The Venezuelan army in all components significantly exceeds the Colombian (very tense relations between the neighboring countries). True, because of the almost complete rupture with Washington, significant problems arose with the maintenance of American equipment, which had to be transferred or deposited earlier than it should have been. But Caracas managed to maintain normal relations with a number of European countries, where a certain amount of military equipment was also acquired. However, due to the fall in oil prices, the country was in a difficult economic situation, therefore, arms purchases both in Russia and in Europe have almost stopped, although equipment from China continues to flow.
The ground forces include seven divisions, which include 28 combat brigades. Infantry divisions: 1-I (headquarters - in Maracaibo, in the composition - 11-Armored, 12-I Caribbean Rangers, 13-I Infantry, 14-mechanized, 19-I anti-aircraft artillery brigade), 2-I (September -Kristobal, 21-I Infantry, 22-I gornopehotnaya, 23-I safety, 24-light Infantry, mechanized-25, 29-I anti-aircraft artillery brigade), 3-I (Caracas, 31-mechanized, 32 Caribbean Rangers, 33-I communications, 35-I military police, 39-I anti-aircraft artillery brigade). Jungle action division - 5-I (Ciudad-Bolivar, 51, 52, 53-I brigade for actions in the jungle, 59-I anti-aircraft artillery brigade). Armored Division - 4-I (Caracas, 41-I armored, 42-I airborne, 43-I artillery, 44-I light armored, 49-I anti-aircraft artillery brigade). Cavalry (light mechanized) division - 9-I (San Fernando de Apure, 91-I cavalry, 92, 93-I Caribbean Rangers Brigade). Engineering Division - 6-I (Caracas, 64-I railway brigade, 61, 62, 63-i construction shelves).
Tank the fleet includes 92 relatively new Russian T-72B1s, 81 obsolete French AMX-30s and 120 old light tanks (36 French AMX-13s, 84 English Scorpions). There are 25 American BMV “Dragoon-90LFV2”, 123 modern Russian BMP-3 and about 400 armored personnel carriers (including the latest: 121 Chinese VN-4 and 114 Russian BTR-80A). The artillery has 73 self-propelled guns (13 latest Russian 2C23 and 48 2C19, 12 old French AMX Mk F3), 54 towed guns (30 American M101, 24 M114), about 300 mortars (including 24 Russian 2C12) and 61 MLRS (24 Soviet BM-21, 25 Israeli LAR-160, 12 Russian "Tornadoes"). In service are 24 Israeli MAPATS anti-tank systems and 75 old American self-propelled anti-tank missiles M18.
Military air defense includes the 3 division of the latest Russian Buk missile systems (18 PU, 6 ROM) and at least 8 short-range air defense systems Tor-М1, up to 6 of old French Roland air defense systems, and up to 42 of old French ZSU (12 “Pan” AML-530S, up to 30 AMX-13), 300 Soviet anti-aircraft guns ZU-23-2.
In the army aviation at least 20 light aircraft (2 American Beach 200, 5 Cessna-182, up to 2 Cessna-207, 1 Cessna-TU206, probably two Israeli IAI-201 and IAI-202, 9 Polish M-28), 10 newest Russian Mi-35M2, up to 47 multi-purpose and transport helicopters (11 Bell-412, 5 Bell-206, up to 2 Bell-205, 1-2 UH-1H, 3 AS-61, 21 Mi-17, 3 Mi-26). The army park is supplemented by aircraft of the National Guard and the police. These are at least 30 light aircraft (1 American Beach-V58, up to 1 Beach-65V80, 3 Beach-90, 2 Beach-200, 2 Cessna-172, up to 1 Cessna-185 ", Up to 6" Cessna-U206 ", 3" Cessna-208 ", up to 3" Cessna-152 ", 1-2" Cessna-402 ", up to 3 Israeli IAI-201, 12 Polish M-28 and 2 M- 26, 5 Austrian DA42MPP) and at least 50 helicopters (8 Russian Mi-17, 5 French AS350, 4 AS365N3, 12–19 AS355F, up to 21 American Bell-206, up to 12 Bell-412, 3 F- 280C, up to 3 Italian A-109A). In addition to the above, relatively many aircraft and especially helicopters (in particular 8 Italian A-109AM) are in storage.
Air Force includes 14 air groups (from 4-th to 17-th). In service - 23 newest Russian fighter-bomber Su-30MK2В, which are the most powerful combat aircraft in all of Latin America. 17 is also available for new American F-16. May remain in service until the 8 old American fighter F-5. There are 2 – 3 French Mirage-50EV fighter-bomber 6 – 8 vehicles in storage, but their use is not possible. The 3 – 5 reconnaissance aircraft and EW (10 – 1 OV-20, 2 Falkon-26С, 1 С-137) and XNUMX tanker КС-XNUMX. They are all American-made.
