Venezuelan Air Force

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Bolivarian Venezuelan Military Aviation
Aviación Militar Bolivariana Venezolana (AMBV)[1]
Aviacion Militar Venezolana.gif
Active 22 June 1946 - Present
Country  Venezuela
Allegiance President of Venezuela
Branch Air Force of Venezuela
Size 202 aircraft
Patron Our Lady of Loreto
Motto Spatium superanus palatinus (Latin:The paladin of the sovereign space)
Colors Bleu celeste
March Venezuelan Air Force Hymn (Himno de la Aviacion Militar Nacional) by Gabriel Torres Pulgar and Carlos Bonnet
Anniversaries 10 December, Air Force Day
27 November, anniversary of the 2nd 1992 Coup d'état by members of the Air Force,part of the 1992 Venezuelan coup d'état attempts
Commanding General of the Venezuelan Air Force Major General Eutimio José Criollo Villalobos
Roundel Roundel of Venezuela.svg
Aircraft flown
Attack F-16, Su-30MK2, K-8
Dassault Falcon 20C Prometeo, Fairchild C-26B Metro EW,
Fighter Su-30MK2, F-16
Trainer C182, SF-260, EMB-312, K-8
Transport C-130, G.222, Boeing 707-320C, Short 360-300

The Bolivarian National Air Force of Venezuela/Venezuelan National Bolivarian Military Aviation, since the end of 2008: (Spanish) Aviación Militar Nacional Bolivariana de Venezuela (previously Fuerza Aérea Venezolana, FAV)[1] is a professional armed body designed to defend Venezuela's sovereignty and airspace. It is a service component of the National Armed Forces of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.


In the aftermath of the first plane flight in Venezuela on 22 September 1912, a council was formed to search for a suitable aircraft for the growing Venezuelan Army in 1913.

The FAV traces its origins to 10 December 1920, when the Military Aviation School of Venezuela was formed in Maracay with a mission of training pilots for the fledging national air service, then a part of the army.[citation needed]

Most of the airbases in Venezuela were built in the 1960s as part of a massive expansion program. The main fighter types in those years were Venom, Vampire, and F-86. Bomber squadrons typically operated B-25 Mitchell aircraft. The 70s and 80s saw a considerable increase in capacity, mainly because the rising oil prices enabled the FAV to re-equip most of its units. The mixture of various aircraft types was maintained and Mirage IIIE and V, VF-5A and D, T-2D, OV-10A and E, T-27 were introduced. Venezuela was one of the first export customers for the F-16 which arrived in 1983 to equip the newly formed Grupo Aéreo de Caza 16 at El Libertador Airbase.[2][3]

In the 1992 Venezuelan coup d'état attempts, elements of the Venezuelan Air Force were key instigators of the rebellion. FAV units concentrated at El Libertador Air Base under the command of Brig. General Visconti seized control of the airbase and then launched an attack on the capitol. OV-10s, AT-27 Tucanos, and Mirage III fighters under his command bombarded targets in the capitol and loyalist air bases, destroying 5 CF-5 fighters on the ground. Two loyalist pilots escaped with F-16 fighters and shot down 2 OV-10s and 1 Tucano, claiming air superiority for the government . Two more rebel OV-10s were lost to ground fire. As the tables turned on the coup attempt, General Visconti and his allies fled in two C-130s, 2 Mirages, 1 OV-10 Bronco, and several SA.330 helicopters.[4]

In 2006, Venezuelan F-16s, F-5s and Mirages participated in the joint exercise Cruzex III held in Brazil along with the air forces of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, France, Peru and Uruguay.[5]


The AMV purchased 24 Sukhoi Su-30 planes from Russia in July 2006, as a result of the United States embargo on spare parts for their F-16 force.[6]

Currently Venezuela is in talks with Russia with regards to potential acquisitions of the Su-35 fighter aircraft and a second batch of aircraft 12-24 Sukhoi Su-30.[7][8]

Combat Organization[edit]

The current organizattion of the air force includes thirteen air groups:[citation needed]

List of Venezuelan Air Force Bases[edit]

Former and present air force bases include:[citation needed]

Aircraft inventory[edit]

As of December 2013, the Venezuelan Air Forces consists of the following aircraft models and numbers:[10]

