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Armed Forces of Honduras

Armed Forces of Honduras
Fuerzas Armadas de Honduras (Spanish)
Coat of arms of the Honduran Armed Forces
Founded1825; 199 years ago (1825)
Service branchesHonduran Army
Honduran Air Force
Honduran Navy
WebsiteOfficial website
Commander-in-ChiefXiomara Castro
Minister of DefenseJosé Manuel Zelaya Rosales
Chief of the Armed ForcesRADM José Jorge Fortín Aguilar
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 Brazil
 Czech Republic
 South Korea
 United States
Related articles
RanksMilitary ranks of Honduras

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



The Armed Forces of Honduras were created through article 44, subsection 4 of the First Constitution of the Legislative Chamber in 1825, with the First Supreme Head of State being the Attorney Dionisio de Herrera, for which, they ordered the effective birth of the Honduran army in dated December 11, 1825 and for its greater mobility, it was divided into battalions with the name of each of the seven departments Comayagua the capital, Tegucigalpa, Choluteca, Olancho, Yoro, Gracias and Santa Bárbara that were in charge of strategically and tactically covering order and defense of the state, under French military doctrine. In 1831 the Military School was created with a seat at the San Francisco Barracks, and Colonel Narciso Benítez of Colombian origin was appointed director; From this school graduated: Francisco Morazán, José Antonio Márquez, Diego Vigil, Liberato Moncada, Joaquín Rivera and José Santos Guardiola who were presidents of Honduras, among others.

The first weaponry used was flintlock and gunpowder, the product of mixing sulfur, saltpeter, and coal in relative quantities: the Remington single-load rifle was one of the first bullet rifles that were introduced into the country during the government of General José María Medina. .

The second stage of the Armed Forces is between the years 1842 and 1876 when the collective uniform emerged in the mid-1840s when the troops of General José Santos Guardiola faced those of General Nicolás Ángulo, in 1845 in the " Combate del Obrajuelo ", in San Miguel, El Salvador. In 1865 the first attempt was made to organize a Naval Force with its respective regulations; however, the cost of this service made it unsustainable; However, there were several attempts to reactivate the idea and one of them was carried out by Doctor Policarpo Bonilla, who ordered the construction of the Tatumbla steamship in the Kiel shipyard, Germany on November 22, 1895 and then in 1896 respectively, General Manuel Bonilla had the 'Hornet built. While he administered Honduras, the Doctor and General Don Tiburcio Carias Andino also ordered the construction of the steamers Búfalo and El Tigre. On January 1, 1881, the first Military Code of the Honduran army was issued, a legal instrument to govern its own organization. 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]

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]


This section needs expansion with: How large is the army, how is it structured, where are army bases located.. You can help by adding to it. (July 2015)

The Honduran Army (Spanish: Ejército de Honduras, lit.'Army of Honduras') is the land service branch of the Armed Forces of Honduras.

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 71 patrol boats, interceptors and landing craft units.

Class Origin Type Versions In service Fleet
ISRAEL SHIPYARDS Sa'ar 62-class offshore patrol vessel
62.0 meters / 204 feet
 Israel Ocean patrol vessel OPV-62M 1 FNH-2021 General Trinidad Cabañas
Delivered by Israel Shipyard and arrived in country December 2019
Damen Stan Patrol Boat
42.8 meters / 140 feet
 Netherlands Coastal patrol vessel 4207 2 FNH-1401 Lempira
FNH-1402 General Francisco Morazán
LANTANA BOATYARD Guardian Patrol Boats
32.3 meters / 107 feet
 United States Coastal patrol craft 3 FNH-1071 Tegucigalpa[18]
FNH-1072 Copán
FNH-1073 unknown name
32.0 meters / 105 feet
 United States Coastal patrol craft 3 FNH-1051 Guaymuras
FNH-1052 Honduras
FNH-1053 Hibueras
IAI Dabur Type Patrol Boat
26.0 meters / 85 feet
 United States
Coastal patrol craft 1 FNH-8501 Chamelecón
20.0 meters / 65 feet
 United States Coastal patrol craft 5 FNH 6501 Nacaome
FNH 6502 Goascorán
FNH 6503 Patuca
FNH 6504 Ulúa
FNH 6505 Choluteca
BOSTON WHALER Interceptors BW370
11.4 meters / 38 feet
 United States Interceptor boat Guardian class 10 N/A
DAMEN Interceptors 1102 UHS
11.0 meters / 36 feet
 Netherlands Interceptor boat 1102 UHS 6 FNH-3601 to FNH-3606
SAFE BOATS 35MMI Multi Misión Interceptor
10.7 meters / 35 feet
 United States
Interceptor boat 35 MMI 2[19] FNH-3501
EDUARDOÑO Patrullero 320
10.0 meters / 32 feet
 Colombia Interceptor boat 25 FNH-3201 to FNH-3225
NAPCO Piraña Patrol Boats
4.0 meters / 13 feet
 United States Riverine ops boat Piraña class 8
45.5 meters / 149 feet
 United States Coastal transport 1 FNH-1491 Punta Caxinas
COTECMAR BAL-C Short Range Logistic Support Ship
49.0 meters / 161 feet
 Colombia Short Range Logistic Support Ship BAL-C 1 FNH-1611 Gracias a Dios[20][21][22]
SWIFTSHIPS LCM-8 Landing Craft Unit
22.9 meters / 75 feet
 United States Landing craft 3 FNH-7301 Warunta
FNH-7302 Rio Coco
FNH-7303 unknown name

