Armed Forces of Honduras

The Armed Forces of Honduras (Spanish: Fuerzas Armadas de Honduras), consists of the Honduran Army, Honduran Navy and Honduran Air Force.

Armed Forces of Honduras
Fuerzas Armadas de Honduras
Service branches Honduran Army

Honduran Air Force

Honduran Navy
Commander-in-ChiefJuan Orlando Hernández
Chief of the Armed ForcesRené Orlando Ponce Fonseca
Military age18 for voluntary 2–3-year service
Available for
military service
1,868,940[1] males, age 16–49,
1,825,770 (2008 est.) females, age 16–49
Fit for
military service
1,397,938 males, age 16–49,
1,402,398 (2009 est.) females, age 16–49
Reaching military
age annually
92,638 males,
88,993 (2009 est.) females
Active personnel52,225[2]
Percent of GDP1.1% as of 2012[3]
Foreign suppliers United States
 United Kingdom
Related articles
RanksMilitary ranks of Honduras



During the twentieth century, Honduran military leaders frequently became presidents, either through elections or by coups d'état. General Tiburcio Carías Andino was elected in 1932, he later on called a constituent assembly that allowed him to be reelected, and his rule became more authoritarian until an election in 1948.

During the following decades, the military of Honduras carried out several coups d'état, starting in October 1955. General Oswaldo López Arellano carried out the next coup in October 1963 and a second in December 1972, followed by coups in 1975 by Juan Alberto Melgar Castro and in 1978 by Policarpo Paz García.


Events during the 1980s in El Salvador and Nicaragua led Honduras – with US assistance – to expand its armed forces considerably, laying particular emphasis on its air force, which came to include a squadron of US-provided F-5s.

The military unit Battalion 316 carried out political assassinations and the torture of suspected political opponents of the government during this same period. Battalion members received training and support from the United States Central Intelligence Agency, in Honduras, at U.S. military bases[4] and in Chile during the presidency of the dictator Augusto Pinochet.[5] Amnesty International estimated that at least 184 people "disappeared" from 1980 to 1992 in Honduras, most likely due to actions of the Honduran military.[6]


The resolution of the civil wars in El Salvador and Nicaragua, and across-the-board budget cuts made in all ministries, has brought reduced funding for the Honduran armed forces. The abolition of the draft has created staffing gaps in the now all-volunteer armed forces. The military is now far below its authorized strength, and further reductions are expected. In January 1999, the Constitution was amended to abolish the position of military commander-in-chief of the armed forces, thus codifying civilian authority over the military.


Since 2002, soldiers have been involved in crime prevention and law enforcement, patrolling the streets of the major cities alongside the national police.


On 28 June 2009, in the context of a constitutional crisis, the military, acting on orders of the Supreme Court of Justice, arrested the president, Manuel Zelaya after which they forcibly removed elected President Zelaya from Honduras. See the article 2009 Honduran constitutional crisis regarding claims regarding legitimacy and illegitimacy of the event, and events preceding and following the removal of Zelaya from Honduras.

The military's chief lawyer, Colonel Herberth Bayardo Inestroza Membreño, made public statements regarding the removal of Zelaya. On June 30, he showed a detention order, apparently signed June 26 by a Supreme Court judge, which ordered the armed forces to detain the president.[7] Colonel Inestroza later stated that deporting Zelaya did not comply with the court order: "In the moment that we took him out of the country, in the way that he was taken out, there is a crime. Because of the circumstances of the moment this crime occurred, there is going to be a justification and cause for acquittal that will protect us."[8] He said the decision was taken by the military leadership "in order to avoid bloodshed".[9]

Human rights violations during 2009

Following the 2009 ouster of the president, the Honduran military together with other government security forces were allegedly responsible for thousands of allegedly arbitrary detentions[10] and for several forced disappearances and extrajudicial executions of opponents to the de facto government, including members of the Democratic Unification Party. However, evidence about these actions has yet to be provided and there has been some questioning in local media about the actual perpetrators, suggesting that they could actually be related to disputes within the leftists organizations themselves.[11][12][13][14][15][16]


Land Bases

Air Force

The FAH operates from four air bases located at:

With the exception of Soto Cano Air Base, all other air bases operate as dual civil and military aviation facilities.

Additionally, three air stations are located at:

  • Catacamas
  • Alto Aguán (bomb range)
  • Puerto Lempira airstrips serve as forward operations locations-FOL.

Also a radar station operates at:

  • La Mole peak.

The navy is a small force dealing with coastal and riverine security.

