Uruguay Air Force
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Uruguay
Air Force

 

 

Current Title: Fuerza Aérea Uruguaya
Title in English: Uruguay Air Force
Abbreviation: FAU

History

Narrative Summary:
Military aviation started at Los Cerrillos/Montevideo when the Escuela Militar de Aviación (EMA) was formed on 17.3.1913 with one Framan and one Bleriot XI aircraft. Due to lack of funds the school ceased to exist in July 1913 and was only reactivated on 20.11.1916 at the Paso de Mendoza zone of Montevideo. In 1920 a French military mission arrived in country and brought some training aircraft with them. During the next years the Air Force received some additional aircraft and in 1924 the first operational unit, an Escuadrilla de Caza, was formed.

 

In 1935 a mayor reorganisation took place, the Air Force became Aeronáutica Militar (A.M.) and the Base Aeronáutica No.1 and Base Aeronáutica No.2 were formed. In 1940, the Uruguayan Government placed base facilities at the disposal of the United States and consequently became eligible for Lend-Lease military aid. During the next years the AM received small quantities of transport and training aircraft. In 1947 a United States air mission arrived in country and the AM was reorganised and the first transport and combat unit were established. After the delivery of 15 North American B-25J Mitchell and 25 North American F-51D Mustang in 1950 a bomber and fighter group were formed. In 1951 a national airline PLUNA (Primeras Líneas Uruguayas de Navegación Aérea) was formed under military control.

 

The AM was renamed Fuerza Aérea Uruguaya (FAU) on 4.12.1953 and became an independent service. 1955 saw the arrival of the first jet fighter aircraft, the Lockheed AT-33A, in the inventory of the FAU. On 11.10.1960 three commands (Comando Aéro-Tactico, Comando Aéreo de Entrenamiento and Comando Aéreo de Material) were formed to operate all units of the FAU.

 

By 1961 PLUNA had become an autonomous civil airline and a new military airline TAMU (Transportes Aéreos Militares Uruguayos) was formed in 1970 and aircraft of all Grupos de Aviación (Transporte) shared its equipment to operate a number of routes within the country and later to Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. The aircraft carried both FAU serials and civil registrations.

 

The Bases Aeronáuticas were reformed in the 1965 as brigades (Brigada Aérea). In the 1970s the Lockheed F-80C were replaced by the Cessna A-37B. During the next years the FAU received small quantities of COIN, transport, traning and liaison aircraft and also some helicopters.

 

A mayor reorganisation took place on 27.4.1994, when all Regimientos Tácticos and Grupos de Aviación became Escuadrones Aéreos. On 14.7.1994 all air bases (Aeródromos Militares) were renamed as Bases Aéreas.


Today the Air Operations Command (Comando Aéreo de Operaciones) is divided into three Brigada Aéreas, each consisting of one to four squadrons (Escuadrón Aéreo).

 

Key Dates:
17 March 1913   Escuela Militar de Aviación (EMA) was formed.
20 November 1916   Escuela Militar de Aviación (EMA) was reformed.
15 January 1924   The first operational unit, an Escuadrilla de Caza, was formed.
31 December 1935    The Aeronáutica Militar (A.M.) and the Base Aeronáutica No.1 and Base Aeronáutica No.2 were formed.
1951   PLUNA (Primeras Líneas Uruguayas de Navegación Aérea) was formed .
4 December 1953   Fuerza Aérea Uruguaya (FAU) was established.
11 October 1960   Three commands (Comando Aéro-Tactico, Comando Aéreo de Entrenamiento and Comando Aéreo de Material) were formed.
9 July 1965   The Bases Aeronáuticas were reformed as brigades (Brigada Aérea).
17 August 1970   TAMU (Transportes Aéreos Militares Uruguayos) was established.
27 April 1994   All Regimientos Tácticos and Grupos de Aviación became Escuadrones Aéreos.
14 July 1994   All air bases (Aeródromos Militares) were renamed as Bases Aéreas.
 

Current Status:
The aircraft of the Air Force are fully operational.

Future Plans:
No information available.

Markings

National Insignia:
Current --- Historical

 

 

Aircraft Serial Numbering System(s):
From the early 1930s until the late 1940s the aircraft serials began with number 1 and were used in chronological order as aircraft arrive in the Air Force.

From 1935 prefixes for unit identification were used, e.g. E, B1, B2 and S for the EMA, the Bases Aeronáuticas 1 and 2 and the División Servicios ( D.T.A.G.y S. )

From 11.9.1941 another system of  prefixes for unit identification were used, e.g. E, B1, B2 and S for the EMA, the Bases Aeronáuticas 1 and 2 and the División Servicios ( D.T.A.G.y S. ), with three digits allocated within the following blocks:

001 to 099 helicopters

100 to 199 bomber and crew trainers

200 to 299 fighters and advanced trainers

300 to 399 basic and advanced trainers

400 to 499 (reserved)

500 to 599 transports

600 to 699 primary trainers

700 to 799 communcations

800 to 899 miscellaneous types

 

Unit/Base Aircraft Code System(s):
None.

Back to Top
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:
Comando General de la Fuerza Aérea, Base Aérea Cap. Boiso Lanza, Avenida Don Pedro de Mendoza 5553, Montevideo

Current Organisational Structure:
The Air Operations Command (Comando Aéreo de Operaciones) is divided into three Brigada Aéreas, each consisting of one to four squadrons (Escuadrón Aéreo).

Current Order of Battle:
Table of Current Order of Battle

 

 

Historical Orders of Battle:

Historical Order of Battle (as at 1927)

Historical Order of Battle (as at 1937)

Historical Order of Battle (as at 1941)

Historical Order of Battle (as at 1947)

Historical Order of Battle (as at 1957)

Historical Order of Battle (as at 1967)

Historical Order of Battle (as at 1977)

Historical Order of Battle (as at 1987)

Historical Order of Battle (as at 1997)


 

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

Escuela de Vuelo Avanzado

Servicio de Comunicaciones y Electrónica

 

 

Air Bases

Current Air Bases:
The Uruguay Air Force currently operates four mayor airbases.

Military Air Bases Listing

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

More Information

Books:

 

Armed Forces of Latin America (Adrian English)

Latin-American Military Aviation (John Andrade)

Latin American Air Wars and Aircraft 1912-1969 (Dan Hagedorn)

Aircraft of the Chaco War 1928-1935 (Dan Hagedorn / Antonio L. Sapienza)

Air Arsenal North America (Phil Butler)

 

Magazines:

 

World Air Power Journal No.31 p. 154-157

Websites:

Fuerza Aérea Uruguaya (official hompage)

Fuerza Aérea Uruguaya

Scramble: Uruguay Air Arms

Memorias del Tiempo del Vuelo

 

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First Created: 25 September 2007 - Last Revised:  25 September 2007
Copyright © 2007 Erich Klaus.    e-mail: erich.klaus@a1.net