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  #31  
Old February 4th, 2019, 07:17 PM
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Candair CF-5 Freedom Fighter

In the late 1960s, Venezula decided to replace the Vampire/Venom force, along with the F-86 Sabre/Sabredog force. They saw an opportunity when 73 of the single-seat CF-5A aircraft procured for the RCAF had to be kept in storage due to the lack of operating funds. Venezula decided to buy 20 of them in 1972; broken down as:

16 x CF-5A (redesignated VF-5A) single seaters, ex RCAF
2 x CF-5D (redesignated VF-5D) two seater trainers, ex RCAF.
2 x CF-116D (redesignated VF-5D) two seater; new build; delivered 1974.

All of the Freedom Fighters were assigned to Grupo de Caza No 12. based at Barquisimeto. Two of the single seat CF-5As were converted into reconnaissance aircraft and designated RVF-5A. They were the first supersonic aircraft in the Venezulan Air Force and carried AIM-9, Mk 82 and M117 bombs in addition to 70mm rockets.

By 1990, seven aircraft had been lost, and in May 1990 fatigue and budget problems forced the entire VF-5 fleet into storage.

However, in late 1990, seven surplus NF-5s were bought from the Netherlands; broken down as:

6 x NF-5B
1 x NF-5A

They arrived in 1993; but the order for them allowed the 13 surviving VF-5As and single VF-5D to be sent off for refurbishment under "Proyecto Grifo" (Project Gryphon); with the contract for that being signed in June 1990. It was due to this ongoing upgrade program that the majority of the VF-5 force missed the 17 November 1992 coup attempt; but three VF-5s were destroyed by a rebel OV-10 Bronco attacking the airbase.

The upgrade program allowed Grupo 12 to operate the type until the early 2010s, with the following operational:

8 x VF-5A
3 x NF-5B
1 x VF-5D

mainly operating as a training group for the F-16 and Mirage fleet. They were replaced by the Hongdu JL-8W (K-8W) from 2010 onwards.
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  #32  
Old February 4th, 2019, 07:35 PM
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Dassault Mirage

In the early 1970s, Venezula began to study replacing the F-86K Sabredog, and in 1971, the Dassault Mirage family was chosen, with the following aircraft ordered:

10 x Mirage IIIEV
Single seat fighter-bomber. Five hardpoints (4 wing, 1 ventral). Venezula chose the AIM-9B instead of the Matra 530, and for ground attack missions, two 68mm rocket launchers or 8 x 227 kg bombs could be carried by by the Mirage IIIEV. Survivors upgraded to Mirage 50EV standard.

4 x Mirage 5V
Single seat ground attack aircraft. Seven hardpoints. Survivors upgraded to Mirage 50EV standard.

2 x Mirage 5DV
Two Seat Trainer.

In 1979, studies began to modernize the Mirage; but this was delayed from 1980-1982 by the competition that ultimately selected the F-16 (Mirage 50 and Kfir were losers in that). Once the F-16 program was done, the Mirage modernization program resumed at the end of 1982; with the final agreements reached in January 1985; but due to the collapse of oil prices, this contract was cancelled.

The Caldas Crisis of August 1987 caused a new modernization contract to be signed in June 1989 with Dassault; consisting of:

5 x Mirage IIIEV (modernization)
3 x Mirage 5V (modernization)
2 x Mirage 5DV (modernization)
6 x Mirage 50EV (new build)
1 x Mirage 50DV (new build)
3 x Mirage 5M (ex-Zaire aircraft)

All 20 aircraft would be upgraded to the same common Mirage 50EV / Mirage 50DV standard; with a 20% more powerful engine, inflight refuelling, new ejection seats, and weapons were:

MATRA 2 Infrared AAMs
AM-39 Exocet Antiship missiles
Durandal II/BAP Anti Runway Bombs
Mk 82 Free Fall Bombs
68mm JL-100R rocket launchers

Due to crashes during the conversion program, the actual final operational Mirage 50 fleet ended up at 16, instead of 18 as originally planned. The first Mirage 50EV was delivered 30 November 1990, and the last was delivered in 1992.

By 2008, three Mirage 50EV were withdrawn from service as spares for the others. The remaining aircraft were withdrawn in June 2009 after 35 years of service.

In September 2009, Ecuador inspected the Mirage fleet for transfer to their air force, and a contract was signed. Six Mirage 50s were transferred to Ecuador, with the first 3 arriving there on 29 October 2009.

On 10 December 2009 the official retirement ceremony for the Mirage in the FAV was held, and on 15 December 2009, the other three aircraft in the Ecuador order were transferred.

