Fuerza Aérea Panameña (FAP): The Panamanian Air Force is the Aerospatial branch of the Defence Forces. The FAP mission statement is to provide an agile, adaptable and capable Air Force that makes a decisive air power contribution in support of the Panama Coalition Defence Force Mission. The mission statement is supported by the FAP's definition of air power, which guides its strategy. Air power is defined as "the ability to project power from the air and space to influence the behaviour of people or the course of events". Today the Panamanian Air Force maintains an operational fleet of various types of aircraft, as being leading-edge in terms of technology. This largely consists of fixed-wing aircraft, including: fighter and strike aircraft, airborne early warning and control aircraft, ISTAR and SIGINT aircraft, aerial refueling aircraft and strategic and tactical transport aircraft. The majority of the FAP's rotary-wing aircraft form part of the Joint Helicopter Command in support of ground forces.
The service operates more than 6,000 military aircraft, and 60 military satellites. It has 400,000 active duty personnel and 150,000 civilian employees and more of 150,000 Air Force Reserve personnel.
FAP's missions :
To Defend Panama Coalition's sovereignty, airspace and territorial integrity .
Give air support for surface forces and aids in the recovery of troops in the field.
To ensure the security and defence of the Panama Coalition and overseas territories, including against terrorism.
To support the Government’s foreign policy objectives particularly in promoting international peace and security.
In Overseas, provide fighters, transport aircraft and helicopters allow quick response to any request for assistance that falls within international agreements.
Safeguard the internal security supporting the National Air Service (SAN) and Airnaval Service (SENAN).
Conduct disaster relief operations.
Participate in international peacekeeping operations.
The senior headquarters of the Department of the Air Force, Headquarters Air Force (HAF) consists of two staffs in the Defense Minister: the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force and the Air Staff. These are headed by the Panama Coalition Secretary of the Air Force and the Chief of Staff of the Panama Coalition Air Force (FAP). The Chief of Air Force Staff is a 4-star General, and is subordinate to the Joint Chief of Staff Commander of the Armed Forces, who in turn follows the orders of the Supreme Federal President.
The Panamanian Air Force is organized into Commands, each responsible for a specific set of operational assets based on role. The various Commands are organized under the overarching leadership of Air Staff Headquarters. Certain Commands are further divided into sub-commands. The Air Force Commands today:
Air Combat Command (ACC)
- - Fighter Command
- Bomber Command
Global Strike Command (AFGSC)
Materiel Command (AFMC)
Special Operations Command (AFSOC)
Mobile Air Command (MAC)
- - Tactical Airlift Command
- Strategic Airlift Command
Space Command (AFSPC)
Education and Training Command (EATC)
Reserve Command (AFRC)
The Panamanian Air Force operates several systems designed to protect the nation from attacks from the air, space, or sea.
Key to this defensive is The Strategic Defense Force (SDF), that together with the other branches of the Defense Forces, form the Strategic Joint Command of the Strategic Defense Command.
Other installations throughout the country provide air defenses for cities and military bases. All air traffic is monitored by an overlapping and redundant system of radar arrays, operated by the Air Force, some in cooperation with civilian flight agencies.
