Seal of the Ecuadorian Air Force
|Part of||Military of Ecuador|
Paquisha War 1981|
Cenepa War 1995
Brigadier General Enrique Velasco Dávila,Comandante General de la Fuerza Aérea Ecuatoriana
The Ecuadorian Air Force (Spanish language: Fuerza Aérea Ecuatoriana , FAE) is the Air arm of the Military of Ecuador and responsible for the protection of the Ecuadorian airspace.
To develop the military air wing, in order to execute institutional objectives which guarantee the sovereignty and contribute towards the nation's security and development.
To be a dissuasive Air Force, respected and accepted by society, pioneering within the nation's "air-space" development.
The FAE was officially created on October 27, 1920. However, like in many other countries, military flying activity started before the formal date of birth of the Air Force. The history of Ecuador is marked by many skirmishes with its neighbour Peru. As a direct result of the 1910 Ecuador-Peru crisis the members of Club de Tiro Guayaquil decided to expand their sporting activities into aviation as well. Renamed Club de Tiro y Aviación, they started an aviation school. Cosme Rennella Barbatto, an Italian living in Guayaquil, was one of the very first members of Club de Tiro y Aviación. In 1912 Cosme Rennella was sent to his native Italy for training where he successfully graduated as a pilot. He later returned to Europe a second time in 1915, where he participated in World War I. In 152 combat sorties he scored 18 victories, although only 7 were confirmed. When he returned to Ecuador, his experiences served as motivation for a reduced group of Ecuadorian pilots, who moves to the Aviation School in Turin, Italy, with the objective of graduating as the first Ecuadorian pilots of the nascent Ecuadorian Military Aviation.
By 1939 the Ecuadorian Air Force was still limited to about 30 aircraft and a staff of about 60, including 10 officers. Military aviation did not start in earnest until the early forties when an Ecuadorian mission to the United States resulted in the delivery of an assortment of aircraft for the Aviation school at Salinas. Three Ryan PT-22 Recruits, six Curtiss-Wright CW-22 Falcons, six Fairchild PT-19A Cornells and three North American AT-6A Harvards arrived in March 1942, considerably boosting the capacity of the Escuela de Aviación at Salinas.
The fifties and sixties saw a further necessary build up of the air force, gaining more units and aircraft. Meanwhile, efforts were made in enhancing the facilities at various airbases. In May 1961 the "First Air Zone" with its subordinate unit Ala de Transportes No.11 was founded. The "Second Air Zone" controlled the units in the southern half of Ecuador, Ala de Combate No.21 at Taura, Ala de Rescate No.22' at Guayaquil and Ala de Combate No.23 at Manta as well as the Escuela Superior Militar de Aviación "Cosme Rennella B." (ESMA) at Salinas.
The Ala 11 has its own commercial branch, like in many other South-American countries, the Transporte Aérea Militar Ecuatoriana (TAME). Besides the military transport aircraft, it also uses commercial airliners. Flying to locations off the beaten track, TAME provides an additional service to the people of Ecuador.
The FAE saw action on several occasions. A continuous border dispute with Peru flared up in 1981 and 1995. The FAE managed to down several Peruvian aircraft during the latter conflict. Today the FAE faces the war on drugs as well as many humanitarian and logistic missions into the Amazon-region of the country. Nevertheless, being a middle-income country and supporting a relatively large air force is a burden.
This is the current structure of the Ecuadorian Air Force:
- 21st Combat Wing (Ala de combate 21) - Taura Air Base
- 22nd Combat Wing (Ala de combate 22) - Simon Bolivar Air Base
- 23rd Combat Wing (Ala de combate 23) - Manta Air Base (Eloy Alfaro Air Base)
- 11th Transport Wing (Ala de transporte 11) - Mariscal Sucre Air Base (part of Mariscal Sucre International Airport)
- 1111th Transport Squadron "Hercules" (Esc. de transporte 1111 "Hercules") - operating C-130B/H
- 1112th Transport Squadron "Avro" (Esc. de transporte 1112 "Avro") - operating Hawker Siddeley HS 748 (to be replaced by four Xian MA60)
- 1113th Transport Squadron "Twin Otter" (Esc. de transporte 1113 "Twin Otter") - operating DHC-6 Twin Otter
- 1114th Transport Squadron "Sabreliner" (Esc. de transporte 1114 "Sabreliner") - operating Sabreliner
- Air Force Academy "Cosme Rennella" (Escuela Superior Militar de Aviacion "Cosme Rennella") - Salinas Air Base - operating Cessna A-150L Aerobat, T-34 Mentor
|IAI Kfir||Israel||fighter||Kfir C.2/C.10
Delivered: 18 throughout the years. Lost: 5. Eight Kfirs are upgraded to the C.10 version, referred to in Ecuador as Kfir CE, featuring a helmet mounted display system, armed with Python-3 and -4 IR-homing AAMs. Two were second-hand IDF/AF examples. It is planned to upgrade all Kfir to C.10 standard.
