKA" Project
"KHUSKA" Project

"KHUSKA" Project

Development of a combat management simulation system that allows training between Submarines and Missile Frigates, in making tactical decisions, through the integration of VARAYOC and KALLPA systems as a virtual simulation system.

Navy Industrial Services

Navy Industrial Services

Navy Industrial Services S.A., better known by the acronym SIMA, is a Peruvian naval shipyard established as a state company under private law, which is dedicated to the maintenance, modernization, design, and construction of the Peruvian Navy units and in addition to executing projects related to the naval industry and metal mechanics for the state and private sector. It operates according to the Ministry of Defense policy, the Peruvian Navy General Command, and the National Fund for the Financing of the Public Sector Companies (FONAFE). It has three Operation Centers in Callao, Chimbote and Iquitos.

Hydrographic and Oceanographic Product Development

The mission of the Directorate of Hydrography and Navigation is to administer, operate and investigate activities related to environmental sciences in the maritime field, in order to contribute to national development, provide support and safety in navigation to Naval Units and in general to contribute to the institutional objectives’ fulfillment.

Hydrographic and Oceanographic Product Development
Hydrographic and Oceanographic Product Development

Within of its function's fulfillment, it offers the following services:

Internal Security

Monitoring, control and protection activities

The General Directorate of Captaincies and Coast Guard, National Maritime Authority
The General Directorate of Captaincies and Coast Guard, National Maritime Authority

The General Directorate of Captaincies and Coast Guard, National Maritime Authority, has a nationwide presence through fourteen port captaincies along the coast, four fluvial captaincies on rivers in eastern Peru, and a lacustrine captaincy on Titicaca Lake. In this vast area, it fulfills a wide function, such as ensuring the safety of human life, protecting the maritime environment and repressing illegal activities and on riparian lands, extending its role in the international trade chain of cabotage and fishing activity.

Monitoring, control and protection activities
Monitoring, control and protection activities

In the optimal fulfillment of the National Maritime Authority functions, the role played by the Coast Guard Operations Command stands out, which has a system of stations and land areas, equipped with state-of-the-art communications and computer equipment. These allow the control of water traffic, permanence, and ships departure in the waters of national maritime domain, through an information system on position and safety, through the Automatic Identification System (AIS), the Aquatic Traffic Information and Monitoring System (SIMTRAC), all within the framework of the new provisions of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). Likewise, it is incorporated into the COSPAS-SARSAT International System (Search and Rescue Satellite System), which receives emergency signals worldwide through polar orbit satellites, and geostationary, these signals are processed in the Mission Control Center, obtaining the ships emergency position, aircraft and people in distress.

This optimal result is due to the preventive work carried out by the Port Master's Offices through informative talks to companies and to people dedicated to fishing and navigation.

Fight against terrorism and drug trafficking

Fight against terrorism and drug trafficking
Fight against terrorism and drug trafficking
Fight against terrorism and drug trafficking
Fight against terrorism and drug trafficking

The VRAEM Special Command, among other assigned missions, also aims to restore security and internal order in the Valleys of the Apurímac, Ene, Mantaro and Urubamba rivers. To fulfill this mission, it has the support of the different subordinate components such as: the Police Component, Special Forces Component, Air Component, Land Component and finally the Naval Component of CE-VRAEM, which as part of the units of combat gear deployed in the area of responsibility, is committed to National Pacification and Development, in strict compliance with and respect for Human Rights; For this, it has its different Fluvial Control Bases such as Pichari, Boca Anapati, Puerto Ocopa, Quiteni, Ivochote and Camisea. The CE-VRAEM Naval Component, as an important piece subordinate to the VRAEM Special Command, fulfills operational tasks among so many functions, counting on modern interdiction and river combat units such as Hovercratf, giving greater flexibility for the transport of combat platoons. and to be able to carry out a better fluvial interdiction on board these units, counting on specialized personnel from the Naval Infantry and Coast Guard, who conduct interventions on vessels, naval artifacts and others in order to repress illegal activities, such as drug trafficking, timber trafficking, human trafficking and weapons, among others, carries the different vessels registration and / or fluvial boats throughout the valleys jurisdiction of the Apurímac, Ene, Mantaro and Urubamba rivers. to have a record of them.

