Venezuelan Air Force

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Bolivarian Venezuelan Military Aviation
Seal of the Venezuelan Air Force.png
Venezuelan Air Force emblem
Founded June 22, 1946; 70 years ago (1946-06-22)
Country  Venezuela
Allegiance President of Venezuela
Type Air force
Size 202 aircraft
Part of Ministry of the Popular Participation for the Defense
Nickname(s) Aviación Militar Bolivariana Venezolana (AMBV)[1]
Patron Our Lady of Loreto
Motto(s) Spatium superanus palatinus (Latin: The paladin of the sovereign space)
Colors Bleu celeste     
March Venezuelan Air Force Hymn (Himno de la Aviacion Militar Nacional)
  • 10 December, Air Force Day
  • 27 November, anniversary of the 2nd 1992 coup attempt by members of the Air Force
Commanding General of the Venezuelan Air Force Major General Edgar Valentín Cruz Arteaga
Roundel Roundel of Venezuela.svg
Flag Flag of the Venezuelan Air Force.png
Aircraft flown

The Venezuelan Air Force, officially the Venezuelan National Bolivarian Military Aviation (Spanish: Aviación Militar Nacional Bolivariana de Venezuela) 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.


The organization is also known as the Bolivarian National Air Force of Venezuela. Its current official name has been in use since the end of 2008. It was previously called the Venezuelan Air Force (FAV; Spanish: Fuerza Aérea Venezolana).[1]


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 1970s and 1980s 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 Mirage 5, 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]


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] In 2008, Venezuela was reported for a potential acquisition of a number of Su-35 fighter aircraft and a second batch of aircraft 12-24 Sukhoi Su-30 from Russia.[6][7] It did not proceed further.

In October 2015, Venezuela announced the purchase of 12 more Su-30MK2 from Russia for $480 million.[8][9]

Combat organization[edit]

The current organization includes an Air Group 17 with Mil Mi-17[10]

Aircraft inventory[edit]

As of December 2012, the Venezuelan Air Force's fleet consists of the following aircraft models and numbers:[11][dead link]

Aircraft Origin Type Versions In service[11] Notes
Fighter aircraft
Sukhoi Su-30MKV Flanker-G Russia multirole strike fighter SU-30 MK2 23 24 originally delivered. One crashed during an intercept mission of an unidentified intruding aircraft from Colombia on 17 September 2015.[12] In October 2015, Venezuela announced the purchase of 12 more Su-30MK2 from Russia for $480 million.[8][9]
Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon U.S. fighter
F-16A/B Block 15OCU 12 10 F16 A and 2 F16B[citation needed]
Hongdu K-8VV Karakorum China/Pakistan light attack/trainer K-8VV 24

-One was lost in an accident of 2010, 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.[13]

Hongdu L-15 China light attack/trainer L-15 0 24 on order.[citation needed]
Trainer aircraft
Embraer EMB 312 T-27 Tucano Brazil trainer/light attack EMB 312 T-27 12 [citation needed]
Aermacchi SF.260 Italy trainer SF-260EV 12 [citation needed]
Cessna 182 Skylane U.S. trainer 182 SKYLANE 12 [citation needed]
Diamond DA 40 Austria trainer DA 40 24 Last units received on 04/2015.[14]
Diamond DA 42 Austria trainer DA 42 6
Quad City Challenger U.S. trainer Quad City Challenger 7
Transport and aerial refueling
Boeing 707 U.S. transport/fuel Tanker 1
Lockheed C-130 Hercules U.S. transport C-130H 4 [citation needed]
Shaanxi Y-8 China transport Y-8F-200VV 8 Order completed Nov 2013.[15]
Short 360 UK transport 360-300 2
Dornier Do 228 GER logistical support 228 NG 10 in order.[16][17]
Utility transport and VIP transport
Airbus A-319CJ European Union transport A-319CJ 1 Presidential Aircraft (air force one)
Boeing 737 U.S. VIP transport 737-2N1 1
Cessna Citation X U.S. 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 U.S. transport
air ambulance
208B 2
Cessna Citation II U.S. transport Citation II 1
Cessna T206H Stationair U.S. transport T206H Stationair 15 [citation needed]
Beechcraft B200 Super King Air U.S. transport;air ambulance 4 [citation needed]
Special operations
Dassault Falcon 20 France Electronic warfare
Falcon-20DC 1
Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner U.S. Electronic Warfare
C-26B 1
Eurocopter AS 332 Super Puma France transport helicopter 8
Eurocopter AS 532 Cougar France AS-532AC
Enstrom 480B U.S. trainer helicopter Enstrom 480B
Ghods Mohajer/Saint Arpia Iran/ Venezuela observation UAV 12+[18] 12 drones bought directly from Iran. More to be produced locally in Venezuela.[19]
Cavim ANT-3X Venezolano Venezuela observation UAV 4


  1. ^ a b "Sukhoi Su-30 story in colours. Sukhoi Su-30 fighter worldwide camouflage and painting schemes". Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  2. ^ "F-16s for Venezuela". Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  3. ^ "Venezuelan F-16s". Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  4. ^ Cooper, Tom. "Venezuelan Coup Attempt, 1992". Retrieved 22 January 2013. 
  5. ^ [1] Archived 14 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ Archived from the original on 28 June 2009. Retrieved 18 February 2016.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ "Venezuela buys Russian aircraft, tanks to boost power". UPI. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  8. ^ a b "Venezuela allocates $480m to buy Sukhoi aircraft from Russia". Retrieved 2 November 2015. [unreliable source?]
  9. ^ a b "Pese a la crisis económica, Venezuela compra doce cazas rusos". Clarín. 29 October 2015. Retrieved 2 November 2015. 
  10. ^ Retrieved 18 February 2016.  Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  11. ^ a b World Air Forces 2013 -, pg 30, December 11, 2012
  12. ^
  13. ^ Venezuelan K-8W light fighter trainer crashes -, 29 July 2013
  14. ^ [2]
  15. ^ "First 2 Y-8 Transport Aircraft headed to Venezuela". November 10, 2012. 
  16. ^ "to deliver 10 Dornier 228 aircraft to Venezuela". RUAG. 2013-12-18. Retrieved 2015-07-13. 
  17. ^ "RUAG delivers first Dornier 228 to Venezuela". Business Air. 2014-02-10. Retrieved 2015-07-13. 
  18. ^ "La Fuerza Aérea Venezolana exhibe sus vehículos aéreos no tripulados ANT-1X". 25 November 2011. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  19. ^ "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]