|Atlas Cheetah||South Africa||fighter||Cheetah C
|A contract was signed in December 2010. The contract includes maintenance for five years.|
|Dassault Mirage F1||France||fighter||F.1JA
|Armed with Python 3 air to air missile. To be replaced eventually by the Cheetah C supersonic fighter. Delivered: 18 total: 16 Mirage F-1JA, 2 Mirage F-1EJ. See photos of Mirage from this link.|
|Mirage 50||France||fighter||Mirage 50M||6||Upgraded batch of Mirage IIIEs and 5s to the Mirage 50 standard. All donated cost free by Venezuela. To remain in service until 2012-2013.+4 for spare parts.|
|Cessna A-37 Dragonfly||United States||attack||A-37B||20||To be replaced by Embraer Super Tucano until 2012. Delivered: 41 total: 37 Cessna A-37B, 4 Cessna T-37G.|
|Embraer Super Tucano||Brazil||trainer, light attack, COIN||EMB 314||8
|Delivery: to be finished by 2012, at 2 units per month. An initial order of 24 units was reduced to 18 in May 2010.|
|Beechcraft T-34 Mentor||United States||trainer||T-34C-1||15||Based at the Cosme Renella Aviation School. Delivered: 27 total: 6 T-34B, 21 T-34C.|
|Diamond DA20-C1||Canada||trainer||DA20-C1||12||Deliveries commenced in March 2012|
|Cessna A-150L Aerobat||United States||trainer||A150L||24||Based at the Cosme Renella Aviation School.|
|Cessna T-41 Mescalero||United States||trainer||T-41A
|Based at the Cosme Renella Aviation School.|
|MXP-650||Colombia||trainer||MXP-650||2||Based at the Cosme Renella Aviation School.|
|North American Sabreliner||United States||VIP||Sabreliner 40
|Modified to generate microgravity for the Ecuadorian Civilian Space Agency|
|Embraer Legacy||Brazil||VIP||Legacy 600||1
|Embraer E-jet||Brazil||passenger transport||ERJ-170
|Operated by TAME|
|Airbus A320||France||passenger transport||A320-200||3||Operated by TAME|
|Boeing 727||United States||passenger transport||727-200||2||Operated by TAME|
|Boeing 727||United States||strategic transport||727-100||1||Ex-TAME|
|Lockheed C-130 Hercules||United States||transport||C-130B
|Delivered: 8 total: 4 C-130B, 1 C-130-30, 3 C-130H. All may not be operational since sources vary.|
|Avro 748||United Kingdom||transport||HS.748||2||Delivered: 5 from Brazil. Operational: 2, others used as spares. To be replaced by 4 MA60|
|de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter||Canada||transport||DHC-6-300||3||STOL aircraft. Delivered: 6 total.|
|IAI Arava||Israel||transport||IAI-201||2||STOL aircraft.|
|HAL Dhruv||India||Utility helicopter||7||First Handover in February 2009, one lost during accident replaced with a new one. More orders planned. See Photos of Dhruv from this link.|
|Bell UH-1 Iroquois||United States||utility helicopter||23||Some may not be operational. Delivered: 24 total.|
|Bell TH-57 Sea Ranger||United States||training helicopter||TH-57 Sea Ranger||9||Initially 13 were ordered in 1990. Lost: one on May 12, 2008, three in earlier incidents.|
|Bell 212||United States||utility helicopter||Bell 212||3||2 bought in 1977, 1 in 1980.|
|Eurocopter AS555 Fennec||France||utility helicopter||AS-555AN||4|
|Eurocopter AS350 Ecureuil||France||utility helicopter||AS350
|Aérospatiale Alouette III||France||utility helicopter||SA 319B||2||Both were still operational in 2007. Delivered: 11 total to the FAE.|
- Denel Dynamics V-4 R-Darter-BVR South Africa
- MBDA R550 Magic-II AAMs France
- IAI Python MK-IV AAMs Israel
- IAI Python MK-III AAMs Israel
- IAI Shafrir MK-II AAMs Israel
- BLU-107 Durandal France
Types previously operated include
- Boeing 707United States
- CASA CN-235 Spain
- Curtiss-Wright CW-22 FalconUnited States
- Fairchild PT-19 CornellUnited States
- Ryan PT-22 RecruitUnited States
- SEPECAT Jaguar, Delivered: 15 total: 2 Jaguar-B, 10 Jaguar-S intl., 3 Jaguar-GR.1; 7-9 in storage United Kingdom France
- BAC Strikemaster, Delivered: 24-26 total: 2 BAC-167 MK-83, 2 BAC-167 MK-87, 8 BAC-167 MK-89, 8 BAC-167 MK-89A, 12 BAC-167 MK-90; 8-10 in storge United Kingdom
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Air force of Ecuador.|
- Franks, Norman; Guest, Russell; Alegi, Gregory. (1997) Above the War Fronts: The British Two-seater Bomber Pilot and Observer Aces, the British Two-seater Fighter Observer Aces, and the Belgian, Italian, Austro-Hungarian and Russian Fighter Aces, 1914–1918: Volume 4 of Fighting Airmen of WWI Series: Volume 4 of Air Aces of WWI. Oxford: Grub Street. pp. 155-156.
- Schnitzler, R.; Feuchter, G.W.; Schulz, R., eds (1939) (in German). Handbuch der Luftwaffe [Aviation Manual] (3rd ed.). Munich and Berlin: J. F. Lehmanns Verlag. pp. 64.
- Eric Katerberg & Anno Gravemaker, Force Report: Ecuador Air Force, Air Forces Monthly, July 2008 issue.
- Ecuadorian military aviation OrBat
- "Cheetahs and Mirage 50s for Ecuador". 2010-12-15. http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/Cheetahs-and-Mirage-50s-for-Ecudaor-05832/. Retrieved 2010-12-15.
- Diamond Aircraft (6 March 2012). "Ecuador Air Force accepts delivery of Diamond DA20 fleet". http://www.diamondaircraft.com/news/news-article.php?id=133. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
- HAL to hand over first export Dhruvs
- Images of Ecuadorian Dhruv's
- Cockpit images of EAF Dhruv
- HAL plans treat for Aero India
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