Bolivarian Navy of Venezuela

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Bolivarian Navy of Venezuela
Armada Bolivariana de Venezuela
Coat of Arms of the Navy
Active 1811 – Present
Country  Venezuela
Allegiance President of Venezuela
Branch National Armed Forces of Venezuela
Role Defense of the country's coastline and maritime and inland waters
Size 6 frigates
4 corvettes
2 submarines
4 amphibious ship
8 patrol boat
3 auxiliary ship
Part of Ministry of People's Power for Defense
Patron Virgen del Valle
Motto Navegare necesse, vivere non necesse (Latin: "Sailing is necessary, but living is not".)
Colors Navy Blue
March Marcha Epica de las Fuerzas Navales
(Grand March of the National Navy)
Anniversaries July 24, Birthday of Simon Bolivar, Navy Day and Battle of Lake Maracaibo Anniversary
Engagements Venezuelan War of Independence
Battle of Lake Maracaibo
Minister of the People's Power for Defense of the Republic of Venezuela Admiral In Chief Carmen Melendez
Operational Strategic Commander of the National Armed Forces General-in-Chief Vladimir Padrino López
Commanding General, Venezuelan Navy Admiral Jairo Avendaño Quintero
Inspector General, Venezuelan Navy Vice Admiral Orlando Miguel Maneiro Gaspar
Chief of Naval Staff, Venezuelan Navy Vice Admiral Jorge Martín Hernández Salazar
José Prudencio Padilla
Luis Brión
Naval Ensign
Flag of Venezuela (state).svg
Naval Jack
Naval Jack of Venezuela.svg
Naval Jack 1930–2006
Naval Jack of Venezuela 1930–2006.svg

The navy of Venezuela is officially called the Bolivarian Navy of Venezuela (Spanish: Armada Bolivariana de Venezuela).

It serves the purpose of defending the naval sovereignty of the country, including inland and fluvial security, and it also serves to prevent illegal activities in the Venezuelan borders and collaborates with international organizations to safeguard international waters from criminal activities.


The Navy was born as a coastal defense force during the beginning of the Venezuelan War of Independence. In May of 1810, Commander Lino de Clemente, a veteran officer of the Spanish Navy who joined the April 1810 coup against the colonial government, was appointed the first Minister of Defense of the republic and began the long building of the armed forces inlcuding the formation of the navy. In April 1811 the Nautical School, with Ensign Vicente Parrado as its first superindentent, was opened by order of the national government in La Guaira to train future naval officers, months before the Venezuelan Declaration of Independence, thus the Navy's origins start from this date, with its first vessels being those formerly used by the naval forces of the Captaincy General of Venezuela, and participated in its first actions in the campaigns in Guayana in 1811-12, the baptism of fire for the fledling naval service. Col. Antonio Mendoza from the Venezuelan Army was its first commanding general.

For long time their vessels, even if obsolete, were maintained properly by its sailors. In 1937 the Navy acquired from Italy two gunboats of the Azio class and rechristened them General Soublette and General Urdaneta; these ships where retained in service until 1951[1] (for other sources in 1948[2] or 1950[3][4]) and scrapped later.[5][6]

Joint exercises[edit]

In September, 2008, the Russian Navy's nuclear-powered missile cruiser Pyotr Velikiy, accompanied by three other ships of Russia's Northern Fleet, sailed from its base in Severomorsk on a cruise to the Caribbean Sea for a joint exercise with the Venezuelan Navy. This action represented the first major Russian power projection in that region since the end of the Cold War.[7][8] The fleet of ships, headed by the nuclear-powered Pyotr Velikiy, set off from its base at Severomorsk in the Arctic on Monday, September 22. Russian Navy spokesman Igor Dygalo told the AFP news agency, "It's the nuclear-powered guided missile cruiser Peter the Great, the anti-submarine warship Admiral Chebanenko and other accompanying ships". The other ships included a tug boat and supply ships.[9]

Organization of the Navy[edit]

As of 2014, Admiral Jairo Avendaño Quintero is the Commanding General of the National Navy.[10]

Naval Operations Command[edit]

Led by the Chief of Naval Operations, as of 2014 Vice Admiral Antonio Díaz Clemente,[11] it supervises all 4 naval operating commands.[citation needed]This command is mandated towards the defense of the territorial maritime and inland waters and the coastline of the nation.

