A single AS355F-2 Ecureuil helicopter was donated by France in 1989 to allow establishment of an embryonic Fijian air arm. A second helicopter, an SA365N Dauphin, was delivered in May 1991. It is not known if it is serviceable.




The Finnish air force had received 41 F/A-18C Hornets by September 1999 and deliveries are expected to continue until the year 2000. The aircraft, most of which will be assembled in Finland by Patria Finavitec (formerly Valmet Aviation) will replace J35 Drakens - some of which were also produced in Finland - and MiG-21bis fighters. The MiG-21 was withdrawn from service in March 1998 while the Drakens will soldier on until 2001. The air force is organised into three air commands, each assigned to one of the three air defence areas into which Finland is divided. The Lapland Air Command consists of 11 Fighter Squadron at Rovaneimi, flying Drakens on all-weather defence missions in northern Finland. The Lapland Air Command received its first Hornets in 1999. Covering western Finland is 21 Fighter Squadron of the Satakunta Air Command which was the first to operate F/A-18s, converting to the type in 1995. It is based at Tampere/Pirkkala Airport which is also the home of the Hornet conversion unit. The third, Karelia Air Command, based at Kuopio/Rissala and comprising 31 Fighter Squadron, received its first Hornets in 1996 for air defence of eastern Finland. Draken fighter pilot training at Pirkkala and MiG-21 training at Kuopio ended in 1997. Some of the activities of a transport squadron at Utti and a reconnaissance squadron at Tikkakoski were combined, to create an air support squadron formed in early 1997. Each air command also has a Hawk unit with a training and reconnaissance responsibility; they can be armed with air-to-air missiles and a gun pod. The unit based at Tikkakoski operates F27s for transport and Learjets for target-towing, ground mapping and ECM training. The air force's helicopter assets were transferred to the army in early 1997. Valmet L-90 Redigos, Piper Chieftains and Piper Arrows are used for liaison duties; each air command has a fleet of liaison aircraft. The air force academy at Kauhava trains pilots on the Valmet Vinka primary trainer, followed by the Hawk in two stages - first at the academy and later with an air command. Air surveillance personnel are trained at the Command, Control and Communications Systems School at Tikkakoski. Technical personnel get their training at Aircraft and Weapons Systems School at Halli.

Type No Role

F-18C/D Hornet 41*/7 int/trng

J35S/FS/CS Draken 11/3/2 int/trng

Hawk Mk51/Mk51A 47/7 trng

L-70 Vinka 28 trng/liaison

L-90 Redigo 9 liaison

F27-100/400M 1/2 EW/trans

Learjet 35A 3 VIP/EW/trng/target tug

PA-28 Arrow II/IV 4/3 liaison

PA-31-350 Chieftain 6 liaison



The Finnish army's air element was established in January 1997 when the air force's helicopters were transferred. Ageing Mi-8s are close to retirement and the Finns are seeking a force of 10-15 attack and 35-40 transport helicopters. The latter will be provided as part of the Nordic Standard Helicopter Programme run in conjunction with Denmark, Norway and Sweden. All the current fleet are based at Utti.

Type No Role

Mi-8 Hip 7 utility

MD500D 2 trng




French budget cutbacks in 1996 and 1997 scaled down some procurement programmes and stretched deliveries of some orders. Further cuts in 1999 have stretched other programmes, including the integration of Apache and Scalp EG with the Mirage 2000D. The air force remains committed to the Rafale, although its first air-to-surface/air-to-air capable F2 variants will not enter service until 2004. While the air force awaits its fourth generation fighter, it continues to use the Mirage F1 and Mirage 2000 as its principal frontline types along with Jaguar ground attack aircraft and a handful of Mirage IVP supersonic strategic reconnaissance aircraft. The Mirage IV lost its nuclear strike role in July 1996, its role being taken over by Mirage 2000Ns which are equipped with ASMP missiles. In January 1998 the air force received its first of 37 Mirage 2000-5Fs; an operational squadron formed in 1999. These aircraft are upgraded from Mirage 2000Cs with the RDY multi-mode radar and other changes. Three KC-135Rs were delivered in 1998 from USAF stocks; like the C-135s they have been re-engined with the CFM International CFM56. France participates in the pan-European Future Transport Aircraft study, and favours the A400M as a replacement for its C-160s.