The navy has 31 patrol boats and landing craft.[18]

Class Origin Type Versions In service Fleet
Sa'ar 62-class offshore patrol vessel ((62 meters) 204-foot type) IsraelOcean Patrol Vessel1Delivery programed by Israel Shipyard on 2019
Guaymuras class (105-foot Swift type) United StatesPatrol boat3FNH 101 Guaymuras
FNH 102 Honduras W/O
FNH 103 Hibueras W/O
Yojoa (Hollyhock class) United StatesCoastal buoy tender1FNH 252 Yojoa – ex-US Coast Guard Walnut W/O Broke in half during Hurricane Mitch
Punta Caxinas (149-foot Lantana type) United StatesCoastal transport1FNH-1491
Choluteca Class (65-foot Swift type) United StatesCoastal patrol craft5FNH 651 Nacaome
FNH 652 Goascoran
FNH 653 Petula
FNH 654 Ulua
FNH 655 Choluteca
Piraña classNapco  United StatesRiverine ops boat8
Boston Whaler Guardián Class United StatesRiverine ops boat10
Tegucigalpa Class (107-foot Lantana type) United StatesPatrol boat3FNH-1071 Tegucigalpa[19]
FNH-1072 Copán
FNH-1073 Unknown name
Chamelecán Class (85-foot Dabur type) IsraelPatrol boat1FNH-8501
WARUNTA Class (73-foot LCM-8) United StatesLanding craft3FNH-7301 Warunta
FNH-7302 Rio Coco
FNH-7303 Unknown name
 United StatesLCU1
 United StatesSmall River Patrol Boat15
Golfo de Tribuga-class landing craft ColombiaShort Range Logistic Support ShipBAL-C1FNH 1611 Gracias a Dios[20][21][22]
Damen Stan Patrol Boat (140-foot 4207) NetherlandsCoastal Patrol Vessel42072FNH 1401 Lempira – FNH 1402 Morazan
Damen Stan Interceptor 1102 (36-foot) NetherlandsInterceptor Boat11026
Eduardoño Patrullero 320 (32-foot) ColombiaInterceptor Boat25FNH 3201 – 3225
Boston Whaler Interceptors (20-foot) United StatesInterceptor Boat10Unknown identification
Multi Mission Interceptor MMI35 (35-foot) ColombiaInterceptor Boat2[23]

The Honduran navy has 4 naval bases:

  • Base Naval Puerto Cortés – main repair and logistics base on the Caribbean Sea
  • Base Naval Puerto Castilla – main operating base of patrol boats on the Caribbean Sea
  • Base Naval Amapala – main operating base of coastal patrol craft on the north end of the island and only base on the Pacific Ocean side of Honduras
  • Base Naval Caratasca – new base to deal with drug trafficking

Additionally, the Honduran navy has the following unit and schools:

  • 1st. Marine Infantry Battalion – only marine unit located at La Ceiba
  • Honduras Naval Academy – Trains officers for the Honduras Navy at La Ceiba
  • Naval Training Center – NCO and Sailor training facility

Military-civilian relations and leadership

According to a statement in July 2009 by a legal counsel of the Honduras military, Colonel Herberth Bayardo Inestroza, part of the elite Honduran military generals were opposed to President Manuel Zelaya, whom the military had removed from Honduras via a military Coup d'état, because of his left-wing politics. Inestroza stated, "It would be difficult for us [the military], with our training, to have a relationship with a leftist government. That's impossible."[8]

The current head of the armed forces is Carlos Antonio Cuéllar, graduate of the General Francisco Morazan Military Academy and the School of the Americas. In January 2011, the General Rene Arnoldo Osorio Canales former head of the Presidential Honor Guard, was appointed Commander.

As of 2012 the Honduran Military has the highest military expenditures of all Central America.


Hand guns

Sub machine guns


Sniper rifles

Machine guns

Rocket launchers

Medium artillery

Vehicles and artillery

Armoured Fighting Vehicles[24][27]
Scorpion United KingdomLight tank19FV-101\76 76mm main gun.
Scimitar United KingdomArmoured Recce tank3FV-107 30mm main gun.
Sultan United KingdomCommand Vehicle1FV-105
Humvee United StatesAPC 4x430M40 106mm RCL.
RBY MK 1 IsraelReconnaissance Vehicle16M40 106mm RCLs.
Saladin United KingdomArmoured Car72FV-601. 6x6 76mm main gun.
Utility vehicles
M151 United StatesLight Utility Vehicleunknown
Jeep J8 United StatesLight Utility Vehicleunknown
M35 United States6x6 Cargo Truckunknown
Ford F-Series Truck United StatesF-250 4x4 Truckunknown
Ashok Leyland Stallion4x4 Truck110Ordered in January 2009. Part of an order for 139 miscellaneous utility and transport vehicles.[27]
Ashok Leyland Topchi4x4 Truck28Ordered in January 2009. Part of an order for 139 miscellaneous utility and transport vehicles.[27]
L-series Germany4x4 TruckVariousSome to be replaced for Ashok Leyland Stallion.
Mercedes Benz Unimog Germany4x4 TruckVariousTo be replaced for Ashok Leyland Stallion.
M102 United StatesTowed 105mm Howitzer24
M101 United StatesTowed 105mm Howitzer20
M198 United StatesTowed 155mm Howitzer12
M-66 Israel160mm Mortar30
M-65 Israel120mm Mortar30
Brandt France120mm Mortar60
M55A2 United States20mm Anti-Aircraft Gun8034 in service.
M167 VADS United States20mm Anti-Aircraft Gun30
TCM-20 Israel20mm Anti-Aircraft Gun24

