Argentina Air Force
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Argentina
Air Force

 

 

Current Title: Fuerza Aérea Argentina
Title in English: Argentina Air Force
Abbreviation: FAA

History

Narrative Summary:
Military aviation started on 10.8.1912, when the Escuela Militar de Aviación was formed with some Blériot XI and Henri Farman at Base Aérea Militar El Palomar. During the next year the school received additional aircraft from France. The Dirección del Servicio Aeronáutico del Ejército was formed on 21.3.1919. During the same year an Italian mission arrived in country bringing some aircraft to Argentina, such as five Ansaldo fighters, four Caproni Ca.33 bombers and two SAML Aviatik. France sent an air mission to Argentina, too and brought also some aircraft, three SPAD S.VII/XIII, six Caudron G-3 and two Nieuport 28C-1 Bebé, The Dirección del Servicio Aeronáutico del Ejército became Servicio Aeronáutico del Ejército on 23.2.1920. The Escuela Militar de Aviación was disbanded on 23.1.1922, when Grupo 1 de Aviación was formed as operational unit. The school was however reformed on 26.1.1925 with ten Avro 504K and some Bristol F.2B,  while Grupo 3 de Observación was formed on 22.12.1925 at BAM Paraná with Bristol F.2B and Bréguet XIX.

In 1927 Grupo 1 de Aviación became Grupo 1 de Observación with three subordinated Escuadrillas, the Fábrica Militar de Aviones (FMA) was established on 10.10.1927 and the service became Dirección General de Aeronáutica on 4.5.1927. During the 1930s Argentina started to built their own aircraft at the FMA or licence-built aircraft such as Avro 504 Gosport from the UK or Focke-Wulf Fw-44J from Germany. From 1932 Argentina bought Junkers aircraft from Germany and from 1936 Curtiss Hawk from the United States. In 1936 a reorganisation of the service took place and the División Aérea 1 was formed on 14.7.1936 as higher headquarter of Regimiento Aéreo 1, Regimiento Aéreo 2, Regimiento Aéreo 3 de Bombardeo Liviano and Grupo 1 de Observación while the Dirección General del Material Aeronáutico was the second subunit of the Ministerio de Guerra.

During World War Two Argentina was the only country in Latin America not to receive aircraft from the United Stated through the Lend-Lease-Program, because Argentina remained neutral. Because of this situation the capacities of the FMA were extended and 199 FMA I.Ae. 22 DL were built from 1944 and 101 FMA I.Aé. 24 Calquin from 1946. Comando de Fuerza Aérea Argentina (FAA) was formed on 4.1.1945 and the Air Force became an independent service. After the Second World War the FAA received some training and transport aircraft from the United States, such as Beech AT-11B Kansan or Douglas C-47A Skytrain, but bought many more aircraft from the United Kingdom, such as Bristol 170 Frighter or Vickers Viking transport aircraft, Avro Lincoln BMk.II bomber, Gloster Meteor F4 fighter and Percival Prentice training aircraft. From 1947 the service also received additional aircraft from Italy, Fiat G.55A/B Centauro figher and Fiat G.46-2 training aircraft.

A reorganisation took place on 15.3.1949, when the brigade system was introduced in the Fuerza Aérea Argentina and the I Brigada with Regimiento 1 de Transporte Aéreo at BAM El Palomar and Regimento 2 de Transporte Aéreo at BAM Morón, II Brigada with Grupo 1 de Observación at BAM José de Urquiza, III Brigada with Grupo 2 de Observación at BAM Reconquista, IV Brigada with Regimiento 2 de Caza and Regimiento 3 de Ataque at BAM El Plumerillo, V Brigada with Regimiento 1 de Bombardeo at BAM Pringles and VI Brigada with Regimento 4 de Caza Interceptora and Regimento 6 de Caza Interceptora at BAM Tandil were formed. This system was only operational until 9.1.1951, when the FAA was reorganised again and the Brigadas became Brigadas Aéreas, while the regimentos became grupos as shown below.

I Brigada Aérea with Grupo 1 de Transporte Aéreo and Grupo 1 de Entrenamiento at BAM El Palomar, II Brigada Aérea with Grupo 1 de Observación at BAM José de Urquiza, III Brigada Aérea with Grupo 2 de Observación at BAM Reconquista, IV Brigada Aérea with Grupo 1 de Caza and Grupo 1 de Ataque at BAM El Plumerillo, V Brigada Aérea with Grupo 1 de Bombardeo at BAM Pringles, VI Brigada Aérea with Grupo 2 de Caza Interceptora and Grupo 3 de Caza Interceptora at BAM Tandil and VII Brigada Aérea with Grupo 2 de Transporte Aéreo at BAM Morón.

