IAI of Israel has upgraded at least six of Cambodia's MiG-21s; however, while two aircraft were delivered in 1997, work on the other four was suspended waiting for Cambodia to pay IAI. The MiG-21-2000 upgrade includes a service life extension, a HUD, an improved weapons system and new cockpit, GPS-based navigation and Western communications equipment; the upgrade is understood also to include the Python 3 AAM and the Griffin LGB. It is thought the contract may cover conversion of nine single- seat and one twin-stick MiG-21. IAI also procured and modified six L-39 Albatros trainers for Cambodia; one was lost soon after delivery. Cambodia's difficulty in meeting the financial terms of its contract make it unlikely that the remaining MiG-21s, which are thought to be unserviceable, will be upgraded.

Cambodia's other training type, the P92 Echo, is an Italian-built, high-wing trainer certificated to very light aircraft rules. Although peace and stability returned to the country in the early 1990s, a coup and subsequent civil war in 1997 returned the South-East Asian nation to its previous perilous state.

Type No Role

MiG-21bis/UM Fishbed 15/4 int/FGA/trng

L-39 Albatros 5 trng

Harbin Y-12 2 utility

BN-2 Islander 3 utility

Super King Air 1 trans

F28-1000 1 trans

Falcon 20E 1 VIP/comms

An-24RV Coke 2 trans

Mi-24 Hind 3 attack

Mi-8/17 Hip 6/7 trans

Mi-26 Halo 2 trans

AS365 Dauphin 2 1 trans

AS350B Ecureuil 1 trans

Tecnam P92 Echo 6 trng




Cameroon's air force has a small attack force equipped with armed trainers including Alpha Jets, Magisters and, since 1997, Atlas Impalas. Four Gazelles can also be armed. Coastal patrol is handled by Dornier Skyservants; the country has disputed coastal borders with a number of its neighbours. Such disagreements with Nigeria over the Bakassi Peninsula led to border skirmishes in September 1996. The air force's main bases are at Douala, on the coast, the nation's capital Yaounde, Batroui near the eastern border and Garoua in the north. Many of the transport aircraft fly with civil registrations.

Type No Role

Alpha Jet 5 attack/COIN

CM170 Magister 6 COIN/trng

C-130H/H-30 Hercules 1/1 trans

DHC-5D Buffalo 4 trans

IAI-201 Arava 1 trans

Atlas Impala I/II 2/4 trng

Dornier 128D-6 Skyservant 2/1 surv/trans

PA-23 Aztec 2 comms

Boeing 727-200 1 VIP

Gulfstream III 1 VIP

AS332L Super Puma 1 VIP

SA330C 2 comms

SA365N Dauphin 1 VIP

SA319B Alouette III 2 comms/VIP

SA318C Alouette II 1 liaison

B206L-3 LongRanger 3 liaison

SA342L Gazelle 4 COIN




Canada's long-running competition to select a SAR helicopter to replace elderly and increasingly weary CH-113s came to an end in January 1998 when the Cormorant version of the Anglo-Italian EH101 was ordered. Deliveries will run between 2000 and 2003 and the tri-service CF now needs to replace its Sea King ASW helicopters which deploy aboard the Navy Command's ships. They are managed by the Shearwater, Nova Scotia-based 12 Wing. Contenders include the EH101 with a Boeing mission system and the S-92 with a Lockheed Martin mission suite.

Other priorities for the next five years include avionics upgrades to the CF-18 and CP-140s. The CF-18 update is multi-phased and will give the machine new mission computers, secure radios, the APG-73 radar, improved IFF, Link 16 datalink, EW improvements and a helmet-mounted sight. Around 100 of the 122 aircraft will be upgraded and receive structural life extensions.

Avionics update programmes are under way on the Hercules transports and tankers. The first was redelivered to the CF in July 1998 from Spar Aviation Services which fitted the aircraft with digital automatic flight control systems, improved cockpit instruments, including EFIS and new navigation equipment. Importantly, it also standardised four different CF Hercules cockpit configurations.

CF-18s are assigned to 4 Wing at Cold Lake, Alberta which has three squadrons and 3 Wing with two squadrons at Bagotville, Quebec. Each wing also has a unit equipped with the T-33, albeit in the electronic warfare training variant. CC-130s, CC-150s and CH-113s are concentrated at Trenton, Ontario within 8 Wing. Tactical helicopters, the CH-146s, are operated in six squadrons based around the country but are managed by 1 Wing based at Kingston, Ontario. The four CP-140 squadrons are administered by two wings, 14 Wing at Greenwood, Nova Scotia and 19 Wing at Comox, British Columbia. CP-140As are based on the P-3 Orion airframe but do not have any of the CP-140's ASW equipment. They are used for crew training, as well as Arctic, environmental and fishery patrol where sophisticated, expensive systems are not required. SAR assets include fixed wing as well as rotary wing types because CF operations take it to the far north of the country where the speed of a fixed-wing type can be essential. Training has been contracted to Bombardier at Portage la Prairie, where T-67s, King Air C90s and JetRangers are used for primary multi-engine and rotary wing training. While all CF air assets returned home from NATO commitments in Germany in 1993, it is contributing to alliance operations over Iraq and in the Persian Gulf as well as in and around the former Yugoslavia. CF's Goose Bay base continues to be used as a centre for low level flying training by a number of European NATO air forces.



In April 1997, the Canadian Government approved the NATO Flying Training in Canada (NFTC) programme which will be owned and operated by Bombardier as a means for NATO, and other air forces, to pool training and make up for an expected shortfall in the next decade. It is based on a four-phase system. The first phase is a national responsibility for selection and screening. Phase II basic training will take part in Canada at Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, using T-6 Harvard IIs, followed by Phase III advanced training at the same base using BAe Hawks. Phase IV tactical training will also be on the Hawk, but based at Cold Lake for tactical flying and weapons training. Instructors are supplied by CF and participating air forces. Aircraft have been bought by Bombardier and commercially insured but are registered and certificated through the Department of National Defence. As well as the CF, the Danish, Italian, and Netherlands air forces and the UK will send pilots to NFTC, which is due to run its first course in 2000. Bombardier can offer overseas air forces screening on the T67 Fireflys it operates for CF as well as basic rotary-wing and multiple engine training using the privately run King Airs and JetRangers.

