Show Report: SITDEF Peru 18-21 May 2023

Show Report: SITDEF Peru 18-21 May 2023


By Dan Shea

Entering the SITDEF event, is through a long display course of tanks, firearms, cannon, and rescue equipment.
Twin 1919A4 Browning machine guns mounted on a Peruvian National Police armored vehicle.

This was the ninth version of the International Exhibition of Technology for the Defense and Prevention of Disasters, including cybersecurity and drone technology. There were 27 countries represented at the show, 170 Peruvian and international exhibitors, and 30,000 Peruvian and international visitors. In short, SITDEF is a mature defense show, heavily attended, and prominent in the region.

SITDEF attracts many small arms manufacturers from outside Peru, but SITDEF is so much more. Vehicle manufactures, an entire section on arial drones, as well as a full cybersecurity conference are in the main building. In the entry building, rescue and fire services are featured. Visitors are sure to appreciate a show like this where the local military puts out displays of what is in use, as well as what has been in use.

The FAL rifle is very popular in South American militaries, and Dave Selvagio of DSArms in the United States is a long-time exhibitor at SITDEF, with a solid history of sales success. The DSA FAL variants are updated, manufactured in the U.S., and are highly respected.
DSArms’ “Micro FAL” with 8.25-inch barrel, a specially tuned gas system, matched with a Vortex Strikefire 3x optic and a Swedish Aimsport suppressor.
DSArms’ SA58 LSW is for military only. It is like an upgraded FALO with 18-inch barrel, special treatments and special outer dimensions, and has a special chamber treatment for a reason. It’s a very reliable rifle. DSArm’s special muzzle brake, an Accutac bipod, and the DSW 4x BRO optic with inverted V-notch which has bullet drop compensation and is illuminated, to finish the system. []


On 17 December 1996 in Lima, Peru, 14 members of the Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement took hundreds of high-level diplomats, government and military officials, and business executives as hostages at the ambassador’s residence in San Isidro. These people were attending a party at the official residence of the Japanese ambassador to Peru, Morihisa Aoki, in celebration of Emperor Akihito’s 63rd birthday. The crisis lasted until 22 April 1997. Túpac Amaru held 72 hostages that entire time. Called the MRTA, this was not the “Shining Path” rebel group but MRTA was also Marxist/communist and wanted to tear down the government. On 22 April 1997, after long preparation, tunneling, smuggling microphones in, and secretly instructing the hostages what to do to keep them away from the commandos who were coming to rescue them, the rescue began. It was fast, incredibly well executed, and all 14 of the Túpac Amaru members died in the assault.

During each of the editions of SITDEF, the heroes of the operation are remembered, usually featuring the actual diorama of the ambassador’s residence used to plan the assault, and many of the weapons of the dead guerillas are on display. This year, the display was somewhat toned down, but the event was commemorated with pride by the commando forces involved and attendees alike.

This brings us to a very interesting collaboration: the American company DS Arms joining with Carlos Tello Aliaga, Rear Admiral AP (ret.) for the elite DS Arms Training Academy, a firearms training center. He entered the Naval Academy in 1978 and retired from the Navy in 2013, always involved in the fight against terrorism. He was responsible for all planning on the explosive charges for the UEC Special Combat Unit, that allowed the entry of the commandos.

The DS Arms Training academy is near Lima Cienega. It is 16,000 square meters, with a 250 meter rifle range that can reach out to 650 meters, a 70-meter carbine range,  three 50-meter pistol ranges, a shoot house, and a high angle shooting tower. This is one of the best firearms training academies in South America.

The GSh-23 twin machine gun is a Russian made twin barrel machine gun in 23x115mm, that uses the Gast system – essentially when one bolt recoils, it closes the other, producing a very high rate of fire, 3200-3600 rounds per minute. It is generally used in an aircraft pod; in this case on a Peruvian Army helicopter.
The GSh-23 twin machine gun as used in an aircraft pod; in this case on a Peruvian Army helicopter.
Aero Precision from the U.S. was with Valko, their in-country rep in Peru. Featured on the light tripod is the SOLUS Competition Rifle. It features a 22-inch barrel with 1:8 twist, honed & lapped, in 6.5 Creedmoor. SOLUS comes from the factory accurized out of the box and has 5/8-24 TPI muzzle threads for a suppressor.
Aero Precision’s M5 series rifle in 7.62x51mm has ambidextrous controls. Its M5 series is a selective fire variant and is in the running for the 10,000 rifle initial order and total 80,000 requirement being bid for the Peruvian Army. It uses the Magpul 20-round magazine. []
Among the historical treasures on display from various units were and HK23E 5.56x45mm belt fed machine gun with ammo box, and an HK33A2 5.56x45mm select fire rifle with the underbarrel HK79 40x46mm grenade launcher.
Among the historical treasures on display from various units, an HK53 5.56x45mm submachine gun with flashlight forend.
IWI’s booth was generally packed with military and civilians alike. The displays of handguns and rifles available to public buyers was one draw, but the military optics, machine guns and in particular the new rifles drew the military crowd.
In particular, the ARAD 7.62x51mm rifle with Mepro M21 optic received much of the attention, partly due to the partnership with Peruvian arms manufacturer FAME.
Young Peruvian soldier with the IWI Negev SF light machine gun, the shorty version. 5.56x45mm, an extremely reliable belt fed, with 13-inch barrel. What the young man doesn’t know, is that right behind him a top general of the Peruvian Army and representatives of the Ministry of Defence are talking with Ronen Hamudot of IWI.
“RIB” boat- rigid inflatable, Model H753 OB with 200KB Mercury engine, and 40x53mm automatic grenade launcher.
A closer look at the RIB-mounted 40x53mm automatic grenade launcher.

