Venezuelan Air Force
Aviación Militar Bolivariana
Coat of arms of the Bolivarian Military Aviation
Founded10 December 1920; 103 years ago (1920-12-10)
Country Venezuela
TypeAir force
RoleAerial warfare
Part ofBolivarian Armed Forces
PatronOur Lady of Loreto
  • Latin: Spatium superanus palatinus
  • "The paladin of the sovereign space"
ColoursBleu celeste  
  • Spanish: 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
Fin flash
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

Venezuelan Air Force (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]

See also: Museo Aeronáutico de Maracay


A C-130H Hercules on approach
A Sukhoi SU-30 liftoff

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.[8]

In 2010, the Venezuelan Air Force retired their aging F-5 fleet, taking the Hongdu K-8W its place after being received earlier that year. [9] [10]

In October 2015, Venezuela announced the plan to purchase of 12 more Su-30MK2 from Russia for $480 million.[11][unreliable source?][12]


Aircraft Origin Type Variant In service Notes
Combat aircraft
General Dynamics F-16 United States multirole F-16A/B[8] ~15[8] two B variant are used for training.[8]
Sukhoi Su-30 Russia multirole Su-30MK2 21[8]
Electronic warfare
Metroliner III United States EW / reconnaissance 1[13]
Boeing 707 United States aerial refueling 1[13]
Shaanxi Y-8 China transport 8[13]
Dornier Do 228 Germany transport Do 228NG 3[13]
Short 360 United Kingdom utility transport 2[13]
King Air United States utility 200/350 5[13]
Cessna 208 United States light utility 4[13]
Cessna Citation II United States VIP transport 1[13]
Metroliner IV United States light utility 1[13]
C-130 Hercules United States transport C-130H 3[13]
Mil Mi-17 Russia utility Mi-8/17 6[13]
Eurocopter AS532 France transport 10[13]
Trainer aircraft
Hongdu K-8 China jet trainer 23[13]
Embraer EMB 312 Brazil trainer 18[13]
Diamond DA42 Canada multi-engine trainer 6[13]
SIAI-Marchetti SF.260 Italy basic trainer 12[13]
Enstrom 280 United States rotorcraft trainer 2[13]
Enstrom 480 United States rotorcraft trainer 12 4 on order[13]
Ghods Mohajer Iran surveillance SANT Arpía 12[14]


Officer ranks

 Venezuelan Military Aviation[15]
General en jefe Mayor general General de division General de brigada Coronel Teniente coronel Mayor Capitán Primer teniente Teniente

Rank group General/Flag/Air officers Senior officers Junior officers Officer cadet

Professional and enlisted

 Venezuelan Military Aviation[15]
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

Rank group Senior NCOs Junior NCOs Enlisted


  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. ^ a b c d e Embraer, In association with. "2024 World Air Forces directory". Flight Global. Retrieved 23 December 2023.
  9. ^ "El caza bombardero ligero VF-5 en la Fuerza Aérea Venezolana – FAV-Club". 19 December 2015. Archived from the original on 17 May 2017. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Venezuela allocates $480m to buy Sukhoi aircraft from Russia". November 2015. Archived from the original on 22 November 2015. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  12. ^ "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.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r "World Air Forces 2023". Flightglobal Insight. 2023. Retrieved 14 February 2023.
  14. ^ "La Fuerza Aérea Venezolana exhibe sus vehículos aéreos no tripulados ANT-1X". 25 November 2011. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
  15. ^ a b "Manual de Uniformes de la Aviación Militar Bolivariana" (PDF). (in Spanish). Ministry of Defense (Venezuela). November 2009. Retrieved 18 June 2021.