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Air Force



Current Title: Fuerza Aérea Revolucionara
Title in English: Cuban Revolutionary Air Force
Abbreviation: FAR


Narrative Summary:
Summary Narrative History

Key Dates:
5 July 1913    Creation of the Cuerpo de Aviación del Ejército de Cuba (CAEC) with one Curtiss Model FS
18 May 1919 1.Escuadrón of the CAEC with 9 Curtiss JN-4D was formed.
18 April 1932 Aircraft of the CAEC bombarded the town of Gibara, which was subsequently abandoned by the rebellious forces.
1934 The service was divided into the Cuerpo de Aviación del Ejército de Cuba and the Aviación Naval.
23 April 1952 A reorganisation combined both army and naval aviation elements in a semi-autonomous force with the titel Fuerza Aérea del Ejército de Cuba (FAEC).
2 May 1958   Fuerza Aérea Rebelde (FAR) was formed by Fidel Castro.
1 January 1959   Fuerza Aérea Revolucionara (FAR) was formed.
15 to 21 April 1961   Invasion of exil-Cubans at the Bay of Pigs, which failed.
October 1962   After Cuban Missile Crisis soviet missiles were withdrawn from Cuba.
1972   Fuerza Aérea Revolucionara got equal status with the Army and Navy.
December 1975   Fidel Castro sent a squadron with MiG-17Fs to Angola.
10 September 1977   "Operation Pico": One squadron of MiG-21MFs overflew Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic to press for the release of the merchant ship Capitan Leo, which, enroute to Angola, had violated Dominican waters and been interned by the authorities.
Dedember 1977   One squadron of MiG-17s and one squadron of MiG-21bis were sent to Ethiopia.
10 May 1980   Two FAR MiG-21s attacked the Bahamian patrol vessel HMBS Flamingo, which had arrested four Cuban fishing vessels.
6 November 1981   SAAF Mirage F-1 shot down one Mig-21MF in Angola.
3 August 1986   A FAR Mig-21F shot down one C-130 in Angola.
28 October 1987   One MiG-21UM was downed by ground fire near Luvuei in Angola.
27 June 1988   Eleven Cuban MiG-23MLs with demolition bombs appeared over the hydroelectric dam at Ruacana-Calueque in Namibia. The attack was a total success.
1989   Cuban forces withdraw from Angola and Ethiopia.

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

Future Plans:
No information available.


National Insignia:
Current --- Historical

Aircraft Serial Numbering System(s):
First serials were allocated to aircraft in 1919. Serials began with number 1 and were used in chronological order as aircraft arrive in the Air Force. From 1928 on serials started again with 1 as most of the present aircraft were destroyed during a cyclone. Prefix CAEC. After a reoganisation in 1955 a new serialling system was introduced, which was in the main applicable to light transports and communication aircraft and never superseded the former system and was distinguished by the use of the prefix FAEC. From 1959 the prefix FAR is used until today.



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:
Plaza de la Revolución, La Habana

Current Organisational Structure:
The FAR operates 2 mixed fighter-bomber regiments and 1 transport regiments..

Current Order of Battle:
Table of Current Order of Battle



Historical Orders of Battle:

Historical Order of Battle (as at 1913)

Historical Order of Battle (as at 1939)

Historical Order of Battle (as at 1952)

Historical Order of Battle (as at 1962)

Historical Order of Battle (as at 1988)

Historical Order of Battle (as at 1993)


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

Cuerpo de Aviación del Ejército de Cuba

Fuerza Aérea Rebelde

1.Escuadrón / Cuerpo de Aviación del Ejército de Cuba

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Air Bases

Current Air Bases:
The Cuban Air Force currently operates 3 mayor airbases and a number of secondary airfields.

Military Air Bases Listing

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

More Information



Texan and Harvards in Latin America (Dan Hagedorn)

Latin American Fighters (Iñigo Guevara y Moyano)



Air Forces Monthly 5/2006, p.78

World Air Power Journal 32, p.154-155


Defensa Nacional

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First Created: 28 October 2003 - Last Revised: 29 November 2006
Copyright © 2003 Erich Klaus.    e-mail: