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The Military of Ecuador is under civilian control. The commander-in-chief is the President of Ecuador, currently Lenin Moreno. The military of Ecuador has been involved in border disputes with Peru (Ecuadorian–Peruvian territorial dispute of 1857–60, Ecuadorian–Peruvian War, Paquisha War, Cenepa War), and has provided military observers and troops to the United Nations since 1948.[citation needed]

Ecuadorian Armed Forces
Fuerzas Armadas del Ecuador
Current form2000
Service branchesComaco.jpg Armed Forces Joint Command

Coat of Arms of Ecuador Army.svg Ecuadorian Army
Seal of the Ecuadorian Air Force.svg Ecuadorian Air Force
Ecuadorian Navy Seal.svg Ecuadorian Navy

Cyber-Defense Operations Command
HeadquartersMinistry of National Defence, Quito
PresidentLenín Moreno
Ministry of National DefenceOswaldo Jarrín
Chief of the Joint Command of the Armed ForcesDivision General Roque Moreira Cedeño
Military age18
ConscriptionSuspended [1]
Available for
military service
7,573,824 (2010 est)[1], age 16-49
Fit for
military service
6,103,748 (2010 est)[1], age 16-49
Reaching military
age annually
299,736 (2010 est)[1]
Active personnel37,448[2]
BudgetUS$2.3 billion (FY11)[3] Ranked 54th
Percent of GDP2.74% (FY10)[3] Ranked 37th
Foreign suppliers United States
 United Kingdom
 South Africa
Related articles
HistoryMilitary history of Ecuador
RanksRank insignia


(Fuerzas Armadas del Ecuador) are part of the public forces and have the stated mission of the preservation of the integrity and national sovereignty of the national territory. It also involves participation in the social and economic development of the country and the provision of assistance in the maintenance of internal order. Tasks include fighting organised crime, anti-narcotic operations and illegal immigration.[4] One social development programme applies the provision of teachers for rural schools through an accord with the Ministry of Education.[citation needed] Environmental protection is also a priority, several programmes were implemented: "National Forestation and Ornamentation", "Lonely Tree", "Green Surveillance", "Fire Plan", "Ecuador Forest" and "Arenillas Military Reserve".[citation needed] The Ecuadorian territory is divided into five "Joint Task Force Zones" or Fuerzas de Tarea Conjunta, four on mainland Ecuador, the fifth being the Naval-zone (including the Galápagos Islands).[5][6] Overseas territories include also the "Pedro Vicente Maldonado" Naval Biological Research Station in the Antarctic.

Geopolitical situationEdit

Ecuador shares a 1,420 km (882 mi) border with Peru. Although marked by many conflicts, relations have improved since the signing of a renewed Peace Treaty in 1998.[1] However, along the 590 km (367 mi)-long border with its neighbour Colombia, relations have been strained mainly due to a cross-border raid by Colombian forces on FARC guerrillas.[4][7][7] The Armed Forces had logistical shortcomings and were caught off-guard. Their radar did not work, aviation was virtually non-existent and communications were not fully operational.[8] A diplomatic crisis followed in 2008 which some attribute partially to the need for better equipment as well as a new national defence doctrine.[9]

The new administration at the Defence Ministry launched a deep restructuring program under the name of "PATRIA I". It involves the modernisation of military equipment, improvement of planning and operations within the Ecuadorian territory. "PATRIA I" shall be completed by 2011. In 2009, the spending budget was increased by 25% and totaled $920 millions.


Map of the long-lasting territorial dispute between Ecuador and Peru, settled only in 1998. (in Spanish)