Type No Role

CF-18A/B Hornet 84/38 int/AD/strike

CH-124A/B Sea King 24/6 ASW/SAR

AW520 Cormorant 15* SAR

CP-140 Aurora/CP-140A Arcturus 18/3 MR/fishery-coastal patrol

CC-144/CE-144 Challenger 6 trans/VIP


KCC-130H Hercules 19/6/2/5 trans/tank-trans/SAR

CC-150 Polaris (A310) 5 trans

CC-138 Twin Otter 4 trans/SAR

CC-115 Buffalo 6 trans/SAR

CH-146 Griffon (Bell 412) 99 trans/SAR

CH-113/A Labrador 12 SAR

CT-133 Silver Star (T-33) 27 EW train

CT-114 Tutor 88 trng

Hawk 115‡ 26 trng

T-6 Harvard II (T-6 Texan II) ‡ 24 trng

CT-145 Super King Air 2 trng

Slingsby T-67M Firefly† 12 trng

Beech King Air C90†  8 trng

CC-142/CT-142 Dash 8 2/4 trans/trng

CH-139 JetRanger+ 13 trng

† contract flying services

‡ NFTC, 20 Hawks on firm order

+ joint service




The small coast guard concentrates on patrolling the North Atlantic waters which surround Cape Verde using a Dornier 228-201. The air force operates three An-26 Curl transports.




This former French colony suffers from severe financial difficulties. In 1996 the Central African Republic was rocked by three mutinies by elements of the armed forces who demanded back pay as well as political and military reforms. No final solution has been found and violence continues to unsettle the country. The military air arm operates a single Rallye Guerrier and a single AS350 Ecureuil for communications duties. Air power was provided by the French military presence which included a Foreign Legion battalion, supported by three Transall C160 transports and five Jaguar attack aircraft based at the capital Bangui and at Bouar. Having stepped in to help quell the mutineers, France decided in 1997 to close its Central African Republic bases as part of a three year force reduction in Africa, leaving a token force of 100 personnel to maintain control of Bangui's airport.




The combat capability of Chad's air force is restricted to two Pilatus PC-7 Turbo-Trainers received via France in 1985 and the remaining two of three SF260Ws captured from Libya during the numerous border disputes between the two countries. All the aircraft are based at the Chief Adji Kosseô airbase at N'Djamena. The government also operates civil registered aircraft not declared by the air force, including a Gulfstream II, a 727-200 and a F27-600. France maintains a military presence in Chad which has included the deployment of combat aircraft when the country has been threatened by Libya.

Type No Role

PC-7 Turbo-Trainer 2 COIN

SF260W Warrior 2 COIN

C-130H/H-30 Hercules 1/1 trans

An-26 Curl 1 trans

Reims-Cessna FTB337 1 comms

SA316 Alouette III 2 comms

PC-6B Turbo-Porter 1 comms




The economic crises in Asia and South America prevented Chile from selecting a winner of its Fighter 2000 competition as it planned in 1998. Instead, a postponement led to an April 1999 re-issuing of requests for information on the F/A-18/C/D, F/A-18E/F, Mirage 2000-5, F-16C/D Block 50 and the Gripen, although the latter case may be harmed because of its British Aerospace link and the UK's detention of former Chilean president Augusto Pinochet. Although the air force has asked for bids based on 24 aircraft, funding may limit the buy to half this number.

Chile also has on-going requirements for tanker aircraft and for a "tactics trainer" to replace its elderly T-37s. Chile has signed a letter of intent for the Raytheon Texan II, which was possible only after the USA's embargo on arms sales to Latin America was lifted. The single IAI Phalcon was delivered in 1995. It has phased array radars on either side of the fuselage and in a bulbous nose fairing.

The Elkan/Mirage 5s replaced upgraded Hawker Hunters and were acquired from Belgium. They received SABCA's MIRSIP upgrade before delivery in 1995/6; four aircraft have a reconnaissance capability. These aircraft operate simultaneously with the broadly similar Enaer Panteras, which are locally upgraded Mirage 50s. These and its Israeli-modified F-5Es are equipped with IAI's Python 3 and Python 4 air-to-air missile. The upgrade was in conjunction with Chile's Enaer and included multi-mode radar, head-up and head-down displays, navigation systems and electronic warfare equipment. Just under half the A-36s had upgraded cockpits fitted in 1997. The reconnaissance Canberras are the survivors of three delivered from RAF stocks in 1982. A single S-70 Black Hawk delivered in July 1998 is intended to be the beginning of replacement of the UH-1Hs, five of which are on a two-year lease to the UN and based in Baghdad, where they will be abandoned when the contract is finished. Operationally the air force is formed of five brigades which split the country into geographical regions, and three supporting commands.


Type No Role

Pantera (Mirage 50) 8/6/1 int/recce

Elkan (Mirage 5) 20/5†   FGA

F-5E/F Tiger II 13/3 int/FGA/trng

Phalcon 1 AEW

Canberra PR9 2 recce

A-36 Halcon (C-101CC) 21 COIN/trng

T-36 Halcon (C-101BB) 17 trng

A-37B Dragonfly 24 COIN/trng

T-37B/C 20 trng

Beech 99A 7 MR/trans/ELINT

Boeing 707-300 4 tank-trans/trans

C-130B/H Hercules 4/2 trans

Y-7H-500 (An-24) 2 trans

Gulfstream C-20B (GIII) 1 trans

737-200 1 trans/VIP

Super King Air/King Air 1/1 comms

PA-28-236 Dakota 14 comms

C212 Aviocar 4 trans

DHC-6 Twin Otter 14 Antarctic sup/trans

BK117B 1 comms

S-70A Black Hawk 1 trans

BO105CB-4/CBS 6 SAR/Antarctic sup

SA315B Lama 5 SAR/trans

Extra 300 6 aerobatic team

Learjet 35A 2 survey

T-35A/B Pillan 20 trng

O-1 Bird Dog 3 glider towing

Bell 206 3 training

† plus five aircraft for spares.



Chile's naval air arm is divided into five squadrons, all of which are based at Vina del Mar but deploy to bases at Puerto Williams and Punta Arenas as well as three smaller bases. The Cougars deploy aboard the navy's destroyers and frigates. They are equipped with radar and sonar for ASW and ASuW and carry the AM39 Exocet anti-ship missile. P-3s and radar-equipped Bandeirantes provide fixed-wing maritime reconnaissance coverage and can be supported by the Falcon 20s. Chile has considered upgrades to its P-3 fleet including a new mission suite, sensors, FLIR and ESM/ELINT.

Type No Role

EMB-110CN/EMB-111 3/6 MR/trans

PC-7 Turbo-Trainer 10 trng

Cessna 0-2A (337) 10 trng

C212-100 Aviocar 3 trans

BO105S/LSA/CBS 7 SAR/Antarc sup

Bell 206 JetRanger 6 SAR/Antarctic sup

AS532C Cougar 6 ASuW/ASW

P-3A/UP-3A Orion 4/2 MR/SAR/trng

Falcon 20 2 VIP/MR



The Chilean army's air command is based at Rancagua near Santiago. It supports ground elements with transport and communications aircraft. Only the five MD530 helicopters are armed. The brigade-sized army aviation is subdivided into five smaller units which deploy with mixed fleets as and when required by the army.

