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Chilean Air Force
Coat of arms of the Chilean Air Force
Coat of arms of the Chilean Air Force
Country Chile
Service history
Active March 21, 1930
Part of Chilean Armed Forces
Motto "Quam celerrime ad astra"
Commanders
Commanders General del Aire (Air General) Jorge Rojas Ávila
Insignia
Insignia Roundel of Chile Roundel of Chile – Low Visibility – Type 1

The Chilean Air Force (Spanish language:Fuerza Aérea de Chile, FACh ) is the air force of Chile, a branch of the Chilean military.

HistoryEdit

The first step towards the current FACh was taken by Teniente Coronel Pedro Pablo Dartnell, when he founded the Servicio de Aviación Militar de Chile (Military Aviation Service of Chile) on December 20, 1910, being trained as a pilot in France. Although a school was included, the first officers were sent to France for their training as well. One of them, Captain Manuel Ávalos Prado, took command over the Chilean military aviation school that was officially instated 11 February 1913, and remained in command until 1915. The Escuela de Aviación Militar (Military Aviation School) was named in honor of him in 1944, and still carries that name today.

In those early years many aviation milestones were achieved; conquering the height of the Andes was one of the main targets as well as long distance flights. Typical aircraft of that era were Avro 504, Bleriot XI, Bristol M.1C, DH.9, and SE5a. In the following decade, the (Airmail Line of Chile) Línea Aeropostal de Chile was created on 5 March 1929 as a branch of the military aviation. This postal airline later developed into the airline Línea Aérea Nacional (National Airline) that is still the leading airline in Chile today. Shortly afterwards, on 21 March 1930, the existing aviation elements of the army and navy were amalgamated into a dedicated department: the Subsecretaria de Aviación (Department of the Air Force) effectively creating the current independent Air Force. It was initially named Fuerza Aérea Nacional (National Air Force). The international airport of Chile carries the name of Lan's founding father and first commander of the air force, Air Commodore Arturo Merino Benítez. Its baptism of fire was in the 1931 sailors' rebellion in Coquimbo, where Air Force attack aircraft and bombers and 2 transport planes converted into bombers contributed to its failure.

The first outlines of the organization of the current air force were visible in 1945 with the inception of Grupo de Transporte No.1 (First Transport Group), later renumbered Grupo 10, with two C-45s and a single T-6 Texan at Los Cerrillos. Two years later the first Fuerza Aérea flight to Antarctica was performed. The fifties meant entry into the jet age for the FACh, and Grupo 7 was the first unit to receive them in 1954. Chile got its aircraft from both the United States and Europe. The American supply consisted of Lockheed F-80, Lockheed T-33, Beech T-34 Mentor, Cessna T-37, Cessna A-37 Dragonfly and Northrop F-5E/F for example, whereas the British supplied Hawker Hunters and the French delivered various helicopters and Dassault Mirage 50 aircraft.

The Chilean air force hosted the joint exercise Salitre with other friendly nations. It also participated in several United Nations peacekeeping missions overseas in 5 occasions.

Commanders-in-chiefEdit

Order of BattleEdit

Personnel = 10,600 (including 700 conscripts)

Office of the Commander in Chief, Chilean Air ForceEdit

Combat Command of the Air ForceEdit

Ciudad Parque Bicentenario - 13

The Delphos building, designed by the Division of Infrastructure Logistics Command Air Force

.

First Air Brigade with headquarters in Los Cóndores Air Base (Base Aérea Los Cóndores) in Iquique

  • 1st Aviation Group
  • 2nd Aviation Group
  • 3rd Aviation Group
  • 24th Air Defense Group
  • 34th Electronic Detection Group

Second Air Brigade with headquarters in Pudahuel Air Base (Base Aérea Pudahuel) in Santiago

  • 9th Aviation Group
  • 10th Aviation Group
  • Air Defence Artillery and Special Forces Regiment (Regimiento de Artillería Antiaérea y FF.EE)
  • Air Early Warning Squadron
  • Halcones High Acrobatics Squad (Escuadrilla de Alta Acrobacia Halcones)
  • 32nd Electronic Detection Group