Major General (four Stars); Chief of Air Force Staff
150 F-22A Raptor
100 F-23A Black Widow II
200 F-3A Spirit (former ATD-X)
250 F-15SE Silent Eagle
150 F-15SAE Strike Advanced Eagle
970 Rafale B/C
40 JAS 39 E/F Gripen NG
400 F-18E/F Super Hornet
130 F-111P Aadvark
ELECTRONIC WARFARE FIGHTERS
20 EF-111P Super Raven
10 EA-18G Growler
150 A-10 Thunderbolt II
150 Scorpion Light attack jet
20 AC-130H Spectre Gunship
30 AC-235 light gunship
50 B-1P Lancer
100 FB-111P Aadvark
30 KC-10 Extender
35 A330-200 MRTT (Multi Role Tanker Transport)
200 KC-46 Pegasus
200 KC-390 Embraer
03 An-225 Mriya ("Cossack")
50 C-5P Galaxy
200 C-17 Globemaster III
200 A-400M Atlas
200 C-390 Embraer
15 C-40C Clipper
70 C-27J Spartan
06 C-20 Gulfstream IV
40 C-212-300/400 Aviocar
30 Twin Otter DH-6
120 C-12 Huron (Beechcraft Super King Air and Beechcraft 1900)
60 C-98A Cessna
30 CV-22 Osprey
20 E-3G Sentry AWACS
10 E-8 Joint STARS (Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System)
20 E-7A Boeing 737 AEW&C WEDGETAIL
25 C-295 AWACS
50 EMBRAER 145 AEW&C
44 Diamond DA40 Star
12 Diamond DA42 Twin Star
150 T-90 Calima (Lancair Legacy)
100 T-27 Emb-312 Tucano
200 T-6A Texan II
100 T-1 Jayhawk
300 TA-50A Golden Eagle
SPECIAL MISSION AIRCRAFTS
3 C-40C Nightingale II (Hospital-Ambulance aircraft)
30 BEECHCRAFT KING AIR 350 MPA
20 Beechcraft Super King Air 200
10 MC-130J Combat Talon II/Combat Shadow
10 HC-130J Combat King II
10 EC-130J Commando Solo
20 RC-135 Cobra Ball, Combat Sent, Rivet Joint
40 MH-6M/AH-6 Little Bird
120 Bell-407 / 407GT JetRanger
30 AS 565 Panther
30 CH-146 Griffon (Bell 412)
50 HH-60 Pave Hawk (Rescue & SAR)
30 UH-80 Ghost Hawk (Special Operations)
80 RAH-66 Comanche (Recon & Attack)
20 Bell-230P Airwolf (Attack & ELINT)
40 NH-90 TTH (Tactical Transport Helicopter)
30 CH-92 (HH-92) Superhawk
10 HH-101A Caesar
20 AS 532 Cougar
40 EC 725 Caracal
20 CH-47F / MH-47
20 MH-53J Pave Low IV
60 UAV Avenger (Predator C) Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV) (FAP & Navy)
150 UAV mq-9 Reaper
40 UAV rq-4 Global Hawk
30 UAV rq-7b Shadow
75 A-37B+ Dragonfly
60 F-4E Phantom II "Kai Terminator"
30 REF-4E Super Wild Weasel
48 F-16A/B (MLU) Fighting Falcon
60 Mirage 2000-5 Mk2
60 A-4AR+ Fightinghawk (upgrade) (52 A-4AR+ / 8 OA-4AR+)
10 C-19 (Boeing 747-8F Freighter)
30 C-130H (upgrade) Hercules
20 CN-235 CASA
60 U-17A/B (Cessna-180/185) Skywagon (training)
40 Bell 212
EX-AIRCRAFT USED BY THE FAP AND SOLD/RETIRED
24 Su-30MKII Flanker-C (sold)
37 F-5 A/B/E/F (CF-5A/B; NF-5A/B; F-5E/F Tiger) (sold)
22 Mirage 50EV (sold)
20 Mig-21 Bis/Mig-21U (survivors of 24 aircraft) (sold)
16 Super Mystère B2 (retired)
23 Canberra B(I)-82/88/T-4/PR-83 (bombers) (Retired)
24 SIAI-Marchetti SF.260 (sold)
12 AC-47T Dakota (retired)
67 OV-10A/E Bronco (sold)
10 IA-58 Pucará (retired)
48 O-2A/B Skymaster (sold)
21 Strikemaster Mk 89 (survivors of 22 aircraft) (retired)
06 Cessna Citation V (Model 560) Ultra (Reconnaissance and Intelligence)
14 RC-26B Metroliner (Electronic Surveillance)
24 Cessna A-150L Aerobat (retired)
28 (24/4) Aermacchi SF.260E/W (sold)
