Armed Forces of Honduras

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Armed Forces of Honduras
Fuerzas Armadas de Honduras
Emblem of the Armed Forces of Honduras.jpg
Service branchesLogo Ejercito de Honduras.gif Honduran Army

Logo Fuerza Aérea Hondureña.jpg Honduran Air Force

Fuerza Naval de Honduras.jpg Honduran Navy
Commander-in-ChiefJuan Orlando Hernández
Chief of the Armed ForcesGeneral Tito Livio Moreno
Military age18 for voluntary 2–3-year service
Available for
military service
1,868,940[1] males, age 16–49,
1,825,770 (2008 est.) females, age 16–49
Fit for
military service
1,397,938 males, age 16–49,
1,402,398 (2009 est.) females, age 16–49
Reaching military
age annually
92,638 males,
88,993 (2009 est.) females
Active personnel52,225[2]
Percent of GDP1.1% as of 2012[3]
Foreign suppliers United States
 United Kingdom
Related articles
RanksMilitary ranks of Honduras

The Armed Forces of Honduras (Spanish: Fuerzas Armadas de Honduras), consists of the Honduran Army, Honduran Navy and Honduran Air Force.



During the twentieth century, Honduran military leaders frequently became presidents, either through elections or by coups d'état. General Tiburcio Carías Andino was elected in 1932, he later on called a constituent assembly that allowed him to be reelected, and his rule became more authoritarian until an election in 1948.

During the following decades, the military of Honduras carried out several coups d'état, starting in October 1955. General Oswaldo López Arellano carried out the next coup in October 1963 and a second in December 1972, followed by coups in 1975 by Juan Alberto Melgar Castro and in 1978 by Policarpo Paz García.

Then Honduran army Major Jorge Colindres Reyes marching through the city.


Events during the 1980s in El Salvador and Nicaragua led Honduras – with US assistance – to expand its armed forces considerably, laying particular emphasis on its air force, which came to include a squadron of US-provided F-5s.

The military unit Battalion 316 carried out political assassinations and the torture of suspected political opponents of the government during this same period. Battalion members received training and support from the United States Central Intelligence Agency, in Honduras, at U.S. military bases[4] and in Chile during the presidency of the dictator Augusto Pinochet.[5] Amnesty International estimated that at least 184 people "disappeared" from 1980 to 1992 in Honduras, most likely due to actions of the Honduran military.[6]


The resolution of the civil wars in El Salvador and Nicaragua, and across-the-board budget cuts made in all ministries, has brought reduced funding for the Honduran armed forces. The abolition of the draft has created staffing gaps in the now all-volunteer armed forces. The military is now far below its authorized strength, and further reductions are expected. In January 1999, the Constitution was amended to abolish the position of military commander-in-chief of the armed forces, thus codifying civilian authority over the military.


Since 2002, soldiers have been involved in crime prevention and law enforcement, patrolling the streets of the major cities alongside the national police.


On 28 June 2009, in the context of a constitutional crisis, the military, acting on orders of the Supreme Court of Justice, arrested the president, Manuel Zelaya after which they forcibly removed elected President Zelaya from Honduras. See the article 2009 Honduran constitutional crisis regarding claims regarding legitimacy and illegitimacy of the event, and events preceding and following the removal of Zelaya from Honduras.

The military's chief lawyer, Colonel Herberth Bayardo Inestroza Membreño, made public statements regarding the removal of Zelaya. On June 30, he showed a detention order, apparently signed June 26 by a Supreme Court judge, which ordered the armed forces to detain the president.[7] Colonel Inestroza later stated that deporting Zelaya did not comply with the court order: "In the moment that we took him out of the country, in the way that he was taken out, there is a crime. Because of the circumstances of the moment this crime occurred, there is going to be a justification and cause for acquittal that will protect us."[8] He said the decision was taken by the military leadership "in order to avoid bloodshed".[9]

Human rights violations during 2009[edit]

Following the 2009 ouster of the president, the Honduran military together with other government security forces were allegedly responsible for thousands of allegedly arbitrary detentions[10] and for several forced disappearances and extrajudicial executions of opponents to the de facto government, including members of the Democratic Unification Party. However, evidence about these actions has yet to be provided and there has been some questioning in local media about the actual perpetrators, suggesting that they could actually be related to disputes within the leftists organizations themselves.[11][12][13][14][15][16]


Land Bases

Air Force[edit]

The FAH operates from four air bases located at:

With the exception of Soto Cano Air Base, all other air bases operate as dual civil and military aviation facilities.

