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Venezuelan Air Force
Seal of the Venezuelan Air Force

Country Flag of Venezuela.svg Venezuela
Branch Air Force of Venezuela
Service history
Active 22 June 1946 - Present
Size 202 aircraft
Patron Our Lady of Loreto
Motto Spatium superanus palatinus (Latin:The paladin of the sovereign space)
Colors Bleu celeste
Commanders
Commanders Jorge Arévalo Oropeza Pernalete
Insignia
Insignia Roundel of Venezuela

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

HistoryEdit

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 goes back to 10 December 1920, when the Military Aviation School of Venezuela was formed with COL David López Henríquez as its first commandant in Maracay.[citation needed]Its mission was the training of pilots for the fledging national air service, then a part of the army.

Most of the airbases in Venezuela were built in the 1960s. 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]

ModernizationEdit

The AMV purchased 24 Sukhoi Su-30 planes from Russia in July 2006, as a result of the American 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]

OrganizationEdit

Venezuelan Air Force Sukhoi SU-30MK2 AADPR

Venezuelan Air Force Sukhoi Su-30MK2, decorated in G-13 5th Anniversary & Venezuela Independence Bicentennial special tail art, landing at Barcelona, Venezuela.

Venezuelan Air Force General Dynamics F-16A Fighting Falcon (401) Lofting

Venezuelan Air Force General Dynamics F-16A Fighting Falcon

EMB-312 Tucano Fuerza Aérea Venezolana - García-Rivera

Venezuelan AT-27 Tucano

The Air Force is organized[when?] in twelve air groups, one for each aircraft type in use:[citation needed]

List of Venezuelan Air Force Bases (former and present)Edit

Aircraft inventoryEdit

As of December 2014, the Venezuelan Air Forces consists of the following aircraft models and numbers:[10]

Aircraft Origin Type Versions In service[10] Notes
Sukhoi Su-30MKV Flanker-GFlag of Russia.svg Russia multirole strike fighter SU-30 MK2 24
Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon Flag of the United States.svg USA fighter
trainer
F-16A Block 15OCU
F-16B Block 15OCU
18
2
Dassault Falcon 20 Flag of France.svg France Electronic Warfare
VIP
Falcon-20DC 1
3
Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner Flag of the United States.svg USA Electronic Warfare
transport
C-26B 1
1
ELINT
Lockheed C-130 Hercules Flag of the United States.svg USA transport C-130H 4
Shaanxi Y-8 Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg China transport Y-8 6 2 on order.[11]
Short 360 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg UK transport 360-300 2
Dornier Do 228 Flag of Germany.png GER logistical support 228 NG 10 in order.[12]
Airbus A-319CJ Flag of Europe.svg European Union transport A-319CJ 1 Presidential Aircraft (air force one)
Boeing 737 Flag of the United States.svg USA VIP transport 737-2N1 1
Cessna Citation X Flag of the United States.svg USA VIP transport Cessna Citation X 1
Dassault Falcon 50 Flag of France.svg France VIP Falcon-50EX 3
Dassault Falcon 900 Flag of France.svg France VIP Falcon 900 2
Cessna 208B Grand Caravan Flag of the United States.svg USA transport
air ambulance
208B 2
2
Cessna Citation II Flag of the United States.svg USA transport Citation II 1
CESSNA T206H STATIONAIR Flag of the United States.svg USA transport T206H STATIONAIR 15
Beechcraft B200 Super King Air Flag of the United States.svg USA transport;air ambulance 4
Hongdu K-8VV Karakorum Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg China/Flag of Pakistan.svg Pakistan 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.[12]

-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.[13]

Embraer EMB 312 T-27 Tucano Flag of Brazil.svg Brazil trainer EMB 312 T-27 20
Aermacchi SF.260 Flag of Italy.svg Italy trainer/light attack SF-260EV 12
SKYLANECessna 182 Flag of the United States.svg USA trainer 182 SKYLANE 12
Diamond DA 40 Flag of Austria.svg Austria trainer DA 40 ? on order
QUAD CITY ULTRALIGHT CORP Flag of the United States.svg USA trainer Quad City Challenger 7
Eurocopter AS 332 Super Puma Flag of France.svg France transport helicopter 8
Eurocopter AS 532 Cougar Flag of France.svg France AS-532AC
AS-532UL
transport
VIP
6
2
Kazan Mi-17 Flag of Russia.svg 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 Flag of the United States.svg USA trainer Helicopter Enstrom 480B 16 in order.[12]
ENSTROM F-280 Flag of the United States.svg USA trainer Helicopter 280FX SHARK 2
EMB 312 AT-27 Tucano Flag of Brazil.svg Brazil tactical support EMB 312 AT-27 12
Ghods Mohajer/Saint Arpia Flag of Iran.svg Iran/Flag of Venezuela.svg Venezuela observation UAV 12+[14] 12 drones bought directly from Iran. More to be produced locally in Venezuela.[15]
Cavim ANT-3X Venezolano Flag of Venezuela.svg VEN observation UAV 4
Boeing 707 Flag of the United States.svg USA transport 1 Fuel Tanker

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

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