41 T-34 Mentor (retired)
13 Pilatus PC-7 (sold)
24 T-2D Buckeye (retired)
35 T-33/AT-33 Shooting Star (retired)
14 Mi-2 Hoplite (sold)
233 Mi-8H/Mi-17V/MT/Mi-171 Hip (sold)
215 Bell-205/UH-1 Huey (sold)
76 MI-24D/Mi-25E/Mi-35M2 (sold)
04 AS-61D Sea King (sold)
25 (9/16) AS330 Puma/AS332 Super Puma (AS330 Puma = sold / AS 332 Super Puma = Transfer to National Police)
02 Bell-230 (sold)
23 (12/11) AS350B / AS355F2 Ecureuil (sold)
24 SA-316 Alouette III attack helicopter (retired)
30 AS-342L Gazelle (1 lost in Cenepa War; 19 sold)
12 F-28F Enstrom (sold)
34 OH-6A/H500 Defender (retired)
22 MD-500 Defender (sold)
08 Bo-105CB (retired)
04 KC-707 (tanker) (sold)
02 Boeing 737-2N1/200 (retired)
06 Boeing 727 (sold)
02 Fokker F28 Fellowship (sold)
03 Fokker F27 Friendship (sold)
08 Shaanxi Y-8 (sold)
12 C-130A/B (retired)
12 C-130H (sold)
13 C-123 Provider (retired)
10 G-222 (retired)
23 (13/10) C-47 Dakota/Basler Turbo-67
08 Antonov An-26 Curl (sold)
02 Antonov An-32 (sold)
43 IAI Arava (sold)
03 Let L-410 Turbolet (sold)
10 Turbo Commander (sold)
24 PZL M-28 Skytruck (sold)
21 Antonov An-2 Colt (sold)
FAP SAM & Air Defense Systems
120 (launchers) SAMP/T Aster 30 Mamba (range: 120 kms)
100 (Systems) Oerlikon Skyshield MOOTW/C-RAM System (with NBS MANTIS SHORAD 35mm guns) (range: cannon 4 kms / missile 8 kms)
200 (Launchers) JERNAS / Rapier FSC Air Defence System (range: +8 kms)
200 (Vehicles) Avenger HMMWV Air Defense System
300 (launchers) FIM-92F Stinger Block II (range: 7,6 kms)
+5.000 (missiles) AIM-120 AMRAAM (Range: +160 kms)
Matra Mistral (air to air): air-to-air missile developed from the shoulder-launched system. use on helicopters such as the AS 565 Panther, Eurocopter Tiger, OH-58D Kiowa Warrior, UH-60 Black Hawk and also UAVs. Guidance: infrared homing. Warhead: 2.95 kg HE with high density tungsten balls. Speed: Mach 2.6 (800 m/s). Range: +6 km.
AIM-92 Stinger or ATAS (Air To Air Stinger) (Block II): air-to-air missile developed from the shoulder-launched FIM-92C Stinger system use on helicopters such as the AH-64 Apache, Eurocopter Tiger, OH-58D Kiowa Warrior, UH-60 Black Hawk and also UAVs. Guidance: Fire-and-forget passive IR focal plane array seeker. Warhead: 3 kg HE blast fragmentation. Speed: Mach 2.2 (750 m/s). Range: 8 km.
AIM-9X Sidewinder: short-range air-to-air missile. Guidance: Infrared (IR). Warhead: 20.8 lb (9.4 kg) (WDU-17/B annular blast-frag). Speed: Mach 2.5+. Range: 1.0 to 35.4 km.
Python-5: short air-to-air missile. Guidance: electro-optical infrared homing (IR). Warhead: 11 kg. Speed: Mach 4. Range: >20 km.
MICA: anti-air multi-target, all weather, fire-and-forget short and medium-range missile. Guidance: MICA-EM: Active radar homing, MICA-IR: Infrared homing. Warhead: 12 kg. Speed (Air-launched): Mach 4. Range (Air-launched): 500 m – 80 km.
Derby: BVR, medium-range (~50 km) active radar homing missile. Guidance: Active Radar. Warhead: 23 kg. Speed: Mach 4. Range: 50 km.
Derby-ER:, an extended range version of the Derby that increases range to 54 nmi (62 mi; 100 km).
