Military of Honduras

Armed Forces of Honduras
Fuerzas Armadas de Honduras
Founded 1825
Service branches

Honduran Army
Honduran Air Force

Honduran Navy
Commander-in-Chief Juan Orlando Hernández
General René Arnoldo Osorio Canales
Military age 18 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 personnel 52,225[2]
Budget $201,000,000[3]
Percent of GDP 1.1% as of 2012[3]
Foreign suppliers  United States
 United Kingdom

This article deals with the armed forces 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.

Then Honduran army Major Jorge Colindres Reyes marching through the city.


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]

Air Force

Main article: Honduras Air Force

The FAH operates from 4 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, 3 air stations located at:

Also a radar station operates at:

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
Guaymuras class (105 foot Swift type)  United States patrol boat 3 FNH 101 Guaymuras
FNH 102 Honduras W/O
FNH 103 Hibueras W/O
Yojoa (Hollyhock class)  United States coastal buoy tender 1 FNH 252 Yojoa - ex-US Coast Guard Walnut W/O Broke in half during Hurricane Mitch
Punta Caxinas (149 foot Lantana type)  United States coastal transport 1 FNH-1491
Choluteca Class (65 foot Swift type)  United States coastal patrol craft 5 FNH 651 Nacaome
FNH 652 Goascoran
FNH 653 Petula
FNH 654 Ulua
FNH 655 Choluteca
Piraña class Napco  United States riverine ops boat 8
Boston Whaler Guardián Class  United States riverine ops boat 10
Tegucigalpa Class (106 foot Lantana type)  United States patrol boat 3 FNH 1061-1063
Chamelecán Class (85 foot Dabur type)  Israel patrol boat 1 FNH-8501
WARUNTA Class (75 foot LCM-8)  United States landing craft 3 FNH 741-743
 United States LCU 1
 United States small river patrol boat 15
Damen Stan Patrol Boat (140 foot 4207)  Netherlands Patrol Boat 4207 2 FNH 1401 Lempira - FNH 1402 Morazan
Damen Stan Interceptor 1102  Netherlands Interceptor Boat 1102 6

The Honduran navy has 4 naval bases:

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

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

Light Machine Guns

Rocket Launchers

Medium Artillery

Vehicles and Artillery

Armoured Fighting Vehicles[19][22]
Model Type Number Dates Manufacturer Details
Scorpion Light tank 19 Alvis Cars FV-101\76 76mm main gun.
Scimitar Armoured Recce tank 3 Alvis Cars FV-107 30mm main gun.
Sultan Command Vehicle 1 Alvis Cars FV-105
AM General HumveeM 998 APC 4x4 30 M40 106mm RCL.
RBY MK 1 Wheeled Reconnaissance Vehicle 16 IAI (RAMTA division) M40 106mm RCLs.
Saladin Armoured Car 72 Alvis Cars FV-601. 6x6 76mm main gun.
Utility Vehicles
Model Type Number Dates Manufacturer Details
M151 Light Utility Vehicle Various
Jeep J8 Light Utility Vehicle Various
AM General Humvee M 998 4x4 Various
M35 6x6 Cargo Truck Various
Ford F-Series Truck F-250 4x4 Truck Various
Ashok Leyland Stallion 4x4 Truck 110 2009- Ashok Leyland Ordered in January, 2009. Part of an order for 139 miscellaneous utility and transport vehicles.[22]
Ashok Leyland Topchi 4x4 Truck 28 2009- Ashok Leyland Ordered in January, 2009. Part of an order for 139 miscellaneous utility and transport vehicles.[22]
Mercedes Benz L Series 4x4 Truck Various Mercedes Benz Some to be replaced for Ashok Leyland Stallion
Mercedes Benz Unimog 4x4 Truck Various Mercedes Benz To be replaced for Ashok Leyland Stallion
Model Type Number Dates Manufacturer Details
M102 Towed 105mm Howitzer 24
M101 Towed 105mm Howitzer 20
M198 Towed 155mm Howitzer 12
M-66 160mm Mortar 30 Soltam
M-65 120mm Mortar 30 Soltam
Brandt M0-120LT 120mm Mortar60 Brandt
M55A2 20mm Anti-Aircraft Gun 80 34 in service, most in storage.
M167 VADS 20mm Anti-Aircraft Gatling Gun 30
TCM-20 20mm Anti-Aircraft Gun 24

See also


  1. "CIA World Factbook".
  2. "".
  3. 1 2 "Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)".
  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 2009-07-26. 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. 1 2 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 2009-08-25. 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 2009-07-29. 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 2009-08-08. Retrieved 2009-08-09.
  13. Pérez, Luis Guillermo; (many) (2009-08-06). "Gobierno de facto viola derechos humanos" (in Spanish). Agencia Latinoamerica de Información. Archived from the original on 2009-08-25. Retrieved 2009-08-26. Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help)
  14. "International Mission denounces the brutal repression of pacific demonstrations". Agencia Latinoamerica de Información. 2009-07-30. Archived from the original on 2009-08-02. 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 2009-08-08. 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".
  18. CDR John T. Nawrocki, USN. "Charting A Course For The Future: The Honduran Naval Forces" (PDF). Defense Institute of Security Assistance Management.
  19. 1 2 3 " > Honduras > Appendix".
  20. 1 2 Jane's World Armies 2008. Jane's Information Group. p. 318.
  21. Jane's Infantry Weapons 2007-08. Jane's Information Group. p. 876.
  22. 1 2 3 "A$10.5 million order for Ashok Leyland from Honduras". 16 January 2009. Retrieved 5 July 2009.
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