Technological Development in the Peruvian Army: A Strategic Perspective for Institutional Transformation

This article was initially published in the Security and Land Power Journal
Vol 2, N°3, July – September, 2023, pp. 37-51


The Army of Peru (EP) is undergoing a transformation process guided by the Institutional Transformation Plan (PTI), which established clear strategic objectives to reverse its problematic situation and achieve the desired future. This research proposes technological development as a form of action that contributes to the efforts made in this matter. To this end, a bibliographic review of legal norms is carried out in which a developing phenomenon is observed and described without altering its methods. Hence, the analysis in the light of the National Policy for the Modernization of Public Management (PNMGP), to measure the social impact it generates, concluding that to cover the logistic gaps, technological advances in science must be taken advantage of with a holistic and long-term vision.

Keywords: Technological Development, Institutional Transformation Plan, Communications and Renewable Energies, Public Management.


In his book ¡Basta de historias![1] Andrés de Oppenheimer points out that technological development is the key to understanding the difference between Asian countries and Latin American nations. This process allowed the Asians, who in the 1980s had a lower Gross Domestic Product (GDP) than Latin American countries, to make a dizzying leap and enjoy today a strong economy and an important political position in the world. While Latinos focus on their history, Asians work for the future. Peru bases its economy on mining, through the extraction of gold, copper, silver, zinc, among others; also, on the exploitation of fossil fuels such as natural gas. Although it is ironic, as in the times of guano and saltpeter, the country does not produce manufactured goods, but only provides raw materials that are then transformed and returned to our territory in products such as cell phones, automobiles, computers, fabrics, wool, among others. EP is no stranger to this trend. Since the failure of the military industry, it has only opted to make purchases, in accordance with the law, causing for many years a cultural paradigm that this institution “cannot produce”.

In fulfilling its roles and tasks in different geographical scenarios, the EP has suffered a considerable decrease in its logistical capacity. This is reflected in the limited operational capacity. Thus, there are military units that lack equipment and supplies. Commercial dependence and logistical attrition made the recovery of operational capacity a difficult goal to achieve. However, a process of institutional transformation has begun to reverse this deficiency, through two paths, one of them being technological development.

In this research it is possible to visualize, through a qualitative approach, different factors that have given rise to a phenomenon worthy of imitation: a process of technological development in communications and renewable energies that is encouraging for the oldest and most important guardian institution in Peru to continue the path indicated in the Strategic Plan for National Development (PEDN) to 2050.

Strategic Roles

The EP, the institution in charge of protecting the homeland, experienced a continuous attrition that affected its operational capacity in terms of logistical skills. This was caused by the fulfillment of its main mission, such as the defense of the borders in the Cordillera del Condor Operations in 1981 or those developed in the Alto Cenepa in 1995; the fight against terrorism to restore peace and democracy; the support to the population in the earthquakes of Yungay in 1970 or that of Pisco in 2007. Likewise, the actions undertaken in the north of Peru, in 2017, during the Niño Costero phenomenon; the care of the population during the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2023; the social conflicts in the south and the natural disasters on the north coast caused by cyclone Yaku. These events have been the support of the governments in office since they generated the right conditions to boost the economic and social development that Peru has experienced in recent decades.

The change in the approach to security and defense at the global level began with the promulgation of the Declaration of the Special Conference on Security by the Organization of American States (OAS),[2] held in Mexico City in October 2003. It formalized the concepts of traditional threats, non-traditional threats, challenges, and concerns with a multidimensional approach focused on people’s security. Taking this current and adding the actions carried out by the EP, described above, the Ministry of Defense (MINDEF) issued Ministerial Resolution No. 1411-2016, by which it approved and enacted the strategic roles for the Armed Forces (FF. AA.) These group different tasks and activities involving the employment of these forces in the defense of sovereignty and territorial integrity; support to the National Police of Peru (PNP) to restore internal order due to social or other conflicts; support to national development; support to the risk and disaster management system; and support to foreign policy. It is important to mention that the main recipient of the services resulting from the fulfillment of these roles is the population.