Additionally, three air stations are located at:

  • Catacamas
  • Alto Aguán (bomb range)
  • Puerto Lempira airstrips serve as forward operations locations-FOL.

Also a radar station operates at:

  • La Mole peak.


The navy is a small force dealing with coastal and riverine security.

The navy has 71 patrol boats, interceptors and landing craft units.

Class Origin Type Versions In service Fleet
ISRAEL SHIPYARDS Ocean Patrol Vessel Sa'ar 62
62.0 meters / 204 feet
 Israel Ocean patrol vessel OPV-62M 1 FNH-2021 General Trinidad Cabañas
Delivered by Israel Shipyard and arrived in country December 2019
Damen Stan Patrol Boat
42.8 meters / 140 feet
 Netherlands Coastal patrol vessel 4207 2 FNH-1401 Lempira
FNH-1402 Morazán
LANTANA BOATYARD Guardian Patrol Boats
32.3 meters / 107 feet
 United States Coastal patrol craft 3 FNH-1071 Tegucigalpa[18]
FNH-1072 Copán
FNH-1073 Unknown name
32.0 meters / 105 feet
 United States Coastal patrol craft 3 FNH-1051 Guaymuras
FNH-1052 Honduras
FNH-1053 Hibueras
IAI Dabur Type Patrol Boat
26.0 meters / 85 feet
 United States
Coastal patrol craft 1 FNH-8501 Chamelecón
20.0 meters / 65 feet
 United States Coastal patrol craft 5 FNH 6501 Nacaome
FNH 6502 Goascorán
FNH 6503 Patuca
FNH 6504 Ulúa
FNH 6505 Choluteca
BOSTON WHALER Interceptors BW370
11.4 meters / 38 feet
 United States Interceptor boat Guardian class 10 N/A
DAMEN Interceptors 1102 UHS
11.0 meters / 36 feet
 Netherlands Interceptor boat 1102 UHS 6 FNH-3601 to FNH-3606
SAFE BOATS 35MMI Multi Misión Interceptor
10.7 meters / 35 feet
 United States
Interceptor boat 35 MMI 2[19] FNH-3501
EDUARDOÑO Patrullero 320
10.0 meters / 32 feet
 Colombia Interceptor boat 25 FNH-3201 to FNH-3225
NAPCO Piraña Patrol Boats
4.0 meters / 13 feet
 United States Riverine ops boat Piraña class 8
45.5 meters / 149 feet
 United States Coastal transport 1 FNH-1491 Punta Caxinas
COTECMAR BAL-C Short Range Logistic Support Ship
49.0 meters / 161 feet
 Colombia Short Range Logistic Support Ship BAL-C 1 FNH-1611 Gracias a Dios[20][21][22]
SWIFTSHIPS LCM-8 Landing Craft Unit
22.9 meters / 75 feet
 United States Landing craft 3 FNH-7301 Warunta
FNH-7302 Rio Coco
FNH-7303 Unknown name

The Honduran navy has 4 naval bases:

  • Base Naval Puerto Cortés – main repair and logistics base on the Caribbean Sea
  • Base Naval Puerto Castilla – main operating base of patrol boats on the Caribbean Sea
  • Base Naval Amapala – main operating base of coastal patrol craft on the north end of the island and only base on the Pacific Ocean side of Honduras
  • Base Naval Caratasca – new base to deal with drug trafficking