Type No Role

MD530F 5 army sup

SA315B Lama 12 liaison

CN235M 3 trans

C212 Aviocar 6 trans

Cessna 208 8 utility

AS332B Super Puma 3 trans

SA330F/L Puma 11 trans

Bell 206B 2 comms

UH-1H 3 comms/trans

PA-31 Navajo 1 comms

Cessna 337G 3 comms

Enstrom 280FX 15 trng

R172K Hawk XP 16 trng




On paper the PLAAF is one of the most powerful air forces, with around 4,000 aircraft in service. In reality it is more a collection of museum pieces and China is continuing to modernise its air force, with Russia and Israel figuring large in its procurement plans. Two batches of Sukhoi Su-27P Flanker As (J-11) have been delivered since April 1991 and the first of 200 licence-built examples to be produced flew from Shenyang in December 1998. China has followed its Su-27 acquisition with an order for 60 Su-30MKKs,broadly similar to the thrust vectoring-equipped, long-range fighters ordered by India. China is keen to licence-produce this potent machine also. With the Flanker as the air force's air superiority aircraft, the F-10 programme is intended to replace its F-7 lightweight fighter. The F-10 draws heavily upon the cancelled Israeli Lavi programme; a prototype flew in March 1998. Also in development is the Super Seven/FC-1, for which again China is receiving technical assistance from Russia. China and Pakistan have formally agreed joint development of the aircraft, but the PLAAF has yet to declare its interest in the machine which will be fitted with Western avionics. The PLAAF is also looking to procure AEW aircraft, with Marconi and Elta addressing this requirement. IAI is to convert one Il-76 with Beriev as part of its bid to win the PLAAF programme, while negotiations have taken place with Marconi for conversion of a second aircraft with the Argus radar.

The air force is organised on former Soviet lines: up to four squadrons, each with about 15 aircraft, make up an air regiment, and three regiments form an air division. There are ten regional headquarters: Beijing, Cheng Tu, Fu-Chow, Junan, Kuangchow, Kunming, Lanchow, Nanking, Shenyang and Wuhan. The newest Chinese-developed fighter to enter service, the Shenyang J-8II Finback, is a development of the J-7 (MiG-21), with two engines, a longer fuselage and a slightly larger delta wing. The J-8II is believed to be in low-rate production and squadron service. Apart from the J-8s, the fighter regiments are equipped with a variety of Chinese-built MiGs. The J-6 (MiG-19) is in widespread use as a day fighter, with some all-weather capability. Reconnaissance versions are also in service. An attack derivative of the J-6 is the Q-5 Fantan, with a new forward fuselage and side intakes. China's "strategic" bomber force was previously based largely on the Harbin H-5 (Ilyushin Il-28), with more than 450 in 12 regiments supported by 100 H-6s (Tupolev Tu-16s) which provide the PLAAF with its nuclear strike capability. Some H-6s have been converted to tankers, as have some Il-76/78s which were seen during 50th anniversary celebrations of the birth of communist China. Many of the H-5s have been retired with the remaining aircraft used only for training. China's jet trainer, the Nanchang K-8, has been developed with Pakistan: China is expected to order 200 and Pakistan 75 K-8s.

Type No Role

Xian H-6 (Tu-16) 120 bomber

Harbin H-5 (Il-28) 250 trng

Shenyang J-8/J-8II Finback 400†   int

J-11 (Su-27 Flanker) 50/200† int

Su-30MKK up to 60 int/attack

J-6/6A/B/C (MiG-19) 2,500 int/attack/rec/trng

J-7 I/II/III (MiG-21) 600 int

Nanchang Q-5 Fantan 500 strike/attack

J-5/5A (MiG-17PF) 500 attack

Beriev A50 (Il-76 Candid) 1 AEW testbed

Il-76 Candid 18 trans/tank

Harbin HZ-5/HJ-5 40 recce/trng

Shenyang JZ-6 100 rec

Tu-154M/D 2 ELINT

Y-7 (An-24 Coke) 30 trans

Y-14 (An-26 Curl) 12 trans

An-30 Clank 8 surv

Harbin Y-11/Y-12 15/2 trans/survey

Il-18 Coot 10 trans

Shaanxi Y-8 25 trans

CL601 Challenger 2 VIP

Y-5 (An-2 Colt) 300 trans

Harbin Z-5/Z-6 (Mi-4) 350 trans

K-8 Karakorum 200†   trng

Chengdu JJ-5 500 trng

Guizhou JJ-7 50 trng

Nanchang CJ-6 1,500 trng

Shenyang J-4 (MiG-17F) 350 trng

Shenyang JJ-6 150 trng

† requirement



A land-based service, the APN continues to harbour sea-going ambitions although an attempt in early 1998 to acquire by covert means the aircraft carrier Varyag appears to have failed. A successful purchase was eight more Ka-28 Helix ASW/SAR helicopters from Russia. Present APN equipment includes about 150 H-5s in three anti-ship divisions, with the H-6s in a fourth unit. A coastal defence fighter force operates the J-5, J-6 and Q-5 in six divisions under the control of the PLAAF region in which they are located. A dozen Be-6 flying boats are used for MR and ASW, while some Z-5 helicopters and a mix of transport types are operated in support roles. APN has eight destroyers compatible with the Z-9 while the Super Frelons - some of which were licence built as Changhe Z-8s - deploy at sea aboard a range of larger ships. It also has a helicopter training carrier. A four-turboprop flying-boat, the SH-5, entered limited service in mid-1986. China has also been working on the B-7 strike-aircraft programme, with a handful of prototypes of this supersonic attack aircraft having flown. The aircraft is being evaluated by the PLA navy. A maritime patrol variant of the Y-8 (An-12) transport, under development at Xi'an, is fitted with Racal Skymaster search radar and inertial-navigation system.

Type No Role

Harbin H-5 (Il-28) 150+ torpedo attack

Harbin H-6/H-6 III (Tu-16) 30 torpedo attack

Chengdu/Guizhou J-7 I/II/III 100 int

Shenyang J-6/JJ-6 (MiG-19) 300 int/attack

Shenyang J-5A (MiG-17PF) 100 int/trng

Nanchang Q-5 Fantan 100 attack

Harbin Z-9 (SA365 Dauphin) 25 ASW

Ka-28 Helix 20 ASW/SAR

Z-8/SA321 Super Frelon 20 trans/ASW/SAR

Harbin SH-5 4 MR/ASW/trans

Be-6 Madge 12+ MR/ASW

Y-7 (An-24 Coke) 10 trans

Y-5 (An-2 Colt) 40 trans

Harbin Z-5 (Mi-4) 6+ trans



Established in 1988 by the transfer of utility helicopters from the air force, the army aviation corps' role is to support ground troops as a transport force although the Gazelles have a limited combat capability. China's army has an attack helicopter requirement as part of a massive modernisation programme. Many of the S-70C-IIs were grounded due to a US embargo on spares; this has been eased, allowing the delivery of four more helicopters. The Harbin Z-9 is a licence-built AS365 Dauphin, while the Changhe Z-11 a licence-built AS355 Fennec which is being evaluated.