Ecuador's military history dates far back to its first attempt to secure freedom from Spain in 1811. In 1822 Ecuadorian troops, alongside other rebel forces, scored a decisive victory over the Spanish royalist army at the Battle of Pichincha. Although assisted by Peruvian troops, it would fight these only a few years later in 1828, as a member of the Confederation of Gran Colombia. The troops of Gran Colombia (Less than half of its troops were Ecuadorians), is defeated in the Battle of Punta Malpelo and the combat of crosses, where the Peruvian navy blocks Guayaquil. Then the great Colombians in the land field defeat a division of Peruvian outpost, in the battle of Tarqui. This battle does not define war after the signing of the Giron agreement where it is indicated that it remains in a status quo before bellum. Eventually, Civil War would plunge the country and the army into disorder. In 1941 the Ecuadorian Military found itself weak and disorganized; the by now long-lasting territorial dispute with Peru escalated into a major conflict, the Ecuadorian–Peruvian War of 1941. A much larger and better equipped Peruvian force quickly overwhelmed the Ecuadorian forces, driving them back and invading the Ecuadorian territory. Ecuador had no choice but to accept Peru's territorial claims and signed Peace treaty in 1942. However, the treaty of 1942 failed to settle the border dispute and occasional clashes occurred in a then still non-demarcated border area between the nations. These clashes flared into another outbreak of serious fighting in January 1981 called the Paquisha War where Ecuadorian troops infiltrated into Peruvian territory are expelled by the Peruvian army; similar incidents occurred in 1983 and again in 1984. The last military conflict with Peru occurred in 1995, during the Cenepa War, in which both sides claimed to be fighting inside their own territory until the signing of a ceasefire and the eventual separation of forces. The longest-running source of armed international conflict in the Western Hemisphere had ended.[10]

Local engagementsEdit

UN peacekeeping operationsEdit

The Ecuadorian Armed Forces has provided military observers and troops to the United Nations since 1948. In November 2003, an Ecuadorian United Nations Training Centre was established under the name of: (La Unidad Escuela de Misiones de Paz "Ecuador"). In 2009, Ecuador was deploying over 90 peacekeepers around the globe.


The armed forces of Ecuador are under the authority of the President of the Republic through the Ministry of Defence, coordinated by the Joint Command of the Armed Forces.

Command structureEdit


Joint CommandEdit

The command is in charge of the administration and coordination of the four military branches. The objectives of the command are to integrate the military branches with joint capabilities and interoperability, to address changes and new scenarios, which guarantee the peace, security, and well-being of the nation.

Through military strategic guidelines and guidelines, in the innovation, updating, development and implementation of the generation of military technology, through strategic study in the development of military capabilities, verification of the optimal installed military capacity, implementation of military technological development, in order to promote military operational growth to be the effective and efficient decisive force.


The Ecuadorian Army (Ejército Ecuatoriano) is the land component of the Armed Forces. Its 24,135[2] soldiers are deployed in relation to its military doctrine. The contemporary Ecuadorian Army has a large component of jungle and special forces infantry units implemented within its structure. It operates around 130 tanks, 200 IFVs and 60 aircraft; their standard rifle is the Heckler & Koch HK33. Recently acquired material include:

Air ForceEdit

The present day Ecuadorian Air Force (Fuerza Aérea Ecuatoriana) saw combat-action several times in 1981 and 1995 when it gained valuable experiences against the Peruvian Air Force. Today the FAE has a personnel of 6,055[2] and focuses mainly on border control but also focuses on the war on drugs, guerrilla insurgencies, and humanitarian missions. Since 2009 the FAE has been undergoing major changes and modernisation plans are ongoing whilst new projects are considered to bolster the country's defence capacities. Recent and ongoing orders include:


The present day Ecuadorian Navy or (Armada del Ecuador) is a compact, efficient and well-balanced force. However, limited funds hinder any major acquisitions and the chances of maintaining a strong force within the Pacific Ocean. Since end 2009, the Navy's structure became simplified. The Ecuadorian Naval-Zone became one and measures, 2,237 km (1,390 mi) of the Pacific Coast and 6,720 km2 of the Pacific Ocean, (including the Galápagos Islands). Most sea-going assets are based at Guayaquil. The Navy focuses mainly on the border-control and illegal immigration. The Navy operates around 20 major vessels (including two submarines) and 25 aircraft. It has a personnel of 7,258.[2] To increase its operational capabilities it recently acquired:

Cyber-Defense Operations CommandEdit

It is a body responsible for the planning and execution of actions related to cyberdefense in networks and information and telecommunications systems or others that it may have entrusted to, as well as contributing to the appropriate response in cyberspace to threats or aggressions that may affect National Defense, guaranteeing and providing security to strategic entities that are managed by computer systems.

