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Fuerza AeroNaval
Mexican Naval Aviation
Active since 1918
Country Mexico
Branch Mexican Navy
Type Naval aviation
Role Aerial Surveillance, Troop Transport, Search and Rescue
Insignia
Roundel
Roundel of Mexico – Naval Aviation.svg

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.[1][2]

History[]

File:Dauphin Panther (Mexican Navy).jpg

A Dauphin Panther helicopter used by the Mexican Naval Infantry

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.[3]

Structure[]

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.[4]

Gulf of Mexico Naval Air Force - HQ in Tuxpan, Veracruz

  • Tampico Naval Air Base, Tampico
    • 1st Air Mobility, Observation and Transport Naval Air Squadron - operating Mil Mi-17, Lancair IV-P
    • 1st Shipborne Patrol Naval Air Squadron - operating AS565 MB, Bo 105CBS-5, MD902
  • Las Bajadas Naval Air Base, Veracruz
    • 1st Maritime Patrol Naval Air Squadron - operating CASA C-212PM
    • 1st Early Warning and Reconnaissance Naval Air Squadron - operating E-2C Hawkeye 2000
    • Naval Aviation School - operating MD 500, Robinson R22, Schweizer 300, Zlín Z 42
  • Campeche Naval Air Base, Campeche
    • 5th Air Mobility, Observation and Transport Naval Air Squadron - operating Mi-8
    • 1st Interception and Reconnaissance Naval Air Squadron - operating L-90TP, Sabre 60
  • 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
    • 2nd Patrol Naval Air Squadron - operating RC695, Lancair IV-P
    • 2nd Air Mobility, Observation and Transport Naval Air Squadron - operating Mi-8
    • 2nd Shipborne Patrol Naval Air Squadron - operating Bo 105CBS-5
    • 2nd Transport Naval Air Squadron - operating An-32B
  • Lázaro Cárdenas Naval Air Base, Lázaro Cárdenas
    • 2nd Search and Rescue Naval Air Squadron - operating AS555 AF, Mi-2
  • Acapulco Naval Air Base, Acapulco
    • 2nd Search and Rescue Naval Air Squadron - operating AS555 AF, Mi-2
  • Salina Cruz Naval Air Base, Salina Cruz
    • 1st Search and Rescue Naval Air Squadron - operating AS555 AF, Mi-2
  • 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

Aircraft fleet[]

Current aircraft[]

The aircraft quantities are approximate,[5][6] and estimated to be 68 airplanes and 57 helicopters.[7][8][9]

Aircraft Origin Type Versions In service Image
Combat aircraft
Valmet L-90  Finland Combat/Counter Insurgency L-90TP 8
Redigo 01.jpg
Trainers
Zlin Z-242  Czech Republic Training Z-242L 8[10]
Zlin242L.JPG
Maule M-7 United States Training MX-7-180A 8
Maule.m7-235b.arp.jpg
Transports
Antonov An-32  Ukraine Tactical transport An-32B 3
Mexican Navy Antonov An-32B 2009 Belyakov.jpg
CASA C-295[11]  Spain Tactical transport C295M 4
C-295.JPG
Bombardier Dash 8  Canada Tactical transport DH-8 1
Dehav.dash8.750pix.jpg
Turbo Commander United States Transport 980 Turbo 4
Aero Commander.jpg
Learjet United States VIP transport LJ25 1
Learjet 25 der NASA.jpg
Learjet United States VIP transport LJ31 2
LEAR 31A.JPG
Learjet United States VIP transport LJ60 1
Filton.learjet.60.arp.jpg
Gulfstream IV United States VIP transport G450 1 G450-AMT-205-0310.jpg
Reconnaissance and Intelligence
CASA C-212  Spain Surveillance C-212-400 7[12]
CASA CN 212-200 N497CA 13.JPG
CASA CN-235  Spain Surveillance CN-235MP 300 2
Irish Air Corps CASA aircraft, Newcastle, County Down, August 2010 (01).JPG
Lancair United States Reconnaissance IV-P
Super ES
Legacy 2000
3
3
2
LancairIV-PC-GLFP02.jpg
Helicopter
Bölkow Bo 105  Germany Surveillance EC-Super Five 11
Mexican BO-105 Bolkow helicopter fires 2.75 inch high-explosive rockets at the ex-USS Connolly (DD 979).jpg
Eurocopter Caracal  France Search & rescue EC-725AP 3[9]
Caracal2552.jpg
Eurocopter Fennec  France Search & rescue AS555AF 2
Fennec3H131COAN.jpg
Eurocopter Panther  France Combat AS656MB 4
MD Helicopters MD 500 United States Training MD-500 4
Md helicopters md-500e g-sscl arp.jpg
Mil Mi-2  Russia Transport Mi-2 Hopite 1
Krzesiny 106RB.JPG
Mil Mi-17  Russia Transport Mi-17IV/V5 23
Mi-8MTV-Mexico-2005a.jpg
MD Helicopters MD Explorer United States Combat MD-902 6
Calstar MD Explorer 02.jpg
Sikorsky UH-60 Blackhawk United States Transport and combat UH-60M 3[13]
Blackhawk.jpg
UAV
UAV SEMAR  Mexico Reconnaissance/Intelligence T1 / T2 / T3 3

Recent purchases[]

Aircraft Origin Type Version On Order Notes Images
EADS CASA  Spain surveillance CASA CN-235 6 + 4 6 purchased by Mexico,[14][15][16] and 4 from the Mérida Initiative aide package.[13]
Mi-17  Russia Transport helicopter Mi-17V5 3
Mi-8MTV-Mexico-2005a.jpg

References[]

  1. http://www.semar.gob.mx/fuerzas/pacifico/fuernavpa.html
  2. http://www.semar.gob.mx/fuerzas/golfo/fuernavgo.htm
  3. http://www.scramble.nl/mx.htm
  4. http://semar.gob.mx/aeronaval/aeronautica.html
  5. Mexican Navy Aircraft
  6. Mexican Navy's new purchases
  7. 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. 
  8. 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. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 Air Forces Monthly. Stamford, Lincolnshire, England: Key Publishing Ltd. April 2013. pp. 21. 
  10. Moravan in the Armada de México
  11. Airliners.net
  12. http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/Persuader-Patrol-Planes-for-Mexicos-Maritime-05372/
  13. 13.0 13.1 Blackhawks ready to fly for the Mexican Navy. (25 August 2011)
  14. Mexican navy's budget increases by a fifth
  15. Seis CN-235-300 Persuader para la Armada de México
  16. "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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