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Bolivarian Navy of Venezuela
Armada Bolivariana de Venezuela
Coat of Arms of the Navy
Active 1811 – Present
Country Venezuela
Branch Navy of Venezuela
Size 6 frigates
4 corvettes
2 submarines
4 amphibious ship
8 patrol boat
3 auxiliary ship
Part of Ministry of People's Power for Defense
Patron Virgen del Valle
Motto(s) Navegare necesse, vivere non necesse (Latin: "Sailing is necessary, but living is not".)
Colors Navy Blue
March Marcha Epica de las Fuerzas Navales
(Grand March of the National Navy)
Engagements Venezuelan War of Independence
Battle of Lake Maracaibo
Admiral Gilberto Pinto Blanco
Ceremonial chief Presidente de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela Nicolás Maduro Moros
José Prudencio Padilla
Luis Brión
Naval Ensign
Flag of Venezuela (state).svg
Naval Jack
Naval Jack of Venezuela.svg
Naval Jack 1930–2006
Naval Jack of Venezuela 1930–2006.svg

The navy of Venezuela is officially called the Bolivarian Navy of Venezuela (Spanish language: Armada Bolivariana de Venezuela ).

It serves the purpose of defending the naval sovereignty of the country, including inland, fluvial security, it also serves to prevent illegal activities in the Venezuelan borders and collaborates with international organizations to safeguard international waters from criminal activities.


The Navy was born as a coastal defense force during the height of the Venezuelan War of Independence. In April 1811 the Nautical School was opened by order of the national government in La Guaira to train future naval officers, months before the Venezuelan Declaration of Independence, thus the Navy's origins start from this date, with its first vessels being those formerly used by the naval forces of the Captaincy General of Venezuela.

For long time their vessels, even if obsolete, were maintained properly by its sailors. In 1937 the Navy acquired from Italy two gunboats of the Azio class and rechristened them General Soublette and General Urdaneta; these ships where retained in service until 1951[1] (for other sources in 1948[2] or 1950[3][4]) and scrapped later.[5][6]

Joint exercises

In September, 2008, the Russian Navy's nuclear-powered missile cruiser Pyotr Velikiy, accompanied by three other ships of Russia's Northern Fleet, sailed from its base in Severomorsk on a cruise to the Caribbean Sea for a joint exercise with the Venezuelan Navy. This action represented the first major Russian power projection in that region since the end of the Cold War.[7][8] The fleet of ships, headed by the nuclear-powered Pyotr Velikiy, set off from its base at Severomorsk in the Arctic on Monday, September 22. Russian Navy spokesman Igor Dygalo told the AFP news agency, "It's the nuclear-powered guided missile cruiser Peter the Great, the anti-submarine warship Admiral Chebanenko and other accompanying ships". The other ships included a tug boat and supply ships.[9]

Organization of the Navy

The Navy is led by the Commanding General of the Navy, by 2012 Admiral Diego Antonio Guerra Barreto.[citation needed]

Naval Operations Command

Led by the Chief of Naval Operations, as of 2013 Vice Admiral Jesus Gerardo Ortega Hernández,[10] it supervises all 4 naval operating commands.

Fleet Forces Command

Based in Naval Base Rear Admiral Agustín Armario in Puerto Caballo, Carabobo State it is the lead operating command of the Navy, divided into four operating squadrons:[citation needed]

  • Frigates Squadron
  • Submarine Squadron
  • Patrol Squadron
  • Service and Amphibious Squadron

Fluvial Command

This command is the riverline and fluvial operations arm of the Navy mandated for riverline operations.

Venezuelan Naval Aviation Command

The command serves as the air arm of the Venezulean Navy.

Naval Air Stations of the Venezuelan Navy

There are eight Naval Air Statons:[citation needed]

  • NAS Puerto Cabello (NAC HQ)
  • NAS Punto Fijo
  • NAS Maiquieta
  • NAS Caracas (Generalissimo Francisco de Miranda Air Base)
  • NAS Guiria
  • NAS La Blanquilla
  • NAS La Orchila
  • NAS Puerto Ayacucho (General in Chief José Antonio Páez AFB)

Coast Guard Command

Headquartered in La Guaira, Vargas, it is responsible for the surveillance of Venezuelas jurisdictional waters.[11]

Support and Shore Establishment Commands

Naval Service Education and Training Command

The NSETC has eight component units tasked in the training of all officers and enlisted personnel:[citation needed]

