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Venezuelan Air Force


The Air Force of Venezuela, since 2006: Aviacion Militar Venezolana is a professional armed body designed to defend Venezuela's sovereignty and airspace. It is a component in the Venezuelan armed forces.

History

The birth of the FAV goes back to 10 December 1920 when the Military Aviation school of Venezuela was formed. Early aircraft included Farman and Caudron G-3 as well as the amphibian Caudron G-4. The first decades of the FAV saw mainly French, German and Italian influence. After the Second World War, the Air force was reorganised with American aid, eventually leading to the formal inception of the Fuerza Aerea Venezolana on 22 June 1946.

Most current airbases 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 Aereo de Caza 16 at El Libertador Airbase.

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.

Modernization

The Venezuelan military intends to purchase at least four Mi-28 attack helicopters, planned to be operational by 2009. It has also been reported that the AMV plans to acquire at least two Il-76 heavy transports.

The AMV purchased 24 Sukhoi Su-30 planes from Russia on July 2005, as a result of the American embargo on spare parts for their F-16 force.

Currently Venezuela is in talks with Russia with regards to potential acquisitions of the Su-35 fighter aircraft.

Venezuela threat to sell F-16 fleet to Iran

In 2006, the Iranian media have published series of reports that suggested Venezuela was interested in selling its 21 F-16 Fighting Falcon fleet to Iran. The rumors were confirmed, when a Hugo Chavez advisor told the Associated Press that "Venezuela's military is considering selling its fleet of U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets to another country, possibly Iran, in response to a U.S. ban on arms sales to President Hugo Chavez's government". In response, Sean McCormack, the U.S. State Department spokesman, warned Venezuela and suggested: "Without the written consent of the United States, Venezuela can't transfer these defense articles, and in this case F-16s, to a third country".

Organization

The Air Force is organized in twelve air groups, one for each aircraft type in use:

Air Group 4 with A-319CJ, B-737, Falcon-50 and Mi-171

Air Group 5 with Beechcraft BE200

Air Group 6 with C-130, Short 330 and B-707

Air Group 9 with Cessna 206 and 208

Air Group 10 with helicopters Super Puma and Cougar

Air Group 11 with Mirage 50

Air Group 12 with VF-5

Air Group 13 with Su-30MK2

Air Group 14 with SF-260, T-27 Tucano and Cessna 182

Air Group 15 with OV-10 Bronco and T-27 Tucano

Air Group 16 with F-16

Air Group 85 with electronic warfare planes (Falcon-20 and C-26B)

Aircraft Inventory

! style="text-align: left; background: aacccc;"|Aircraft

! style="text-align: left; background: aacccc;"|Origin

! style="text-align: left; background: aacccc;"|Type

! style="text-align: left; background: aacccc;"|Versions

! style="text-align: left; background: aacccc;"|In service"World Military Aircraft Inventory", Aerospace Source Book 2007, Aviation Week & Space Technology, 15 January 2007.

! style="text-align: left; background: aacccc;"|Notes

|- | Sukhoi Su-30MKV Flanker-G|| || multirole strike fighter || || 24 || A second batch is considered of 24 fighters |- | Lockheed F-16 Fighting Falcon || || fighter ||F-16A Block 15OCU; F-16A Block 15OCU || 24 || only 15 remain operational |- | Canadair CF-5 Freedom Fighter || || Fighter-bomber ||VF-5A; VF-5B|| 18 || only seven remain operational |- |Hongdu K-8 Karakorum || || trainer/light attack || || 6 || 12 in order |- | North American Rockwell OV-10 Bronco || || light attack
observation || || 24 || all operational |- | Airbus A319 || || transport || || 1 || |- | Beechcraft Super King Air || || transport|| || 5 || |- | Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner || || transport || || 2 || one ELINT |- |Boeing 707 || || transport ||707-320C; 707-346C|| 2 || |- |Boeing 737 || || transport ||737-2N1|| 1 || |- |Dassault Falcon 20 || || EW ||Falcon-20DC|| 1 || |- |Dassault Falcon 20 || || VIP ||Falcon-20DC; Falcon-20F|| 4 || |- |Dassault Falcon 50 || || VIP ||Falcon-50EX|| 1 || |- |Lockheed C-130 Hercules || || transport ||C-130H|| 6 || |- |Short 330 || || transport || || 2 || |- |Cessna 208B Grand Caravan || || liaison || || 8 || |- |Cessna 206 Stationair || || liaison || || 16 || |- |Cessna 182N Skylane || || basic trainer || || 2 ||

|-

|Embraer EMB 312 Tucano || || trainer || || 32 || only 19 remain operational |- |Aermacchi SF.260 || || trainer
light attack ||SF-260EV|| 12 || |- |Eurocopter AS 332 Super Puma || || transport helicopter ||AS-332B-1|| 6 || |-

|Eurocopter AS 532 Cougar || || transport helicopter ||AS-532AC; AS-532UL|| 8 ||

External links

Sitio oficial de la Aviacion Militar de Venezuela

Sitio no oficial de la Fuerza Armada de Venezuela

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Venezuelan Air Force


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