He is prepared to counter cyberattacks, cyberwarfare and espionage to "critical entities" that could be attacked "from anywhere in the world."


The training of army, navy and air force officers is the function of the Eloy Alfaro Military Higher School, the Rafael Morán Valverde Naval Higher School and the Cosme Rennella Barbatto Military Higher School, respectively.

Equipment sourcesEdit

Historically, Ecuador depended on a wide variety of foreign suppliers for virtually all of its equipment needs. Only in the 1980s did it begin to develop a modest domestic arms industry as the Directorate of Army Industries manufactured rifle ammunition, uniforms, boots, and other items.

In the 1960s and 1970s, France became a leading supplier and delivered AMX-13 tanks and various aircraft. Ecuador also purchased Type 209 submarines and Lürssen-Seawolf TNC 45 patrol boats from West Germany. Various types of infantry weapons were acquired from Belgium.

Ecuador became a substantial customer for Israeli arms in the 1970s, purchasing Arava aircraft, Gabriel missiles for naval patrol craft, and Uzi submachine guns. Under technical assistance contracts, Israel serviced Israeli planes in the air force inventory as well as Boeing civilian aircraft flown by TAME and Ecuatoriana Airlines. Ecuador also reportedly employed Israeli security specialists as consultants in the fight against terrorism. In 1976 Ecuador became the first foreign country to order the Kfir, an advanced jet fighter equipped with the General Electric J-79 engine produced in Israel under license. The transaction, which required United States government approval because of the engine technology, was rejected by the administration of President Jimmy Carter in order to discourage the proliferation of sophisticated military equipment in the Third World. The action caused an uproar in Israel where the sale was regarded as an important breakthrough in Israel's efforts to develop international markets for the Kfir. In 1981, after the inauguration of President Ronald Reagan, Washington removed its objection to the sale. Although the contract called for the purchase of 12 Kfirs and an option to purchase an additional 12, Ecuador acquired only the original group, at a price estimated at US$196 million.

Ecuador became a relatively heavy importer of arms in the late 1970s and early 1980s, averaging US$150 million annually and reaching a peak of US$280 million in 1982. These imports declined sharply to an average of US$50 million annually between 1985 and 1987, presumably as a result of a dramatic reduction in oil revenues and the precipitous drop in the value of the sucre, which made imported arms extremely expensive. Between 1983 and 1987, Ecuador imported an estimated US$460 million of arms, primarily from Italy, France, the United States, and Britain. In 1995, during the Cenepa War against Peru, Argentina gave to Ecuador 6,500 tons of rifles, cannons, anti-tank rockets, and ammunition in a controversial move.[33]

Recent times saw changes in Ecuador's foreign policy, as it decided to look for alternative weapon suppliers. These included its long-term allies Chile, which since 2008 has provided Leopard 1 tanks and Leander class frigates. Israel delivered its unmanned aerial vehicles in 2009, and Brazil supplied additional military vehicles and Super Tucano combat-aircraft. Countries like Russia and China have delivered small quantities of military equipment in the past, but have gained importance in recent years. Since then, Chinese radars, anti-aircraft systems, and infantry weapons have been purchased. In 2009 two additional Mil Mi-17 helicopters have been ordered from Russia with further deals planned.[34] India has delivered HAL Dhruv helicopters and South Africa is about to deliver 12 Atlas Cheetah supersonic aircraft. Ecuador's political ally, Venezuela, has donated military equipment including six Mirage 50 aircraft.

