Military Wiki
Seal of the Ecuadorian Air Force.gif
Seal of the Ecuadorian Air Force
Active 1920
Country  Ecuador
Branch Air Force
Size 7,258
~80 aircraft
Part of Military of Ecuador
Engagements Paquisha War 1981
Cenepa War 1995

Brigadier General Enrique Velasco Dávila,

Comandante General de la Fuerza Aérea Ecuatoriana
Ecuadorian Air Force roundel.svg

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.[citation needed] 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.[1] 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.[2] 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.[3][4] 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:[5]

  • 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

Aircraft inventory

C-130 Hercules


Boeing 727-100

Twin Otter


Aircraft Origin Type Versions In service[7] Notes
IAI Kfir  Israel fighter Kfir C.2/C.10
Kfir TC.2

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.[8]

Atlas Cheetah  South Africa fighter Cheetah C
Cheetah D
A contract was signed in December 2010. The contract includes maintenance for five years.[9]
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.[10]
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.[11]
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.[12]
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.[13]
Diamond DA20-C1  Canada trainer DA20-C1 12 Deliveries commenced in March 2012[14]
Cessna A-150L Aerobat United States trainer A150L 24 Based at the Cosme Renella Aviation School.[15]
Cessna T-41 Mescalero United States trainer T-41A
Based at the Cosme Renella Aviation School.[13]
MXP-650  Colombia trainer MXP-650 2[16] Based at the Cosme Renella Aviation School.[13]
North American Sabreliner United States VIP Sabreliner 40
Sabreliner 60
Modified to generate microgravity for the Ecuadorian Civilian Space Agency
Embraer Legacy  Brazil VIP Legacy 600 1
Presidential aircraft.
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.[13] To be replaced by 4 MA60[17]
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,[18][19][20] one lost during accident replaced with a new one. More orders planned.[21] See Photos of Dhruv from this link.[22]
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.[23]
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
AS350 B6
Aérospatiale Alouette III  France utility helicopter SA 319B 2 Both were still operational in 2007. Delivered: 11 total to the FAE.[13]


Types previously operated include

See also

External links


  1. 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.
  2. 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. 
  5. Eric Katerberg & Anno Gravemaker, Force Report: Ecuador Air Force, Air Forces Monthly, July 2008 issue.
  7. Ecuadorian military aviation OrBat
  9. "Cheetahs and Mirage 50s for Ecuador". 2010-12-15. Retrieved 2010-12-15. 
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4
  14. Diamond Aircraft (6 March 2012). "Ecuador Air Force accepts delivery of Diamond DA20 fleet". Retrieved 6 March 2012. 
  18. HAL to hand over first export Dhruvs
  19. Images of Ecuadorian Dhruv's
  20. Cockpit images of EAF Dhruv
  21. HAL plans treat for Aero India

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