Source:
https://www.fav-club.com/2014/01/15/...-en-venezuela/
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  #33  
Old February 4th, 2019, 07:49 PM
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P-47D Thunderbolt

Following the Treaty of Rio in September 1947, significant quantities of US warplanes arrived in South America to re-equip South American Air Forces. Venezula received their first six P-47Ds in 1947. A later batch of 22 arrived in 1949. They were prominent in the 1952 incursion by Colombian warships into the Gulf of Venezuela; and they remained in service until fully replaced by the DeHavilland Vampire in 1955.
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  #34  
Old February 5th, 2019, 09:30 PM
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T-2D Buckeye Trainer / Light Attack

In February 1972, twelve T-2Cs were ordered by the FAV; they differed from USN ones by having different avonics and no provisions for catapult/arrested landings. They were designated T-2D and the first was received on 28 June 1973.

In 1977, a second batch of 12 x T-2Ds with six hardpoints on the wing for 3,500 lbs of armaments (bombs, 70mm rocket launchers and 12.7mm MG pods) was ordered to act as light attack aircraft. They arrived in a camouflage scheme and replaced the BAC Jet Provost T.Mk52.

The last six T-2Ds were retired in 1999 and their trainer functions were assumed by the twin seat VF-5B in the FAV's inventory until new types could arrive.

Hongdu K-8W Karakorum Light Attack/Advanced Trainers

Eighteen were ordered in 2008 and the first six arrived in January 2010. They replaced the VF-5 Freedom Fighter and OV-10 Bronco in the Venezuelan Air Force; in addition to advanced trainer duties.

A second order of 9 aircraft was made to replace three lost in crashes and increase the fleet to 24 units. The second order was officially delivered beginning in March 2016.

Rockwell OV-10 Bronco

In 1973, Venezula received 16 x OV-10E Broncos; with the first being formally accepted on 1 March 1973. This was followed in 1991 by a purchase of 18 x OV-10A from the USAF.

On 27 November 1992, the Broncos were widely used by mutinous officers who staged an attempted coup d'état against former President Carlos Andrés Pérez. The rebels dropped bombs and launched rockets against police and government buildings in Caracas. Four Broncos were lost during the uprising, including two shot down by a loyalist General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon.

At some time, the OV-10A/E fleet was modernized with new four blade props, reducing their sound signature, and installing FLIR and night vision.

Their replacement was originally to be 48 x Embraer EMB-314 A-29 Super Tucanos, but no deal was reached due to embargoes, and instead the decision was made to replace them with the Mi-28 HAVOC; which has yet to happen in 2019.

Mi-28 HAVOC

Supposedly ten aircraft were ordered in April 2010 as replacements for the OV-10 Bronco fleet, but as of 2019, no aircraft have yet to be delivered.

EMB-312V Tucano

Venezula ordered 32 x EMB-312 Tucanos, broken into two variants:

20 x T-27 for Training
12 x AT-27 for tactical support

The first four were delivered on 14 July 1986. On 27 November 1992, the aircraft were used by mutineering officers who staged a coup d'état against former President Carlos Andrés Pérez. The rebels dropped bombs and launched rockets against police and government buildings in Caracas. One EMB-312 was shot down during the uprising by F-16s flown by loyalist pilots.
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  #35  
Old February 6th, 2019, 06:52 PM
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42nd Airborne Brigade
42 Brigada de Infantería Paracaidista

The Venezulan Airborne forces trace their lineage to Mechanic 3d Class Manuel Murillo, who executed the first parachute jump (of free will) in Venezula on 2 January 1937.

After World War II, a group of men were sent to the Infantry School at Fort Benning, GA; where they received Jump Wings on 16 November 1948.

Returning to Venezula, they created the first parachute tactical unit in the country (under the command of the Venezulan Air Force) and executed the first massed parachute jump in the country on 10 December 1949, when three C-47s were used to jump 7 officers and 35 men.

In 1952, the Parachute Detachment Aragua (Destacamento de Paracaidistas Aragua) was created, also belonging to the FAV.

In 1977, the Aragua Parachute Regiment (regimiento de Paracaidistas Aragua) was transferred over to the Army, and in 1989, it became the 42nd Airborne Brigade.

The red berets of the Paratroopers have become synonymous in the last 20 years with the current regime that rules Venezula, because Hugo Chavez was a paratrooper.

Cazadores / Caribes

First "SOF" unit in Venezulan Army. Created 1963 to fight against Castro-backed guerillas and were so successful that in the time period 1963-1967, 13 battalions were created.

Mainly light infantry forces; with most officers and NCOs trained by US Army Rangers and Special Forces.
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