Also, it carries out road controls, urban patrols and interaction with the population through civic and social actions, haircuts, medical and dental care, talks on personal hygiene, children's shows and others, in coordination with the VRAEM Special Command and the Joint Command of the Armed Forces.

To achieve the operational objectives of rapprochement and adherence of the population, the Naval Component through its bases actively interacts in the smaller populated centers and native communities of the jurisdiction, giving talks of a civic-military nature, disseminating knowledge of national symbols and values, in addition to commemorating the national heroic events and those of our armed forces.

As a complement during the scheduled operations, the Naval Component in support of the VRAEM Special Command carries out campaigns of values, giving talks to the population about the importance of carrying out a high moral and ethical conduct that will have social repercussion, within a framework of respect for the laws, regulations and human rights, noting, in addition, the legal consequences that involve illicit activities that only lead to delay and undermine the regional future, especially terrorism and drug trafficking that generate a vicious, degrading and degenerative circle in society, in addition to the negative economic impact and resulting relegation of development.

To date, the CE-VRAEM Naval Component has been deactivating and / or destroying 95 coca leaf maceration pools, since 2016, as well as the seizure of S /. 100,000.00, presumably from drug trafficking (money laundering), in the jurisdiction of the BCF Quiteni.

The VRAEM Special Command, in coordination with the CE-VRAEM Naval Component, and with the Specialized Prosecutor's Office in TID, will continue connection joint efforts to eradicate the construction of coca leaf maceration pools, which destroys the population and therefore to the Peruvian State.

The commitment of the Naval Component is reflected in the professionalism, courage and dedication that characterizes its members to achieve the mission and tasks entrusted by the Commander of the VRAEM Special Command and the Armed Forces Joint Command.

Suppression of illegal activities
Suppression of illegal activities

Suppression of illegal activities

The General Directorate of Captaincies and Coast Guard, in its capacity as National Maritime Authority, maintains powers over maritime areas, activities that take place in the maritime environment, ships, naval devices, aquatic facilities and boats in general, to ensure for the safety of human life at sea, rivers and navigable lakes, protect the maritime environment and repress illegal activities within the scope of its jurisdiction.

For the repression of Illegal Activities, the National Maritime Authority carries out search and rescue actions, Maritime, River and Lake Police operations, by virtue of its function, deploys human and logistical resources to operate its Maritime, land and air Coast Guard Units in the Peruvian coast, as well as navigable rivers and lakes, operations against Illegal fishing, illegal mining, aquatic pollution and other illegal activity that takes place in the maritime environment, jointly participates in combined search and rescue and interdiction operations in illicit activities repression, with their counterparts in Ecuador and Chile in border areas.

Fight against illegal mining
Fight against illegal mining

Fight against illegal mining

The General Directorate of Captaincies and Coast Guard through the Port Captaincies, carry out continuous operations with state entities, to repress illicit activities such as illegal mining, carried out within the Tambopata National Reserve.

These operations consist of the illegal dredges’ destruction, which are destined to the extraction of mineral resources using mercury, thus affecting the environment.


Callao naval base.
Callao naval base.

Although most of the fleet is based at Callao, this has not been considered an ideal location since it is also the main outlet for Peruvian trade, causing space and security problems. In the 1980s the building of a new naval base at Chimbote was considered though high costs and a poor economic situation made the project unfeasible.[12]


Standing watch on BAP Mariátegui (FM-54).
Submarine crew saluting while at sea.
Personnel (as of 2001)[13]
Commissioned Officers 2,107
Non-commissioned officers 16,863
Cadets 620
NCO in training 1,533
Enlisted 4,855
Civilians 5,079
Total 25,988 (excl. civilians)


Further information: Peruvian Navy enlisted rate insignia and Peruvian Navy officer rank insignia

Educational institutions

Peruvian Naval Academy
Peruvian Naval Academy
Cadets of Peruvian Naval Academy
Cadets of Peruvian Naval Academy

Peruvian Naval Academy – (ENP, by its acronym in Spanish)

The future Naval Officer's training is carried out in the Peruvian Naval Academy[17] based on six pillars: the academic, the naval, the physical, the socio-cultural, the nautical, and the moral and ethical. Each one of them contributes to the Naval Cadet reaching a comprehensive training; and at the end of his five years in the academy he graduates as a bachelor in Naval Maritime Sciences, and receives the dispatch of Ensign and the sword of command, which is generally delivered by the President of the Republic.

