Mozambique Air Force


Mozambique Air Force
Mozambique Air Force insignia.svg
Badge of the Mozambique Air Force
Founded1975; 46 years ago (1975)
Country Mozambique
BranchAir force
RoleAerial warfare
Size4,000 personnel
16 aircraft[1]
Part ofMozambique Defence Armed Forces
CommanderBrigadier Candido Jose Tirano[2]
RoundelRoundel of Mozambique.svg
Aircraft flown
HelicopterMil Mi-8, Mil Mi-24
TrainerAero L-39

The Mozambique Air Force (Portuguese: Forca Aérea de Moçambique; FAM) is the air force of Mozambique. From 1985 to 1990 it was known as the People's Liberation Air Force (Força Aérea Popular de Libertação; FAPL).


Mozambique Air Force MiG-21

Due to Mozambique's colonial background, the air force has a history of using former Portuguese aircraft. At its setting-up after independence in 1975 the air force was supported by Cuba and the USSR. As such there was an influx of Soviet-built aircraft to support the government during the civil war. Following the ceasefire in 1992 and the change in government policies away from communist one-party rule towards Western-style economics and multi-party democracy, Cuban support for the Air Force dwindled and most of the aircraft have now fallen into disrepair. The FAM is now effectively a token force, and the defence budget has been cut down to 1.5 percent of Mozambique's Gross National Product.[3] The number of personnel in the Air Force is estimated at 4000. The air force operates out of three main bases; Beira, Nacala and Nampula.

In 2011, the Portuguese Air Force offered FAM two Cessna FTB-337, updated with the latest technology for the use in training, aeromedical evacuation and maritime surveillance operations. This is part of the permanent technical-military cooperation (CTM) programme between Portugal and Mozambique. Regarding specifically the FAM, the Portuguese-Mozambican cooperation also includes other areas such as the training of pilot officers, NCOs and aviation technicians, the creation of aviation medicine and the air operations centres and also the development of search and rescue and flight safety capabilities. Currently several Mozambican officer cadets attend the Portuguese Air Force Academy.

In 2014, the Brazilian Minister of Defense disclosed its intention to donate 3 Embraer EMB 312 Tucano and assist on financing the purchase of 3 Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucano.[4] In 2016, the donation deal was cancelled by the Brazilian government.

In 2014, Mozambique News and Clippings 256 (Hanlon, J) reported the following: "The Romanian company Aerostar has completed the overhaul and upgrade of eight Mozambique Air Force MiG-21 fighters, some of which had not flown operationally for more than 20 years. The package also included the overhaul of a L-39 jet trainer along with six single-seat MiG-21 fighter jets and two double-seat MiG-21 trainer aircraft, as well as a full training programme for ground staff and pilots. Two R-40S basic trainer aircraft were also delivered. Six MiG-21s are now back in Mozambique with the final two aircraft shipped from Romania in early July".

Aircraft Origin Type Variant In service Notes
Combat Aircraft
MiG-21 Soviet Union fighter 8[1]
Antonov An-26 Ukraine transport 1[1]
Mil Mi-17 Russia utility Mi-8/17 4[1]
Mil Mi-24 Russia attack Mi-25 2[1]
Trainer Aircraft
Aero L-39 Czech Republic jet trainer 1[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "World Air Forces 2021". Flightglobal Insight. 2021. Retrieved 4 September 2021.
  2. ^ "Mozambique: Nyusi Makes New Military Appointments".
  3. ^ World Aircraft Information Files. Brightstar Publishing, London, File 340 Sheet 05
  4. ^ Barreira, Victor (23 March 2014). "Brazil seeks to boost defence exports to Africa". IHS Jane's. Retrieved 13 May 2014.