Fluvial Command[edit]

This command is the riverline and fluvial operations arm of the Navy mandated for riverline operations.[citation needed]

Venezuelan Naval Aviation Command[edit]

The command serves as the air arm of the Venezulean Navy.

Naval Air Stations of the Venezuelan Navy[edit]

There are eight Naval Air Statons:[citation needed]

  • NAS Puerto Cabello (NAC HQ)
  • NAS Punto Fijo
  • NAS Maiquieta
  • NAS Caracas (Generalissimo Francisco de Miranda Air Base)
  • NAS Guiria
  • NAS La Blanquilla
  • NAS La Orchila
  • NAS Puerto Ayacucho (General in Chief José Antonio Páez AFB)

Coast Guard Command[edit]

Headquartered in La Guaira, Vargas, it is responsible for the surveillance of Venezuelas jurisdictional waters.[12]

Fleet Forces and Coast Guard ship organization[edit]

The following is the roster of active duty vessels and ships of the Venezuelan Navy as of October 2001.[13]

Class Origin Type In Service Notes
Mariscal Sucre Italy Missile frigate 3 serviceable (2 modernized in the 1990s + 1 as delivered), 3 mothballed[when?] at the DIANCA shipyard.
Capana South Korea Amphibious 4
Guaiquerí Spain Patrol (POVZEE) 4[citation needed]
Guaicamacuto Spain Patrol coast guard (BVL)
Pagalo Venezuela Cutter 1 -- Commissioned in 2008.[14][15]
Point USA Cutter 4
Punta Brava Spain Survey ship 1[citation needed]
Puerto Cabello Norway Logistic ship 1
Ciudad Bolívar South Korea Small replenishment oiler 1
Bricbarc Spain Sail training ship 1

Current ships[edit]

Class Image Type Ships Origin Note
Type 209 S31ARASalta.jpg Diesel-electric S-31 Sábalo
S-32 Caribe
 Germany 1,810 tonnes
Frigates (6)
Mariscal Sucre-class ARV General Salóm (F-25) y ARV Mariscal Sucre (F-21) - 1987-09855.jpg missile frigates F-21 Mariscal Sucre
F-22 Almirante Brion
F-23 General Urdaneta
F-24 General Soublette
F-25 General Salom
F-26 Almirante García
 Italy 2,506 tonnes
Corvettes (4)
Guaiquerí class PC-21 Guaiqueri 14 de Mayo 2011 Foto Capitán Ted.jpg Offshore Patrol Vessels PC-21 Guaiquerí
PC-22 Warao
PC-23 Yekuana
PC-24 Kariña
 Spain 2,419 tons
Patrol Vessels (13)
Guaicamacuto class Bvl.png Coast patrol GC-21 Guaicamacuto
GC-22 Yavire
GC-23 Naiguata
GC-24 Tamanaco
 Spain 1,453 tons
Point class USCGC Point Evans.jpg Patrol boat PG-31 Petrel
PG-32 Alcatraz
PG-34 Pelicano
 United States 60 tons
Constitución Class Navy003.jpg Patrol boat PC-11 Constitución
PC-12 Federación
PC-13 Independencia
PC-14 Libertad
PC-15 Patria
PC-16 Victoria
 United Kingdom  ?
Amphibious ship and service ships (7)
Capana-class LST Landing Ship Tank T-61 Capana
T-64 Los Llanos
 South Korea  ?
Los Frailes-class LST Landing Ship Tank T-90 Los Frailes
T-91 Los Testigos
 Cuba  ?
Ciudad Bolívar-class Supply ship T-81 Ciudad Bolívar  South Korea  ?
Bricbarc type/Simón Bolívar Navy002.jpg Training sailboat BE-11 Simón Bolívar  Spain  ?
Punta Brava Class Oceanographic ship BO-11 Punta Brava  Spain  ?