Its mission is to train military, professional and physical Cadets and Aspirants, to achieve a high degree of instruction, high morale and physical-mental preparation; in order to perform in the Naval Service efficiently, upon graduating as Peruvian Navy Ensign; as well as instruct, train and form naval awareness in Direct Commission Officer (DCO) to adapt their behavior to the Peruvian Navy Officers’ standard; and others, assigned by the Navy General Director of Education.

The Naval Public Technological Higher Education Institute
The Naval Public Technological Higher Education Institute

Naval Public Technological Higher Education Institute – CITEN

The Naval Public Technological Higher Education Institute – (CITEN, by its acronym in Spanish),[18] after a rigorous selection, receives each year men and women who must become of Units and Departments’ endowments, covering responsibilities related to the specialties chosen by future Non-Commissioned Officer for three years technical professional training, to serve efficiently the Navy of Peru.

Its mission is to train the students militarily, professionally, and physically to achieve a high degree of instruction, high morale and physical-mental preparation, in order for them to perform efficiently in the Naval Service, upon graduation as Marine Officers of the Peruvian Navy; as well as providing training and improvement to personnel at the corresponding levels in accordance with current regulations.

Enlisted Training School of the Peruvian Navy
Enlisted Training School of the Peruvian Navy

Enlisted Training School

The Peruvian Navy, through the Enlisted Training School,[19] offers Peruvian youth an alternative of life, by offering them, in addition to a military training, a Productive Technical Education during their Military Service, with the purpose to insert in the labor market with success.

The Peruvian Naval War College
The Peruvian Naval War College

Naval War College - ESUP

The Naval War College[20] offers postgraduate courses to Naval Officers to complement their training throughout their naval career, in the different academic degrees they achieve.

Its mission is to provide specialization, improvement, and training studies to competent Officers at the postgraduate level, to perform in the naval and maritime field, with quality of excellence and social responsibility committed to national defense and roles of the Peruvian Navy.