Transport planes: 4 American C-130H, 1 Boeing 737, 3 Falcon-900, 1 Falcon-50, 2 Beach-65, 15 Beach-200, 3, 300, XNXX. , 4 Beach-350, 1 Cessna-500, 6 Cessna-550, 1 Cessna-551, 1 Cessna-750, 4 Cessna-208, 12 206, 6, 182, 2, 360, 3, 228 1 to 28 “Cessna-8”, 8 English “Short-24”, 8 German Do-11, 260 Polish M-19, 40 Chinese Y-6F. Training aircraft: 42 of the newest Chinese K-17W, 312 Italian SF-XNUMXE, XNUMX Austrian DAXNUMX and XNUMX DAXNUMX, up to XNUMX Brazilian EMB-XNUMX.
From the order of 20 helicopters - 8 Russian Mi-17, 3 French AS332B and 10 AS-532, 2 American F-280C, 4 TH-480 and up to 4 UH-1.
Ground-based air defense incorporates 11 divisions (44 PU) of the Soviet C-125 air defense missile systems upgraded in Russia, as well as the newest: X-NUMX long-range Russian air defense missile system C-2BM (except for Venezuela and Russia itself, only Belarus has this system), not less 300 LAW Tor-M4, 1 Israeli LAW Barak, 10 Russian Igla-S MANPADS. Given the military air defense, ground-based air defense of Venezuela is definitely the strongest in Latin America.
The Navy and the Coast Guard, unlike the ground forces and the Air Force, did not acquire Russian equipment, so they did not receive significant superiority over fleets neighboring countries.
As part of the Navy - 2 relatively new German submarines of the project 209 / 1300 and 6 frigates of the type “Sucre” (Italian “Lupo”), of which 3 are practically inefficient. The 6 corvettes of the Canadian constitution-type are in the ranks, of which 3 are RCC carriers. Also there are 9 of the newest patrol ships: 8 of Spanish construction (4 of the “Guaykeri” and “Guaykamacuto” types), 1 the Dutch “Damen 4207” (the construction of another 5 is supposed). There are up to 16 patrol boats of American construction (3 – 4 of “Petrel” type (“Point”), 10 – 12 of “Gavion” type) and a significant number of small patrol boats, all of them belong to the Coast Guard.
In the Navy ranks - 4 modern TDK type "Kapana" (launched in South Korea), 2 TDK type "Margherita" (American built), 4 airborne cargo ships such as "Los Frailes" (Dutch project "Damen 5612", manufactured in Cuba).
Naval aviation is composed 3 Spanish base patrol aircraft C-212 and 9 transport (1 «Beach E90», 1 «Beach 200», 1 «Commander-695», 1 «Cessna-206», 1 «Cessna-208», C-4 212), anti 7 helicopters "Bell-212», and to 16 multipurpose vehicles (6 Ni-17V, 6 «bell-412», 1-3 "Bell-206», 1 57A TH).
The Marine Corps Division includes 9 brigades, as well as an engineering corps, an artillery group and a reserve regiment. The Marines received the latest Chinese technology: 25 amphibious tanks VN-16 (ZTD-05) and 25 BMP VN-18 (ZBD-05). The 86 BTR: 9 American LVTP-7, 37 Brazilian EE-11, 40 Chinese VN-1 (ZBL-09) are also in the ranks. There 40 Italian towed guns M-56, 53 mortar (18 Chinese SM-4, 35 French "Brandt»), 18 Chinese MLRS SR-5, 20 Swedish MANPADS RBS-70 and possibly, 6 obsolete American ZSU M-42.
By Latin American standards, the Venezuelan Armed Forces have a very high potential. At the same time, the prospects of the country as a whole and its Armed Forces in particular are far from bright. The fall in oil prices has led Venezuela to an unprecedented global economic disaster. At the same time, Maduro does not possess even one percent of the charisma of the late Chavez, therefore she is unable to somehow bring down the rapidly growing discontent of the population. The real question now is how soon Maduro and his supporters will be removed from power and in what way - democratic (Latin American socialism does not cancel free elections) or force.
In the past two decades, it was Venezuela that stood at the forefront of a new wave of Latin American socialism thanks to a combination of impressive oil revenues and the equally impressive charisma of Chavez. Now there is neither one nor the other. The leftists have already lost the elections in Brazil and Argentina this year. Their defeat in Venezuela will mean that “people's socialism” is losing ground on the scale of the whole continent (however, it’s not a fact that it will be forever). One of the consequences will be that Moscow’s political support at the UN will decrease, and the potential market for Russian arms will narrow. For us, this is not a disaster, but a certain nuisance.