In 2010, the U.S. embassy in Ecuador announced that it had delivered $1.2 million of donated military equipment to the Ecuadorian military. The donations were intended to support operations countering drug smuggling and guerilla activity along the Colombian border. Although the U.S. has refused to renew their lease on the Manta military airbase, deliveries included trucks, patrol boats, GPS, night vision, and rifles.[35][36]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e "Ecuador". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. 2012. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d "Chapter 15 - Ecuador". A Comparative Atlas of Defence in Latin America (2008 ed.). Red de Seguridad y Defensa de América Latina (Security and Defense Network of Latin America). pp. 180–193. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 May 2009.
  3. ^ a b Glickhouse, Rachel (7 June 2012). "Explainer: Defense Spending in Latin America". AS/CoA website. Americas Society / Council of the Americas. Retrieved 6 July 2012. Last year, Ecuador spent $2.3 billion on the military. In the region, Ecuador spends the highest percent of GDP on the military alone: 2.74 percent in 2010[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ a b "Armed forces (Ecuador) - Sentinel Security Assessment - South America". Janes. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
  5. ^ "Se divide al paĂs en cinco ĂĄreas - Diario HOY - Noticias del Ecuador y del Mundo - Hoy Online". Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
  6. ^ "FFAA presentan nuevo plan de defensa interna - Diario HOY - Noticias del Ecuador y del Mundo - Hoy Online". Archived from the original on 16 May 2010. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
  7. ^ a b Stephan Küffner (18 April 2008). "South America's Most Troubled Border". Time. New York. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
  8. ^ "Correa Warns Ecuador Will Respond if Attacked On Its Territory". Pravda. Moscow. 26 April 2010. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
  9. ^ "War without Borders: The Colombia-Ecuador Crisis of 2008" (PDF). Strategic Studies Institute. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
  10. ^ "News:Ecuador-Peru". The History Guy. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
  11. ^ Política Externa Brasileira (30 August 2009). "Exército do Equador Adquire Segundo Lote de Utilitários Agrale Marruá - Política Externa Brasileira". Archived from the original on 4 September 2009. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
  12. ^ [1][dead link]
  13. ^ "Agrale fornecerá veículos ao Exército do Equador". Webtranspo. 20 February 2009. Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
  14. ^ "Trend Lines: WPR Blog - Global Insider: Ecuador's Foreign Policy". 18 May 2010. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
  15. ^ "U.S. Embassy Quito, Ecuador - Home". Archived from the original on 18 March 2013. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
  16. ^ "U.S. military trains with Ecuadorians on mounted operations". 6 May 2010. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
  17. ^ "Embajada de la Republica Bolivariana de Venezuela - VENEZUELA DONA A ECUADOR DOS VEHICULOS TIUNA DE RECONOCIMIENTO". 27 February 1989. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
  18. ^ "Asumen sus cargos las nuevas autoridades de las Fuerzas Armadas de Ecuador (+ Fotos) en". Retrieved 28 July 2010.
  19. ^ "Ecuador confirms purchase of two Russian helicopters CCTV-International". 28 October 2009. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Ecuador reduce la compra de Super Tucano para renovar su flota de cazas de combate - - Información Defensa y Seguridad". 28 May 2010. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
  22. ^ "Procurement: Super Tucano Is Super". 14 January 2009. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
  23. ^ Soto, Alonso (29 April 2008). "UPDATE 1-Ecuador to buy 24 warplanes from Brazil's Embraer". Reuters. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
  24. ^ "Ecuador ready to purchase combat aircrafts (sic) from South Africa — MercoPress". 25 September 2009. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
  25. ^ 29 June 2008 13:26 EDT (29 June 2008). "Dhruv Helicopters for Ecuador". Retrieved 28 July 2010.
  26. ^ "HAL to hand over first export Dhruvs". 9 February 2009. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
  27. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  28. ^
  29. ^ "Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI) - Military Malat Products Heron 1". IAI. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
  30. ^ "Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI) - Military Malat Products Searcher III". IAI. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
  31. ^ Richard Eugenio. "El Telégrafo - Decano de la prensa nacional - Seis aviones no tripulados ingresan a filas navales". Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
  32. ^ "Ministerio de Defensa Nacional de la República del Ecuador - Aviones no tripulados llegan el 11 de junio a Ecuador". Retrieved 28 July 2010.[permanent dead link]
  33. ^ Redacción BBC Mundo (3 March 2008). "BBC Mundo - América Latina - Así fue la última guerra". BBC News. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
  34. ^ "Ecuador seeks arms deal with Russia". 11 October 2009. Archived from the original on 30 September 2012. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
  35. ^ "US gives military gear worth $1.2 mn to Ecuador". 11 May 2010. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
  36. ^ "Leading Indicators - Leading Indicators: Off-the-Radar News Roundup". 12 May 2010. Retrieved 28 July 2010.

External linksEdit