Current ships

Ship Origin Type Class In service Notes
Submarines (4 in service, 2 in upgrade)
BAP Angamos (SS-31)  Germany diesel-electric submarine Type 209/1200 Yes ex-BAP Casma.
BAP Antofagasta (SS-32)  Germany diesel-electric submarine Type 209/1200 No Currently being upgraded in SIMA Callao shipyard since January 2020.[21]
BAP Pisagua (SS-33)  Germany diesel-electric submarine Type 209/1200 Yes
BAP Chipana (SS-34)  Germany diesel-electric submarine Type 209/1200 No ex-BAP Blume. Currently being upgraded in SIMA Callao shipyard since December 2017.[21]
BAP Islay (SS-35)  Germany diesel-electric submarine Type 209/1100 Yes Upgraded in 2008
BAP Arica (SS-36)  Germany diesel-electric submarine Type 209/1100 Yes Upgraded in 2008
Guided missile frigates (7 in service)
BAP Villavicencio (FM-52)  Italy guided missile frigate Carvajal-class frigate Yes
BAP Almirante Grau (FM-53)  Peru guided missile frigate Carvajal-class frigate Yes Ordered in 1973. Laid down in SIMA Callao shipyard and commissioned in 1984 as BAP Montero until 2017, when became fleet flagship
BAP Mariátegui (FM-54)  Peru guided missile frigate Carvajal-class frigate Yes Ordered in 1973. Laid down in SIMA Callao shipyard and commissioned in 1987.
BAP Aguirre (FM-55)  Italy guided missile frigate Lupo-class frigate Yes ex-Orsa (F-567), overhauled and upgraded in SIMA Callao shipyard along with BAP Bolognesi. Currently in sea trials.
BAP Palacios (FM-56)  Italy guided missile frigate Lupo-class frigate Yes ex-Lupo (F-564)
BAP Bolognesi (FM-57)  Italy guided missile frigate Lupo-class frigate Yes ex-Perseo (F-566), overhauled and upgraded in SIMA Callao shipyard with locally-made CMS and ESM systems, a Kronos NV 3D radar, MASS countermeasures system and 4 MM40 Block III Exocet missiles replacing Otomat.[22]
BAP Quiñones (FM-58)  Italy guided missile frigate Lupo-class frigate Yes ex-Sagittario (F-565)
Guided missile corvettes (7 in service)
BAP Velarde (CM-21)  France fast attack craft PR-72P-class corvette Yes
BAP Santillana (CM-22)  France fast attack craft PR-72P-class corvette Yes
BAP De los Heros (CM-23)  France fast attack craft PR-72P-class corvette Yes
BAP Herrera (CM-24)  France fast attack craft PR-72P-class corvette Yes
BAP Larrea (CM-25)  France fast attack craft PR-72P-class corvette Yes
BAP Sánchez Carrión (CM-26)  France fast attack craft PR-72P-class corvette Yes
BAP Ferre (CM-27)  South Korea fast attack craft Pohang-class corvette Yes ex-Gyeonjyu (PCC-758). Build in 1985. Transferred from Republic of Korea Navy in July 2016.
BAP Guise (CM-28)  South Korea fast attack craft Pohang-class corvette No ex-Suncheon (PCC-767). Build in 1987. To be transferred from Republic of Korea Navy in July 2021.
Offshore Patrols vessels (7 in service)
BAP Guardiamarina San Martin (PO-201)  Italy Frigate Lupo-class frigate Yes ex-BAP Carvajal (FM-51). Operated by the Peruvian Coast Guard
BAP Rio Pativilca (PM-204)  Peru Offshore Patrol Vessel PGCP-50 offshore patrol vessel Yes Ordered in 2013. Derived design of Taegeuk-class patrol vessel from Republic of Korea Navy. Laid down in SIMA Chimbote shipyard and commissioned on March 18, 2016. Operated by the Peruvian Coast Guard
BAP Rio Cañete (PM-205)  Peru Offshore Patrol Vessel PGCP-50 offshore patrol vessel Yes Ordered in 2013. Derived design of Taegeuk-class patrol vessel from Republic of Korea Navy. Laid down in SIMA Chimbote shipyard and commissioned on March 18, 2016. Operated by the Peruvian Coast Guard
BAP Rio Piura (PM-206)  Peru Offshore Patrol Vessel PGCP-50 offshore patrol vessel Yes Laid down in SIMA Chimbote shipyard and commissioned on May 3, 2017. Operated by the Peruvian Coast Guard
BAP Rio Quilca (PM-207)  Peru Offshore Patrol Vessel PGCP-50 offshore patrol vessel Yes Laid down in SIMA Chimbote shipyard and commissioned on May 3rd 2017. Operated by the Peruvian Coast Guard
BAP Rio Tumbes (PM-208)  Peru Offshore Patrol Vessel PGCP-50 offshore patrol vessel Yes Laid down in SIMA Chimbote shipyard and commissioned on March 17 2021. Operated by the Peruvian Coast Guard
BAP Rio Locumba (PM-209)  Peru Offshore Patrol Vessel PGCP-50 offshore patrol vessel Yes Laid down in SIMA Chimbote shipyard and commissioned on March 17, 2021. Operated by the Peruvian Coast Guard
Amphibious (3 in service, 1 in construction)
BAP Pisco (AMP-156)  Peru Landing Platform, Dock Makassar class Yes Ordered on July 13, 2013; laid down in SIMA Callao shipyard, launched on April 25, 2017; commissioned on June 21, 2018.[23]
BAP Paita (AMP-157)  Peru Landing Platform, Dock Makassar class No Ordered on March 15, 2018; laid down in SIMA Callao shipyard. [24]
BAP Callao (DT-143)  United States Landing Ship, Tank Terrebonne Parish class Yes ex-USS Washoe County. Sunk as target 30.09.2021