In September 1951 units of Fuerza Aeronaval N° 1 at BAN Punta Indio, Escuadrilla Aeronaval de Ataque with North American AT-6 Texan and Escuadrilla Aeronaval de Bombardeo with Beech AT-11 Kansan, participated in a rebellion against President Juan Perón. This uprise was however easily suppressed by troops loyal to the regime. Twelve Gloster Meteor of Escuadrón I / Grupo 2 de Caza Interceptora were deployed to the airport of Ezeiza, to prevent attacks on Buenos Aires. Later they were joint by a similar number of aircraft from Escuadrón II. Some Avro Lincoln of Grupo 1 de Bombardeo were also based at Ezeiza until December 1951 and they made the only bomb attack, at BAN Punta Indio, of government forces during the rebellion. This composite unit was called "Comando de Represión". The single largest unit to join the rebel forces were 24 Fiat G.55A/B of Grupo 1 de Caza, which were flown to BAN Punta Indio, to be refuelled and armed to attack government positions. But all pilots were detained after landing.

The Navy started another rebellion in June 1955. On June 16 Navy airplanes bombed the Plaza de Mayo, wounding or killing several hundreds of civilians. The rebel Naval aircraft consisted of about 12 armed North American AT-6As, a single Consolidated PBY-5A, two Douglas C-47s and a Beech AT-11, which had been concentrated at the BAN Ezeiza. Four Gloster Meteor from BAM Morón were sent to intercept these aircraft and Gloster Meteor I-063 managed to shot down North American AT-6A (352/3-A-23) over the Río de la Plata, while Gloster Meteor I-052 attacked the rebel base at BAN Ezeiza. BAM Morón was captured by rebel forces and two Gloster Meteor (I-031,I-094) were flown to Montevideo, Uruguay. Three Gloster Meteor (I-058,I-064,I-098) made another attack on Plaza de Mayo and Casa de Gobierno and fled to Uruguay, too or made a forced landing after exhausting the fuel, as I-064 did. BAM Morón was recaptured by goverment forces only some hours later and the revolt was put down. All aircraft were repatriated in June. The victory of the loyal forces was short-lived, however, and, during the following months, the political crisis in the nation deepened.

In September 1955 there was another military uprising that ended the second presidential term of Juan Perón in Argentina, on September 16, 1955, the Revolución Libertadora. Argentine Navy ships blocked the Río Santiago and four Gloster Meteor from loyal forces at BAM Morón started to attack the ships such as the ARA "La Rioja" (T-4) and ARA "Cervantes" (T-1) and hit them with their guns. Later they attacked Base Naval Río Santiago, which was in rebel hands. Loyal units of the FAA also attacked BAN Com. Espora, which was also a rebel stronghold. The rebel forces seized six Glostern Meteor, which were at FMA at Córdoba for maintenance. They were used to attack loyal troops on the ground. On September 19, 1955 the rebels lost a Gloster Meteor (I-079), because the aircraft had been refueld with the wrong gasoline.

During the 1950s the FAA received Argentine built FMA I.Ae. 35 Huanquero and new training aircraft, the Beech B-45 (T-34A) Mentor. During the 1960s the air force received large quantities of aircraft and helicopters such as North American T-28A Trojan, FMA MS.760 Paris, FMA I.A. 50 Guarani II, McDonnell Douglas A-4B Skyhawk and from 1969 the currently operated FMA I.A. 58 Pucará and Hughes 500 (369HE/HM). Comando Aéreo de Combate, which was formed on 5.3.1956, merged with Comando General de Defensa Antiaérea on 15.12.1966 and became Comando de Operaciones Aéreas. New fighter aircraft such as Dassault Mirage IIID/E or fighter-attack aircraft such as IAI Dagger A/B and McDonnell Douglas A-4C Skyhawk were bought during the 1970s.

Falklands War (2.4.1982 to 14.6.1982)

After the Falklands War the FAA was reequipped with new aircraft, such as Dassault Mirage 5P from Peru or Dassault Mirage IIIB/C from France, because of heavy losses during the war. From 1987 the air force received new training aircraft, the Embraer EMB-312 Tucano from Brazil. During the 1990s the service got only new fighter-attack aircraft, the McDonnell Douglas A-4AR Fightinghawk. Another reorganisation took place on 1.1.2011, when Comando Aéreo de Adiestramiento y Alistamiento (CAAA), Dirección General de Educación and Dirección General de Material were formed.

Today the Fuerza Aérea Argentina is divided into eight Brigada Aereas (Air Brigade). Each brigade consists of one Wing (Grupo) with one to three Squadrons (Escuadrons).