Meteor: beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM). Guidance: Inertial guidance, mid-course update via datalink, terminal active radar active radar guided. Warhead: High explosive blast-fragmentation. Speed: over Mach 4. Range: 100+ km (250-300 kms?) (60 km No Escape Zone).
AIM-120 AMRAAM: beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM). Guidance: inertial guidance, terminal active radar homing. Warhead: High explosive blast-fragmentation. Speed: Mach 4. Range:
• AIM-120A/B: 55–75 km.
• AIM-120C-5: >105 km.
• AIM-120D (C-8): >180 km.
AGM-114 K/L/N/M/R Hellfire: air-to-surface missile (ASM) first developed for anti-armor use, precision strikes against other target types, and targeted killings of high-profile individuals. Weight: 45–49 kg (100–108 lb). Warhead: AGM-114K High-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) (20 lb / 9.1 kg); AGM-114N tandem anti-armor Metal augmented charge (MAC) (20 lb); AGM-114M shaped charge Blast fragmentation (18 lb / 8.2 kg). Guidance: Semi-active laser homing + millimeter wave radar seeker. Range: 0.5–11 km. Speed: Mach 1.3.
SPIKE: fire-and-forget anti-tank guided missile and anti-personnel missile. Warhead: Tandem-charge HEAT Guidance: Infrared homing – Electro Optical (CCD, IR or Dual CCD/IIR), Passive CCD or dual CCD/IIR seeker. Speed: Mach 0.7.
• Spike LR II: Weight: 12.7 kg (28 lb) Range: 5.5 kms.
• Spike ER II: Weight: 34 kg (74 lb 15 oz) Range: 0.4 - 16 kms.
• Spike NLOS: Weight: 70 kg (154 lb 5 oz). Range: 25 kms.
AS-30L: is employed for attacking targets which require a high degree of precision to engage effectively. Weight: 520 kg. Warhead: 240 kg impact-fuzed SAPHE (Semi-Armor-Piercing High-Explosive). Guidance: laser homing guidance. Range: 3 - 11 km. Speed: Mach 1,3-1,5.
AGM-65H/K Maverick: can be used for defence suppression, close air support and interdiction missions (is effective against a wide range of tactical targets, including armor, air defenses, ships, ground transportation and fuel storage facilities.). Weight: 306 kg. Warhead: 136 kg (300 lb) WDU-24/B penetrating blast-fragmentation. Guidance: (AGM-65H charge-coupled device (CCD) seeker optimized for desert) (AGM-65K: electro-optical television guidance system). Range: 22 km. Speed: 1,150 km/h.
Nimrod 3A: (primarily designed for anti-tank use, it provides standoff strike capability against a variety of point targets such as APCs, ships, bunkers, personnel concentrations and guerrillas). Weight: 100 kg. Warhead: HEAT, Fragmentation-HE, Thermobaric, Anti Personnel Munition. Guidance: Semi-Active Laser Homing (dual mode Laser/GPS Homing missile). Range: 300m - 50 km. Speed: Mach 0.8.
SPEAR 3: (Select Precision Effects At Range) is a long-range Air-to-Surface missile (land-attack & antiship capable) (4 x will fit with 1 x Meteor air-to-air missile in each internal weapons bay of the F-35B). Guidance: combined radio frequency (RF) imaging sensor and a semi-active laser (SAL), two-way data link and GPS navigation. Weight: 100 kg. Warhead: Multi-effect (Tandem-shaped penetrating charge, high explosive/fragmentary) Range: 130 km. Speed: high subsonic.
ANTIRADIATION GUIDED MISSILES
AGM-122B Sidearm: (air-to-surface anti-radiation missile). Plataform: AH-1 Cobra; AH-64 Apache. AV-8P Harrier II; Other Fighters. Weight: 88 kg. Guidance: Narrow-band passive radar seeker. Warhead: 25 lb (11.3 kg) WDU-31/B blast-fragmentation. Range: 35 km. Speed: Mach 2.5+.
AGM-88E HARM: Advanced Antiradiation Guided Missile (AARGM). Guidance: Passive radar homing with home-on-jam, GPS/INS and millimeter-wave active radar homing. Weight: 355 kg. Warhead: 66 kg(146 lb) blast/fragmentation. Range: 150 kms. Speed: 2,280 km/h (Mach 2+).
