Military Wiki
Bolivarian Venezuelan Military Aviation
Aviación Militar Bolivariana Venezolana (AMBV)[1]
Aviacion Militar Venezolana.gif
Active 22 June 1946 - Present
Country  Venezuela
Branch Air Force of Venezuela
Size 202 aircraft
Patron Our Lady of Loreto
Motto(s) Spatium superanus palatinus (Latin:The paladin of the sovereign space)
Colors Bleu celeste
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
Commanding General of the Venezuelan Air Force Jorge Arévalo Oropeza Pernalete
Roundel Roundel of Venezuela.svg
Aircraft flown
Attack F-16, Su-30MK2
Dassault Falcon 20C Prometeo, Fairchild C-26B Metro EW,
Fighter Su-30MK2, F-16, VF-5
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 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.


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]


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]


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

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)

  • General in Chief Rafael Urdaneta AFB, Maracaibo, Zulia (HQ 1st Air Zone)
  • Lieutenant General Vicente Landaeta Gil AFB, Barquisimeto, Lara (HQ 2nd Air Zone)
  • El Libertador AFB, Palo Negro, Aragua (HQ 3rd Air Zone)
  • Lieutenant Luis del Valle Garcia AFB, Barcelona, Anzoátegui (HQ 4th Air Zone)
  • Generalissmo Francisco de Miranda AFB, Caracas, Venezuelan Capital District and Miranda (HQ 5th Air Zone and HQ, Venezuelan Air Force)
  • Marshal Antonio Sucre AFB, Boca del Rio, Aragua
  • Cacique Guaicaipuro AFB, La Esmeralda, Amazonas
  • Manuel Rios AFB, El Sombrero, Guárico
  • Luisa Cáceres de Arismendi Tactical AFB, Porlamar, Nueva Esparta
  • Aeronautics Museum of Maracay and Maracay Metological AFB, "Birthplace of Venezuelan Military Aviation", Maracay, Aragua
  • Lieutenant Colonel Luis Apolinar Méndez AFB, Puerto Ordaz, Bolívar
  • El Vigía Tactical AFB, El Vigía, Mérida
  • General in Chief José Antonio Páez AFB, Puerto Ayacucho, Amazonas
  • Major Buenaventura Vivas Guerrero AFB, Santo Domingo, Táchira

Aircraft inventory

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-G  Russia multirole strike fighter SU-30 MK2 24
Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon  USA fighter
F-16A Block 15OCU
F-16B Block 15OCU
Dassault Falcon 20  France Electronic Warfare
Falcon-20DC 1
Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner  USA Electronic Warfare
C-26B 1
Lockheed C-130 Hercules  USA transport C-130H 4
Shaanxi Y-8  China transport Y-8 6 2 on order.[11]
Short 360  UK transport 360-300 2
Dornier Do 228  GER logistical support 228 NG 10 in order.[12]
Airbus A-319CJ  European Union transport A-319CJ 1 Presidential Aircraft (air force one)
Boeing 737  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  USA transport
air ambulance
208B 2
Cessna Citation II  USA transport Citation II 1
Beechcraft B200 Super King Air  USA transport;air ambulance 4
Hongdu K-8VV Karakorum  China/ 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  Brazil trainer EMB 312 T-27 20
Aermacchi SF.260  Italy trainer/light attack SF-260EV 12
SKYLANECessna 182  USA trainer 182 SKYLANE 12
Diamond DA 40  Austria trainer DA 40 ? on order
QUAD CITY ULTRALIGHT CORP  USA trainer Quad City Challenger 7
Eurocopter AS 332 Super Puma  France transport helicopter 8
Eurocopter AS 532 Cougar  France AS-532AC
Kazan Mi-17  Russia Transport Helicopter Mi-17V-5
6 Mi-17V-5; 2 Mi-171VIP purchased. One lost to crash.[when?][citation needed]
Enstrom 480B  USA trainer Helicopter Enstrom 480B 16 in order.[12]
ENSTROM F-280  USA trainer Helicopter 280FX SHARK 2
EMB 312 AT-27 Tucano  Brazil tactical support EMB 312 AT-27 12
Ghods Mohajer/Saint Arpia  Iran/ Venezuela observation UAV 12+[14] 12 drones bought directly from Iran. More to be produced locally in Venezuela.[15]
Cavim ANT-3X Venezolano  VEN observation UAV 4
Boeing 707  USA transport 1 Fuel Tanker


External links

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