Third Air Brigade with headquarters in El Tepual Air Base (Base Aérea El Tepual) in Puerto Montt

  • 5th Aviation Group
  • 25th Air Defense Group
  • 35th Electronic Detection Group

Fourth Air Brigade with headquarters in Chabunco Air Base (Base Aérea Chabunco) in Punta Arenas

  • 6th Aviation Group
Chilean F-16 Fidae 2006

F-16D Block 50M of Chilean Air Force

  • 12th Aviation Group
  • 23rd Air Defense Group
  • 33rd Electronic Detection Group
  • 19th Antarctic Exploration Group

Fifth Air Brigade with headquarters in Cerro Moreno Air Base (Base Aérea Cerro Moreno) in Antofagasta

  • 7th Aviation Group
  • 8th Aviation Group
  • 21st Air Defense Group
  • 31st Electronic Detection Group
  • Aviation Infantry Group

Personnel CommandEdit

Education Division

  • Aviation School "Captain Manuel Ávalos Prado"
  • Air Specialties School "Flight Sergeant Adolfo Menadier Rojas"
  • Sub-officers Perfection School
  • Air War Academy
  • Polytechnic Aeronautical Academy
  • Air Photographic Surveying Service

Health Division
General Hospital of the Air Force
Air Force High Command Prefecture

Logistics CommandEdit

Maintenance Division
Administration Division
Infrastructure Division

Current inventoryEdit

AircraftEdit

Numbers shown below are derived from open sources, they should be regarded as estimates due to lack of confirmation from official sources.

Aircraft Origin Type Service versions Total[1] Photos
Fighter Aircraft
General Dynamics /
Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon
United States
Flag of the Netherlands.svg Netherlands
Multirole combat aircraft 28 F-16AM MLU
6 F-16BM MLU
6 F-16C Block 50M
4 F-16D Block 50M
50
F-16 AM Fighting Falcon
Northrop F-5E/F Tiger III United States Interceptor aircraft 11 F-5E Tiger III
2 F-5F Tiger III
13
Chile Air Force Northrop F-5E Tigre III Lofting-1
AEW&C
Boeing-IAI 707 Cóndor United States
Flag of Israel.svg Israel
Airborne early warning & control EB-707 Cóndor 1
EB-707 Condor, Chilean Air Force (FACh) v2
Transport and Aerial Refueling
Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker United States Aerial refueling
Strategic transport
KC-135E Stratotanker 3
KC-135E Stratotanker, Chilean Air Force (FACh)
Boeing 767 United States Strategic transport Boeing 767-300ER 1
B-767-300 ER, Chilean Air Force (FACh)
Boeing 737 United States Strategic transport 1 Boeing 737-500
1 Boeing 737-300
2
B-737-500, Chilean Air Force (FACh)
Lockheed C-130 Hercules United States Tactical transport 2 C-130H Hercules
1 C-130B Hercules
3
C-130 H Hercules, Chilean Air Force (FACh)
CASA C-212 Aviocar Flag of Spain.svg Spain Tactical transport 2 C-212–200 Aviocar
1 C-212–300 Aviocar
3
C-212-300 Aviocar, Chilean Air Force (FACh)
De Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter Flag of Canada.svg Canada Tactical transport 4 DHC-6-100 Twin Otter
9 DHC-6-300 Twin Otter
13
DHC-6-300 Twin Otter, Chilean Air Force (FACh)
Trainers
CASA/ENAER C-101CC Halcón Flag of Spain.svg Spain
Flag of Chile.svg Chile
Advanced jet trainer A-36 Toqui 8
CASA C-101, Chilean Air Force (FACh)
Embraer EMB-314 Super Tucano Flag of Brazil.svg Brazil Advanced trainer A-29B Super Tucano 12
A-29B Super Tucano, Chilean Air Force (FACh)
Cessna Citation 525 United States Flight instruments trainer CJ-1 Citation 4
CJ-1 Citation, Chilean Air Force (FACh)
ENAER T-35 Pillán Flag of Chile.svg Chile Basic trainer 18 T-35A1 Pillán
15 T-35B Pillán
33
T-35 B Pillan, Chilean Air Force (FACh)
Cirrus SR-22 T United States Basic trainer
Liaison
SR-22 T 2 CirrusDesignSR22C-FJSH02
Military Helicopter
Sikorsky S-70A Black Hawk United States Transport helicopter S-70A Black Hawk 1
S-70A Black Hawk, Chilean Air Force (FACh)
Bell 412 United States Utility helicopter 5 Bell 412SP
12 Bell 412EP
17
Bell 412 Chilean Air Force (FACh)
Bell UH-1 Iroquois United States Utility helicopter UH-1H Iroquois 15
UH-1 H Iroquois Chilean Air Force (FACh)
Bell 206 United States Utility helicopter Bell 206B JetRanger III 5
Bell 206 B JetRanger, Chilean Air Force (FACh)
Transport VIP/ Utility
Gulfstream IV United States VIP transport G-IV Gulfstream 1
G-IV Gulfstream, Chilean Air Force (FACh)
Learjet 35 United States Reconnaissance aircraft LR-35A Learjet 2
LR-35A Learjet, Chilean Air Force (FACh)
Piper PA-28 Cherokee United States Utility aircraft
Liaison
PA-28-236 Dakota 7
Pa-28-236 Dakota, Chilean Air Force (FACh)
Cessna O-2 Skymaster United States Aerial reconnaissance O-2A Skymaster 2
O-2 A Skymaster, Chilean Air Force (FACh)
Cessna O-1 Bird Dog United States Glider towing O-1A Bird Dog 2
O-1A Bird Dog, Chilean Air Force (FACh)
Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
Elbit Hermes 900 Flag of Israel.svg Israel Unmanned aerial vehicle Hermes 900 3
Elbit Hermes 900s
Aerobatics
Extra EA-300L Flag of Germany.png Germany Aerobatics EA-300L 4
EA-300 L