Light frigates[edit]

Venezuelan frigates General Salóm (foreground) and Mariscal Sucre conduct maneuvers
  • Six Lupo/Mariscal Sucre-class missile frigates class[16][17]


PC-21 Guaiquerí

Amphibious and service ships[edit]

  • Four Capana-class LST.
  • Four Cuban made Los Frailes-class multipurpose LSTs
  • One Ciudad Bolívar-class supply ship.
    • T-81 Ciudad Bolívar, in service since 09-23-2001[21]
  • One Bricbarc type/Simón Bolívar training sailboat.[22]
    • BE-11 Simón Bolívar, in service since 08-6-1980
  • One oceanographic ship

Coast patrol[edit]

GC-21 Guaicamacuto
  • Four Spanish-made offshore patrol vessels of the BVL class (on order).
    • GC-21 Guaicamacuto, in service[23]
    • GC-22 Yavire, in service
    • GC-23 Naiguata, in service
    • GC-24 Tamanaco, completed in Venezuela 2014

Coast guard ships[edit]

Naval Aviation assets[edit]

CASA 212


Aircraft Origin Type Versions In service
as of 2012[26]
CASA C-212-200 Patrullero Spain Maritime Patrol aircraft C-212-200S43 Patrullero 3
CASA C-212-400 Aviocar Spain Transport aircraft C-212-400 Aviocar 4[citation needed]
Beechcraft Super King Air USA Transport/liaison aircraft B200
Turbo Commander USA Transport aircraft 1

Note: The Navy has others two or three light aircraft.


Aircraft Origin Type Versions In service
as of 2012[26]
Bell 412
Bell 212
USA Assault/transport helicopter 10
Mil Mi-17 Russia Assault/transport helicopter Mi-17V-5 6
Bell 206 USA Training light helicopter TH-57A 2
Harbin Z-9 China Anti-submarine warfare 8 on order First delivery in 2015[27]


  1. ^ Navyworld
  2. ^ Museo della Cantieristica.
  3. ^ Proflot
  4. ^
  5. ^ Warships 1900-1950
  6. ^ Oceania
  7. ^
  8. ^ Reuters: Russia says to send battleship to Caribbean Sea
  9. ^ "Russian navy sails to Venezuela". BBC News. September 22, 2008. Retrieved April 26, 2010. 
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ Jane's Fighting Ships 2005-2006, ISBN 0-7106-2692-4 p.923
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i cite web |url= |title=World Navies Today: Venezuela |date=2001-10-26 |accessdate=2014-03-09
  14. ^ "El presidente Chávez abandera el primer buque de guerra construido en Venezuela" [President Chavez championed the first warship built in Venezuela]. Soitu (in Spanish). 2008-09-11. 
  15. ^ "Chávez abandera el primer buque patrullero fabricado en Venezuela" [Chavez is leading the first patrol vessel manufactured in Venezuela]. El Economista (in Spanish). Agence France-Presse. 2008-09-11. 
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ [1] Navantia entrega a la Armada venezolana el primer Patrullero Oceánico de Vigilancia
  19. ^ "El patrullero oceánico Warao (PC-22) de la Armada de Venezuela será reparado en Brasil". (in Spanish). 9 January 2013. 
  20. ^ "El patrullero oceánico Warao de la Armada de Venezuela arriba a Río de Janeiro para su eventual reparación". (in Spanish). 7 March 2013. 
  21. ^
  22. ^ a b Jane's Fighting Ships 2005-2006, ISBN 0-7106-2692-4 p.925
  23. ^ "Navantia Launches and Commissions Two OPVs to Venezuelan Navy". 
  24. ^ Mauricio Miranda (2008-02-26). "Analizan adquisición de un guardacostas en Venezuela" [Analyze acquisition of a cutter in Venezuela]. El Nuevo Diario. Retrieved 2012-02-02.  mirror
  25. ^ "Casi listo patrullero venezolano similar al ofertado a Nicaragua" [Almost ready like Venezuelan patrol offered to Nicaragua]. Nuestro Mar. 2008-03-06. Retrieved 2012-02-02.  mirror
  26. ^ a b World Air Forces 2013 -, pg 30, December 11, 2012
  27. ^ [ Venezuela; Navy orders Chinese Z-9 ASW helicopters] -, 7 September 2013

External links[edit]