Additionally, the Honduran navy has the following unit and schools:

  • 1st. Marine Infantry Battalion – only marine unit located at La Ceiba
  • Honduras Naval Academy – Trains officers for the Honduras Navy at La Ceiba
  • Naval Training Center – NCO and Sailor training facility

Military-civilian relations and leadership[edit]

According to a statement in July 2009 by a legal counsel of the Honduras military, Colonel Herberth Bayardo Inestroza, part of the elite Honduran military generals were opposed to President Manuel Zelaya, whom the military had removed from Honduras via a military Coup d'état, because of his left-wing politics. Inestroza stated, "It would be difficult for us [the military], with our training, to have a relationship with a leftist government. That's impossible."[8]

The current head of the armed forces is Carlos Antonio Cuéllar, graduate of the General Francisco Morazan Military Academy and the School of the Americas. In January 2011, the General Rene Arnoldo Osorio Canales former head of the Presidential Honor Guard, was appointed Commander.

As of 2012 the Honduran Military has the highest military expenditures of all Central America.


Hand guns[edit]

Sub machine guns[edit]


Sniper rifles[edit]

Machine guns[edit]

Rocket launchers[edit]

Medium artillery[edit]

Vehicles and artillery[edit]

Armoured fighting vehicles[23][26]
Image Name Origin Type Number Notes
Irish Scorpion Tank.jpg
Scorpion  United Kingdom Light tank 19 FV-101\76 76mm main gun.
FV107 Scimitar IFV.jpg Scimitar  United Kingdom Armoured recce tank 3 FV-107 30mm main gun.
Royal Army FV105 Sultan IFOR.jpg
Sultan  United Kingdom Command vehicle 1 FV-105
Hamer VS 1.jpg
Humvee  United States APC 4x4 30 M40 106mm RCL.
RBY MK 1  Israel Reconnaissance vehicle 16 M40 106mm RCLs.
Saladin (7527983360).jpg
Saladin  United Kingdom Armoured car 72 FV-601. 6x6 76mm main gun.
Utility vehicles
Image Name Origin Type Number Notes
AMG M151 A2 (1978) GB (owner Gavin Broad).JPG M151  United States Light utility vehicle Unknown
Jeep J8  United States Light utility vehicle Unknown
M35.jpg M35  United States 6x6 cargo truck Unknown
Ford F-Series Truck  United States F-250 4x4 truck Unknown
Ashok Leyland Stallion  India 4x4 truck 110 Ordered in January 2009. Part of an order for 139 miscellaneous utility and transport vehicles.[26]
Ashok Leyland Topchi  India 4x4 truck 28 Ordered in January 2009. Part of an order for 139 miscellaneous utility and transport vehicles.[26]
L-series  Germany 4x4 truck Various Some to be replaced for Ashok Leyland Stallion.
Mercedes Benz Unimog  Germany 4x4 truck Various To be replaced for Ashok Leyland Stallion.
Image Name Origin Type Number Notes
M102-105mm-howitzer-fort-bragg.jpg M102  United States Towed 105mm howitzer 24
M101-105mm-howitzer-camp-pendleton-20050326.jpg M101  United States Towed 105mm howitzer 20
U.S. Marines in the Persian Gulf War (1991) 001.jpg M198  United States Towed 155mm howitzer 12
Soltam-Mortar-160mm-beyt-hatotchan-2.jpg M-66  Israel 160mm mortar 30
Mortar-120mm-beyt-hatotchan-1.jpg M-65  Israel 120mm mortar 30
AML-60-20Serval crop.PNG Brandt  France 120mm mortar 60
M55A2  United States 20mm anti-aircraft gun 80 34 in service.
South Korean M167 Vulcan.jpeg M167 VADS  United States 20mm anti-aircraft gun 30
TCM-20-hatzerim-2.jpg TCM-20  Israel 20mm anti-aircraft gun 24