Type No Role

SA342L-1 Gazelle 8 trng

S-70C-II Black Hawk 28 trans

Mi-8/17 Hip 35/20 assault trans

Harbin Z-9 (SA365 Dauphin) 25 trans

AS332 Super Puma 6 VIP

Harbin Z-5 (Mi-4 Hound) 300 trans

Changhe Z-11 (Fennec) 4 utility




The Colombian air force's single squadron of Kfirs was delivered as the C2 standard but has since been upgraded by the manufacturer to C7s. IAI has also been assisting local industry to upgrade the Mirage 50s, which are the survivors from 19 delivered in the early 1970s, to a near-Kfir C7 standard. The remainder of the air force's combat aircraft are COIN types: Colombia has two major active guerrilla armies. AT-37 Dragonflies are the most numerous type; the training aircraft from which it was developed, the T-37, is operated in the advanced training role. Other COIN aircraft include a squadron of Broncos and AC-47 gunships which have had the Basler turboprop conversion, as have some of the transport C-47s. Tucano trainers also have a COIN capability. Some of the helicopters in service, such as the Black Hawks, have been provided as US assistance to combat the drug trade. Colombia is seeking a significant increase in S-70 numbers and surplus AH-1 Cobras to provide close support during anti-drug missions. It is also seeking up to eight ex-USN P-3s for maritime surveillance. At least two of the Hercules are in storage. The C-130 is supported by the C212s and Bandeirantes. SATENA, a paramilitary airline, serves remote locations where commercial services are not viable. It operates Dornier 328s, C212s, BAe748s and a range of other regional transports.

Type No Role

Kfir C7/TC-7 12/1 FGA

Mirage 5COA/COR/COD 10/1/2 FGA

A-37B/T-37 Dragonfly 26/12 COIN/trng

AC-47/AC-47T Dakota 4 COIN

OV-10A Bronco 16 COIN

IA58A Pucara 3 COIN

MD500/D/E/M 13 COIN

MD530F Defender 4 COIN

Schweizer SA2-37A 1 recce

C-130B/H-30 Hercules 7/2 trans

C-47 Dakota/C-117D 5/1 trans

IAI-201 Arava 1 trans

707-373C 1 trans

F28-1000 1 trans

EMB-110P Bandeirante 2 trans

DHC-2 Beaver 2 trans

C212-300 Aviocar 2 trans

Bell 205A-1 6 trans

Bell 212/412 15/2 trans

UH-1B/H Iroquois 23 trans/trng

UH-60A/L Black Hawk 26 trans

Bell 206L-3 LongRanger 2 comms

PA-23 Aztec 1 comms

PA-34R Seneca 2 comms

PA-31 Navajo/PA-31T 2/1 comms

Beech Baron 1 comms

Queen Air B80 1 comms

Cessna 206 Stationair 1 comms

Cessna 210 Centurion 1 comms

Cessna 310 2 comms

Cessna 402C/441 1/1 comms

Citation II 1 comms

King Air/SuperKing Air 1/1 comms

Commander 60 0/980/1000 3 comms/survey

T-27/AT-27 Tucano 14 trng/COIN

T-34A/B Mentor 10 trng

T-41D Mescalero 12 trng

Enstrom F28F 12 trng

Gavilian 358 12†   trans

CN235M 3 trans

†funding requested



The Colombian navy air arm has a limited capability with only a handful of helicopters and a few fixed-wing liaison aircraft. All aircraft are based at Cartagena.

Type No Role

PA-31 Navajo 1 comms

King Air 1 comms

Commander 500 3 comms

PA-28 Cherokee 4 comms

BO105CB 4 comms



An order for Mi-17s was placed in late 1996. The helicopters, the army's first since the creation of its in 1991, allow it to support troops in the field rather than rely on the air force for support. The army originally selected the Sikorsky Black Hawk, which is in service with the air force and police, but a request for 12 was rejected by the US Congress because of alleged human rights issues. It also has a requirement for armed helicopters and is looking at the Bell MH-1W multi-role development of the AH-1W. Many fixed-wing types were acquired after confiscation in drugs-related operations.

Type No Role

Mi-17 Hip 10 trans

Convair 580 1 trans

Commander 500/1000 1/2 comms

Super King Air/King Air C90 1/1 comms

PA-31 Navajo 2 comms

PA-34 Seneca 4 comms

PA-28 Cherokee 4 comms

U206 Stationair 2 comms

UTVA-75 5 trng




This small group of islands off the coast of East Africa has a military aviation element cosisting of a Cessna 402B, an Aerospatiale Corvette and an AS350B Ecureuil. Used for VIP duties, they are based at Moroni-Hahaya international airport.




The Congolese air force is believed to retain around a dozen of the 16 MiG-21s it received in 1986. A squadron of MiG-17Fs and a two-seat MiG-15UTI trainer complete the combat element. Maintenance and support issues make availability of these aircraft questionable. It is likely that the MiG-15UTI and Noratlas will not be retained for much longer. Civil unrest during 1997 centred on the country's principal airport, where many aircraft are in open storage, including the Mi-8s, Noratlas and at least one An-24. The main operating bases are near the capital, Brazzaville, and at Loubomo and Point-Noire on the coast.

 Type No Role

MiG-21MF/U Fishbed 12 int/FGA

MiG-17F Fresco 8 FGA

MiG-15UTI Midget 1 trng

An-24 Coke/An-26 Curl 2/1 trans

N2501F Noratlas 1 trans

Boeing 727 1 trans/VIP

Mi-8 Hip 3 trans

SA365 Dauphin 1 comms

SA316 Alouette III 2 comms




The former Zaire had a small but well-organised air force before civil war engulfed the country, leading to a change of government in July 1997. The new regime promised elections, but by August 1998 the country was once again gripped by civil war, with some factions aided by troops from neighbouring countries, including Rwanda, Uganda and Zimbabwe. Apart from a few communications types, both fixed and rotary wing, it is unlikely that many of the aircraft listed below remain serviceable, particularly as no reports of their use have been made, apart from the crash of a single transport. Before 1997 the air force comprised two groups: 1 Groupement Aérien was responsible for logistic support and training and 2 Groupement Aérien Tactique controlled the combat and tactical-transport squadrons based at Kamina. 2 GAT consisted of 21 Wing with Mirage Vs and MB326s and 22 Wing with DHC-5D Buffalos. 1 GA, based at Kinshasa, controlled the other types which were operated by three wings with five constituent squadrons.

