Ecuadorian Air Force

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Ecuadorian Air Force
Seal of the Ecuadorian Air Force.gif
Seal of the Ecuadorian Air Force
Active 1920
Country  Ecuador
Branch Air Force
Size 6,389[1]
~80 aircraft
Part of Military of Ecuador
Engagements Paquisha War 1981
Cenepa War 1995

Brigadier General Raúl Banderas Dueñas,

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

The Ecuadorian Air Force (Spanish: 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 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.[2] 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.[3] 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 buildup 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.[4][5] 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:[6]

  • 23 Combat Wing (Ala de combate 23) - Manta Air Base (Eloy Alfaro Air Base)

Aircraft inventory[edit]

Aircraft Origin Type Versions In service[8] Notes Photo
IAI Kfir  Israel fighter Kfir C.2/C.10
Kfir TC.2
Kfir CE a.JPG
Atlas Cheetah  South Africa fighter Cheetah C
Cheetah D
A contract was signed in December 2010. The contract includes maintenance for five years.[9] SAAF-Cheetah E-001.jpg
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.[10] Cessna A-37B Dragonfly, Private JP7075848.jpg
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.[11] Super-Tucano Ecuador.jpg
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.[12] T-34Cfae.JPG
Diamond DA20-C1  Canada trainer DA20-C1 12 Deliveries commenced in March 2012[13]
Cessna A-150L Aerobat  United States trainer A150L 24 Based at the Cosme Renella Aviation School.[14]
Cessna T-41 Mescalero  United States trainer T-41A
Based at the Cosme Renella Aviation School.[12]
MXP-650  Colombia trainer MXP-650 2[15] Based at the Cosme Renella Aviation School.[12]
North American Sabreliner  United States VIP Sabreliner 40
Sabreliner 60
Modified to generate microgravity for the Ecuadorian Civilian Space Agency Sabrelinerfae.jpg
Embraer Legacy  Brazil VIP Legacy 600 1
Presidential aircraft.
Dassault  France VIP Dassault Falcon 7X 1
A Falcon 7X was purchased by the Ecuadorian Air Force (FAE) to aid in long distance travel to the presidential aircraft, an Embraer Legacy 600. Its identification number is FAE 052. The aircraft was delivered November 4, 2013 and had its first official trip November 25, 2013.
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 Boeingfae.JPG
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. LockheedC-130fae.JPG
Avro 748  United Kingdom transport HS.748 2 Delivered: 5 from Brazil. Operational: 2, others used as spares.[12] To be replaced by 4 MA60[16] Ecuador - Air Force British Aerospace BAe-748 Srs267; HC-AUK@UIO;23.06.2008 515bw (7209357484).jpg
de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter  Canada transport DHC-6-300 3 STOL aircraft. Delivered: 6 total. DHC-6fae.JPG
IAI Arava  Israel transport IAI-201 2 STOL aircraft.
HAL Dhruv  India Utility helicopter 3 First Handover in February 2009,[17][18][19] Two lost during accident and one replacement purchased by Ecuador.[20] See Photos of Dhruv from this link.[21] Helicopter Aero India 2009.JPG

4 lost in crashes [22]

Bell UH-1 Iroquois  United States utility helicopter 23 Some may not be operational. Delivered: 24 total. JGSDF UH-1H(front) (recortada).jpg
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] Bellth57.jpg
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.[12] Alouette (2).jpg
UAV-2 Hawk  Ecuador Observation UAV Indigenously-developed unmanned aerial vehicle, under $500,000 unit cost.[24] UAV Gavilan1.jpg


Types previously operated include[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ A Comparative Atlas Of Defence In Latin America / 2014 Edition
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ Schnitzler, R.; Feuchter, G.W.; Schulz, R., eds. (1939). Handbuch der Luftwaffe [Aviation Manual] (in German) (3rd ed.). Munich and Berlin: J. F. Lehmanns Verlag. p. 64. 
  4. ^ "Peru vs. Ecuador; Alto-Cenepa War, 1995". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  5. ^ "Ecuador Air Force". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  6. ^ Eric Katerberg & Anno Gravemaker, Force Report: Ecuador Air Force, Air Forces Monthly, July 2008 issue.
  7. ^
  8. ^ "OrBat Ecuador - MilAvia Military Aviation Publications". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  9. ^ "Cheetahs and Mirage 50s for Ecuador". 2010-12-15. Retrieved 2010-12-15. 
  10. ^ "Cheetahs and Mirage 50s for Ecuador". Defense Industry Daily. 20 June 2012. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  11. ^ "Noticias de última hora sobre la actualidad del sector de Defensa en España y Latino América: Defensa, Empresas, Tierra, Armada, Aire, Espacio, Seguridad, Mundo, UAVs,". 24 December 2014. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  12. ^ a b c d e
  13. ^ Diamond Aircraft (6 March 2012). "Ecuador Air Force accepts delivery of Diamond DA20 fleet". Retrieved 6 March 2012. 
  14. ^ "Ecuadorian Air Force". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  15. ^ "Ecuadorian Air Force". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  16. ^
  17. ^ Ajai Shukla (9 February 2009). "HAL to hand over first export Dhruvs". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  18. ^ Broadsword. "Broadsword: Aero India 2009: HAL to hand over five Dhruvs to Ecuador". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  19. ^ Shiv Aroor. "LIVEFIST: LiveFist Photos: Inside the ALH Dhruv for Ecuador". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  20. ^ Ajai Shukla (4 February 2011). "HAL plans treat for Aero India". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^ Ecuador; Air Force receives indigenously developed UAV -, 16 January 2014
  25. ^