Future AircraftEdit

S5033138a1

A Chilean Boeing 707 with a Phalcon radar fitted to its nose and sides.

Hermes 900

Elbit Hermes 900 UAV.

First Chilean Air Force KC-135E at Santiago 2010

The first Chilean KC-135E at Santiago, in February 2010.

FACH Halcones

Hawks High Aerobatics Squad Halcones.

Aircraft Origin Type Versions Total Photo
Embraer KC-390 Flag of Brazil.svg Brazil Military transport aircraft KC-390 6
Embraer-KC-390-3-Side-View

Anti-aircraft warfareEdit

Name Origin Type Photo
Surface-to-air missile
NASAMS Flag of Norway.svg Norway Medium range air defense system
NASAMS II E.T.
Sistema Mygale Flag of France.svg France Short Range Anti-Aircraft System
Mistral Aspic p1040740
Self-propelled anti-aircraft weapon
M163 VADS United States
M163 VADS
Anti-aircraft warfare
Oerlikon 35 mm twin cannon Flag of Switzerland.svg  Switzerland FlAK85
M167 VADS United States
20mmVADS 2

ArmamentEdit

Name Origin Type Photo
Air-to-air missile
AIM-120 C5/C7 AMRAAM United States Beyond-visual-range missile
Aim 120 amraam missile 20040710 145603 1.4
AIM-9 Sidewinder United States
Sidewider missile 20040710 145400 1.4
RAFAEL Derby Flag of Israel.svg Israel Beyond-visual-range missile
Derby missile
RAFAEL Python 4 Flag of Israel.svg Israel
Rafael Python 4
Air-to-surface missile
AGM-65 Maverick United States
AGM-65 Maverick MG 1382
Bomb
Mark 84 United States
Mk-84 xxl
Mark 82 United States
Mk-82 xxl
GBU-12 Paveway II United States
GBU-12 xxl
GBU-24 Paveway III United States
GBU-24 xxl
Anti-ship missile
AGM-84 Harpoon United States
Harpoon asm bowfin museum

IndustryEdit

US Navy 070901-N-1713L-013 2nd Lt. Hanz Zimmermann, a Panamanian T-35 pilot, stands near his aircraft after returning to Tocumen International Airport from maritime surveillance as part of the Combined Forces Air Combatant Comm

