Servicio de Aviación de Prefectura Naval Argentina

of the Argentine Coast Guard

Key Facts

Short Name:
Nickname: unknown
Main Role: Patrol/SAR
Secondary Role: Transport
First Formed: 1947
Parent Unit: Coast Guard HQ
Current Status: Active


The Aviation Service of the Prefectura General Maritima dates back to December 1946, when a group of pilots completed the naval aviator course, flying the Boeing N2S Kaydet and North American SNJ Texan of the Argentine navy. The name was changed to Prefectura Nacional Marítima (PNM) on 7.12.1950 and the aviation unit became Division Aviación on 7.9.1951 with three Grumman JRF-6B Goose for fishery control operating from Aeroparque Jorge Newbery. From 4.1.1956 the PNM was part of the Ministerio de Marina. In 1957 the service bought four new Nord 1203 Norécrin and its first helicopter, a Sikorsky S-51 Dragonfly, and moved to Don Torcuato AP in the Buenos Aires region. During 1962 the unit was renamed Servicio de Aviación and on 10.10.1969 the Prefectura Nacional Marítima became Prefectura Naval Argentina (PNA). During the 1970s the service received five Short SC-7 Skyvan and six Hughes 369HS.

During the Falklands War five Skyvan and three Puma were assigned to Grupo de Tareas 80.1 and Fuerza de Tareas 50 to conduct search and rescue, transport and reconnaissance duties at BAN Río Grande, EAN Río Gallegos and Stanley/EAN Malvinas with one Skyvan and one Puma assigned to each station. Two Pumas (PA-11, PA-12) arrived at BAN Río Grande on 12.4.1982, while one Skyvan (PA-50) followed on 15.4.1982. Puma (PA-12) flew to Stanley/EAN Malvinas on 16.4.1982, while another Skyvan (PA-54) came to BAN Río Grande on 17.4.1982 only to deploy to Stanley/EAN Malvinas on 20.4.1982. On 24.4.1982 the third operations base was formed at EAN Río Gallegos with one Skyvan (PA-51) and one Puma (PA-11) from BAN Río Grande.

On 30.4.1982 another Skyvan (PA-50) flew to Stanley/EAN Malvinas and was based at Pebble Island/EAN Calderón the same day while on 1.5.1982 one Puma (PA-13) came to BAN Río Grande. Skyvan (PA-54) was damaged by naval shelling during the last hours of 3.5.1982 at Stanley/EAN Malvinas as was Puma (PA-12) on 9.5.1982, which was later captured by British forces and is now operated by the RAF. On 11.5.1982 one Skyvan (PA-52) was detached to BAN Río Grande. During a raid of SAS on Pebble Island on 15.5.1982 Skyvan (PA-50) was destroyed. Puma (PA-11) returned to Puerto Nuevo/BA Oficial Principal Balestra on 20.6.1982 as did Puma (PA-13) on 23.6.1982. The Skyvan (PA-51, PA-52) returned to Aeroparque Jorge Newbery/Buenos Aires on 26.6.1982.

On 19.10.1983 the PNA became subordinated to the Ministerio de Defensa, from 24.6.1996 to the Ministerio del Interior and from 11.6.2002 to the Ministerio de Justicia, Seguridad y Derechos Humanos.

The assigned aircraft and helicopters are used in maritime and river surveillance, search and rescue operations, medical evacuations, control of illegal activities within the Argentine Economic Exclusive Zone and fisheries control in jurisdictional waters.

The Servicio de Aviación de Prefectura Naval Argentina is today organised into one fixed wing squadron, one helicopter squadron and one training center.


Type Qty Service Example Serials
Grumman JRF-6B Goose 6 1947 – 1963 PGM-1-PGM-6
Cessna T-50 Bobcat 1 1957 – 1957 no
Nord 1203 Norécrin 4 1957 – 1963 LQ-FDI,LQ-FDP,LQ-FDU,LQ-FED
de Havilland DH.104 Dove 2 1958 – 1969 11,12

Unit Markings

Figure 1
To be added

Main Bases

Base Duration
Aeroparque Jorge Newbery/Buenos Aires 1947 – 1957
Aeródromo Don Torcuato/Buenos Aires 1957 – 1996
Base Aérea San Fernando/Buenos Aires 1996 – Present


None currently available.

More Information


  • World Air Forces Directory 2009/2010 (Ian Carroll)

Other Sources

To be added.

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