Venezuelan Air Force

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Bolivarian Venezuelan Military Aviation
Aviación Militar Bolivariana Venezolana (AMBV)[1]
Aviacion Militar Venezolana.png
Venezuelan Air Force emblem
Active 22 June 1946 - Present
Country  Venezuela
Allegiance President of Venezuela
Branch Air Force of Venezuela
Size 202 aircraft
Part of Part of the Ministry of the People's Power for Defense
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
Commanders
Commanding General of the Venezuelan Air Force Major General Eutimio José Criollo Villalobos
Insignia
Roundel Roundel of Venezuela.svg
Aircraft flown
Attack F-16, Su-30MK2, K-8
Electronic
warfare
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.

History[edit]

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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

Modernization[edit]

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.[5]

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.[6][7]

Combat organization[edit]

The current organization includes an Air Group 17 with Mil Mi-17[8]

List of Venezuelan Air Force bases[edit]

Major commands of the Venezuelan Air Force[edit]

The Venezuelan Air Force as a service branch of the National Armed Forces of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is composed of the following Major Commands, with their respective commanders and subordinate units as of 2014:[citation needed]

  • Air Force General Command
Commanding General, Venezuelan Air Force: Maj. Gen. Eutimio José Criollo Villalobos
  • Air Force General Staff
Chief of the Air Staff: Divisional General Edgar Valentín Cruz Arteaga
  • Air General Inspectorate
Inspector General of the Venezuelan Air Force: Div. Gen. José Manuel Duque Marín
  • Air Operations Command
Commanding General, Air Operations Command: Div. Gen. Ángel Andrade Barráez
  • Air Defense Forces Command
Commanding General, Air Defense Forces Command: Div. Gen. Franklin Rafael Gil Espinoza
  • Air Personnel Command
Commanding General, Air Personnel Command: Div. Gen. Eliezer Hernández Sánchez
    • Aviation Infantry Corps
    • Venezuelan Air Force Corps of Engineers
General Officer Commanding, VAF-CoE: Brigadier General José Gregorio Guédez
    • Air Force Police
  • Air Education and Training Command
Commanding General, AETC: Div. Gen. Mayra Oropeza de Cabriles
    • Venezuelan Air Force Academy, Maracay
Superintendent, Venezuelan Air Force Academy: Brig. Gen. Ángel Eduardo Armas Tagliaferro
    • Military Technical Academy - Air Branch, Maracay
    • Venezuelan Air Force NCO School
Commandant of the VAF-NCOS: Brig. Gen. Ángelo Bruno D’Onofrio
    • Venezuelan National Armed Forces Air Training Center
Director of the ATC: Brig. Gen. Enzo Puglisi De Nisco
    • Air Power College
    • Air Force Aerospace Medicine and Physical Training Center
    • Venezuelan Air Force High School
  • Air Mobility and Logistics Command, led by its Commanding General, Div. Gen. William Cestari Navarro

Aircraft inventory[edit]

As of December 2013, the Venezuelan Air Forces consists of the following aircraft models and numbers:[9]

Aircraft Photo Origin Type Versions In service[9] 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
trainer
F-16A/B Block 15OCU 20 18 F16 A and 2 F16B
Counter-insurgency
Hongdu K-8VV Karakorum K8avia04 (1).jpg  China light attack/trainer K-8VV 24

-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.[10]

Hongdu L-15 PLAAF Hongdu L-15 Falcon Jordan.jpg  China light attack/trainer L-15 0 24 on order.
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 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.[citation needed]
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.[11]
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.[citation needed]
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
2
Cessna Citation II Cessna 550 Citation II, Venezuela - Air Force JP6526972.jpg  USA transport Citation II 1
CESSNA T206H STATIONAIR  USA transport T206H STATIONAIR 15
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
VIP
Falcon-20DC 1
3
Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner Swearingen SA227-AC Metro III, Venezuela - Air Force JP6555694.jpg  USA Electronic Warfare
transport
C-26B 1
1
ELINT
Helicopters
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
AS-532UL
transport
VIP
6
2
Kazan Mi-17 Mil Mi-17 Hip, Venezuela - Army JP5971426.jpg  Russia Transport Helicopter Mi-17V-5
Mi-171VIP
5
2
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.[citation needed]
UAV
Ghods Mohajer/Saint Arpia Mohajer 4.png  Iran/ Venezuela observation UAV 12+[12] 12 drones bought directly from Iran. More to be produced locally in Venezuela.[13]
Cavim ANT-3X Venezolano  Venezuela observation UAV 4

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Sukhoi Su-30 story in colours. Sukhoi Su-30 fighter worldwide camouflage and painting schemes". Mars.slipsk.pl. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  2. ^ "F-16s for Venezuela". F-16.net. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  3. ^ "Venezuelan F-16s". Airtoaircombat.com. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  4. ^ Cooper, Tom. "Venezuelan Coup Attempt, 1992". ACIG.org. Retrieved 22 January 2013. 
  5. ^ [1][dead link]
  6. ^ [2][dead link]
  7. ^ "Venezuela buys Russian aircraft, tanks to boost power". UPI. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  8. ^ [3][dead link]
  9. ^ a b World Air Forces 2013 - Flightglobal.com, pg 30, December 11, 2012
  10. ^ Venezuelan K-8W light fighter trainer crashes - Janes.com, 29 July 2013
  11. ^ "First 2 Y-8 Transport Aircraft headed to Venezuela". Defenseupdates.blogspot.com. November 10, 2012. 
  12. ^ "La Fuerza Aérea Venezolana exhibe sus vehículos aéreos no tripulados ANT-1X". Infodefensa.com. 25 November 2011. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  13. ^ "The Aviationist » Iranian Mohajer-2 drone appears in Venezuela. Chavez's building his own drone fleet with the help of Tehran.". The Aviationist. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 

External links[edit]