BAP Eten (DT-144)  United States Landing Ship, Tank Terrebonne Parish class Yes ex-USS Traverse County
River gunboats vessels (6 in service)
BAP Loreto (CF-11)  United States River gunboat Loreto class Yes
BAP Amazonas (CF-12)  United States River gunboat Loreto class Yes
BAP Marañón (CF-13)  United Kingdom River gunboat Marañón class Yes
BAP Ucayali (CF-14)  United Kingdom River gunboat Marañón class Yes
BAP Clavero (CF-15)  Peru River gunboat Clavero class Yes Laid down in the SIMA Iquitos shipyard. Damaged by an uncontrolled fire in her first operational deployment on May 25, 2010; leaving two crewmen badly injured.[25] Returned to service on July 27, 2012 during the BRACOLPER 2012 exercise.[26]
BAP Castilla (CF-16)  Peru River gunboat Clavero class Yes Laid down on April 9, 2010 in the SIMA Iquitos shipyard, launched on June 8, 2013 and commissioned on March 14, 2016, second and final ship of its class, has some improvements over its sister ship, mainly in armament[27]
Training ships (2 in service)
BAP Unión (BEV-161)  Peru Sail training ship Yes laid down on December 8, 2012 in the SIMA Callao shipyard, commissioned January 27, 2016, with an estimated cost of US$50 million.[28][29]
BAP Marte (ALY-313)  Canada Sailing yacht Yes assigned to the Peruvian Naval School as a training ship
Tugs and support ships (5 in service)
BAP Unanue (AMB-160)  United States Diving support ship Sotoyomo class Yes ex-USS Wateree
BAP San Lorenzo (ART-323)  Germany Torpedo recovery vessel Yes
BAP Morales (RAS-180)  Peru Diving support offshore tugboat Morales class Yes Ordered in 2014, 50 TBP class locally designed tugboat, equipped to support diving, firefighting and rescue operations.[30] Delivered in November 2016
BAP Selendón (ARB-129)  Peru Harbour tugboat 20 TBP class tug Yes Built in SIMA Callao shipyard, ordered in 2011.[31] Delivered in the first quarter of 2012.
BAP Medina (ARB-130)  Peru Harbour tugboat 20 TBP class tug Yes Built in SIMA Callao shipyard, ordered in 2011. Delivered in late 2012.[31]
Tankers and barges (4 in service)
BAP Caloyeras (ACA-111)  United States Water barge YW-83 class Yes ex-US YW-128
BAP Noguera (ACP-118)  United States Fuel barge YO type Yes ex-US YO-221
BAP Gauden (ACP-119)  United States Fuel barge YO type Yes ex-US YO-171
BAP Tacna (ARL-158)  Netherlands Replenishment Ship Amsterdam class Yes ex-HNLMS Amsterdam
Built in 1995, acquired in July 2014 from the Royal Netherlands Navy, commissioned on December 4, 2014 at the Den Helder naval base, Netherlands.[32]
Hospital vessels (10 in service, 1 in construction)
BAP Rio Yavarí  Peru River hospital ship Yavarí PIAS class Yes Built by Sima Iquitos shipyard, commissioned in 2021.
BAP Rio Putumayo II  Peru River hospital ship Napo PIAS class Yes Built in Sima Iquitos shipyard, commissioned in 2016.
BAP Rio Putumayo I  Peru River hospital ship Napo PIAS class Yes Built in Sima Iquitos shipyard, commissioned in 2015.
BAP Morona  Peru River hospital ship Napo PIAS class Yes Built in Sima Iquitos shipyard, commissioned in 2015.
BAP Rio Napo  Peru River hospital ship Napo PIAS class Yes Built in Sima Iquitos shipyard, commissioned in 2013.
BAP Rio Yahuas (ABH-302)  Peru River hospital ship Morona class Yes Ex BAP Morona (ABH-302)
BAP Corrientes (ABH-303)  Peru Small river hospital craft Yes
BAP Curaray (ABH-304)  Peru Small river hospital craft Yes
BAP Pastaza (ABH-305)  Peru Small river hospital craft Yes
BAP Lago Titicaca I  Peru Lake hospital ship Lago Titicaca PIAS class Yes Built by SIMA Peru, commissioned in 2017.
BAP Puno (ABH-306)  United Kingdom Lake hospital ship Yaravi class Yes ex-Yapura
operated by the Peruvian Coast Guard
Scientific research vessels (6 in service)
BAP Carrasco (BOP-171)  Spain Oceanographic research ship NC-704 class Yes 95-m long steel-hulled vessel designed to operate in the Antarctic region as well as in Peruvian waters. Construction contract signed in December 2014 with Freire Shipyard. Keel-laying scheduled for June 22, 2015, to be delivered July 2016.[33] Commissioned in May 2017.[34]
BAP Stiglich (AH-172)  Peru Hydrographic survey ship Morona class Yes
BAP Zimic (COMBSH-173)  Netherlands Hydrographic survey ship Dokkum class Yes ex-HNLMS Abcoude minesweeper. ex-BAP Carrasco, repowered in 2006 with 2 Volvo Penta engines at SIMA Callao, in 2015 received a high power multibeam echosounder.
BAP La Macha (AEH-174)  Peru Hydrographic survey ship Yes
BAP Carrillo (AH-175)  Netherlands Hydrographic survey ship van Straelen class Yes ex-HNLMS van Hamel minesweeper
BAP Melo (AH-176)  Netherlands Hydrographic survey ship van Straelen class Yes ex-HNLMS van der Wel minesweeper. Repowered in 2006 with 2 Volvo Penta engines at SIMA Callao.