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. They have 52,225 troops in their Army, they have 16,500 troops in their Air Force, and 5,300 troops in their Navy.[citation needed]


Small arms

Name Image Caliber Type Origin Notes
M1911 .45 ACP Semi-automatic pistol  United States
Browning Hi-Power[23] 9×19mm Semi-automatic pistol  Belgium
Beretta 92 9×19mm Semi-automatic pistol  Italy
Beretta 93R[23] 9×19mm Machine pistol  Italy
SIG Sauer P226 9×19mm Semi-automatic pistol   Switzerland
CZ-75[24] 9×19mm Semi-automatic pistol  Czechoslovak Socialist Republic
Submachine guns
Uzi[23] 9×19mm Submachine gun  Israel Uzi and Mini-Uzi
MAC-10[23] 9×19mm Submachine gun  United States
Heckler & Koch MP5[25] 9×19mm Submachine gun  West Germany
AR-M1[24] 7.62×39mm Assault rifle  Bulgaria
IMI Galil 5.56×45mm Assault rifle  Israel
IWI Galil ACE[26] 5.56×45mm Assault rifle  Israel
IWI Tavor[27] 5.56×45mm Bullpup
Assault rifle
IWI Tavor X95[28] 5.56×45mm Bullpup
Assault rifle
Beretta AR70/90[29] 5.56×45mm Assault rifle  Italy
M16A1[30] 5.56×45mm Assault rifle  United States
M4 5.56×45mm Carbine
Assault rifle
 United States
T65 5.56×45mm Assault rifle  Taiwan
FN SCAR 5.56×45mm Assault rifle  Belgium
FN FAL[23] 7.62×51mm Battle rifle  Belgium
M14[31] 7.62×51mm Battle rifle  United States
Machine guns
Browning M2[23] .50 BMG Heavy machine gun  United States
M60[23] 7.62×51mm General-purpose machine gun  United States
FN MAG[23] 7.62×51mm General-purpose machine gun  Belgium
Sniper and anti-materiel rifles
Remington M700 .223 Remington Sniper rifle  United States
M21 7.62×51mm Sniper rifle  United States
Barrett M82 .50 BMG Anti-materiel rifle  United States
Rocket propelled grenade launchers
RPG-7[23] 40mm Rocket-propelled grenade  Soviet Union
Grenade launchers
M203[23] 40×46mm SR Grenade launcher  United States
M79[23] 40×46mm Grenade launcher  United States

Anti-tank weapons

Name Image Type Origin Caliber Notes
M40A1[32] Recoilless rifle  United States 105mm 50 in service.
Carl Gustav[33] Recoilless rifle  Sweden 84mm


Name Image Type Origin Quantity Status Notes
FV101 Scorpion Light tank  United Kingdom 19 INS
FV107 Scimitar Light tank  United Kingdom 3 INS


Name Image Type Origin Quantity Status Notes
RBY Mk 1 Reconnaissance vehicle  Israel 8[34] INS
Alvis Saladin Armored car  United Kingdom 40[35] INS

Armored personnel carriers

Name Image Type Origin Quantity Status Notes
FV105 Sultan Armored personnel carrier  United Kingdom 1 INS