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "CIA World Factbook".
  2. ^ "".
  3. ^ a b "Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)". Archived from the original on 2015-01-04.
  4. ^ Cohn, Gary; Ginger Thompson (1995-06-11). "When a wave of torture and murder staggered a small U.S. ally, truth was a casualty". The Baltimore Sun. Archived from the original on 2011-05-22. Retrieved 2009-07-27.
  6. ^ "Honduras: Still waiting for justice". Amnesty International. 1998. Retrieved 2009-07-27.
  7. ^ Lacy, Marc (July 1, 2009). "Leader's Ouster Not a Coup, Says the Honduran Military". The New York Times. Retrieved July 3, 2009.
  8. ^ a b English summary of interview with the legal counsel of the Honduras armed forces, Colonel Herberth Bayardo Inestroza, Robles, Frances (2009-07-03). "Top Honduran military lawyer: We broke the law". Miami Herald. Archived from the original on 2009-09-06. Retrieved 2009-09-06.; original Dada, Carlos; José Luis Sanz (2009-07-02). "Cometimos un delito al sacar a Zelaya, pero había que hacerlo (" (in Spanish). El, El Salvador. Archived from the original on 2009-09-06. Retrieved 2009-09-06.
  9. ^ "Ejército de Honduras reconoció que cometió un delito al sacar a Zelaya". (in Spanish). Compañía Chilena de Comunicaciones S.A. Retrieved 2009-07-05.
  10. ^ "Preliminary Observations on the IACHR Visit to Honduras". Inter-American Court of Human Rights. 2009-08-21. Archived from the original on 2009-08-30. Retrieved 2009-08-26.
  11. ^ "Informe Preliminar Violaciones A Derechos Humanos En El Marco Del Golpe De Estado En Honduras". Comité de Familiares de Detenidos Desaparecidos en Honduras. 2009-07-15. Archived from the original on 2009-10-29. Retrieved 2009-07-30.
  12. ^ "International Observation Mission for the Human Rights Situation in Honduras Preliminary Report – Confirmed systematic human rights violations in Honduras since the coup d'etat". Upside Down World. 2009-08-06. Archived from the original on 2009-08-09. Retrieved 2009-08-09.
  13. ^ Pérez, Luis Guillermo; et al. (2009-08-06). "Gobierno de facto viola derechos humanos" (in Spanish). Agencia Latinoamerica de Información. Archived from the original on 2009-12-03. Retrieved 2009-08-26.
  14. ^ "International Mission denounces the brutal repression of pacific demonstrations". Agencia Latinoamerica de Información. 2009-07-30. Archived from the original on 2011-07-24. Retrieved 2009-08-02.
  15. ^ Quixote Center Emergency Delegation of Solidarity, Accompaniment and Witness (2009-08-07). "Letter to Honduran Attorney General Rubi". Quixote Center. Archived from the original on 2010-11-27. Retrieved 2009-08-09.
  16. ^ Human Rights Watch (2009-08-25). "Honduras: Rights Report Shows Need for Increased International Pressure". Human Rights Watch. Archived from the original on 2009-08-28. Retrieved 2009-08-28.
  17. ^ "Academia Militar de Aviación". Archived from the original on 2009-04-18.
  18. ^ "FNH 1071 Tegucigalpa UNITAS 2016".
  19. ^
  20. ^ "Cotecmar entregó a la Fuerza Naval de Honduras el buque logístico FNH 'Gracias a Dios'".
  21. ^ "Honduras firma contrato con COTECMAR para la construcción de buque naval". COTECMAR.
  22. ^ "Colombia, Honduras sign contract for COTECMAR vessel". IHS Jane's 360.
  23. ^ a b " > Honduras > Appendix".
  24. ^ a b Jane's World Armies 2008. Jane's Information Group. p. 318.
  25. ^ Jane's Infantry Weapons 2007–08. Jane's Information Group. p. 876.
  26. ^ a b c "A$10.5 million order for Ashok Leyland from Honduras". 16 January 2009. Retrieved 5 July 2009.

External links[edit]