Museum Ships

Vessel Origin Type Class Decommissioned Notes
BAP América (RH-90)  United Kingdom River gunboat América class restored at SIMA Iquitos shipyard, on display in Clavero naval station.
BAP Abtao (SS-42)  United States Sierra-type submarine[35] 2 de Mayo class 1998 become a museum ship in 2004

Recently Decommissioned Ships

Vessel Origin Type Class Decommissioned Notes
BAP Bayovar (ATP-154)  Russia Oil tanker Grigoriy Nesterenko type 2017 ex-Petr Schmidt, auctioned on March 21, 2018[36]
BAP Zorritos (ATP-155)  Russia Oil tanker Grigoriy Nesterenko type 2017 ex-Grigoriy Nesterenko, auctioned on March 21, 2018[36]
BAP Almirante Grau (CLM-81)  Netherlands Guided missile cruiser De Zeven Provinciën class 26 September 2017[37] ex-HNLMS De Ruyter (C801)
BAP Guardian Rios (ARA-123)  United States Offshore tugboat Cherokee class 2015 ex-USS Pinto, inactive since 2014, to be scrapped
BAP Dueñas (ARB-126)  United States Harbour tugboat PC-461-class 2015 ex-USS PC-1138, decommissioned in 1956 and sold, then first converted into icebreaker and finally into a tugboat (hull shortened), acquired by the Peruvian Navy in 1984. Inactive since 2014, to be scrapped[38]
BAP Unión (ABE-161)  Peru Transport ship Ilo class December 2014 ex-BAP Mollendo (ATC-131). Decommissioned in late 2014, towed to be scrapped in Ecuador.
BAP Carvajal (FM-51)  Italy Guided missile frigate Carvajal-class frigate 26 December 2013 Transferred to the Coast Guard under the name BAP Guardiamarina San Martin (PO-201) after being stripped down of its missile weaponry and main radar, reclassified as Patrullera Oceánica (Offshore patrol vessel).[39]
BAP Paita (DT-141)  United States Tank landing ship Terrebonne Parish class September 2012 ex-USS Walworth County (LST-1164), sunk as a target during the exercise Independencia
BAP Pisco (DT-142)  United States Landing Ship, Tank Terrebonne Parish class 2012 ex-USS Waldo County (LST-1163), scrapped that year after sold.
BAP Ferré (DM-74)  United Kingdom Guided missile destroyer Daring class 13 July 2007[40] ex-HMS Decoy
BAP Talara (ATP-152)  Peru Replenishment tanker Talara class 12 August 2008[41] capable of underway replenishment at sea from the stern
BAP Lobitos (ATP-153)  Peru Oil tanker Sealift Pacific class 20 July 2008[42] ex-USNS Sealift Caribbean (T-AOT-174)


