National Air Force of Angola
Força Aérea Nacional de Angola
Founded21 January 1976; 48 years ago (1976-01-21)
Country Angola
TypeAir force
RoleAerial warfare
Size6,000 personnel[1]
286 aircraft
Part ofAngolan Armed Forces
Commander-in-ChiefPresident João Lourenço
Air Force Chief of StaffGeneral Altino Dos Santos
Aircraft flown
AttackSu-25, Su-22
FighterSukhoi Su-30, Su-27, MiG-23, MiG-21
Attack helicopterMi-24/35
PatrolFokker F27, EMB-110, C.212
TrainerYak-11, PC-7, Embraer EMB 312 Tucano
TransportC-130 Hercules, An-12, An-26

The National Air Force of Angola or FANA (Portuguese: Força Aérea Nacional de Angola) is the air branch of the Armed Forces of Angola.

With an inventory of more than 300 aircraft, FANA is (on paper) one of the largest and strongest air forces of Africa.[2]


Angola became independent from Portugal on 11 November 1975. However, the foundations for the establishment of the air force were laid before independence when members of the then Flying Club of Angola (Aeroclube de Angola) were assembled at Luanda in October 1975.[3] These people and aircraft left behind by the Portuguese Air Force formed the basis for the air transport branch of the force.

The force was formally established on 21 January 1976 as the People's Air Force of Angola / Air and Antiaircraft Defense or FAPA/DAA (Força Aérea Popular de Angola / Defesa Aérea e Antiaérea). Its first batch of Soviet MiG fighter aircraft was delivered in mid-December 1975.[3] The FAPA/DAA fought several battles with South African Air Force aircraft in November 1981, October 1982, and twice in September 1987.[4]

Circa 1983–85, in order to enhance MPLA's combat capacity, Romania sent 150 flight instructors and other aviation personnel, who contributed to the establishment of an Angolan Military Aviation School.

The FANA has bases at Luanda, Catumbela, Belas, Luena, Kuito, Lubango and Moçâmedes. The World Factbook, produced by the CIA, reported that by 2007 the name of the force had changed to "National Air Force".[5]

Most of the inventory is out of service, and refers to historical equipment delivered along the years. FAN has many bases – most of them, former Portuguese Air Force bases and other courtesy of the Cold War – but few airplanes that actually fly. The main body of the active air force is made of transport/cargo planes, used for moving supplies, equipment and personnel between parts of the country.


The National Air Force of Angola is headed by the Chief of Staff of the FANA (Chefe do Estado-Maior da FANA). The Chief of Staff of the FANA is a General directly subordinate to the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Angola.

FANA follows a Russian/ex-Soviet organizational model, with its air units being aviation regiments (regimentos de aviação), each one including several squadrons (esquadrões). To each of the six aviation regiments corresponds an air base. Besides the aviation regiments, there is also a Pilot Training School.

Its order of battle is:[citation needed]

Mil Mi-24s of Angola
image icon



An Angolan Air Force MiG-21bis
Angolan VIP Embraer ERJ-135BJ Legacy
A Cessna 501 used for Maritime Patrol
Aircraft Origin Type Variant In service Notes
Combat Aircraft
MiG-21 Soviet Union fighter MiG-21bis 23[6]
MiG-23 Soviet Union fighter 22[6] some supplied by Belarus[7]
Sukhoi Su-22 Soviet Union fighter / bomber 14[6] some supplied by Belarus[8]
Sukhoi Su-25 Russia attack 12[6]
Sukhoi Su-30 Russia fighter 13[6] one Su-27 provides conversion training
Embraer EMB-314 Brazil light attack / COIN 6[6]
Maritime Patrol
CASA C-212 Spain patrol 1[6]
Airbus C295 Spain patrol 2 on order[6]
Cessna Citation I United States patrol 1[6] fitted with a Seaspray AESA radar and electro-optical sensor
Xian MA60 China transport 2[6]
Quest Kodiak United States utility transport Kodiak 100 3[6]
Airbus C295 Spain transport 1 on order[6]
Ilyushin Il-76 Russia strategic airlifter 7[6]
Antonov An-12 Ukraine heavy transport 8[6]
Antonov An-26 Ukraine transport 1[6]
Antonov An-32 Ukraine transport 5[6]
Antonov An-72 Ukraine heavy transport 6[6]
CASA C-212 Spain utility transport 1[6]
Embraer ERJ-135 Brazil VIP transport 1[9]
Bell 212 United States utility 9[6]
Mil Mi-8 Russia utility Mi-8/17/171 66[6]
Mil Mi-24 Russia attack Mi-24/35 15[6]
Alouette III France liaison 21[6]
AgustaWestland AW109 Italy light utility 2 4 on order[6]
AgustaWestland AW139 Italy SAR / utility 4[6]
Trainer Aircraft
Aero L-29 Czech Republic jet trainer 6[6]
Aero L-39 Czech Republic jet trainer 4[6]
Pilatus PC-7 Switzerland basic trainer 5[10]
Pilatus PC-9 Switzerland trainer 4[6]
Hongdu JL-8 China jet trainer K-8W 12[6]
Embraer EMB-312 Brazil trainer 12[6] aircraft were acquired from Peru[11]
TAI Aksungur Turkey UCAV Unknown quantity ordered.[12]

