Aviación Naval Uruguaya 

Uruguayan Naval Air Arm

14 October 2003


Formed in february 1926, Uruguay's Naval Air Arm is one of the least known in the world. It also is one of the smallest. The Aviación Naval Uruguaya is concentrated at a single base, Base Aerea "Capitan Curbelo" at Laguna del Sauce, just outside of the town of Punta del Este. The base is in effect the military side of the airport of Uruguay's second major town.

The Aviación Naval Uruguaya's aircraft are tasked with patrolling the country's coastal waters. There is some measure of cooperation with neighbouring Argentina which in the past supplied some of the service's equipment. There are two major flying units, subdivided in four smaller units.

Below some examples of most of the aircraft types in use. 

Thanks go to the Uruguayan authorities as well as to Graham Dinsdale and Garreth le Sueur for making this visit possible.


All pictures (c) Hans Rolink. 


271 is one of only two Beech T-34C Turbo Mentors in service with the Uruguayan Naval Air Arm. The other being 272. 270 sadly crashed in 1982. 

Of course, the main task of the T-34C is the training of Uruguayan naval pilots.

Operating unit of the T-34C's is Escuela de Aviacíon Naval, part of Grupo de Escuela which constitutes the training part of the service. 


The Grumman S-2G Tracker also featured in Uruguay's navy for recce and anti submarine work. The history of the S-2 in Uruguayan service began in 1965 when three S-2A's were delivered. Three S-2G's among which this example 854 arrived in 1982. They served untill 1994. 854 used to be 152372 with the US Navy.

The Tracker's costal reconnaissance tasks have been taken over by a pair of ex-Royal Navy Jetstream T.2's This one, formerly XX490 and still well identifiable as such, served with 750 sq at RNAS Culdrose, Cornwall until transfer to Uruguay in January 1999. It now is 876 with Escuadrón Antisubmarino y Exploracion.

Other British equipment came in the shape of the Westland Wessex helicopter. Three ex Bristow's Wessex 60's were followed in January 1998 by this pair of ex-RAF Wessex HC.2's. This line-up is headed by 085, formerly XT603 with No.2 Flying Training School at RAF Shawbury. The red fuselage band and red nose are now combined with Uruguayan Navy titles, coat of arms and flag.


All pictures (c) Hans Rolink.