Name Origin Type Version Used by Notes
Naval artillery
Oto Melara 127/54 Compact Gun  Italy dual-purpose naval gun 127/54 Compact Lupo-class
Oto Melara 76/62 Compact Gun  Italy dual-purpose naval gun 76/62 Compact PR-72P-class
Oto Melara Twin 40 Compact Gun  Italy Close-in weapon system (CIWS) Twin Forty Lupo-class
Anti-ship missiles
MBDA Otomat  Italy Anti-ship missile (AShM) Otomat II Block 3 Lupo-class on December 8, 2008 an updated Otomat missile was successfully launched from BAP Aguirre, hit a target at a range in excess of 150 km (93 mi).[43]
MBDA Exocet  France Anti-ship missile (AShM) MM40 Block 3 Lupo-class four fire control systems and sixteen missiles ordered on December 15, 2010.[44] Scheduled to be installed in the 4 Aguirre class frigates.
MBDA Exocet  France Anti-ship missile (AShM) MM38 PR-72P-class
MBDA Exocet  France Anti-ship missile (AShM) AM39 Block 1 ASH-3D Sea King Land-based. Currently not embarked in any surface unit of the Peruvian Navy
Surface-to-air missile
MBDA Aspide  Italy Surface-to-air missile (SAM) Aspide 1A Lupo-class
9K38 Igla  Russia MANPADS 9K310 Igla-1 PR-72P-class
Peruvian Naval Infantry
used in MGP-86 mount for close air defence
to be replaced with the FN-6 missile system
FN-6  People's Republic of China MANPADS FN-6 Peruvian Naval Infantry a small batch acquired in July 2009 for US$1.1 million[45]
Atlas Elektronik SUT  Germany 533 mm heavyweight torpedo SUT 264 Type 209 submarine
Atlas Elektronik SST  Germany 533 mm heavyweight torpedo SST-4 mod 0 Type 209 submarine
Mark 44 torpedo  United States 324 mm lightweight torpedo Mk 44 mod 1 Lupo-class
Alenia-Whitehead A244/S  Italy 324 mm lightweight torpedo A244/S Lupo-class


See also


  1. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ Luna, Patricio Alvarado. "Luis Enríquez de Guzmán, Conde de Alba de Liste. XVII Virrey del Perú, (1655-1661) | Blog de Patricio Alvarado Luna" (in Spanish). Retrieved 2021-06-17.
  3. ^ "Royal Nautical Academy of Lima".
  4. ^ "Paita", Wikipedia, la enciclopedia libre (in Spanish), 2021-05-28, retrieved 2021-06-17
  5. ^ "Real Felipe Fortress", Wikipedia, 2021-03-11, retrieved 2021-06-17
  6. ^ "Naval History".
  7. ^ "Naval Battle of Pacocha".
  8. ^ "SIMA". (in Spanish). Retrieved 2021-06-17.
  9. ^ "Organization Structure".
  10. ^ "200 miles" (PDF).
  11. ^ "Functions".
  12. ^ "La base de Chimbote", Caretas, 1985.
  13. ^ [1], based on Supreme Decree DS No. 69 DE/SG of 2001. Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ [2] Archived April 27, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ [3] Archived February 21, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ [4] Archived July 13, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ "Peruvian Naval Academy".
  18. ^ "CITEN".
  19. ^ "Enlisted Training School".
  20. ^ "Naval War College".
  21. ^ a b "Peruvian Navy begins Type 209/1200 submarine modernization". Naval Today. Retrieved December 15, 2017.
  22. ^ Fish, Tim (June 29, 2011). "Briefing: South America Naval Capabilities". Jane's Defence Weekly: 289.
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