Aware of the need to efficiently fulfill its constitutional tasks, the EP assumes responsibility by fostering a transformation process through the ITP, approved in 2019, revised in 2022, oriented, in the medium term, to the year 2034, and, in the long term, to 2050.

Institutional Transformation Plan (ITP)

According to Vera (2019),[3] the EP initiated a process of institutional transformation that goes beyond simple reengineering. The objective was to become a “Multimission Army” capable of reaching a level of persuasion at the regional level and fulfilling strategic roles at the national level. In this process, the Army Planning Directorate (DIPLANE)[4] conducted an institutional analysis and determined that one of its gaps is the lack of equipment in different areas, such as vehicles, armament, ammunition, radio communications, command and control systems, artillery systems and surveillance and reconnaissance systems, among others.

In summary, the gap faced by the EP, diagnosed in the ITP, consists of the lack of equipment, infrastructure and other logistical capabilities that negatively affect its operational capacity. This factor is fundamental to achieve the objective of being a “Multimission Army” and fulfill the tasks derived from the strategic roles, which have a positive impact on the population at the national level.

Technological Development

To close these logistical gaps and recover its operational capacity, the EP proposes two paths. The first revolves around the National Supply System (SNA), which employs the norms stipulated in the National Public Investment System Law (Law No. 27293) and the State Contracting Law (Law No. 30225). However, a problem arises here: the available budget is insufficient compared to the needs. For this reason, as a second way to reverse this deficiency, it is proposed to implement science and technology projects. One of its strategic objectives is to “Strengthen Research, Development and Innovation in the Army”[5] with the aim of creating products that are beneficial to the institution and improve logistical capacity.

When analyzing the process of technological development in Peru, the National Council for Science, Technology and Technological Innovation (CONCYTEC), the highest authority of the Peruvian Government in science and technology, defines technological development as “the process of the application of research results or any other type of knowledge for the elaboration of new prototypes, methods, processes or new systems, substantially improved, at different levels of technological maturity before the beginning of their production or commercial use”.[6] Hence, it adopts the Technology Maturity Levels (TRL) methodology to determine the state or evolution of a technology and the readiness it requires to be available to the industry. According to this entity, it is the best way to create articulated synergy between academia and industry; that is, to go from the idea of a project to turn it into a product or service that satisfies a need.

To better understand this mandatory methodology, there is a table showing the technological maturity levels presented below.

Table 1: Summary of the TRL Scale developed for engineering or manufacturing.

Maturity level Title Definition
TRL 1 Reported basic principles of the proposed new technology Development of basic research
TRL 2 Conceptual formulation of the proposed technology Development of applied research.
TRL 3 Experimental development or proof of technology concept (proof of concept) – Technology validation in the laboratory environment Proof of concept, first experimental tests, feasibility.
TRL 4 Technology validation in the laboratory environment – Low-fidelity testing Development of a prototype with basic components.
TRL 5 Technology validation in the laboratory environment – High-fidelity testing Development of a prototype with integrated components, in a simulated environment.
TRL 6 Demonstration of prototype operation in a close-to-real environment Prototype testing in controlled operational environments.
TRL 7 Prototype performance demonstration in an operational environment Prototype testing in real operational conditions.
TRL 8 Finalized technology validated and certified Prototype operation permissions
TRL 9 Technology in the process of implementation or commercialization (venture) Production protocols established and process initiated.

Source: Dtva 001-2022-CONCYTEC

According to Table 1, out of the nine levels established for technological development, the first seven correspond to the research and development process; on the other hand, the last two belong to innovation, where the technology validated in the previous phase is produced and commercialized.

