National Air Force of Angola

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National Air Force of Angola
Força Aérea Nacional Angolana
Forca Aerea Angola emblem.svg
Angolan Air Force emblem
Active 21 January 1976 –
Country Angola
Size 285–348 aircraft
Garrison/HQ Luanda(?)
General Francisco Lopes Gonçalves Afonso
Roundel Angola-roundel.svg
Aircraft flown
Attack Su-25, Su-22, Mi-24/35
Fighter Su-27, MiG-23, MiG-21
Patrol Fokker F27, EMB-110
Trainer Yak-11, PC-7, Tucano
Transport L-100, An-12, An-26, C.212, Mi-8

The National Air Force of Angola (Portuguese: Força Aérea Nacional Angolana, FANA) is the air branch of the Armed Forces of Angola. Angola became independent from Portugal on 11 November 1975. However, the foundations for the establishment of the air force were laid before independence when members of the then Flying Club of Angola were assembled at Luanda in October 1975.[1] These people and aircraft left behind by the Portuguese Air Force formed the basis for the air transport branch of the force.

The force was formally established on 21 January 1976 as the People's Air and Air Defence Force of Angola (Força Aérea Popular de Angola/Defesa Aérea e Antiaérea (FAPA/DAA)). Its first batch of Soviet MiG fighter aircraft was delivered in mid-December 1975.[1] The FAPA/DAA fought several battles with South African Air Force aircraft in November 1981, October 1982, and twice in September 1987.[2]

Circa 1983-85, in order to enhance MPLA's combat capacity, Romania sent 150 flight instructors and other aviation personnel, who contributed to the establishment of an Angolan Military Aviation School.

The FAN has bases at Luanda, Belas, Luena, Kuito, Lubango and Namibe, often referred to by its pre-1985 name of Mocamedes. The World Factbook, produced by the CIA, reported that by 2007 the name of the force had changed to "National Air Force".[3]

Most of the inventory is out of service, and refers to historical equipment delivered along the years. FAN has many bases – most of them, former Portuguese Air Force bases and other courtesy of the cold war – but few airplanes that actually fly. The main body of the active air force is made of transport/cargo planes, used for moving supplies, equipment and personnel between parts of the country.


Current inventory[edit]

An Angolan Air Force MiG-21bis
Angolan VIP Embraer ERJ-135BJ Legacy
A Ilyushin Il-76 of the Angolan Air Force
Aircraft Origin Type Variant In service Notes
Combat Aircraft
EMB-314  Brazil COIN 6[4]
MiG-21  Russia fighter MiG-21bis 24[4]
MiG-23  Russia fighter 22[4]
Su-22  Russia fighter / bomber 14[4]
Su-25  Russia attack 15[4]
Su-27  Russia fighter 1[4]
Su-30  Russia fighter 12 on order[4]
Maritime Patrol
CASA C-212  Spain patrol 4[4]
ERJ-135  Brazil VIP 1[5]
Yak-40  Soviet Union VIP 1[6]
An-12  Ukraine heavy transport 10[4]
An-26  Ukraine transport 1[4]
An-32  Ukraine transport 7[4]
An-74  Ukraine heavy transport 5[4]
CASA C-212  Spain utility transport 2[4]
Dornier 28  Germany utility 1[4]
Il-76  Russia heavy transport 8[4]
Bell 212  United States utility 9[4]
Mil Mi-8  Russia utility Mi-8/17 50[4]
Mil Mi-24  Russia attack Mi-24/35 15[4]
SA 316  France liaison 19[4]
SA 341  France light scout 8[4]
Trainer Aircraft
EMB-312  Brazil trainer 13[4]
L-29  Czech Republic jet trainer 6[4]
L-39  Czech Republic jet trainer 3[4]
PC-7   Switzerland basic trainer 22[4]
PC-9   Switzerland trainer 4[4]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

On 14 September 2011, an Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia, operated by the Angolan Air Force, crashed just after takeoff from Nova Lisboa Airport,[7] killing 11 army officers (including three generals, among them Kalias Pedro) and six civilians.[8][9] The accident occurred at 11:30 am at the airport, with a military delegation on board the flight at Albano Machado Airport.[10]


  1. ^ a b Cooper, Tom & Weinert, Peter (2010). African MiGs: Volume I: Angola to Ivory Coast. Harpia Publishing LLC. p. 17. ISBN 978-0-9825539-5-4. 
  2. ^ Cooper and Weinert 2010, 52, 54, 60.
  3. ^ "Non official site with history of FAN" (in Portuguese). Retrieved 21 August 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y "World Air Forces 2015 pg. 10". Flightglobal Insight. 2015. Retrieved 18 December 2014. 
  5. ^ "Angolan Air Force embraer crash". Retrieved 18 December 2014. 
  6. ^ "Angolan Air Force VIP Ya-40 visits Malta". Air Forces Monthly pg. 13 (Key Publishing). December 2014. 
  7. ^ "Accident Description". Aviation Safety Network. 14 September 2011. Retrieved 15 September 2011. 
  8. ^ "Angola: Huambo air force plane crash kills generals". BBC News. 15 September 2011. Retrieved 15 March 2012 
  9. ^ "Angola army says 17 killed in air crash". 14 September 2011. Retrieved 15 September 2011. 
  10. ^ "17 Killed in Wednesday Air Force plane crash". Angola Press Agency. 15 September 2011. Retrieved 15 September 2011. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Cooper, Tom & Weinert, Peter (2010). African MiGs: Volume I: Angola to Ivory Coast. Harpia Publishing LLC. ISBN 978-0-9825539-5-4.