ENAER T-35 Pillán

Chile also maintains its own aviation industry, ENAER. The design of the T-35 Pillán trainer, based on the Piper PA-28 Dakota, is the best known example, seeing some export success as well. Furthermore, the assembly of the A-36/T-36 Halcón (CASA C-101) was achieved as well. Performing maintenance on most types in the current inventory, such as minor modifications on F-5E aircraft for example, the industry is of significant importance to the air force. ENAER is reported to be in talks with Embraer of Brazil to codesign the first indigenous South American military transport plane. Also, under the Pacer Amstel programme, with initial Dutch support, and later locally ENAER upgraded an F-16 combat jet, which for the Chilean Air Force is an advance for their maintenance of the F-16 fleet (becoming the 5th country to modify under authorization their jets).

Future ProgrammesEdit

In July 2011, Elbit Systems reported the first export sale of its Hermes 900 UAV to the Chilean Air Force.[2]

The Chilean Air Force seeks to acquire aircraft trainers to replace A-36 Halcón. Among the competitors highlights the KAI T-50 Golden Eagle, BAE Hawk and Alenia Aermacchi M-346 Master. The service hopes to select a trainer platform and to sign a contract for a batch of 12 to 16 aircraft by 2013.[3]

By 2015, the Chilean Air Force must decommission the F-5 Tiger III, among the possible candidates to replace Tigers are the EF-2000, F/A-18E/F Super Hornet or F-16 Fighting Falcon.

Ranks of the Chilean Air ForceEdit

Ranks and insignia, similar to the Royal Air Force but adapted to suit the origins of the Chilean Air Force, are worn on shoulder collars and cuffs. General officers have the Condor eagle in their shoulder collars while officer cadets have a unique symbol, that of the Aviation School "Captain Manuel Ávalos Prado", on their shoulder collars. On the NCOs and enlistees, only Subofficer Majors and Subofficers wear both shoulder and cuff insignia, while Graduate Soldiers wear a double capital letter E (for the Air Force Specialties School "First Sergeant Adolfo Menandier Rojas") on their shoulder collars alongside their unique cuff marking.

Officer Ranks (SS.OO.)Edit

The officer ranking system and insignia are similar to the RAF pattern of ranks, save for the General officer ranks, modified to suit the British style ranks, and the Colonel rank.[4] Other ranks with foreign influences are that of Air Brigade General, a general officer rank in the French Air Force, and Air General, a general officer rank in the Spanish Air Force and the Bolivian and Colombian air forces.

Rank[5]General OfficerSuperior OfficerChief OfficerJunior OfficerCadet Officer
Shoulder SS.OO.1.- GDA SS.OO.2.- GAV SS.OO.3.- GBA SS.OO.4.- COM SS.OO.5.- CDA SS.OO.6.- CDG Fach escu SS.OO.8.- CDB SS.OO.9.- TTE SS.OO.10.- STE SS.OO.11.- ALF CADETE EAV
Sleeve (service dress) SS.OO.1.B - GDA SS.OO.2.B - GAV SS.OO.3.B - GBA SS.OO.4.B - COM SS.OO.5.B - CDA SS.OO.6.B - CDG SS.OO.7.B - CDE SS.OO.8.B - CDB SS.OO.9.B - TTE SS.OO.10.B - STE SS.OO.11.B - ALF
Sleeve (full dress) SS.OO.1.- GDA - GALA - SS.OO.2.- GAV - GALA - SS.OO.3.- GBA - GALA - SS.OO.4.- COM - GALA - SS.OO.5.- CDA - GALA - SS.OO.6.- CDG - GALA - SS.OO.7.- CDE - GALA - SS.OO.8.- CDB - GALA - SS.OO.9.- TTE - GALA - SS.OO.10.- STE - GALA- SS.OO.11.- ALF - GALA
RankGeneral del AireGeneral de AviaciónGeneral de Brigada AéreaComodoroCoronel de AviaciónComandante de GrupoComandante de EscuadrillaCapitán de BandadaTenienteSubtenienteAlférezCadete
Abbreviation(C.J.)(G.D.A.)(G.B.A.)(-)(C.D.A.)(C.D.G.)(C.D.E.)(C.D.B.)(TTE.)(STE.)(ALF.)-
TranslationAir GeneralGeneral of AviationAir Brigade GeneralCommodoreColonel of AviationGroup CommanderSquadron CommanderFlight CaptainLieutenantSub-lieutenantEnsignCadet Officer
EquivalentAir Chief MarshalAir MarshalAir Vice-MarshalAir Commodore
(optional rank for senior Group Captains)
Group CaptainWing CommanderSquadron LeaderFlight LieutenantFlying OfficerPilot OfficerActing Pilot OfficerOfficer Cadet
[6]

