Fuerza Aerea Uruguaya 

Uruguayan Air Force


Wedged between Brazil and Argentina lies Uruguay. The country's Air Force can trace it's history back to 1913. Today's Fuerza Aerea Uruguaya is primarily tasked with border patrol, for instance to intercept narcotics smugglers. Other roles include transport and support of remote settlements. The Uruguayan Air Force do not operate more or less modern fighters, instead relying on armed trainers and a few counter insurgancy aircraft supplied by neighbouring Argentina. A wide range of liaison aircraft is being used alongside a pair of ex-USAF C-130B Hercules transports. As far as helicopters is concerned, the types used include ex-US Army UH-1H and ex-RAF Wessex HC.2.

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

In particular, thanks to Captain David Miguelez for explaining the squadron designation system within the Fuerza Aerea Uruguaya.

The pictures below were taken on 15 October 2003 (Durazno) an 16 October 2003 (Pando and Carrasco).


All pictures (c) Hans Rolink.


The Italian SIAI Marchetti SF.260EU took over from the Cessna T-41B and Beech T-34B as the FAU's primary trainer. The last of thirteen, serialled 622 and seen here,  was delivered in December 2000. Note the T-260 inscription near the fin top. This is the FAU's designation for the type. 

The SF.260's are being flown by the Escuela Primario, part of EMA, the Escuela Militar de Aeronáutica at Aeropuerto Militar General Artigas, Pando near Montevideo.

Combining a role of advanced training with that of close support are the Pilatus PC.7's of the FAU. Six have been procured, the third of which, 303, can be seen taxying out carrying rocket- and cannon pods. The unit that flies the PC.7, known as AT-92 in Uruguay is EVA or Escuadrón de Vuelo Avanzado, the advanced flying training squadron. It is part of Brigada Aérea II at Durazno-Santa Bernadina where this picture was taken. 

The sole jet fighter in the FAU is the Cessna A-37B Dragonfly. Built as a more powerful attack derivative of the T-37 primary jet trainer, the A-37's operate alongside the PC.7's at Durazno. Their operating unit is Escuadrón Aereo 2 de Caza, part of Brigada Aérea II as well.

A total of 16 has been received which of course suffered some attrition since introduction in 1976. 275 depicted here is part of the original batch of eight orderd in 1975.

In 1981, the FAU received four Argentinian FMA IA.58 Pucara twin-turboprop attack aircraft. Originally, six (220-225) were procured. Following the loss of 225 in 1993, the FAU sought a replacement. Temporarily, the Argentine Air Force lent A-574 to the FAU as 226 between 1998 and 1999. As a permanent solution, an uncompleted Pucara intended for the Argentine Air Force was compledeted using spares from 221 and 223, becoming 227 in the process. It can be seen on the line at Durazno.

This Beech 95 Baron 58 serialled 791 was delivered as recently as 1998. It was seen at Aeropuerto Militar General Artigas, Pando near Montevideo. Note the Uruguayan type designation UB-58 stencilled on the fin.

It is on the strength of Pando's Escuela Militar de Aeronáutica.

Cessna 206 serialled 744 is part of the Liaison Flight Escadrilla de Enlace attached to Brigada Aérea II at Durazno. Apparantly the 206 is well liked, as the FAU ordered some 10 extra for delivery to this unit as well to one based at Melilla near Montevideo. 

During 1992-1994, the FAU received a trio of Lockheed C-130B Hercules transports from the USAF. Only two, among which 592, were put into use, a third one being cannibalised for spares. Note the eighties style charcoal camouflage, at the time also known as European One.

Operating unit is Escuadrón Aereo 3 with Brigada Aerea I at the military side of Montevideo-Carrasco International Airport.

Some six ex-US Army Bell UH-1H Iroquois are still active with the FAU. User unit for these transport helicopters is Escuadrón Aereo 5/BA I at Montevideo-Carrasco. 055 seen here was ex 67-17296 during it's service with the US Army.

To supplement the UH-1H's with Escuadrón Aereo 5/BA I, six former RAF Westland Wessex HC.2's were taken on charge during 1997. They were released by the RAF following the return of Hong Kong to Chinese control that year. 

077 seen here used to be XV723/Q with 28 sq until transfer to Uruguay.