Chile Table of Contents
In the past, several types of light aircraft were developed in Chile by the FACh-controlled National Aircraft Factory (Fábrica Nacional de Aeronaves--FNA), although none of these entered production. Starting in 1981, however, the FACh's Engineering and Maintenance Wing commenced the development of a variant of the Piper 236 Dakota light aircraft as a replacement for the Beech T34 . The result was the T-35 Pillán two-seater primary trainer. In 1984 Enaer, the National Aeronautical Enterprise, was set up in Santiago as a state enterprise with autonomous management to handle this project. Although Enaer's main contracts have been with the FACh, by late 1991 it had sold forty Pillán training aircraft to the Spanish Air Force, fifteen to the Paraguayan Air Force, ten to the Panamanian National Air Service, and sixty to the FACh. (Those for the Spanish Air Force were built under license in Spain under the name Tamiz.) The FACh proposed ultimately to build up to 200 Pilláns, mainly in the turboprop version unveiled in 1986 and originally designated the Aucan.
In a joint venture with Spain, Enaer developed a version of the Spanish CASA 101 Aviojet fighter, called the T-36 Halcón (Falcon), to replace the Cessna T-37 in the advanced trainer/light-strike role. Fifty-six of these aircraft were in service with the FACh. A radar-equipped maritime strike version, designated the A-36M and armed with the British Aerospace Sea Eagle air-to-surface missile, was also developed; it was flown in prototype form in 1992. In 1993 Enaer and the Brazilian Aeronautics Company (Embraer) signed an agreement, as partners, to share the risks of the EMB-145 program, which will produce a minimum of 400 of these jets.
Employing about 2,000 people, Enaer has the capability to produce one aircraft per week, although the plant was not working to full capacity in early 1992. The engines for the Pillán and the Halcón are imported from the United States and Spain, respectively. The airframes and most other parts, including such sophisticated items as ejection seats, are produced in Chile. Enaer also manufactures parts for the CASA 235 and the BAe 146.
Enaer's Electronics Division has developed and produced the Caiquen I and II early warning radars, which are in full production. Enaer has also developed the Itata airborne electronic intelligence-gathering system, the Medusa radio interception and jamming system, and the Eclipse chaff/infrared decoy launcher.
Data as of March 1994