  • Venezuelan Naval Academy
  • Naval War College
  • Naval Tactical Scenarios School
  • Center of Naval Administration
  • Military Technical Academy - Naval Branch
  • Naval Technical School
  • Naval Recruit Training School
  • Naval Police School

Fleet Forces and Coast Guard ship organization

The following is the roster of active duty vessels and ships[when?] of the Venezuelan National Bolivarian Navy.[12][full citation needed]

Class Origin Type In Service In order shipyard Notes
Mariscal Sucre  Italy Missile frigate 3 3 mothballed at the DIANCA shipyard.
Clase Sabalo  Germany Diesel-electric submarine 1 1 mothballed at the DIANCA shipyard.
Patrol and Guard Combat
Guaiquerí  Spain Patrol (POVZEE) 3 1 PC-22 Warao, to be repaired after grounding off Fortaleza, Brazil in August 2012
Guaicamacuto  Spain Patrol coast guard (BVL) 3 1 POV tamanaco is being assembled in DIANCA
Vosper Constitution class  USA Patrol coast guard 3
Vosper Federation class  USA Patrol coast guard 3
Coast Guard Patrol
USGC Point class Petrel  USA patrol boat 4
Class Pagalo  VEN/ Cuba patrol boat 1 5 5 are under construction in Cuba
Class Gavion  USA patrol boat 12
Fast Boats
Class Punta Macoya  VEN fast boats ?
Class Chichiriviche  VEN fast boats ?
Polaris  USA fast boats 8
type Courage clase Constancia  VEN fast boats ?
River Patrol Boats
Class Manaure  VEN River Patrol ?
Class Guaicaipuro  VEN River Patrol ?
Class Guri  VEN riverboat ?
Class Terepaima  VEN riverboat ?
River Patrol Boats
Capana  South Korea Amphibious 4
Damen Stan Lander 5612 clase Los Frailes  NED Amphibious 3 1 1 under construction in Cuba
Class Margarita  USA Utility landing craft (LCU) 2
LCM (8) mod.1 Curiapo  USA Utility landing craft (LCU) 1
LCVP Yopito  USA Utility landing craft (LCU) ?
Auxilary Ships
Ciudad Bolivar  South Korea Fleet replenishment ship 1 In service from 2012 DIANCA
Punta Brava  Spain oceanographic vessel 1
Francisco de Miranda  NED Salvage Tug 1
Bricbarc  Spain Sail training ship 1
Class Los Taques  VEN logistics ship 2
Class Gabriella  USA Boat hydrographic 1
Griffon 2000TD  United Kingdom personnel transport 1
Griffon 1050TD  United Kingdom Hovercraft hydrographic 1


Venezuelan frigates General Salóm (foreground) and Mariscal Sucre conduct maneuvers

  • Six Lupo/Mariscal Sucre-class missile frigates class[13][14]
    • F-21 AB Mariscal Sucre, in service since 07-14-1980
    • F-22 AB Almirante Brión, in service since 03-07-1981
    • F-23 AB General Urdaneta, in service since 08-08-1981
    • F-24 AB General Soublette, in service since 12-04-1981
    • F-25 AB General Salóm, in service since 04-03-1982
    • F-26 AB Almirante García, in service since 07-30-1982

Ocean Patrol

PC-21 Guaiquerí

    • PC-21 AB Guaiquerí, in service since 14-04-2011[15]
    • PC-22 AB Warao,in service since 02-08-2011 to be repaired after grounding off Fortaleza, Brazil in August 2012[16][17]
    • PC-23 AB Yekuana, in service since 07-12-2011
    • PC-24 AB Kariña, in service since 23-04-2012

Amphibious and service ships

  • Four Capana-class LST.[18][full citation needed]
    • T-61 AB Capana, in service since 07-24-1984
    • T-62 AB Esequibo, in service since 07-24-1984[citation needed]
    • T-63 AB Goajira, in service since 11-01-1984[citation needed]
    • T-64 AB Los Llanos, in service since 11-01-1984
  • Four Cuban made Los Frailes-class multipurpose LSTs
    • T-91 "AB Los Frailes", in service since March 2012
    • T-92 "AB Los Testigos", in service since December 2012
    • T-93 "AB Los Roques", in service since October 25, 2013
    • T-94. in construction
  • One Ciudad Bolívar-class supply ship.
    • T-81 AB Ciudad Bolívar, in service since 09-23-2001[19]
  • One Bricbarc type/Simón Bolívar training sailboat.[20]
    • BE-11 AB Simón Bolívar, in service since 08-6-1980
  • One oceanographic ship
    • BO-11 "AB Punta Brava", in service since 03-24-1991