Type No Role

Mirage 5 6 int/attack

MB326GB/K 9/6 trng/attack

C-130H Hercules 2 trans

DHC-5D Buffalo 3 trans

C-47 Dakota 8 trans

C212-200 Aviocar 1 trans

707-300 1 trans/VIP

727-100 1 trans/VIP


AS332 Super Puma 1 trans

SA330 Puma 9 trans

SA316 Alouette III 7 comms

Cessna 310R 10 comms

SF260MZ 9 trng

Reims Cessna FRA150 12 trng

BN-2A Islander 1 utility




As Costa Rica has not had armed forces since the end of a civil war in 1948, the air arm is part of the Policia de Fronteras, one of five elements of the public security ministry. This force is based at San Jose's international airport, but uses airports and airfields - particularly Liberia in the north and Golfito in the south - around the country. The single Cessna O-2/337 Super Skymaster is the last of three received in 1986 under a US military aid programme which began in 1985 with the delivery of five helicopters. The Mi-17 is the most recent delivery.

Type No Role

Cessna O-2A 1 support

Cessna U206G Stationair 4 comms

Mi-17 Hip 1 trans

PA-32-300 Cherokee Six 1 comms

PA-31 Navajo 1 comms

PA-34 Seneca 1 comms

PA-23 Aztec 1 comms

MD 500E 2 comms/SAR

DHC-4A Caribou 2 trans




The Ivory Coast has only one combat unit, operating a small force of Alpha Jets from Bouake. This is also the home to the other aircraft, apart from the VIP types, which are stationed at Abidjan international airport.

Type No Role

Alpha Jet 5 attack/trng

Beech F33C Bonanza 4 trng

Fokker 100 1 VIP

Gulfstream III 1 VIP

Gulfstream IV 1 VIP

Super King Air 1 comms

Cessna 421 1 comms

Cessna 401 1 liaison/trng

SA330H Puma 1 VIP/trans

SA365 Dauphin 1 comms/VIP




The Croat air force was formed in the third quarter of 1991, after the former Yugoslav republic declared independence. Its main combat type, the MiG-21, has been modified by Croatia, including integration of new weapons. The air force has decided to improve the type further and Elbit will supply its MiG-21 upgrade. As part of the deal Croatia is likely to receive the Python 4 AAM, the Litening laser designator pod and the Opher LGB. The HZS has requested ex-USAF F-16A/Bs, 12 single seaters and two trainers. The deal awaits US Government approval, which may be considered less urgent following Operation Allied Force which wiped out the bulk of its neighbour Serbia's MiG-29 fleet. Other jet types in the inventory - the Jastrebs and Galebs, as well as the piston-engined Kraguj - were captured on Udbina airbase during Operation Storm against Serbs in Krajina in August 1995. The Mi-24s were procured in January 1995 while the UN arms embargo on former Yugoslav republics was still in place. The JetRangers were the first aircraft ordered after the signing of the Dayton Peace Accord that ended the fighting in neighbouring Bosnia. Under the OSCE arms limitations agreement struck after Dayton, the Croats are limited to 62 combat aircraft and 21 attack helicopters.

The HZS is split into four squadrons, which operate the MiG-21s, Hind and Hip helicopters; a training school with upgraded PC-9s, JetRangers, MD500s and UTVA-75s; a training unit with Galebs; a fixed-wing transport unit with all transport types apart from the Sabreliners and Challengers which are operated by a VIP transport squadron; and last a unit that operates the fire bombers. The air force's bases are at Zagreb-Lucko, Zagreb-Pleso, Pula, Split airport, Split-Divulje and Zadar-Zemunik. Udbina was to be refurbished but needed to be cleared of mines and other unexploded munitions; it is not clear how far this work has progressed.

Type No Role

MiG-21bis/MF/RF/U 30 int/att/rec/trng

J1 Jastreb some attack/recce

J20 Kraguj some COIN

Mi-24V Hind 15 attack

Mi-8T/P/S/MTV-1 Hip 25 trans/assault

An-2 Colt 13 trans

An-32B Cline 3 trans

CN235M 5* trans

CL215/CL415 2/1 fire bomber

Cessna 172 1 comms

Cessna T210N 1 comms

Sabreliner 75A 1 VIP

CL601 Challenger 2 VIP

Dornier 28 Skyservant 1 trans

PC-9 20 trng

G2 Galeb some trng/recce

Bell 206B-3 JetRanger 10 trng/utility

MD500 4 trng/trans/AOP

Mi-2 Hoplite 1 trans

PA-28 Warrior 3 trans

PA-36 2 trans

UTVA-75 10 trng




Although Cuba's air force is one of the largest and best equipped in Latin America, its effectiveness has been compromised by the withdrawal of technical and operational support after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the island's poor economic situation. Foreign defence analysts estimate that nearly one-quarter of the aircraft in the DAAFAR's inventory may no longer be operational, a situation that is expected to continue to deteriorate. Operationally the air force is separated into three geographic commands: Zone Aerea Oeste, Zone Aerea Oriente, and Zone Aerea Central. Each area command has air defence, ground attack and transport squadrons. Training falls under the western area and the Mi-14 helicopters operate within the central command.

Type No Role

MiG-29/UB Fulcrum 18/2 FGA/int/trng

MiG-21F/PFM/ MF/bis/U Fishbed 30/35/20/80/18 FGA/int/trg

MiG-23M/BN/U Flogger 20/45/4 FGA

Mi-24D Hind 12 attack

Mi-14PL Haze 14 ASW/SAR

An-24 Coke 4 trans

An-26 Curl 20 trans

An-30 Clank 1 survey

An-32 Cline 2 trans

Yak-40 Codling 2 trans

An-2 Colt 20 trans

Mi-2 Hoplite 6 trans

Mi-8/17 Hip 36/14 trans

L-39 Albatros 25 trng

MiG-17F Fresco 18 trng

Zlin 326 20 trng

Zlin 142 Scout 10 utility/comms




The Cyprus national guard air arm was renamed the Cyprus air force in 1996; it adopted Greek national military markings at the same time. It has two operating bases, Lakamia and Paphos. Although only the PC-9s are stationed at the latter, a military base is being developed next to the airport which will be made available to Greek air force F-16 units. Delivered in 1989, the PC-9s are used for training and unarmed patrols. The Gazelles are the most aggressive type in the inventory, being armed with the HOT anti-tank missile. A diplomatic storm blew across the divided island in 1996 when it was announced that the Greek Cypriots intended to import Russian S-300/SA-10 long-range surface-to-air missile systems. Turkey threatened air strikes against the sites so the missiles have been deployed on the Greek island of Crete and shorter-range Russian Tor/SA-15s are to be based on Cyprus. The Greek Cypriot police also has an air element based at Larnaca equipped with two Bell 412 helicopters and a BN2T Turbine Islander. Turkish army Cessna U-17s and UH-ID Iroquois are based at Salamis and Nicosia in Northern Cyprus on permanent detachment, while the UK maintains bases at Akrotiri and Dhekelia.