Aircraft Photo Origin Type Versions In service[10] Notes
Fighter aircraft
Sukhoi Su-30MKV Flanker-G Venezuelan Air Force Sukhoi SU-30MK2 AADPR.jpg  Russia multirole strike fighter SU-30 MK2 24
Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon Venezuelan Air Force General Dynamics F-16A Fighting Falcon (401) Lofting-1.jpg  USA fighter
F-16A Block 15OCU
F-16B Block 15OCU
Attack aircraft
Hongdu K-8VV Karakorum K8avia04 (1).jpg  China trainer/light attack K-8VV 15 in order Nine (09) training aircraft Hongdu K-8vv Karakorum to complete the aircraft fleet of AMB in the amount of Bs 2,379,196 and $ 75,530,000.[11]

-One was lost in an accident of 2010,[citation needed] a second one on Nov 27th 2012 during a ceremony on national television, and a third was lost during a night exercise on July 26, 2013.[12]

Trainer aircraft
Embraer EMB 312 T-27 Tucano Venezuelan Tucano on VEMBRA VI.jpeg  Brazil trainer/light attack EMB 312 T-27 20
Aermacchi SF.260 MARCHETTI SF-260TP HAITI.jpg  Italy trainer/light attack SF-260EV 12
SKYLANECessna 182 Cessna182t skylane n2231f cotswoldairshow 2010 arp.jpg  USA trainer 182 SKYLANE 12
Diamond DA 40 DiamondDA40C-GSPB.jpg  Austria trainer DA 40 0 36 on order.[13]
QUAD CITY ULTRALIGHT CORP QuadCityChallengerIIC-IBUY08.jpg  USA trainer Quad City Challenger 7
Transport and Aerial refueling
Boeing 707 Venezuelan Air Force Boeing 707-384C(KC) JetPix-1.jpg  USA transport/fuel Tanker 1
Lockheed C-130 Hercules Venezuela Air Force Lockheed C-130H Hercules (L-382) Durand-1.jpg  USA transport C-130H 4
Shaanxi Y-8 Shaanxi Y-8F-200, Venezuela - Air Force JP7743534.jpg  China transport Y-8F-200VV 8 Order completed Nov 2013.[14]
Short 360 Shorts360airsey.jpg  UK transport 360-300 2
Dornier Do 228 Dornier Do-228 of Indian Navy.JPG  GER logistical support 228 NG 10 in order.[11]
Utility transport and Transport VIP
Airbus A-319CJ Venezuelan Air Force Airbus A319CJ Lebeda.jpg  European Union transport A-319CJ 1 Presidential Aircraft (air force one)
Boeing 737 Venezuelan Air Force Boeing 737-200 Maharajh-1.jpg  USA VIP transport 737-2N1 1
Cessna Citation X  USA VIP transport Cessna Citation X 1
Dassault Falcon 50  France VIP Falcon-50EX 3
Dassault Falcon 900  France VIP Falcon 900 2
Cessna 208B Grand Caravan Venezuela Air Force Cessna 208B Grand Caravan AADPR-1.jpg  USA transport
air ambulance
208B 2
Cessna Citation II Cessna 550 Citation II, Venezuela - Air Force JP6526972.jpg  USA transport Citation II 1
Beechcraft B200 Super King Air Venezuela Air Force Beech B200C Super King Air AADPR-1.jpg  USA transport;air ambulance 4
Special Operations
Dassault Falcon 20 Dassault Falcon 20C, Venezuela - Air Force JP6573586.jpg  France Electronic Warfare
Falcon-20DC 1
Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner Swearingen SA227-AC Metro III, Venezuela - Air Force JP6555694.jpg  USA Electronic Warfare
C-26B 1
Eurocopter AS 332 Super Puma Venezuela Air Force Eurocopter AS-332B1 Super Puma AADPR-1.jpg  France transport helicopter 8
Eurocopter AS 532 Cougar Aerospatiale AS 532UL Cougar, Venezuela - Air Force JP6573606.jpg  France AS-532AC
Kazan Mi-17 Mil Mi-17 Hip, Venezuela - Army JP5971426.jpg  Russia Transport Helicopter Mi-17V-5
6 Mi-17V-5; 2 Mi-171VIP purchased. One lost to crash.[when?][citation needed]
Enstrom 480B Enstrom 280FX Shark Geelong Creek.jpg  USA trainer Helicopter Enstrom 480B 16 in order.[11]
Ghods Mohajer/Saint Arpia Mohajer 4.png  Iran/ Venezuela observation UAV 12+[15] 12 drones bought directly from Iran. More to be produced locally in Venezuela.[16]
Cavim ANT-3X Venezolano  Venezuela observation UAV 4


External links[edit]