|Ecuadorian Air Force|
|Fuerza Aérea Ecuatoriana|
|Founded||27 October 1920|
|Part of||Armed Forces of Ecuador|
|Headquarters||Ministry of National Defence|
|Comandante General||Brigadier General Geovanny Espinel|
|Utility helicopter||Bell 206, AW119, Eurocopter EC145|
|Trainer||EMB 314 Super Tucano, Grob G 120TP, Diamond DA20 Katana, Cessna T-41 Mescalero|
|Transport||C-130, Boeing 737, Boeing 727, Embraer Legacy 600, Falcon 7X, Gulfstream II, CASA C-295, DHC-6 Twin Otter, Super King Air, Piper PA-34|
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. Cosme Rennella Barbatto, an Italian living in Guayaquil, was one of the 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 moved 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 1950s and 1960s 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. 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:
|Atlas Cheetah||South Africa||fighter||Cheetah C||9||upgraded variant of the Dassault Mirage III|
|Boeing 737||United States||VIP transport||1|
|Boeing 727||United States||transport / VIP||1|
|C-130 Hercules||United States||transport||C-130E/H||3|
|CASA C-295||Spain||transport / SAR||3|
|Piper PA-34||United States||utility||1|
|Gulfstream II||United States||VIP transport||1|
|DHC-6 Twin Otter||Canada||utility / transport||3||STOL capable aircraft|
|Super King Air||United States||utility||350||1|
|Leonardo AW119||Italy||utility||Mk II||4|
|Eurocopter EC145||Germany||utility||3||3 on order|
|Bell 206||United States||rotocraft trainer||4|
|Grob G 120TP||Germany||Trainer||6||2 on order|
|EMB 314 Super Tucano||Brazil||Advanced trainer||17|
|Diamond DA20 Katana||Austria||Trainer||20|
|UAV-2 Hawk||Ecuador||Surveillance||Indigenously-developed program|
Previous notable aircraft flown included the Republic P-47, PBY Catalina, BAC Strikemaster, English Electric Canberra, Hawker Siddeley HS 748, SEPECAT Jaguar, Lockheed T-33, T-28 Trojan, H-13 Sioux, and the HAL Dhruv helicopter
|Mobile surface-to-air missile system|
|9K33 Osa||Soviet Union||amphibious SAM system||2||obtained from Ukraine|
|M167 VADS||United States||SPAAG||28|