Air Defense

Name Origin Type In service Notes
S-75M Volkhov Soviet Union Medium-range surface-to-air missile 40[13]
2K12 Kub Soviet Union Short-range surface-to-air missile 16[13] Upgraded to 2K12-ML standard[14][15]
S-125 Pechora Soviet Union Short-range surface-to-air missile 12[13]
9K35 Strela-10 Soviet Union Short-range surface-to-air missile 10[13]
9K33 Osa Soviet Union Short-range surface-to-air missile 15[13]
9K31 Strela-1 Soviet Union Short-range surface-to-air missile 20[13]


Name Origin Type Notes
Air-to-air missile
K-13 Soviet Union Infrared homing air-to-air missile [16]
R-60 Soviet Union Infrared homing air-to-air missile [16]
R-73 Soviet Union Infrared homing air-to-air missile [16]
R-23 Soviet Union Semi-active radar homing [16]
R-27 Soviet Union Infrared homing air-to-air missile / Semi-active radar homing [16]
Air-to-surface missile
9M17 Fleyta Soviet Union Anti-tank missile [13]
Anti-radiation missile
Kh-28 Soviet Union Anti-radiation missile [16]

Accidents and incidents

On 14 September 2011, an Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia, operated by the Air Force, crashed just after takeoff from Nova Lisboa Airport,[17] killing 11 army officers (including three generals, among them Kalias Pedro) and six civilians.[18][19] The accident occurred at 11:30 am at the airport, with a military delegation on board the flight at Albano Machado Airport.[20]


Main article: Military ranks of Angola

Commissioned officer ranks

The rank insignia of commissioned officers.

Rank group General / flag officers Senior officers Junior officers Officer cadet
Angola National Air Force of Angola[21]
General-de-Aviação General Tenente-general Brigadeiro Coronel Tenente-coronel Major Capitão Tenente Sub-tenente

Other ranks

The rank insignia of non-commissioned officers and enlisted personnel.

Rank group Senior NCOs Junior NCOs Enlisted
National Air Force of Angola[21]
No insignia
Sargento-mor Sargento-chefe Sargento-ajudante Primeiro-sargento Segundo-sargento Sub-sargento Primeiro-cabo Segundo-cabo Soldado


  1. ^ International Institute for Strategic Studies (25 February 2021). The Military Balance 2021. London: Routledge. p. 448. ISBN 9781032012278.
  2. ^ "Africa's Five Most Powerful Air Forces: Protecting the Skies From From Algiers to Addis Ababa". Military Watch Magazine. 8 July 2020. Retrieved 8 July 2022.
  3. ^ a b Cooper, Tom & Weinert, Peter (2010). African MiGs: Volume I: Angola to Ivory Coast. Harpia Publishing LLC. p. 17. ISBN 978-0-9825539-5-4.
  4. ^ Cooper and Weinert 2010, 52, 54, 60.
  5. ^ "Non official site with history of FAN" (in Portuguese). Archived from the original on 31 March 2012. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac "World Air Forces 2023". Flightglobal. 2023. Retrieved 23 November 2022.
  7. ^ "World Air Forces 2001 pg. 35". Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  8. ^ "World Air Forces 2001 pg. 35". Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  9. ^ "Angolan Air Force embraer crash". Retrieved 18 December 2014.
  10. ^ International Institute for Strategic Studies; Hackett, James (ed.). The Military Balance 2016. London: Routledge. ISBN 1857435575.
  11. ^ "World Air Forces 2002 pg. 35". Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  12. ^ Torlak, Hakan (17 March 2023). "Üretim kapasitesi arttı: AKSUNGUR İHA Kırgızistan ve Angola yolcusu". DefenceTurk (in Turkish). Retrieved 17 March 2023.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g International Institute for Strategic Studies (2021). The Military Balance. p. 449. ISBN 9781032012278.
  14. ^ "Angola has received upgraded SA-6 surface-to-air missiles". defenceWeb. 9 July 2019. Retrieved 28 September 2021.
  15. ^ "Angola received upgraded SA-6 systems". Shephard Media. 11 June 2019. Retrieved 28 September 2021.
  16. ^ a b c d e f "Trade Registers".
  17. ^ "Accident Description". Aviation Safety Network. 14 September 2011. Archived from the original on 24 September 2011. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
  18. ^ "Angola: Huambo air force plane crash kills generals". BBC News. 15 September 2011. Archived from the original on 15 September 2011. Retrieved 15 March 2012.
  19. ^ "Angola army says 17 killed in air crash". 14 September 2011. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
  20. ^ "17 Killed in Wednesday Air Force plane crash". Angola Press Agency. 15 September 2011. Archived from the original on 27 March 2012. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
  21. ^ a b "Postos da Força Aérea Nacional". (in Portuguese). Angolan Air Force. Retrieved 27 June 2021.

Further reading