See also


  1. "CIA World Factbook".
  2. "".
  3. "Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)". Archived from the original on 2015-01-04.
  4. Cohn, Gary; Ginger Thompson (1995-06-11). "When a wave of torture and murder staggered a small U.S. ally, truth was a casualty". Baltimore Sun. Archived from the original on 2011-05-22. Retrieved 2009-07-27.
  6. "Honduras: Still waiting for justice". Amnesty International. 1998. Retrieved 2009-07-27.
  7. Lacy, Marc (July 1, 2009). "Leader's Ouster Not a Coup, Says the Honduran Military". The New York Times. Retrieved July 3, 2009.
  8. English summary of interview with the legal counsel of the Honduras armed forces, Colonel Herberth Bayardo Inestroza, Robles, Frances (2009-07-03). "Top Honduran military lawyer: We broke the law". Miami Herald. Archived from the original on 2009-09-06. Retrieved 2009-09-06.; original Dada, Carlos; José Luis Sanz (2009-07-02). "Cometimos un delito al sacar a Zelaya, pero había que hacerlo (" (in Spanish). El, El Salvador. Archived from the original on 2009-09-06. Retrieved 2009-09-06.
  9. "Ejército de Honduras reconoció que cometió un delito al sacar a Zelaya". (in Spanish). Compañía Chilena de Comunicaciones S.A. Retrieved 2009-07-05.
  10. "Preliminary Observations on the IACHR Visit to Honduras". Inter-American Court of Human Rights. 2009-08-21. Archived from the original on 2009-08-30. Retrieved 2009-08-26.
  11. "Informe Preliminar Violaciones A Derechos Humanos En El Marco Del Golpe De Estado En Honduras". Comité de Familiares de Detenidos Desaparecidos en Honduras. 2009-07-15. Archived from the original on 2009-10-29. Retrieved 2009-07-30.
  12. "International Observation Mission for the Human Rights Situation in Honduras Preliminary Report – Confirmed systematic human rights violations in Honduras since the coup d'etat". Upside Down World. 2009-08-06. Archived from the original on 2009-08-09. Retrieved 2009-08-09.
  13. Pérez, Luis Guillermo; et al. (2009-08-06). "Gobierno de facto viola derechos humanos" (in Spanish). Agencia Latinoamerica de Información. Archived from the original on 2009-12-03. Retrieved 2009-08-26.
  14. "International Mission denounces the brutal repression of pacific demonstrations". Agencia Latinoamerica de Información. 2009-07-30. Archived from the original on 2011-07-24. Retrieved 2009-08-02.
  15. Quixote Center Emergency Delegation of Solidarity, Accompaniment and Witness (2009-08-07). "Letter to Honduran Attorney General Rubi". Quixote Center. Archived from the original on 2010-11-27. Retrieved 2009-08-09.
  16. Human Rights Watch (2009-08-25). "Honduras: Rights Report Shows Need for Increased International Pressure". Human Rights Watch. Archived from the original on 2009-08-28. Retrieved 2009-08-28.
  17. "Academia Militar de Aviación". Archived from the original on 2009-04-18.
  18. CDR John T. Nawrocki, USN. "Charting A Course for the Future: The Honduran Naval Forces" (PDF). Defense Institute of Security Assistance Management. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  19. "FNH 1071 Tegucigalpa UNITAS 2016".
  20. "Cotecmar entregó a la Fuerza Naval de Honduras el buque logístico FNH 'Gracias a Dios'".
  21. "Honduras firma contrato con COTECMAR para la construcción de buque naval". COTECMAR.
  22. "Colombia, Honduras sign contract for COTECMAR vessel". IHS Jane's 360.
  24. " > Honduras > Appendix".
  25. Jane's World Armies 2008. Jane's Information Group. p. 318.
  26. Jane's Infantry Weapons 2007–08. Jane's Information Group. p. 876.
  27. "A$10.5 million order for Ashok Leyland from Honduras". 16 January 2009. Retrieved 5 July 2009.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.