AGM-88G AARGM-ER: (Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile - Extended Range) Range: +195 kms (+120 miles). Plataform: F-18E/F; EA-18G; F-35; F-3; F-23; F-111P; FB-111P; F-15E/SE; etc.
BOMBS / GUIDED BOMBS
Mk 82 (500 lb) unguided, low-drag general-purpose bomb
SCALPEL (Small Contained-Area Laser Precision Energetic Load): Weight: 100 lbs (45.3 kg). Guidance: Semi-active laser homing. The rationale behind the system is to provide a light, low-collateral damage weapon which can utilise the infrastructure and platform integration already in place for the E-LGTR system. Scalpel Plus version has a dual-mode SAL/GPS guidance system.
GBU-12 Paveway II (500 lb) laser-guided bombs
GBU-22 Paveway III (500 lb) laser-guided bombs
GBU-24 Paveway III (2000 lb) laser-guided bombs
GBU-39/B Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) (285 lb) GPS-aided inertial navigation system to attack fixed/stationary targets such as fuel depots, bunkers, etc. (GBU-53/B SDB II will include a thermal seeker and radar with automatic target recognition features for striking mobile targets such as tanks, vehicles, and mobile command posts).
GBU-49 Enhanced Paveway II (192 lb) laser-guided bombs
GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB): Warhead: 8,500 kg (18,700 pounds) of H6 as an explosive charge inside it, which is 1.35 times the power of the explosive TNT (MOAB is equivalent to about 11 tons of TNT). Guidance: GPS satellite-guidance.
MOAB is delivered from MC-130 cargo planes, inside which they are carried on cradles resting on airdrop platforms. The bombs are dropped by deploying drogue parachutes, which also extract the cradle and platform from the aircraft. Shortly after launch, the drogues are released and bombs fall unretarded. GPS satellite-guidance is used to guide bombs to their targets.
Joint Strike Missile (JSM): is a long-range, precision-guided, stand-off missile. anti surface warfare (ASuW); and naval fire support (NFS) missions in open sea, over land and littoral environments. Infrared seeker target recognition, and a two-way datalink. Weight: 416 kg. Warhead: 125kg HE fragmentation warhead. (Range: 500 kms) - Speed: High Subsonic. Plataforms: F-3; F-23; F-35; F-18F; etc.
AGM-84H/K SLAM-ER: (Standoff Land Attack Missile-Expanded Response) is a precision-guided, air-launched cruise missile. Warhead: 488 lbs (221.4 kg) penetrating high-explosive blast. (Range: 270 kms) - Subsonic
AGM-109H/K/L Tomahawk: Medium Range Air to Surface Missile (MRASM). Warhead: AGM-109L: 1000 lb Penetration munition. AGM-109K: 450 kg (1000 lb) WDU-25/B blast-fragmentation. AGM-109H: Anti Runway Munition/cluster munitions. (Range: 2500 kms) - subsonic
AGM-142 Have Nap (Popeye / Popeye II): (air-to-surface missile). Warhead 340 kg (750 lb) blast fragmentation or 360 kg (790 lb) I-800 penetrating. (Range: 80 kms) - supersonic
Popeye Turbo ALCM/SLCM: ALCM (air-launched cruise missile) (Range: 320 kms) / SLCM (submarine-launched cruise missile - Warhead: It can allegedly carry a 200 kt nuclear warhead). (1500 kms) - supersonic
AGM-154 (A/B/C): JSOW (Joint Standoff Weapon). Warhead: AGM-154A consists of 145 BLU-97/B Combined Effects Bomb (CEB) submunitions. AGM-154B is 6 x BLU-108/B submunitions. Each submunition releases four projectiles (total of 24 per weapon) that use infrared sensors to detect targets. AGM-154C carries the BROACH warhead. (Range: Low altitude release: 22 kms. / high altitude release: 130 kms.) - subsonic.
