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|Armed Forces of Uruguay|
|Fuerzas armadas del Uruguay|
|Service branches|| National Army|
Uruguayan Air Force
|President of the Republic||Tabaré Vázquez|
|Minister of Defense||Jorge Menéndez|
|831,297, age 15–49 (2003 est.)|
|672,030, age 15–49 (2003 est.)|
|Active personnel||24,000 (2001) (ranked 93)|
|Budget||$492 million (2008)|
|Percent of GDP||1.1% (2008)|
|Foreign suppliers|| United States|
|Ranks||Ranks of the Armed Forces of Uruguay|
The Armed Forces of Uruguay (Spanish: Fuerzas armadas del Uruguay or FF.AA. del Uruguay) consist of an army, navy, and air force. These three branches are constitutionally subordinate to the President of Uruguay through the Minister of Defense. By offering early retirement incentives, the government has trimmed the armed forces to about 16.800 for the army; 6.000 for the navy; and 3.000 for the air force. As of February 2003, Uruguay has more than 2.500 soldiers deployed on 12 UN Peacekeeping missions. The largest groups are in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Haiti. There is also a 58-man contingent in the MFO in the Sinai.
The Army consists of some 15,000 personnel organized into four divisions.
It is equipped with 15 Israeli Ti-67 (T-55) main battle tanks, 17 American M24 and 46 M41A1 Walker Bulldog light tanks, 24 American M113A1 armored personnel carriers, 15 Czech BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicles and 130 OT-64 SKOT APCs, 64 German Condor APCs, 15 Brazilian EE-9 Cascavel and 18 EE-3 Jararaca armored cars, and 48 Russian lightly armored GAZ-3937 amphibious vehicles. In 2008, Uruguay also purchased 44 6x6 Mowag Piranha APCs rehabilitated by FAMAE in Chile after initial service in the Canadian Army after that another batch of 100 of Grizzlys and 5 Huskys and has 4 sets of RM-70 rocket launcher Multiple rocket launcher. The army operates 40 Land Rover Defender 110SW vehicles, and is looking to buy between 30 and 40 more.
The current assault rifle used by the army is the Belgian FN FAL - Argentinian Built; it is being replaced by Austrian Steyr AUG following a bidding contest in 2007 and 2008. In addition, about 300 Russian AK-101s are already used, and the elite airborne, commando, and antiterrorist Battalion 14 (Batallón de Infantería Paracaidista Nro 14) exclusively employ German HK G36s.
DIO, an Iranian company, was involved in the bidding to replace the FN FAL with its KH-2002; but since there is a UN embargo banning arms exports from Iran, the company attempted to smuggle the 15,000 test bullets through Venezuela. This failed and prompted an investigation.
The Navy consists of about 5,700 personnel under Admiral Juan H. Fernández and is organized into four commands: the Fleet Command (Comando de la Flota or COMFLO), the Coast Guard (Prefectura Nacional Naval or PRENA), the Chief Directorate of Naval Materiel (Dirección General de Material Naval or DIMAT), and the Chief Directorate of Naval Personnel (Dirección General de Personal Naval or DIPER). The Navy General Staff (Estado Mayor General de la Armada or ESMAY) acts as an advisory body to the admiral.
The current fleet consists of 2 Portuguese João Belo class frigates, 1 French Commandant Rivière class frigate (in reserve), 1 German Lüneburg class auxiliary oil replenisher, 3 Vigilante class patrol boats, 2 Castrates class patrol boats, 3 East German Kondor II class minesweepers, and other smaller craft.
The Navy also includes a battalion-sized Marine Corps (Cuerpo de Fusileros Navales) and a small naval air station at Laguna del Sauce.
The Uruguayan Naval Academy (Escuela Naval or ESNAL) is located in Carrasco, a suburb of Montevideo. Instruction consists of a 4-year course of study culminating in a cruise on the instructional tall ship ROU Capitán Miranda, which lasts several weeks and takes graduates to various ports around the world.
The Air Force consists of about 3,000 personnel and organized into three Air Brigades (I, II, & III) and 7 Squadrons.
Combat aircraft consist of Argentine IA-58 Pucarás and Cessna A-37B Dragonflies. Transport aircraft consist of Lockheed C-130s, Brazilian Embraer Bandeirantes and Embraer Brasilias, Spanish CASA C-212-200 Aviocars, and Cessna 206H Stationairs and T-41D Mescaleros.
The Air Force Academy (Escuela Militar de Aeronáutica) is located at General Artigas Air Base in Pando, Canelones; the Air Force Technical Academy (Escuela Técnica de Aeronáutica) in Toledo Sur, Canelones; and the Air Force Command Academy (Escuela de Comando y Estado Mayor Aéreo) at Captain Boiso Lanza Air Base in Montevideo. Training aircraft consists of Italian Aermacchi SF.260s, Beech Barons, and Swiss Pilatus PC-7 Turbo Trainers.
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