Coast patrol

GC-21 Guaicamacuto

  • Four Spanish-made offshore patrol vessels of the BVL class.
    • GC-21 AB Guaicamacuto, in service since 02-Mar-2010[3][5][21]
    • GC-22 AB Yavire, in service since 29-Jan-2011
    • GC-23 AB Naiguata, in service since 1-Mar-2011
    • GC-24 AB Tamanaco, in order

Coast guard ships

  • Four USCG Point-class patrol boats, as of 2014.[20]
    • PG-31 ′′AB Petrel′′, ex Point Knoll 27 June 1967 – 11 September 1991,Transfer to Venezuela 30 August 1998
    • PG-32 ′′AB Alcatraz′′, ex Point Judith 26 July 1966 – 15 January 1992,Transfer to Venezuela 20 December 1991
    • PG-33 ′′AB Albatros′′, ex Point Ledge 18 July 1962 – 3 August 1998,Transfer to Venezuela 30 August 1998
    • PG-34 ′′AB Pelicano′′, ex Point Franklin 14 November 1966 – 23 June 1998,Transfer to Venezuela 3 August 1998
  • 12 Gavion-class patrol boats.
  • Damen Stan 2600 vessels, built in Venezuela, similar to the United States Coast Guard's Marine Protector class, as of 2014.[22][23]
    • PG-51 ′′AB Pagalo′′, in service since 10-09-08
    • PG-52, in order
    • PG-53, in order
    • PG-54, in order
    • PG-55, in order
    • PG-56, in order

Naval Aviation assets


Aircraft Origin Type Versions In service
as of 2014[24]
CASA C-212-200 Patrullero  Spain Maritime Patrol aircraft C-212-200S43 Patrullero 3
CASA C-212-400 Aviocar  Spain Transport aircraft C-212-400 Aviocar 4
BE-200 Super King Air  USA Transport B-200 1
C-90 King Air  USA Transport C-90 1
Rockwell AC-980  USA Transport aircraft 1
206 Stationair  USA Transport aircraft ?

Note: The Navy has others two or three light aircraft.


Aircraft Origin Type Versions In service
as of 2014[24]
Bell 212 ASW  ITA antisubmarine warfare Agusta Bell AB-212 ASW 9 lost one in an accident
Bell 412  USA transportation, assault and tactical support Bell 412EP 7
MIL MI-17V-5  Russia Assault/transport helicopter Mi-17V-5 6
Bell TH-57A  USA Training light helicopter Sea Ranger 2
Bell 206B  USA Training light helicopter Jet Ranger 2
Harbin Z-9  China Anti-submarine warfare ASW 8 on order First delivery in 2015[25]


  1. Navyworld
  2. Museo della Cantieristica.
  3. Proflot
  5. Warships 1900-1950
  6. Oceania
  8. Reuters: Russia says to send battleship to Caribbean Sea
  9. "Russian navy sails to Venezuela". BBC News. September 22, 2008. Retrieved April 26, 2010. 
  11. Jane's Fighting Ships 2005-2006, ISBN 0-7106-2692-4 p.923
  12. cite web |url=
  15. [1] Navantia entrega a la Armada venezolana el primer Patrullero Oceánico de Vigilancia
  16. "El patrullero oceánico Warao (PC-22) de la Armada de Venezuela será reparado en Brasil" (in Spanish). 9 January 2013. 
  17. "El patrullero oceánico Warao de la Armada de Venezuela arriba a Río de Janeiro para su eventual reparación" (in Spanish). 7 March 2013. 
  20. 20.0 20.1 Jane's Fighting Ships 2005-2006, ISBN 0-7106-2692-4 p.925
  21. "Navantia Launches and Commissions Two OPVs to Venezuelan Navy". 
  22. Mauricio Miranda (2008-02-26). "Analizan adquisición de un guardacostas en Venezuela". Analyze acquisition of a cutter in Venezuela. El Nuevo Diario. Retrieved 2012-02-02.  mirror
  23. "Casi listo patrullero venezolano similar al ofertado a Nicaragua". Almost ready like Venezuelan patrol offered to Nicaragua. Nuestro Mar. 2008-03-06. Retrieved 2012-02-02.  mirror
  24. 24.0 24.1 World Air Forces 2013 -, pg 30, December 11, 2012
  25. [ Venezuela; Navy orders Chinese Z-9 ASW helicopters] -, 7 September 2013

External links

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