Salvadoran Army

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Salvadoran Army
Active 1824–present
Country El Salvador
Branch Army
Size 14,165[1]

The Salvadoran Army or Ejército Salvadoreño is the land branch and largest of the Armed Forces of El Salvador. In 2006 the government of El Salvador approached the Israeli ambassador to El Salvador seeking assistance in modernizing its army.[2]


The Football War[edit]

Main article: Football War

The Football War (also called The Soccer War or 100-hours War) was a term coined by Polish reporter Ryszard Kapuściński to describe a brief conflict between El Salvador and neighbouring Honduras. He argued that the war began after the rival nations traded wins during the qualifying round for the 1970 FIFA World Cup. But this event was not the cause of the war. Tensions had been mounting between both nations for several years because of immigration and economic problems, resulting on the war in 1969. The soccer matches incidents just one of several events that happened during that time. Longstanding tensions between the countries were heightened by media reports on both sides, each accusing the other of hooliganism and violence toward their own football fans. On June 26, 1969, El Salvador dissolved all ties with Honduras, the events where used as a call for nationalist pride for both governments and the media.

On July 14 Salvadoran forces began moving rapidly into Honduras following a series of border clashes. Their progress halted after the Organization of American States (OAS) and the United States brought heavy diplomatic pressure to bear on both governments in an effort to effect a cease-fire.

A ceasefire was ultimately negotiated and signed by July 18, with Salvadoran forces withdrawing from Honduras by August 2 following guarantees of safety for Salvadoran citizens in Honduras by the Honduran government.

The Salvadoran Civil War[edit]

Main article: Salvadoran Civil War

Following the 1979 coup d'état, El Salvador split along extremist right-wing and left-wing political ideologies. Unstable governments and growing civil unrest ultimately led to a long, bitterly fought civil war which was not resolved until 1992.

The Iraq War[edit]

Main article: Iraq War

Up to 380 Salvadoran troops, mostly paratroopers, were deployed as part of the Coalition Forces in Iraq between August 2003 and January 2009. They operated alongside the elite Spanish Legion in Najaf and were well regarded by the U.S. Army, U.S. Marines, British Army and their Spanish comrades. The Iraqi insurgents and AQI tended to avoid the Salvadoran force, due to their aggressive patrolling in their area of responsibility. While in Iraq, the Salvadoran contingent suffered 5 dead, and 20 wounded.[3]

Organizational structure[edit]

El Salvador is divided into 6 military zones, each of which has its own infantry brigade:

Furthermore, the army has the following units:

  • 1 Special Military Security Brigade consisting of 2 Military Police and 2 border security battalions,
  • 8 infantry detachments with 2 battalions,
  • 1 Engineer Command with of 2 battalions,
  • 1 artillery brigade with of 2 field artillery and 2 anti-aircraft battalions,
  • 1 mechanized cavalry regiment with 2 battalions, and the
  • Special Forces Command with 1 Special Operations Group, and 1 Anti-Terrorism Command.


Infantry Weapons[edit]

Name Type Quantity Origin Notes
FN P35[4] Handgun  Belgium
Uzi[4] Sub-machine gun  Israel
MP5[4] Sub-machine gun  Germany
HK33[4] Assault rifle  Germany
M4 Assault rifle  United States
M16[4] Assault rifle  United States
IMI Galil[4] Assault rifle  Israel
Galil ACE Assault rifle  Colombia
FN FNC[4] Assault rifle Belgium
M14[4] Battle rifle  United States
Heckler & Koch G3[4] Battle rifle  Germany
M24 Sniper rifle  United States
M79[4] Grenade launcher  United States
M203[5] Grenade launcher  United States
Hawk MM-1[5] Semi-automatic grenade launcher  United States
M60[4] General purpose machine gun  United States
M2HB[4] Heavy machine gun  United States

[4] [5]


Note: Sources are circa 1988, while some equipment listed may no longer be in service.

Utility Vehicles
Model Type Number Dates Manufacturer Details
AIL Storm[7] Light Utility Vehicle 38[1] AIL,  Israel
Jeep CJ[7] Light Utility Vehicle Jeep, USA
M151 MUTT[7] Light Utility Vehicle Various, USA
HMMWV[citation needed] Light Utility Vehicle 20 AM General, USA
Dodge M37[7] Light Utility Vehicle Dodge, USA Mostly converted to Cashuats.[7][8]
M35 truck[7] Medium cargo truck 45 Various, USA
M809 truck[7] Heavy cargo truck AM General, USA
MAN 630 truck[7] Heavy cargo truck MAN SE,  Germany
Armoured Fighting Vehicles
Model Type Number Dates Manufacturer Details
AML 90[9] Armoured Car 3[1] Panhard,  France
UR-416[9] Wheeled APC 4[1] Thyssen-Henschel,  Germany
M3 Scout Car[9] Wheeled APC 5 White Motor Company, USA
Cashuat Wheeled APC 41  El Salvador/USA Based on a Dodge M37. Armor kits and turrets purchased from the United States and applied in El Salvador[8]
M113[9] Tracked APC 20 FMC, USA
M3A1[9] Half-track 5 Various, USA

[7] [8] [9]


Example of a TCM-20 AA-mount at the Israeli Air Force Museum.
Model Caliber Number Dates Manufacturer Details
M19[1] 60mm 306 USA
M29[10] 81mm 151[1] USA
M74[10] 120mm  Yugoslavia Kept in storage.
UB M-52[10] 120mm  Yugoslavia Kept in storage.
Field Artillery
Model Caliber Number Dates Origin Details
M101[10] 105mm 8[1] USA
M102[10] 105mm 24[1] USA
M56[10] 105mm 18[1]  Yugoslavia M101 copy produced in Yugoslavia
105/14 Model 56[11] 105mm 14  Italy Pack Howitzer
M114[10] 155mm 6 USA
Anti-Aircraft Artillery
Model Caliber Number Dates Manufacturer Details
M-55[10] 20mm 31[1]  Yugoslavia Hispano-Suiza HS.804 copy.
M-55 (Self-propelled)[10] 20mm 4  Yugoslavia Truck or half-track mounted M-55.
TCM-20[10] 20mm 4[1]  Israel Twin Hispano-Suiza HS.404s on towed pedestal mount.

[10] [11]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "El Salvador". Military Technology World Defence Almanac (Bonn : Wehr & Wissen): 60. 2005. ISSN 0722-3226. 
  2. ^ Itamar Eichner (March 20, 2006). "El Salvador seeks to copy IDF model". 
  3. ^ "El Salvador withdraws last soldiers from Iraq". USA Today. February 7, 2009. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Latin American Light Weapons National Inventories
  5. ^ a b c World Armies 2008. Jane's Information Group. 
  6. ^ a b "Jane's Land Based Air Defence – El Salvador". 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Jane's Military Vehicles and Logistics – El Salvador". Jane's Information Group. 
  8. ^ a b c "Jane's VAL Light Assault Vehicle Cashuat". Jane's Information Group. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f " > El Salvador > Appendix". 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k " > Index of El Salvador Military Equipment". 
  11. ^ a b "105/14 Model 56 105 mm Pack Howitzer". Forecast International. Retrieved July 27, 2009. 


  • "El Salvador". Military Technology World Defence Almanac (Bonn : Wehr & Wissen): 60. 2005. ISSN 0722-3226. 

External links[edit]