 

Key Dates:
10 August 1912   The Escuela Militar de Aviación was formed with some Blériot XI and Henri Farman at Base Aérea Militar El Palomar.
21 March 1919   The Dirección del Servicio Aeronáutico del Ejército was formed.
23 February 1920   The Servicio Aeronáutico del Ejército was established.
10 October 1927   The Fábrica Militar de Aviones (FMA) was established.
14 July 1936   División Aérea 1 was formed.
4 January 1945   Comando de Fuerza Aérea Argentina (FAA) was formed.
15 March 1949   The brigade system was introduced in the Fuerza Aérea Argentina.
9 January 1951   The FAA was reorganised again and the Brigadas became Brigadas Aéreas, while the regimentos became grupos.
16 June 1955   Navy airplanes bombed the Plaza de Mayo.
16 September 1955   Revolución Libertadora
15 December 1966   Comando de Operaciones Aéreas was formed.
2.April.1982 to 14.June.1982   Falklands War
1 January 2011   Comando Aéreo de Adiestramiento y Alistamiento (CAAA) was formed.
 

Current Status:
Units of the Air Force are fully operational.

Future Plans:
No information available.

Markings

National Insignia:
Current --- Historical


Aircraft Serial Numbering System(s):
Unprefixed block allocations were introduced in 1932, while role prefixes were added at a later date with three digits serials; e.g. C-901

 

A - Ataque - attack

B - Bombardeo - bomber

BS - Búsqueda y Salvamento - search and rescue

C - Caza - Fighter

E - Escuela - trainer

Ea - Escuela avanzada - advanced trainer

F - Fotográfico - photographic

H - Helicóptero - helicopter

I - Intercepción - interception

O - Observación - observation

P - Polar - Antarctic use

S - Sanitario - ambulance

T - Transporte - transport

TA - Transporte Antártico - Antarctic transport

TC - Transporte de Carga - freight transport

TS - Transporte Sanitario - medical transport

 

Unit/Base Aircraft Code System(s):
Coding system not used.

Aircraft

Aircraft Designation System(s):
None.

Current Aircraft Inventory:
Table of Current Service Aircraft

All-Time Aircraft Used List:
Alphabetical Order --- Chronological Order

Organisation

Main Headquarters:
Edificio Libertador, Calle Azopardo 250, Buenos Aires

Current Organisational Structure:
The Fuerza Aérea Argentina is divided into eight Brigada Aereas (Air Brigade). Each brigade consists of one Wing (Grupo) with one to three Squadrons (Escuadrons).

Current Order of Battle:
Table of Current Order of Battle

 

 

Historical Orders of Battle:

Historical Order of Battle (1912-1922)

Historical Order of Battle (as at 1922)

Historical Order of Battle (as at 1928)

Historical Order of Battle (as at 1934)

Historical Order of Battle (as at 1936)

Historical Order of Battle (as at 1940)

Historical Order of Battle (as at 1944)

Historical Order of Battle (as at 1945)

Historical Order of Battle (as at 1949)

Historical Order of Battle (as at 1951)

Historical Order of Battle (as at 1962)

Historical Order of Battle (as at 1968)

Historical Order of Battle (as at 1973)

Historical Order of Battle (as at 1978)

Historical Order of Battle (as at 1982) (Falklands War)

Historical Order of Battle (as at 1987)

Historical Order of Battle (as at 1997)

Historical Order of Battle (as at 2007)

Historical Order of Battle (as at 2010)


 

All-Time Flying Units List: (only units, which are not included in the Orders of Battle)

Agrupación Transporte 1

Agrupación Transporte 2

Centro de Producción Chamical

Centro de Tiro y Bombardeo Chamical

Correo Aéreo Militar al Exterior (CAME)

Destacamento Aeronáutico Teniente Matienzo

Grupo de Helicópteros

Grupo de Tareas Antárticas (GTA)

Industrias Aeronáuticas y Mecánicas del Estado (IAME)

Air Bases

Current Air Bases:
The Argentina Air Force currently operates fourteen mayor airbases and a number of secondary airfields and smaller bases.

Military Air Bases Listing

All-Time Air Bases Used List:
Military Air Bases Listing

More Information

 

Books:

 

El Accionar de la Fuerza Aérea en Malvinas (Historia de la Fuerza Aérea Argentina, Tomo VI, Vol. I&II)
 

'Magazines:

 

World Air Power Journal No.31 p. 132-143

Websites:

Fuerza Aérea Argentina (official homepage)

Scramble: Argentina Air Arms

El sitio de la aviación militar Argentina

ORBAT de la Fuerza Aérea Argentina

Insignias de la Fuerza Aérea Argentina

Rincón del Coleccionista Fuerzas Aéreas

Crónicas y testimonios (Fábrica Militar de Aviones)

Asociación Tripulantes de Transporte Aéreo

Ayer Noticia, Hoy Historia

Historias de Aviones

Historias Individuales

Mis fotos de Aviones

Historias del Conflicto de Malvinas

argentinaoob.com.ar 1939-1945

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First Created: 15 December 2009 - Last Revised:  15 December 2009
Copyright © 2009 Erich Klaus.    e-mail: erich.klaus@a1.net