Type No Role

Bell 206L3 LongRanger 3 obs/liaison

BN-2B Maritime Defender 1 patrol/trans

MD500 2 obs/liaison

PC-9 2 patrol/trng

PZL-Swidnik Kania 2 trans

SA342L-1 Gazelle 4 anti-tank/comms




The Czech Government issued a request for information for up to 36 fighters to replace its ageing Soviet-era fleet from 2003. Competitors include the F-16C/D, F/A-18E/F, Gripen, Eurofighter Typhoon and Mirage 2000-5. Until the new fighters are delivered the MiG-21 fleetwill bear the burden of air defence. Ground attack and reconnaissance duties will devolve almost entirely on the L-159 when it enters service in late 1999. The prototype single-seat variant flew in August 1998 and the first for the air force in October 1999. It is a joint Let/Boeing programme based on the L-39 family with a radar, AlliedSignal/ITEC F124 turbofan engine and the ability to use a range of standard NATO weapons. The Czechs also have a transport requirement and are considering the G222, CN235 and C-130. The Czech Republic became a member of NATO in April 1999.

Most of the inventory was inherited from the former Ceskoslovenske Letectvo (Czechoslovakian air force) which was divided up 2:1 in favour of the Czechs, although the MiG-29 fleet was split equally with Slovakia and the Czechs received all the MiG-23s, which were retired in late 1998. In July 1994, the Czech air force swapped its MiG-29s with Poland for 11 W-3 helicopters. The air force units are divided between the tactical air corps and the air defence corps, or are directly reporting. Within the tactical command are a SAR unit and three wings with nine squadrons divided among them operating the ground attack, assault transport and training aircraft. The air defence corps has a single wing with three squadrons which operate MiG-21s and L-39s. Direct reporting units include the remaining transport squadrons. The government state flying service operates a Challenger, Let 410, Tu-134, Tu-154, and a Yak-40 on VIP/communications duties (not listed below).

Type No Role

MiG-21MF/UM Fishbed 40/20 int/FGA/trng

Su-22M4/UM Fitter 18/5 attack/trng

Su-25BK/UBK Frogfoot 24 attack/trng

L-159 72* FGA

Mi-24V/D/DU Hind 36 attack

Mi-8/17 Hip 40 trans/AEW/cmd pt/ELINT

An-24RV Coke 2 trans

An-26 Curl 4 trans/ELINT

An-30 Clank 1 survey

L-410M/T/UVP Turbolet 15/3 trans/survey

L-610 1 trans

Tu-154 Careless 1 VIP

W-3 Sokol 7/4 trans/SAR

Mi-2 Hoplite 33 liaison/trng

L-39 Albatros 37 trng/TT/FGA

L-29 Delfin 24 trng

Zlin 142 8 trng




Denmark's air force is responsible for air operations over its homeland, the Faeroe Islands and over the vast icy expanse of Greenland. The air force consists of two commands, Tactical Air Command and Air Material Command. All aircraft are controlled through the former. In 1999 the Danish Government announced changes to the armed forces aimed at completing the shift from Cold War home-defence warriors to international expeditionary troops. As a result one fighter squadron, 723 at Aalborg, will disband, reducing the number of units operating mid-life updated F-16s to three, 726 at Aalborg will join 727 and 730 at Skrydstrup. The number of operational F-16s will, however, remain at the pre-review level. 721 Squadron, which operates all three transport types, will shift from Vaerlose to Karup, while the co-located S-61 SAR squadron, number 722, will move to Karup with the flying naval units. This allows Vaerlose to be closed. Karup is also home to the Saab T-17 Supporter equipped flying school.

While cutting back on its operating units, Denmark has committed to several equipment programmes, the longest term of which is a commitment to the engineering manufacturing and development phase of the JSF programme, the first international partner to do so. It has also earmarked funding to buy four transports to replace the C-130Hs; the C-130J is seen as the most likely choice. Denmark is also a participant in the four-nation Nordic Standard Helicopter Programme which will be used to replace the elderly S-61 fleet. It has also reserved funding for new F-16 radars to be fitted from 2004, which will see the aircraft out of service in around 2010. The remaining two Gulfstream IIIs are also likely to be replaced by a similar number of Challengers, for which the Danish air force already holds options. The GIIIs bear the brunt of the air force's commitment to Greenland, with one aircraft permanently based at Sondre Stromfjord. In September 1998 the Danish air force became the first overseas customer for the NATO Flying Training in Canada programme.

Type No Role

C-130H Hercules 3 trans

CL604 Challenger 2/2†  MR/VIP

F-16A/B Fighting Falcon 55/14 int/trng

Gulfstream III 2 MR/VIP

Sikorsky S-61A-1 Sea King 8 SAR

T-17 Supporter 28 trng/liaison

† on option



As part of the 1999 defence review naval aviation will move from Vaerlose, which is closing, to Karup. The Danish navy operates eight Lynxes for fishery protection in home waters and those around Greenland and the Faeroe Islands, and for tactical missions such as airborne picket, damage assessment and airborne relay. It intends to keep the Lynx in service until 2015. Having modified the aircraft in 1990-4 by fitting an improved tactical data system with ESM, FLIR and uprated Gem 42 engines, the aircraft are now being upgraded to a near Super Lynx standard. The new Lynx standard includes a 360° radar, nose-mounted FLIR turret, and reverse direction tailrotor and composite main rotor blades. The Lynxes deploy at sea aboard five frigates.



Following the 1999 defence review army aviation will move from Vandel to Karup, joining the navy flying units and the air force's training school. Army aviation is to receive five medium transport helicopters; the type will be selected as part of the four nation Nordic Standard Helicopter Programme. The army air service operates 12 MD500Ms and 12 AS550 Fennecs. The latter are armed with the TOW anti-tank missile, guided using the Swedish HeliTow sight, carrying two missiles on each side of the fuselage and extra rounds in the cabin. The MD500s are used as scout platforms. The helicopters are divided between an anti-tank helicopter company which operates the Fennecs and four of the MD500s, while an observation company operates the remaining aircraft.




