Bolivia Air Force
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Air Force



Current Title: Fuerza Aérea Boliviana
Title in English: Bolivian Air Force
Abbreviation: FAB


Narrative Summary:
Military aviation started in 1916, when the Escuela Militar de Aviación was formed in La Paz, although it began operations only in 1923 with some French aircraft. The Cuerpo de Aviadores Militares Bolivianos (Bolivian Military Aviatiors Corps) was formed in August 1924. During the next years Bolivia got some aircraft from France and Great Britain. At the beginning of the 1930s tensions with Paraguay rose and Bolivia bought some new aircraft from Germany and the USA. In 1932 the War of Chaco began and lasted unitil 1935, when Bolivia was defeated and lost 11 aircraft during this conflict. During this time the air force was renamed Cuerpo de Aviación.


In 1937 a military mission of Italy came to Bolivia, but they did not bring aircraft with them. During the next years the air force got some additional aircraft from the USA. In November 1941 the Italian military mission was replaced by a mission from the USA and from 1942 Bolivia received training and transport aircraft through the Lend-Lease programm. The air force was reorganised in 1944 and became Fuerza Aérea Boliviana (FAB), but still under army control. After Bolivia signed the Rio Pact in 1947 the FAB received small quantities of training and transport aircraft from the United States. In 1957 the Fuerza Aérea Boliviana became an independent service.


In 1973 the FAB entered the jet age, when they received T-33A from the USA. A reorganisation took place in 1986, when three Brigadas Aéreas were formed, each with a different number of Grupos Aéreos. A fourth Brigada Aérea was formed in 1990.


Today the FAB is organised in four Brigadas Aéreas.


Key Dates:
1916    The Escuela Militar de Aviación was formed.
August 1924 The Cuerpo de Aviadores Militares Bolivianos was established.
1932-1935 War of Chaco
1944 The Fuerza Aérea Boliviana was formed.
1957 The Fuerza Aérea Boliviana became an independent service.
1986   I - III Brigadas Aéreas were established.
1990   IV Brigada Aérea was established.

Current Status:
Units of the Air Force are fully operational.

Future Plans:
No information available.


National Insignia:
Current --- Historical



Aircraft Serial Numbering System(s):
Serial numbers consist of a three-digit number prexfied FAB, while TAM aircraft have two-digit numbers prefixed by TAM.


Unit/Base Aircraft Code System(s):
Coding system not used.


Aircraft Designation System(s):

Current Aircraft Inventory:
Table of Current Service Aircraft

All-Time Aircraft Used List:
Alphabetical Order --- Chronological Order


Main Headquarters:
Av. Montes 734, La Paz

Current Organisational Structure:
Today the Fuerza Aerea Boliviana is organised in six Area Brigades (Brigada Aérea) with a different number of Squadrons (Escuadróns) each.

Current Order of Battle:
Table of Current Order of Battle



Historical Orders of Battle:

Historical Order of Battle (as at 1934)

Historical Order of Battle (as at 1944)

Historical Order of Battle (as at 1947)

Historical Order of Battle (as at 1954)

Historical Order of Battle (as at 1962)

Historical Order of Battle (as at 1974)

Historical Order of Battle (as at 1987)


All-Time Flying Units List: (only units, which are not included in the Orders of Battle)

Escuadrón de Entrenamiento 1

Escuadrón de Entrenamiento 2

Grupo Aéreo de Cobertura "Cap. Alberto Peredo"

Grupo de Seguridad y Defensa de Instalaciones Aéreas (GSDIA)

Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano



Air Bases

Current Air Bases:
The Bolivian Air Force currently operates ten mayor airbases.

Military Air Bases Listing

All-Time Air Bases Used List:
Military Air Bases Listing

More Information




Armed Forces of Latin America (Adrian English)

Latin-American Military Aviation (John Andrade)

Texan and Harvards in Latin America (Dan Hagedorn)

Latin American Fighters (Iñigo Guevara y Moyano)

Aircraft of the Chaco War 1928-1935 (Dan Hagedorn / Antonio L. Sapienza)

Scramble Military Serials - Americas 2007

World Air Forces Directory (Ian Carroll)

Military Balance (IISS)




World Air Power Journal 31, p.144-146


Fuerza Aérea Boliviana (official homepage)

Segurança & Defesa


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First Created: 25 December 2005 - Last Revised:  25 June 2013
Copyright © 2005 Erich Klaus.    e-mail: