Jet Monument Moved

Since the early 80s Motril has had an early jet aircraft on display at the top of town; it's a Spanish Air Force HA-200 Saeta.

MOT Jet MovedThe aircraft was donated by the Air Force as for many years Motril had an Air Force station within the municipality Escuadrón de Vigilancia Aérea número 9, or as in its more commonly known, abbreviated form EVA-9.

It was around 1971 that EVA-6 was moved down from Navarra and relocated in Motril as EVA-9. The personnel were distributed between three locations: the HQ or administrive wing on Calle Cuartel de Simancas; married quarters opposite where the jet was mounted for public display and the work area on top of El Monte Conjuro, set up in 1971, where the early-warning radar post was set up. The radar installations was a joint Hispano-American arrangement.

In the 90s, the PROVIDA program took place, which generally aimed to modify the old radars of American origin (AN/FPS-113 or surveillance radar and AN/FPS-90 or high altitude radar) with the intention of prolonging their useful life. until the entry into service of the new three-dimensional radars at the beginning of the 21st century. At the end of 2007 the old radars were removed, and the building installation renovated, including the new tower to house the new Spanish designed and made LANZA three-dimensional radar.

All this brings us to the origin of the HA-200 Saeta jet aircraft, which was Spain’s first military jet and was designed by none other than the German aircraft designer Willy Messerschmitt of Me-109 fame. The first prototypes flew in 1950s and finally entered into service in 1962.

The one that Motril posses entered service in 1965 and was finally decomissioned in the beginning of the 80s and handed over to Motril Town Hall. EVA-9 is not a flying squadron, so it doesn’t have its own aircraft, so it came from a flying squadron elsewhere in Spain).

The jet was mounted on a high structure opposite what was then the married quarters of the squadron; in front of the gasolinera. Part of the arrangement between the Air Ministry and Motril was a committment on the part of the town to maintain it.

Now, the plain is to undergo a thorough restoration to coincide with the 40th anniversary of its arrival, which will be in October. However, when this is concluded, it will be relocated to the large roundabout at the top of the Ronda del Poniente, which is the junction for the hospital.

The Commanding Officer of EVA-9, Squadron Leader José Luis Rando, said, “It is reason to be satisfied because this aircraft was the first Spanish-built jet to enter service.”

(News: Motril, Costa Tropical, Granada, Andalucia)

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