Utility vehicles

Name Image Type Origin Quantity Status Notes
Humvee Light utility vehicle  United States 30 INS
M151[36] Utility vehicle  United States Unknown INS
M35[36] Utility truck  United States Unknown INS
M54[36] Utility truck  United States Unknown INS
Ashok Leyland Stallion[37] Utility truck  India 110 INS
Ashok Leyland Topchi[37] Utility truck  India 28 INS


Name Image Type Origin Quantity Status Notes
M1[38] Mortar  United States 200 INS
M29[38] Mortar  United States 200 INS
Soltam M-65[39] Mortar  Israel 30 INS
Soltam M-66[39] Mortar  Israel 30 INS
Field artillery
M198[40] Howitzer  United States 12 INS
M101 Howitzer  United States 20 INS

Air defence systems

Name Image Type Origin Quantity Status Notes
M167 VADS Rotary cannon  United States 30 INS

See also


  1. ^ "CIA World Factbook". 8 September 2023.
  2. ^ "".
  3. ^ a b "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". The 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. ^ a b 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. ^ "FNH 1071 Tegucigalpa UNITAS 2016".
  19. ^ "La Fuerza Naval de Honduras le compró a Cotecmar dos botes interceptores multimisión MMI 35 - Webinfomil". 19 October 2018.
  20. ^ "Cotecmar entregó a la Fuerza Naval de Honduras el buque logístico FNH 'Gracias a Dios'". 29 September 2017.
  21. ^ "Honduras firma contrato con COTECMAR para la construcción de buque naval". COTECMAR. Archived from the original on 2017-02-02. Retrieved 2017-01-28.
  22. ^ "Colombia, Honduras sign contract for COTECMAR vessel". IHS Jane's 360.
  23. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Jones, Richard D. Jane's Infantry Weapons 2009/2010. Jane's Information Group; 35th edition (January 27, 2009). ISBN 978-0-7106-2869-5.
  24. ^ a b "Police Small Arms Arsenals in the Northern Central American Triangle". Small Arms Defense Journal. Vol. 7, no. 5. 4 December 2015.
  25. ^ Jones, Richard D.; Ness, Leland S., eds. (2009). Jane's Infantry Weapons 2009/2010 (35th ed.). Coulsdon: Jane's Information Group. p. 514. ISBN 978-0-7106-2869-5.
  26. ^ "¡Así Vamos!" (PDF). Indumil (in Spanish).
  27. ^ "Equiparán más unidades con MTAR 21". Archived from the original on 2012-03-31. Retrieved 2012-04-17.
  28. ^ "Equiparán más unidades con MTAR 21". Archived from the original on 2012-03-31. Retrieved 2012-04-17.
  29. ^ Alvaro Diaz. "Las Fuerzas Armadas de Honduras comenzarán el 2014 con nueva cúpula militar. El país busca en Israel asistencia técnica para repotenciar los F-5". Archived from the original on 11 November 2014. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  30. ^ Gander, Terry J.; Hogg, Ian V. Jane's Infantry Weapons 1995/1996. Jane's Information Group; 21 edition (May 1995). ISBN 978-0-7106-1241-0.
  31. ^ Jones, Richard; Ness, Leland S., eds. (2009). Jane's Infantry Weapons 2009–2010. Jane's Information Group. pp. 893–901. ISBN 978-0710628695.
  32. ^ Jane's World Armies 2008. Jane's Information Group. p. 318.
  33. ^ " > Honduras > Appendix".
  34. ^ "Ramta RAM". Archived from the original on 2019-04-12.
  35. ^ International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) (2016). The Military Balance 2016. London: IISS. pp. 257–471. ISBN 978-1857438352.
  36. ^ a b c "Annex C Appendix II". US Army Technical Manual of Foreign Military Sales: Battlefield Damage Assessment and Repair (PDF). Washington, D.C. 18 December 1987. p. 262. TM 9-2320-356-BD. Archived (PDF) from the original on 4 September 2012. Retrieved 15 June 2013.((cite book)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  37. ^ a b "A$10.5 million order for Ashok Leyland from Honduras". 16 January 2009. Archived from the original on 18 January 2009. Retrieved 5 July 2009.
  38. ^ a b Jane's Infantry Weapons 2007–08. Jane's Information Group. p. 876.
  39. ^ a b "SIPRI arms transfer database". Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. 3 April 2014. Archived from the original on 14 April 2010. Retrieved 3 April 2014.
  40. ^ "Rock Island Arsenal M198 Towed 155mm Heavy Howitzer - United States". Archived from the original on 2018-11-12. Retrieved 2018-11-12.
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Armed Forces of Honduras
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