Disenos Casanave International S.A.C. is a Peruvian company that is making a new M2HB mount, as well as a wide variety of munitions.

M134D “minigun” made by Dillon Aero, on the side of the Russian made helicopter the Peruvian Army uses.
The EOD group had an impressive display of mines and grenades. Note the box grenades (shoebox type, wood).
The EOD group had an impressive display of mines and grenades. Note the improvised explosive device using an F1-type fused grenade.


Family Day at SITDEF

Some exhibitors tend to dread the “family day” if they’re not prepared. In the case of Peru, there is a tremendous public support for the men and women who wear the uniform, as well as a massive interest in the weapons and equipment. The tanks outside are popular picture spots, as are the various Special Forces and Marines who appear to really enjoy talking with the children and family members. There are lots of outdoor events in an arena atmosphere, like firefighter contests, demonstrations of rappelling, helicopter insertions and the crowds love this. The children have an amazing time, meeting the (to them) larger than life men and women in uniform, there is a lot of public education going on. As far as exhibitors, most clean up anything in their booths that is not child friendly, and either shut down for the day or enjoy some interaction with the families.


Next event: May 2025 (Exact dates TBD)

Location Cuartel General del Ejercito
Lima, Peru
Recommended: Entrance Number 4


Telephone (+511) 578-1800

Focus Defense technologies (land, sea, and air) and natural disaster prevention, and cybersecurity.

Show Dress Most attendees are in uniform. Business attire recommended.

Weather In Lima, May weather averages a high of 72°F and low of 63°F. Rain is unlikely.

Hotel Hints Miraflores is a safe area of Lima about 20 minutes away from the exhibition. Go to for user reviews and ratings on hotels.

Power & Plug Types Power: 220 V / 60 Hz. Plugs: Type A and C (North American/Japanese 2-blade plug and European 2-pin plug).

Country Warnings Check visa and vaccination requirements before your trip. There is much debate as to whether the tap water is drinkable in Lima. Violent crime and theft are common, so be alert.

Cultural Hints Primary language: Spanish. Restaurants usually have smoking and non-smoking sections, so remember to ask for your preference. Lunch and dinner are eaten later, after 1:30pm and 8:30pm, respectively. Women dress modestly in Peru, showing a lot of skin will cause some to stare.

Cuisine Along with local cuisine, Chinese, Japanese, and Italian are popular in Lima. One much-loved subset of this is chifa, which is Chinese food made with local Peruvian ingredients. Coastal cuisine has lots of fresh seafood. Mountain areas have many unique specialties, among them cuy (guinea pig) and alpaca. Some recommended Lima restaurants: Jose Antonio (San Isidro, Peruvian), Wa Lok (Miraflores, chifa), and Bodega de la Trattoria (Miraflores, Italian).

Tipping Most restaurants add 10% gratuity, but it is customary to leave more if you receive good service. Taxi Drivers: do not tip. Hotel Porters: 2 to 3 soles per bag. Tour Guides: 15 to 30 soles per day. Housekeeping: 9 to 15 soles per day.

Currency Official Currency: Peruvian Nuevo Sol (PEN), but many places also accept U.S. Dollars.

Getting Around If possible, do not hail taxis. Arrange with your hotel for an airport pick-up and then obtain a reliable taxi dispatch phone number. Negotiate the price for your taxi fare prior to initiating the trip.

Tourism Lima Vision ( is a safe, reliable and inexpensive tour company for the Lima area. Some of the most popular Lima sights include Museo Larco, Inglesia de San Francisco, Miraflores and the Larcomar shopping center, and the ancient ruins of Pachacamac. Most tourists who visit Peru bypass Lima for the Nazca Lines and Machu Picchu, but these side trips will take several extra days, so be sure to research thoroughly before booking your trip.