Key's Air Forces of Latin America - Colombia

Author/Artists: Santiago Rivas


Key Books


$24.95 MSRP from Casemate


Scott Van Aken

Notes: 128 pages, soft cover, 9.5 x 6.7.
ISBN: 978-1-

I've grown to where I like much of what Key Publishing provides. Their aircraft histories are quite nice and this is the first of their air forces series that I have had the opportunity to read. The history of the air arms in South and Central America is quite interesting. During the pre-WWII era their equipment was dominated by German, Italian, and French manufacturers. Post war, it was mostly the US with some input from the French and to a lesser degree the British and the Russians/Soviets. Dealing with the US and to some degree with those aircraft that use US engines, was always a bit of a touchy subject. The US has routinely vetoed the acquisition of more modern aircraft in an attempt to have some semblance of parity between Latin American nations. In more recent years, this has become more difficult as nations purchase aircraft from sources over which the US has no control.

This particular book covers the air arms of Colombia. There is a very brief introduction and history of the Colombian Air Force before getting right down to what this book is about, and that is its current inventory. We are provided a look at the organization of the services and then we are provided a closer look at each major command and the aircraft that it operates. This includes not only the air force, but the navy, army and the national police. The latter has a surprisingly large air arm as they have to deal with not only smugglers, but also the various insurgent factions that plague Colombia.

Since it is a look at the current equipment, all the photos in the book are in full color. In all, it makes for a very interesting read and a nice reference as well. Worth picking up if Latin American aviation is your interest.

January 2023

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