Once this normative, scientific, and legal framework is understood, it is necessary to mention that the PE, to achieve Strategic Objective 7 of the ITP and generate products of interest or need to recover its operational capacity, adopted the TRL (Spanish acronym) methodology.[7] For this purpose, the institution has a Research, Development, and Innovation System (SIDIE), responsible for the research phase (TRL 1 to TRL 7), and an Army Logistics System (SILE), responsible for innovation, production, or industrialization (TRL 8 and TRL 9).

The SIDIE is headed by the Army Science and Technology Directorate (DICITECE), responsible for the strategic planning of the system; the Army Technological Research Center (CICTE); the research groups and sections of the specialized logistics units as research centers; and the Army Science and Technology Institute (ICTE) as the academy. For its part, the logistics system is headed by the Army Logistics Command (COLOGE), supported by the logistics battalions, specialized units where technological development is complemented, to end up producing and distributing finished products or services.

It is relevant to understand that the EP, being a State Institution, does not have as its purpose, in the final phase or TRL 9 level of the Technological Maturity Methodology, the commercialization of the technology generated. Rather, its objective is to distribute it to the units or units that make up the institution to close the logistical gap.

BCAM 511: A Success Story in the Army’s Technological Development

The Supply and Maintenance Communications Battalion No. 511, known by the acronym BCAM 511, is a specialized battalion-level unit that performs logistical and research functions, as well as development and innovation actions in the lines of study of military communications systems and renewable energies. Its tasks include specialized supply and maintenance. It was created in 1940 as the General Depot of Transmission Material. Later, with the appearance of the Transmissions Arm in 1959, it became part of this Unit. With the change of name in 1979, it was elevated to battalion level, assigning it functions and the name it currently bears. Organizationally, it depends on the Communications Service and the Army Logistics Command and is therefore part of the SILE. Furthermore, in accordance with the Operating Directive of the Army Research and Development System, it is part of the SIDIE because it has a research and development group within its organization, its installed capacity, certified human resources, and a long history of projects conducted.

Research and Development (R&D)

In recent years, this specialized unit has been focused on researching and developing practical solutions that favor the operational force in the topics of military communications and renewable energies. Due to its natural specialty and its required capabilities. As a result, it has generated the following solutions for the EP.

Table 2: R&D projects in radio communications systems.


Problem Proposal Project Name
01 Power supply problem for UHF radio equipment during operations.

High costs of commercial alkaline batteries for UHF radio equipment.

Excessive weight in the combatant’s load when carrying commercial batteries for the radio equipment.

To make a portable battery bank that provides 12 volts and 5 volts simultaneously and meets IP 67 and military standards.  

Power Bank

02 Lack of batteries for UHF radio equipment since the company no longer produces them. Manufacture batteries with a charge indicator to facilitate their use Alternative batteries for UHF equipment
03 The Army has radio equipment of different makes, models, and frequency bands, making interoperability between them impossible. Lead times of more than 12 months. Generate physical solutions to integrate the equipment Physical integration cable for radio equipment
04 Lack of batteries for radio equipment in all military units nationwide.

Deficit in the budget ceiling to close this gap.

High acquisition costs from suppliers.

Delivery times of more than 12 months.

Produce batteries for all radio equipment available to the Army at low costs. Alternative batteries for UHF, VHF and HF radio equipment
05 Lack of chargers for lithium batteries, high level of demand or need of the operating force.

High cost of originals from suppliers.

Lead times in excess of 12 months.

Produce low-cost chargers for lithium batteries used in radio equipment. Alternative lithium battery chargers
06 Radio equipment stored for several years, due to failures in their screens, which makes programming and operation impossible.

High cost of original spare parts.

Delivery time of more than 12 months.

Find the electronic problem and look for technological solutions that adapt to the need. Electronic modification of alternative screens
07 Need to replace all UHF, VHF and HF radio equipment due to technological obsolescence.

Need for interoperable equipment.

High costs of this equipment due to their military standards.

Availability of radio equipment that adapts to the geographical and climate conditions of the country.