AGM-158 (A/B): JASSM (Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile) / JASSM-Extended Range (JASSM-ER). Warhead: 450 kg (1000 lb) WDU-42/B penetrator. (Range: JASSM= 370+ km / JASSM-ER= 1000+ km) - subsonic.
Storm Shadow/SCALP EG: (low-observable air-launched cruise missile). Warhead: 450 kilograms (990 lb) BROACH (Bomb Royal Ordnance Augmented Charge). (Range: 560 km) - Speed: 1,000 km/h (Mach 0.8-0.95).
Taurus KEPD 350: (air-launched cruise missile). Warhead: 481 kg Mephisto (Multi-Effect Penetrator HIghly Sophisticated and Target Optimised) (Range: 500 km) - subsonic.
RBS-15: (long-range fire-and-forget surface-to-surface and air-to-surface, anti-ship missile). Warhead: 200 kg HE blast and pre-fragmented warhead. (Range: 200 kms) - subsonic
Apache AP: (air-launched anti-runway cruise missile). Warhead: 10 Kriss anti-runway submunitions (50 kg warhead each) (Range: 140 km). - Speed 1000 km/h (Mach 0.8-0.95).
ANTISHIP MISSILES (Used by Panamanian Air Force and Naval Aviation)
AGM-123 Skipper II: is a short-range laser-guided missile developed by the United States Navy. The Skipper was intended as an anti-ship weapon, capable of disabling the largest vessels with a 1,000-lb (450-kg) impact-fuzed warhead. It is composed of a Mark 83 bomb fitted with a Paveway guidance kit and two Mk 78 solid propellant rockets that fire upon launch. The rockets allow the munition to be dropped farther away from the target than could free-fall bombs, which helps protect the delivery aircraft from surface-to-air-missiles and anti-aircraft artillery near the target.
AGM-65 Maverick F: uses a modified Maverick D infrared guidance system optimized for tracking ships fitted onto a Maverick-E body and warhead. (Warhead: 136 kg (300 lb) WDU-24/B penetrating blast-fragmentation). Operational range: Greater than 22 km (12 nmi). Speed: 1,150 km/h (620 kn).
ANL Sea Venom: anti-surface (anti-ship) missiles. Warhead: 30 kg. Range 25+ km. Speed: High-subsonic. Plataforms: AS 565 Panther; AW-159 Wildcats.
AGM-119 Penguin: Warhead: 120 kg (MK2), 130 kg (MK3). Operational range: 34+ km (MK2), 55+ km (MK3). Speed: high subsonic. Plataforms: The Penguin can be launched from a number of different weapons platforms: Surface vessels: Missile boats (its initial application) as well as larger ships. Fighter aircraft: certified for F-16. Helicopters (certified for the following aircraft): Bell 412 SP; Kaman SH-2 Seasprite; Sikorsky S-70 series (SH-60 Seahawk, UH-60 Black Hawk); Westland Super Lynx.
Marte ER: Warhead: 70 kg (150 lb) Semi-armour piercing HE. Weight: 315 kg. Range: >100 kms. Speed: High subsonic. Plataforms: NFH90 (SH-90) and AW-101 helicopters; Maritime Patrol Aircrafts and other fast jets.
AM39 Exocet: Warhead: 165 kilograms (364 lb). Range between 50 and 70 km, depending on the altitude and the speed of the launch aircraft. Speed: Mach 0.92.
AGM-84L Harpoon Block II: air-launched all-weather, over-the-horizon, anti-ship missile. Warhead: 488 pounds (221 kg). Weight: 690.8kg. (Range: 130 kms) - Speed: 537 mph (864 km/h; 240 m/s; Mach 0.71) subsonic.
AGM-84H/K SLAM-ER: (Standoff Land Attack Missile-Expanded Response) is a precision-guided, air-launched anti-ship missile and cruise missile. Warhead: 488 lbs (221.4 kg) penetrating high-explosive blast. (Range: 270 kms) - subsonic
AGM-158C LRASM: (Long Range Anti-Ship Missile). Warhead: 1,000 lb (450 kg) blast-fragmentation penetrator. (Range: 560 km) - High-subsonic