Bolivarian Military Aviation

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Bolivarian Military Aviation
Aviación Militar Bolivariana
Seal of the Venezuelan Air Force.svg
Coat of arms of the Bolivarian Military Aviation
Founded22 June 1946; 74 years ago (1946-06-22)
Country Venezuela
TypeAir force
RoleAerial warfare
Part ofBolivarian Armed Forces
PatronOur Lady of Loreto
Motto(s)Latin: Spatium superanus palatinus
"The paladin of the sovereign space"
ColoursBleu celeste  
MarchSpanish: Himno de la Aviacion Militar Nacional
"Hymn of the National Military Aviation"
Anniversaries10 December (Air Force Day)
Commander-in-ChiefPresident Nicolás Maduro
Minister of DefenceGeneral Vladimir Padrino López
CommanderMajor General José Silva Aponte
RoundelRoundel of Venezuela.svg Roundel of Venezuela – Low Visibility.svg
Fin flashFlag of Venezuela.svg Fin Flash of Venezuela – Low Visibility.svg
FlagBandera AMB.png
Aircraft flown
Dassault Falcon 20C Prometeo, Fairchild C-26B Metro EW
FighterSu-30MK2, F-16
TrainerSF-260, EMB-312, K-8
TransportC-130, Y-8, Boeing 707-320C, Short 360

Bolivarian Military Aviation (Spanish: Aviación Militar Nacional Bolivariana) is a professional armed body designed to defend Venezuela's sovereignty and airspace. It is a service component of the National Bolivarian Armed Forces 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 the Mirage IIIE and Mirage 5, VF-5A and D, T-2D, OV-10A and E, and 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 participants in the rebellion. FAV units at El Libertador Air Base under the command of Brigadier General Visconti seized control of the airbase and then launched an attack on the capital. OV-10s, T-27s, and Mirage III fighters under Visconti's command bombarded targets in the capital and loyalist air bases, destroying five CF-5 fighters on the ground. Two loyalist pilots escaped with F-16 fighters and shot down two OV-10s and a 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, two Mirages, an OV-10, 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 plan to purchase of 12 more Su-30MK2 from Russia for $480 million.[8][9]

Current inventory[edit]

A Sukhoi SU-30 lift off
A Venezuelan Air Force F-16
A C-130H Hercules on approach
Aircraft Origin Type Variant In service Notes
Combat Aircraft
Sukhoi Su-30 Russia multirole Su-30MK2 22[10] 21 available for service, 1 stored
F-16 Fighting Falcon United States multirole F-16A/B 21[10] 16 available for service, 2 stored, 1 w/o engine for static tests, 2 preserved in museums
Electronic Warfare
Falcon 20 France electronic-warfare 200 1[10]
Metroliner III United States EW / reconnaissance 1[10]
Boeing 707 United States aerial refueling 1[10]
Cessna Citation II United States VIP 1[10]
King Air United States utility 200/350 6[10]
Short 360 United Kingdom utility transport 2[10]
Cessna 208 United States light utility 4[10]
Shaanxi Y-8 People's Republic of China transport 8[10]
Metroliner IV United States light utility 1[10]
C-130 Hercules United States transport C-130H 4[10]
Dornier Do 228 Germany transport Do 228NG 3[10]
Mil Mi-17 Russia utility Mi-8/17 10[10]
Eurocopter AS532 France transport 6[10]
Trainer Aircraft
Hongdu K-8 People's Republic of China/Pakistan jet trainer 24[10]
Diamond DA42 Austria multi-engine trainer 6[10]
Embraer EMB 312 Brazil trainer 19[10]
SIAI-Marchetti SF.260 Italy basic trainer 12[10]
Enstrom 280 United States rotorcraft trainer 4[10]
Enstrom 480 United States rotorcraft trainer 12 4 on order[10]
Ghods Mohajer Iran surveillance SANT Arpía 12[11]


Officer ranks[edit]

 Bolivarian Military Aviation
No equivalent GJAMB.png 9-MGAMB.png 8-GDAMB.png 7-GBAMB.png 6-CNELAMB.png 5-TCNELAMB.png 4-MAYAMB.png 3-CAPAMB.png 2-PTTEAMB.png 1-TTEAMB.png Unknown
General en Jefe Mayor General General de Division General de Brigada Coronel Teniente Coronel Mayor Capitán Primer Teniente Teniente
OF-10 OF-9 OF-8 OF-7 OF-6 OF-5 OF-4 OF-3 OF-2 OF-1 OF(D) and student officer

Professional and enlisted[edit]

 Bolivarian Military Aviation
AvSargento-Supervisor.png AvSargento-Ayudante.png AvSargento-Mayor2da.png AvSargento-Mayor2da.png AvSargento-Mayor3ra.png AvSargento-1ro.png AvSargento-2do.png AvCabo-1ro AvCabo-2do Aviador-Distinguido No insignia
Sargento Supervisor Sargento Ayudante Sargento mayor de Primera Sargento mayor de Segunda Sargento mayor de Tercera Sargento Primero Sargento Segundo Cabo Primero Cabo Segundo Distinguido Aviador
OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-4 OR-3 OR-2 OR-1


  1. ^ "Sukhoi Su-30 story in colours. Sukhoi Su-30 fighter worldwide camouflage and painting schemes". Archived from the original on 30 October 2014. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
  2. ^ "F-16s for Venezuela". Archived from the original on 30 August 2014. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
  3. ^ "Venezuelan F-16s". Archived from the original on 8 May 2004. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
  4. ^ Cooper, Tom. "Venezuelan Coup Attempt, 1992". Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  5. ^ [1] Archived 14 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Venezuela Buying Su-30s, Helicopters, etc. From Russia". Archived from the original on 16 June 2017. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  7. ^ "Venezuela buys Russian aircraft, tanks to boost power". UPI. Archived from the original on 30 October 2014. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
  8. ^ "Venezuela allocates $480m to buy Sukhoi aircraft from Russia". November 2015. Archived from the original on 22 November 2015. Retrieved 2 November 2015.[unreliable source?]
  9. ^ "Pese a la crisis económica, Venezuela compra doce cazas rusos". Clarín. 29 October 2015. Archived from the original on 2 November 2015. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u "World Air Forces 2020". Flightglobal Insight. 2020. Retrieved 2 January 2020.
  11. ^ "La Fuerza Aérea Venezolana exhibe sus vehículos aéreos no tripulados ANT-1X". 25 November 2011. Retrieved 30 October 2014.

External links[edit]