Noncommissioned and Enlisted Ranks[7]Edit

RankSubofficer MajorSubofficerClassStudentConscripted Soldier
Shoulder PCP.1 - H.SOM PCP.2 - H.SOF PCP.3 - H.SG1 FACH Alumno (hombro)
Sleeve PCP.1 - B. SOM PCP.2 - B.SOF PCP.3 - B.SG1 PCP.4 - SG2 PCP.5 - CB1 PCP.6 - CB2 PCP.7 - CBO FACh Alumno (brazo)
RankSuboficial MayorSuboficialSargento 1°Sargento 2°Cabo 1°Cabo 2°CaboAlumnoSoldado conscripto
Abbreviation(SOM)(SOF)(SG1)(SG2)(CBO1)(CBO2)(CBO)--
TranslationSub-officer MajorSub-officerFirst SergeantSecond SergeantFirst CorporalSecond CorporalCorporalStudentConscripted Soldier
EquivalentWarrant Officer Class IWarrant Officer Class IIFlight SergeantSergeantCorporalSenior Aircraftman (Air Groups and Topography Service),
Lance Corporal(Antiaircraft Artillery Regiment, Personnel Command and Logistics)
Leading Aircraftman Student NCOAircraftman

Badges of the Chilean Air ForceEdit

OfficersEdit

Officer[8]Line Corps
Badge Aire FACh.Ingenieros FACh.Defensa Antiaérea FACh.Telecomunicaciones e Informática FACh.Administración FACh.Base Aérea
Arm of serviceAviationEngineeringAir DefenseTelecommunications and Information TechnologyAdministrationAir Base
Abbreviation(A)(I)(DA)(TI)(AD)(BA)
SpecialtyAviators (Fighter, Helicopter) and Air transport officersAviation engineersAir defenseInformation and telecommunications engineersEngineers assigned to administrative dutiesLogistics
Officer[9]Services/Staff Corps
Badge FACh.Justicia FACh.Sanidad FACh.Servicio Religioso FACh.Bandas FACh.Servicios Generales
Arm of serviceJusticeMedical Corps
Dental Corps
ChaplainancyBands ServiceGeneral Services Corps
Abbreviation(J)(S) y (SD)(SR)(B)(SG)
SpecialtyAttorneys and JudgesDoctors, Nurses and Dentists
of various specialties
ChaplainsMusiciansProfessional workers and civilian employees

Non-commissioned officers and airmenEdit

NCOs and airmen of the[10]Line CorpsServices Corps
BadgeSuboficiales-
Arm of serviceWeaponsTechnical supportAdministrationCombat medicine and surgery
SpeciallyAir Defense
Intelligence personnel
Aircrews
Maintenance and armaments
Communications, information technology and electronics
Air Operations Support
Administrative staffCombat medics and surgeons

Officers' cap badgesEdit

Chilean Air Force officers wear the following cap badges in their peaked caps.

Rank cap badge[11]Air Marshals and Air CommodoresColonels and Group CommandersEnsigns through Squadron Commanders
Full dressGorras FACh1- Oficial General Gala -Gorras FACh2- Oficial CDA CDG Gala -Gorras FACh3 - Oficial CDE a ALF Gala -
Service dressGorras FACh1- Oficial General Servicio -Gorras FACh2- Oficial CDA CDG Servicio -Gorras FACh3 - Oficial CDE a ALF Servicio -
GradoAir Chief MarshalAir MarshalAir Vice MarshalAir CommodoreGroup CaptainWing CommanderSquadron LeaderFlight LieutenantFlying OfficerPilot OfficerActing Pilot Officer

ReferencesEdit

Notes

External linksEdit

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