Initiate a technological development process for UHF, VHF and HF radio equipment. UHF radio prototype

Source: Prepared by the authors based on the information collected in BCAM 511.[8]

According to the table above, the research and development projects conducted by this Unit are focused on satisfying the logistical needs of the operational force in radio communications. This is due to factors such as the high costs of acquiring factory spare parts and the long delivery time of original spare parts from their countries of origin. In short, the main cause of this logistical factor is the EP’s technological and commercial dependence on radio communications systems.

BCAM 511 has been installing photovoltaic systems in the 6th Jungle Brigade for some years now and has been performing maintenance at the highest levels of the process. This demonstrates its capacity and knowledge in renewable energies. Based on this, as well as on radio communications systems, the Unit focused on researching and developing solutions in this area to close the gap of lack of electrical energy in the command posts of the most remote units of the territory. These units use diesel-powered electric generators, which generates two negative situations: the constant lack of energy for communications systems and pollution caused by fossil fuels.

In addition to these negative situations, there is another one, which is the reduction in the generation of economic funds, in the form of directly collected resources. This implies that the EP must reorient and prioritize its current expenses, including electricity consumption, a basic service for its operation as an institution. In this sense, the following table shows the renewable energy projects carried out by the Unit.

Table 3: Renewable energy research and development project.

Problem Proposal Project
01 Lack of electric power. Develop renewable energy prototypes that are easy to install, operate and maintain for use in military units. Eolic generator for military and civilian use
02 Excess expenditure in the use of diesel. Mixed Eolic generator with photovoltaic and wind systems
03 Environmental pollution due to the use of fossil fuels. Mini hydroelectric generator with helicoidal screw
04 Excessive expenditure in the payment of basic services for electricity consumption at the national level.

Source: Actualidad Militar Magazine.[9]

As per the information provided, this Unit developed three renewable energy prototypes in its facilities through research and teamwork. This shows its capacity to generate projects that benefit both EP and society, as long as current legal regulations are complied with.

INNOVATION (I). Of the research and development projects conducted by this specialized unit, the following products have been brought to the innovation stage (production and distribution):

Table 4: Innovation products implemented by BCAM 511.

Product Remarks
01 Power bank Unique product
02 Alternative chargers for lithium batteries Unique product
03 Alternative lithium batteries for UHF equipment Unique product
04 Alternative lithium batteries for VHF and HF equipment Unique product

Source: Army Communications Service.

According to the table, the Unit completed the TRL cycle by taking three products through the innovation phase. This process is regulated by the State, by CONCYTEC and the Ministry of Production (PRODUCE). In PE, this process is carried out by the Research System, through DICITECE, and the Logistics System, through COLOGE. Thus, it becomes the first logistics unit to recover these capabilities lost with the disappearance of the military industry in past decades.

Consequently, the EP has the capacity to conduct research, development, and innovation to close its gaps and, within the current legal framework, increase its possibilities to support national development.

Consistency with Institutional Policies

The technological development process initiated in the PE is aligned with the ITP and collaborates with it not only in achieving the strategic objectives, but also in closing the logistical gap that reduces operational capacity. Likewise, the ITP is in accordance with Legislative Decree No. 1137, “Peruvian Army Law”, and Supreme Decree No. 005-EP, Regulation of the Law. It is worth mentioning that, according to the functions integrated to the EP in the legal norms, these are also linked to the strategic roles of the Armed Forces, stipulated in Ministerial Resolution No. 1411-2016-MINDEF.

Likewise, oriented to the PEDN, the technological development process within the PTI harmonizes with the achievement of the national objectives sought to be reached by 2050. These include having a country with better opportunities and reducing environmental pollution.

Finally, as part of the policy alignment framework, technological development goes hand in hand with the 2030,[10] sustainable development goals set by the United Nations (UN), which seeks a world with better opportunities and a protected environment.

