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The Salvadoran Air Force (Spanish: Fuerza Aérea Salvadoreña) is the air force component of the Armed Forces of El Salvador, and is an independent branch from the army and navy.

Salvadoran Air Force
Fuerza Aérea Salvadoreña
El Salvador Air force Badge.svg
Active20 March 1923–present
CountryEl Salvador
BranchAir force
RoleAerial warfare
Size68 aircraft in service
Nickname(s)Air Force El Salvador.
Colorsblue and white
EngagementsFootball War (1969), Salvadoran Civil War (1979–1992)
RoundelRoundel of El Salvador.svg


Early historyEdit

The Salvadoran Army Air Force (Spanish: Fuerza Aérea de El Salvador) was formed on 20 March 1923 during a period of heavy interest in aviation in El Salvador. In 1947, after signing the treaty of Rio (which was a mutual defense treaty among the states of America including the U.S.), El Salvador gained a new US air mission and the United States increased transfers of aircraft to the nation.[clarification needed]

Recent operationsEdit

IAI Arava 201 of the Salvadoran Air Force in 1975

The Salvadoran Air Force first saw action in the 1969 Football war against Honduras equipped with F4U Corsairs and P-51 Mustangs. From the late 1970s, isolated guerilla actions rapidly developed into a civil war. US aid to El Savador in 1980 consisted of six UH-1Hs and four in 1981; they were used as gunships. Other deliveries brought that number of UH-1Hs in service up to 40. In February 1982 onwards the United States delivered eight A-37B Dragonflies, 12 UH-1Hs, four O-2As and three C-123Ks. On 6 May 2013, in celebration of the 189th anniversary of the Armed Forces of El Salvador, the Salvadoran Government announced the planned purchase of 10 A-37 aircraft from Chile.[1]

A four-engined Douglas DC-6B provided long-range logistical capability between 1975 and its retirement in 1998. It was used on supply flights to and from the United States.[2] In December 1984, two AC-47s were delivered to be in service with the other three C-47s in use. The civil war ended in mutual exhaustion in 1990 and the Air Force was geared for internal security.

In September 2016 it was reported that the Air Force of El Salvador in cooperation with the Colombian Air Force was finalizing negotiations on modernizing The Bell UH-1H helicopters to the Huey 2 standard.[3]


An FAS A-37 Dragonfly in flight over Mexico
Douglas DC-6B of the Fuerza Aerea Salvadoreña at Miami in 1975

Current inventoryEdit

Aircraft Origin Type Variant In service Notes
Combat Aircraft
Cessna A-37B United States attack 15[4]
IAI Arava Israel transport 3[4]
Basler BT-67 United States transport / utility 1[4] modified Douglas DC-3 with P&W PT6A Turboprop engines
Bell 412 United States utility 4[4]
Bell UH-1 United States utility UH-1H/M 6-13[3][4] To be upgraded to the Huey 2 standard[3]
MD500 United States light utility 8[4]
Hughes 269 United States light utility 5[4]
Trainer Aircraft
T-35 Chile trainer 3[4]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Eastwood, 2007, p. 298
  3. ^ a b c Rivas, Santiago (12 September 2016). "El Salvador to modernise its UH-1Hs to Huey 2s". IHS Jane's 360. Buenos Aires. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h "World Air Forces 2015 pg. 15". Flightglobal Insight. 2015. Retrieved 26 December 2014.


  • Eastwood A.B. and Roach J.R., Piston Engined Airliner Production List, 2007, The Aviation Hobby Shop
  • World Aircraft information files Brightstar publishing London File 342 sheet 2

External linksEdit