The An-28 Cash was supplied by Poland as, possibly, were the Mi-2 and Mi-8. Photographic evidence reveals that at least one Mi-2 has been fitted with rocket pods, the only armed aircraft within the air force. This limited combat capability is backed up by the French air force, which has maintained a significant force of around 3,250 personnel in the country since the colony gained independence in 1977. Air assets include a squadron of Mirage F1Cs, C-160s, Alouette IIIs, Pumas and SA355 Ecureuil helicopters.

Type No Role

An-28 Cash 1 trans

Falcon 50 1 VIP

Mi-2 Hoplite 2 trans/assault

Mi-8 Hip 5 trans

AS355F Ecureuil 2 comms

Cessna 402C 1 comms

Cessna U206G 1 liaison




The air force is based at San Isidro west of Santo Domingo where the southern zone is based. A second operating base is at Santiago where the northern zone has headquarters. The air force is a counter-insurgency and transport organisation. It has requirements for two C212-400s. Dominica is acquiring eight ex-Chilean air force T-35B Pillans. The first four were delivered in October 1999. Ten AS350B Ecureuils were acquired at around the same time.

Type No Role

A-37 Dragonfly 7 COIN

Cessna O-2 Super Skymaster 2 COIN

T-34B Mentor 8 trng

C-47 Dakota 3 trans

Commander 680 2 trans

Queen Air 80/King Air C90 2/1 comms

PA-31 Navajo 2 comms

Cessna 210/207 1/1 comms

Cessna 404 1 comms

T-41D Mescalero 5 trng

UH-1H Iroquois 9 patrol/SAR

SE3130 Alouette II 1 comms

SA316 Alouette III 2 comms/VIP

AS365 Dauphin 2 VIP

AS350B Ecureuil 10* trans

MD369 1 comms




Ecuador has one of the best-equipped air forces in South America due to simmering border disputes with its neighbours. It fought a short undeclared war with Peru in February 1995. The Israeli-built Kfirs have been delivered in two batches, the second of which in 1996 possibly included the Python 3 air-to-air missile. A two-Kfir attrition batch arrived in Ecuador in 1999. Discussions have been held with Kfir-manufacturer IAI to upgrade the type but no contract has been forthcoming. Ecuador held discussions with MAPO throughout most of 1998 on a 12 MiG-29 purchase, but this subsequently came to nought. Ecuador has been linked with a purchase of up to 12 ex-USMC A-4M Skyhawks. US attempts to block delivery of the 1996 Kfir batch following the border dispute do not augur well for such a buy. The other fast jet type is the Mirage F1E. Air force command is divided into two "Zona Aerea", one based at Mariscal Sucre - Quito's international airport - and the other at Simon Bolivar Airport, Guayaquil. The Quito-based I Zona Aerea is subdivided into two transport squadrons and the presidential flight, while II Zona Aerea has three wings and a flying school. The Kfirs, Jaguars and Mirage F1s each have a single squadron, all of which fall within a group based at Taura. The three COIN types also are split into three type-dedicated squadrons, while a Guayaquil-based wing includes a Twin Otter squadron, a Cessna 150 training squadron and a helicopter squadron with the JetRangers and Alouette IIIs

Type No Role

Mirage F1JE/JA 14 int

Kfir C2/TC2 17 attack/trg

Jaguar EB/ES 2/9 attack

A-37B Dragonfly 24 COIN

Strikemaster Mk89/89A 10 COIN/trng

AT-33 Shooting Star 22 COIN/trng

DHC-5D Buffalo 1 trans

C-130B/H/L100-30 4/1/1 trans

DHC-6 Twin Otter 300 3 trans

Sabreliner 40R/60 3/1 comms

Bell 206B JetRanger 10 trans

SA316B Alouette III 5 trans

T-34C Turbo Mentor 19 trng

T-41D Mescalero 2 trng

Bell 212 1 VIP

UH-1B/H Iroquois 2/24 trans

BAe 748 1/2†   VIP/trans

Boeing 727-100/200 3†/3†   trans

F28-4000 Fellowship 1†   trans

† Tame airlines



Based at Simon Bolivar Airport, Guayaquil, Ecuador's naval air arm gained its first naval helicopters in 1999 when two Bell/Helidyne 412s were delivered, armed with Penguin ASMs as well as search radar, FLIR and dipping sonar. Its helicopters can operate from the navy's two frigates.

Type No Role

T-34C Turbo-Mentor 3 trng

CN235M 2 trans

Citation I 1 VIP

Super King Air 200/300 1/1 comms/VIP

Cessna 320E 1 comms

Bell 206B JetRanger 5 comms

Bell 222 2 comms

Bell/Helidyne 412 2 ASuW



Ecuador's army air service is subordinate to a brigade. It is divided into two air squadrons, one based with air force and navy units at Simon Bolivar airport, Guayaquil, and the second co-located with the military academy at Mariscal Sucre, Quito. They deploy with the army with a mixture of equipment depending on the tasks. Ecuador requires army helicopters in the S-70 category.

Type No Role

SA342K/L Gazelle 13 attack

CN235M 1 trans

IAI-201 Arava 6 trans

DHC-5D Buffalo 1 trans

Citation II 1 survey

King Air 100/200 1/1 survey/comms

AS350B Ecureuil 4 comms

PC-6B Turbo-Porter 3 trans

SA330L Puma 2 trans

AS332B Super Puma 4 trans

Bell 214B 1 trans

Sabreliner 40R 1 VIP

Learjet 24D 1 survey

UH-1 Iroquois 1 trans

SA315B Lama 3/1 SAR/survey

Cessna 172 3 trng




US-built combat aircraft form the backbone of the Egyptian air force, once reliant on the Soviet Union. It operates various MiGs and their Chinese derivatives and has significant numbers of F-16s in service, which have increased with a 1999 order for 24 more F-16C/D block 40s, split 50:50 between single- and twin-seat aircraft. The aircraft will be delivered with advanced IFF and an AGM-84 Harpoon ASM capability, both of which will be retrofitted to the rest of the F-16C/D fleet. Egypt's air defence network is bolstered by the six Hawkeye AEW aircraft in service since 1996, which are to be upgraded to E-2C Update II standard with the APS-145 radar. Egypt accepted its first AH-64As in 1995 and has expressed interest in having the aircraft rebuilt as AH-64D Longbow models. The Czech L-59s are equipped with AlliedSignal avionics, a HUD and a Western mission system. In 1999 it emerged that the Egyptian air force is to overhaul its trainer fleet. It is looking at a purchase of 95 new basic trainers, either S211s or the China/Pakistan K-8 Karakorum, which would be licence-built and replace L-29s and L-59s. It is also seeking an Alpha Jet advanced trainer replacement and is studying the Aero L-139/159 or the Hawk. Egypt has also held talks with Dasa about an avionics upgrade for its 30 F-4Es.