Public Value Chain

According to the PNMGP (2030), the State budgets allocated to public entities are intended to help close the social gaps affecting the population. In the case of EP, as mentioned above, it is the population nationwide that benefits from the services provided by this institution:

1. In the event of a conventional war that requires the protection of national sovereignty, the population benefits from political and economic stability to carry out its activities.

2. In cases of natural disasters, the EP helps in the removal of debris, search, and rescue of the injured. These actions are conducted within the SINAGERD as first response elements.[11]

3. The support provided to the Peruvian National Police (PNP) for the control of internal order, due to social or other conflicts. This allows society to have peace of mind to study, work, develop business, among others.

4. Accompanying other sectors of the State in humanitarian aid actions or in the military by building roads, schools, or medical posts.

Therefore, the social impact of the State’s investment in EP to continue technological development will guarantee safeguarding lives in situations of conflict, natural disasters, or pandemics. Or, better yet, to optimize people’s quality of life.

The following is a sample of the social impact generated by increasing the public value of the technological development process in EP.

Figure 1: Public Value Chain and Social Impact of PE.

Source: Prepared by the authors based on an understanding of the PNDMGP.[12]

Figure 1 clearly shows how the PDT within EP has a social impact on the institution, on the structure of the State and on the population. This process is aligned with the PNMDGP.


Technological development can be viewed from a holistic and long-term perspective. The EP has the responsibility to close the logistical gaps that affect the performance of its operational force and its organs and means of support, which diminishes its capacity and performance in the fulfillment of strategic roles, ultimately affecting the country’s population. In addition, it has the capacity to develop its own technology to close these gaps and increase its capacity in an efficient manner. To this end, it has a legal framework in place and competent human resources, but it needs to improve its infrastructure and equipment to optimize this process, by increasing its own financial resources or through agreements with other state institutions. Likewise, the EP could use new capacities to support other State institutions in their role to promote national development through the promotion of renewable energies. It is important to highlight that the transformation process initiated by EP, in 2019, within the framework of public management and with the results obtained in technological development in the public value chain, is beginning to generate an initial and intermediate social impact that is expected to improve over time.


  1. Andrés Oppenheimer, “¡Basta de histórias! La obsesión Latinoamericana con el pasado y las doce claves del futuro” (Colombia: Vintage Español, 2010).
  2. Organization of American States, “Acerca de la Comisión de Seguridad Hemisférica del Consejo Permanente” (OAS. Last modification 2021),
  3. Paúl Vera Delzo, “Ejército del Perú: Transformación Institucional y Desarrollo de Capacidades.” (National Defense Review 34, no. 2, 2019), 1-18,
  4. DIPLANE, “Plan de Transformación Institucional versión inicial” (2019).
  5. Strategic Objective 7, Institutional Transformation Plan
  6. CONCYTEC, “Definición de Desarrollo Tecnológico” (National Council of Science, Technology and Technological Innovation, 2023),
  7. CONCYTEC, “Uso de la metodología Nivel de Madurez tecnológica (TRL).” Directiva N° 001-2022-CONCYTEC-P. Technology Development.
  8. Army Science and Technology Directorate, “Adoptado por la Dirección de Ciencia y Tecnología del Ejército, para todo el sistema de I+D+i institucional”.
  9. Actualidad Militar Magazine, edition 586-2022
  10. Sustainable Development Goals, “La Asamblea General adopta la Agenda 2030 para el Desarrollo Sostenible” (Centro de Noticias de la ONU, 2015),
  11. Risks and Disasters Management System “Desarrollo de capacidades militares en el Ejército del Perú” (Revista Científica de la Escuela Superior de Guerra del Ejército),
  12. National Policy for the Modernization of Public Administration to the 2030, approved by Supreme Decree No 103-2022-PCM from March 13, 2023.


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The ideas contained in this analysis are the sole responsibility of the author, without necessarily reflecting the thoughts of the CEEEP or the Peruvian Army.

Image: CEEEP