Mexican Naval Aviation
|Role||Aerial Surveillance, Troop Transport, Search and Rescue|
The Mexican Naval Aviation (Spanish: Fuerza AeroNaval ) or FAN literally meaning Naval Air Force, is the naval air arm of the Mexican Navy. The Mexican Navy is divided into two naval fleets: Pacific Ocean and Gulf of Mexico.
Naval aviation for Mexico dates back its roots all the way to 1918, when an indigenous made float biplane was successfully tested at the Port of Veracruz, the aircraft was flown by Carlos Santa Ana. In the year 1926 a squadron of float planes were designed and made for the Mexican Navy, but without personnel. Carlos Castillo Breton, became the very first Naval pilot in 1927 after training in The U.S. and in Mexico. Between 1927 to 1943, some aircraft were acquired, with a total of seven naval officers gaining their wings, although some of these joined the Mexican Air Force. World War II saw the creation of the Naval Aviation school in 1943 at Las Bajadas, Veracruz. These were also ex-FAM aircraft, used to patrol the Gulf of Mexico for German submarines and were later used for training at the Naval Aviation School.
Years after the war, the role of Mexican Naval Aviation were assigned as supporting the ground and sea naval units in Search & Rescue, coastal patrol and assistance to the general population in case of emergencies or disasters.
Times of Modernization
In the nineties, the Mexican navy started to acquire Russian built aircraft and helicopters like the Mil Mi-2, Mil Mi-8 and Antonov An-32B, also purchasing French, U.S. and German made helicopters and even Finnish built L-90 Redigo. In 1999, the Mexican navy started a programme to build kit planes and light helicopters at Las Bajadas, Veracruz.
As of 2001, Mexican naval aviation reported to have 118 aircraft, of which 68 are fixed wing in 9 squadrons and 50 helicopters in 9 squadrons, either in land bases or assigned on board of ocean patrol boats and frigates.
More recent purchases to the fleet were three ex-IDF/AF E-2C Hawkeyes, the first arriving in early July 2004. At the end of the same month, the first two EADS upgraded C212-200 Aviocars flew back to Mexico, with the remainder six being upgraded at BAN Las Bajadas. The most recent purchase are two AS565 Panthers. These helicopters will perform shipborne duties.
The factor of the country's geographical position, requires the deployment of units and aircraft facilities, allowing The Mexican Navy to exercise its naval power.
Gulf of Mexico Naval Air Force - HQ in Tuxpan, Veracruz
- Tampico Naval Air Base, Tampico
- Las Bajadas Naval Air Base, Veracruz
- Campeche Naval Air Base, Campeche
- Chetumal Naval Air Base, Chetumal
- 1st Patrol Naval Air Squadron - operating Lancair Super ES, MX-7-180A, RC695
- 3rd Air Mobility, Observation and Transport Naval Air Squadron - operating Mi-8
Pacific Naval Air Force - HQ in Manzanillo, Colima
- Guaymas Naval Air Base, Guaymas
- 1st Interception and Reconnaissance Naval Air Squadron - operating L-90TP, MX-7-180A
- La Paz Naval Air Base, La Paz
- Lázaro Cárdenas Naval Air Base, Lázaro Cárdenas
- Acapulco Naval Air Base, Acapulco
- Salina Cruz Naval Air Base, Salina Cruz
- Tapachula Naval Air Base, Tapachula
- 4th Patrol Naval Air Squadron - operating Mi-8
- 4th Air Mobility, Observation and Transport Naval Air Squadron - operating MX-7-180A, Super Lancair ES
Mexico City Naval Air Base
- 1st Transport Naval Air Squadron - operating Gulfstream G450, Learjet 25, Learjet 31, Learjet 60, DHC-8-Q202
|Valmet L-90||Finland||Combat/Counter Insurgency||L-90TP||8|
|Zlin Z-242||Czech Republic||Training||Z-242L||8|
|Maule M-7||United States||Training||MX-7-180A||8|
|Antonov An-32||Ukraine||Tactical transport||An-32B||3|
|CASA C-295||Spain||Tactical transport||C295M||4|
|Bombardier Dash 8||Canada||Tactical transport||DH-8||1|
|Turbo Commander||United States||Transport||980 Turbo||4|
|Learjet||United States||VIP transport||LJ25||1|
|Learjet||United States||VIP transport||LJ31||2|
|Learjet||United States||VIP transport||LJ60||1|
|Gulfstream IV||United States||VIP transport||G450||1|
|Reconnaissance and Intelligence|
|CASA CN-235||Spain||Surveillance||CN-235MP 300||2|
|Bölkow Bo 105||Germany||Surveillance||EC-Super Five||11|
|Eurocopter Caracal||France||Search & rescue||EC-725AP||3|
|Eurocopter Fennec||France||Search & rescue||AS555AF||2|
|MD Helicopters MD 500||United States||Training||MD-500||4|
|Mil Mi-2||Russia||Transport||Mi-2 Hopite||1|
|MD Helicopters MD Explorer||United States||Combat||MD-902||6|
|Sikorsky UH-60 Blackhawk||United States||Transport and combat||UH-60M||3|
|UAV SEMAR||Mexico||Reconnaissance/Intelligence||T1 / T2 / T3||3|
|EADS CASA||Spain||surveillance||CASA CN-235||6 + 4||6 purchased by Mexico, and 4 from the Mérida Initiative aide package.|
- Mexican Navy Aircraft
- Mexican Navy's new purchases
- Aranda, Jesus (14 de diciembre de 2009). "La flota de Ejército y Armada consta de 480 aeronaves" (in Spanish). La Jornada. http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2009/12/14/index.php?section=politica&article=007n1pol. Retrieved 2009-12-14.
- Raúl Benítez Manaut, Abelardo Rodríguez Sumano, Armando Rodríguez Luna (2009). Atlas de la Seguridad y la Defensa de México 2009. México D. F.: Colectivo de Analisis de la Seguridad con Democracia (CASEDE). pp. 369 pp.. ISBN 978-607-95380-0-2. http://www.seguridadcondemocracia.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1311&Itemid=69.
- Air Forces Monthly. Stamford, Lincolnshire, England: Key Publishing Ltd. April 2013. pp. 21.
- Moravan in the Armada de México
- Blackhawks ready to fly for the Mexican Navy. (25 August 2011)
- Mexican navy's budget increases by a fifth
- Seis CN-235-300 Persuader para la Armada de México
- "Presupuesto multimillonario para asegurar la viabilidad del Estado" (in Spanish). La Jornada. 10 de septiembre de 2008. http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2008/09/10/index.php?section=politica&article=003n1pol. Retrieved 2008-11-24.
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