Salvadoran Air Force


Salvadoran Air Force
Fuerza Aérea Salvadoreña
El Salvador Air force Badge.svg
Emblem of the Salvadoran Air Force
Founded20 March 1923; 98 years ago (1923-03-20)
Country El Salvador
TypeAir force
RoleAerial warfare
Size68 aircraft
Part ofArmed Forces of El Salvador
RoundelRoundel of El Salvador.svg

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

Early history

The Salvadoran Army Air Force (Spanish: Fuerza Aérea de El Salvador, abbreviated FAS) 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 operations

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 Salvador 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 Salvadoran Air Force in cooperation with the Colombian Air Force was finalizing negotiations on modernizing The Bell UH-1H helicopters to the Huey 2 standard.[3]


Current inventory

An FAS A-37 Dragonfly in flight over Mexico
Aircraft Origin Type Variant In service Notes
Combat Aircraft
Cessna A-37 United States attack 13[4]
IAI Arava Israel transport 2[4]
Bell 412 United States utility 4[4]
Bell UH-1 United States utility UH-1H/M 14[4] upgraded to the Huey II standard[3]
Hughes 269 United States light utility 5[4]
MD500 MD 500 Defender United States light utility 8[4] 12 MD530Fs donated as of August 2021.[5]
Trainer Aircraft
ENAER T-35 Pillán Chile trainer 2[4]

Retired aircraft

Some notable aircraft, previous operated by the Air Force were the Dassault Ouragan, CM.170 Magister, Cessna O-2 Skymaster, Douglas AC-47, SOCATA R235 Guerrier, and the Hughes 300C[6]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Eastwood, 2007, p. 298
  3. ^ a b Rivas, Santiago (12 September 2016). "El Salvador to modernise its UH-1Hs to Huey 2s". IHS Jane's 360. Buenos Aires. Archived from the original on 11 October 2016. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "World Air Forces 2021". Flightglobal Insight. 2021. Retrieved 7 January 2021.
  5. ^ "USA donates 12 MD530F helicopters to the Salvadoran Air Force".
  6. ^ "World Air Forces 1994 pg. 39". Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 20 May 2021.


  • 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 links