Type No Role

F-16A/B Fighting Falcon 30/6 int/attack/trng

F-16C/D Fighting Falcon 133/40* int/attack/ttrng

Mirage 2000EM/B 16/3 int/attack/ttrng

Chengdu F-7A 60 int

MiG-21PF/PM/R/U 40/10/10 recce/trng

Mirage 5DE/E2/SDR/SDD 54/16/6/5 int/recce/trng

F-4E Phantom 30 int/attack

E-2C Hawkeye 6 AEW

Shenyang F-6/FT-6 (MiG-19) 40/5 attack/trng

Alpha Jet MS1/MS2 25/13 trng/attack

AH-64A Apache 36 attack

SA342K/L/M Gazelle 65/9 attack

Mi-8/17 Hip 40/20 trans

C-130H/H-30 Hercules 19/3/2/2 trans/ELINT/VIP

Beech 1900C 6/2 ELINT/VIP

DHC-5D Buffalo 5/4 trans/nav trng

CH-47C/D Chinook 14/1/4* trans/VIP

Falcon 20 2/1 trans/VIP

Gulfstream III/IV/IV-SP 2/1/2 VIP

Agusta AS-61 2 comms

UH-60A/L Black Hawk 2/2* VIP

Commando Mk1/2/B/E 5/17/2/4 trans/VIP/ELINT

L-59E 46 trng/attack

EMB-312 Tucano 46 trng

Hiller UH-12E 17 trng



Egypt's 10 Super SeaSprite have been remanufactured from US Navy stocks, and are the only examples of the SH-2 to be equipped with dipping sonar. First deliveries were in 1997. The Egyptian navy deploys the SH-2s aboard four frigates, while all its aircraft are shore based at Alexandria.

Type No Role

Super SeaSprite 10 ASW/ASuW

Sea King Mk47 5 ASW/ASuW

SA342L Gazelle 12 attack/ASW




El Salvador suffered from a civil war from the early 1980s until a peace accord was signed in 1992. During the civil war the government was supported by the USA which supplied aircraft. El Salvador received five Chilean air force T-35Bs in 1999. It requires combat aircraft and transports in the C235/G222 category. The COIN fixed-wing types are grouped together in a single squadron based at Comalpa International Airport. It shares the COIN/internal security role with a helicopter squadron equipped with MD500s, Defenders and armed UH-1Ms. These are based at Ilopango with a squadron of UH-1H transports, as are the fixed-wing transports and the training school.

Type No Role

A-37B Dragonfly 8 COIN

AC-47/Turbo AC-47 2/2 COIN

O-2A Super Skymaster 9 COIN

Hughes 500ME 7 COIN/army sup

MD500MD Defender 14 COIN/army sup

UH-1M/H Iroquois 10/36/4 COIN/trans/SAR

CM170 Magister 6 COIN/trng

Arava 201 3 trans

C-47/Turbo C-47 4 trans

Cessna 180/182/185 6/1/1 liaison

DC-6B 1 VIP/trans

Fairchild Merlin IIIB 1 trans

Gulfstream Commander 1 trans

Socata Rallye 235M 9 trng

T-41C/D Mescalero 7 trng

T-34A Mentor 4 trng

T-35B 10 trng




Tasked solely with transport duties, the service operates a VIP Falcon 900 and an An-32 Cline. A Yak-40 Codling, which was replaced by the Falcon 900, remains in storage. Both aircraft are based at the nation's capital, Malabo.




Eritrea gained independence from Ethiopia in 1993, with which it has disputed border regions since. A minor war broke out in May 1998; despite a US-brokered peace deal in June 1998 it escalated into a major conflict during the first half of 1999. Both sides have suffered heavy losses. Eritrea acquired 10 MiG-29s - probably from Moldova - in late 1998/early 1999, but lost at least two during the fighting. Unconfirmed reports suggest Su-25s and MiG-21s may have reached Eritrea as well. The Eritrean fleet has been amassed since independence; the Redigo trainers were delivered in 1994 and six MB339s - one lost during the fighting in 1998 - were accepted in 1996/7. They have light attack and training roles. All aircraft are based at Asmara.

Type No Role

MiG-29 Fulcrum 8 int/attack

MB339FD 5 attack/training

Harbin Y-12 4 trans

Aermacchi Redigo 8 trainer

Mil Mi-17 4 rescue

Dornier 228 1 VIP trans




The Estonian air arm was re-established in 1991 after the Baltic state emerged from the Soviet Union. It is equipped with two An-2 Colts used for transport and medevac duties and two Mi-2 Hoplites for SAR and medevac work. All four aircraft are based at the Amari air base, although the Mi-2s are grounded due to a lack of funds. The Estonian border guard has a larger aircraft fleet which includes two Let 410s and four Mi-8 transport helicopters.




Ethiopia emerged from civil war in May 1991 when the Mengistu regime was overthrown. In May-June 1998 the country was engaged in a border dispute with Eritrea which gained independence from Ethiopia in 1993. The conflict was rekindled in 1999, both sides launching bombing attacks and acquiring fighters in an effort to gain a decisive advantage. Ethiopia acquired 10 Su-27s from Russia. A Su-27 was lost during a display, but appears to have been replaced. Eritrea claims to have shot down an armed helicopter and around seven MiG-23, while reports from Addis Ababa reveal that air force pilots recalled to duty for the war have suffered "harassment" because of the loss of 10 aircraft during the war.

The overthrow of Mengistu's regime and the break-up of the Soviet Union meant that the latter's technical support for the air force ended almost overnight, leaving the Ethiopian air force with a poor serviceability record. A programme to upgrade at least a squadron of MiG-21s was launched in early 1998, with Israel's IAI and Elbit submitting separate bids with Russia's MAPO. Elbit won an order in July 1998, but international pressure appears to have annulled the deal.

Two Mi-14 anti-submarine helicopters, of limited value in a land-locked country, are believed to be operating simultaneously with Mi-8s and Mi-17s in the transport role with their specialised equipment removed. A small army aviation element operates three transports and a handful of helicopters.

Type No Role

Su-27A/U 8/2 int

MiG-23BN/UB Flogger 18/4 int/attack/trng

MiG-21MF/U Fishbed 16/6 int/attack/trng

MiG-17 Fresco 15 attack

An-12 Cub 11 trans

Yak-40 Codling 1 VIP

Mi-24 Hind 18 attack

Mi-8/17 Hip 21 assault/trans

Mi-14PL Haze 2 trans

An-26 Curl 1 trans

An-32 Cline 1 trans

C-130B Hercules 2 trans

SA316 Alouette III 20 trans

SF260TP 12 trng

L-39ZO Albatros 15 trng



DHC-6 Twin Otter 2 trans

Cessna 401 1 trans

UH-1H Iroquois 5 trans

Source: Flight International