The Armée de l'Air is split into four major commands: Commandement des Forces Aériennes Stratégiques (CFAS); Commandement de la Force Aérienne de Combat (CFAC); Commandement de la Force Aérienne de Projection (CFAP) and Commandement des Ecoles de L'Armée de L'Air (CEAA). CFAS is the strategic air force with four wings equipped with the C160 Astarte submarine communications aircraft, the Mirage 2000N nuclear strike aircraft, Mirage IVPs and tanker fleet. CFAC operates the other combat aircraft divided between 10 wings, one of which is stationed overseas in Djibouti. CFAP operates the transport and communications types and also has overseas-based elements. CEAA is the training command. France is part of the European Air Group based at RAF High Wycombe which aims to create more efficient European joint operations under the auspices of NATO or the Western European Union. France participates in NATO operation is in the Balkans.

Type No Role

Mirage 2000N 60 nuclear strike

Mirage 2000C/B/-5F 125 int

Mirage F1C/B/CT/CR 35/10/40/40 int/attack/recce

Mirage 2000D 60 strike

Jaguar A/E 50/20 strike/trng

Rafale 139†/95† int/recce

Mirage IVP 5 recce

E-3F Sentry 4 AEW

DC-8-55/62CF/72 3/1 trans/ECM

Transall C-160F/R/NG 46/20 trans

Transall C-160H Astarte/C160 Gabriel4/2 command post/ELINT

A310-300 2 trans

C-130H/H-30 Hercules 3/11 trans

CN235M 10 trans

C-135FR/KC-135R 11/3 tanker

Mystere 20/20NSA 7 comms/trng

Mystere 50 2 VIP

N262 Fregate 21 trans/trng

TBM700 22 comms

DHC-6 Twin Otter 6 utility

Alouette III 3 liaison

AS355F-1/N Ecureuil/Fennec 6/43 liaison

SA330B Puma 29 trans/trng/CSAR

AS532 Super Puma 7 trans/VIP

AS532 Cougar Mk2 1/3* CSAR/Sp ops

Alpha Jet E 112 trng

CAP10/20/231 9 trng

EMB-121 Xingu 32 trng

EMB-312 Tucano 48 trng

Epsilon 90 trng

† requirement



France is the only European nation to operate conventional take-off and landing fixed wing carrier aircraft. Sea trials of the nuclear-powered Charles de Gaulle have started but the flightdeck may need lengthening by more than 4m to accommodate E-2C Hawkeyes in all weather. The Navale has a requirement for 60 Rafale Ms - the planned 86 were slimmed by the 1997 budget. The first production Rafale has flown; a squadron of 12 aircraft will be formed in 2001. They will be joined on the Charles de Gaulle's flightdeck by E-2Cs, and the Super Etendard strike aircraft which entered service in 1978 and were modernised in the early 1990s. Super Etendards will also gain a podded reconnaissance capability, allowing retirement of older Etendard IVs. Super Etendards, which are nuclear capable, are due to be replaced by a strike variant of the Rafale some time in the next decade.

The carriers Clemenceau and Foch served France for many years. The former was abruptly retired in 1997 after defence cuts. Foch will go to a storage berth once Charles de Gaulle is commissioned and will be available when the larger ship is undergoing refit. The other integral part of the carrier-capable fixed-wing force, the Alize, has been modernised to extend its ASW capability, and has undergone a further life extension which will keep it in service into the next century.

Fixed wing non-carrier capable aircraft include Atlantique ATL2s; in Tahiti and New Caledonia the maritime surveillance role is performed by Falcon 20 Gardians. Five Falcon 50s are being converted for this role. The principal shipborne helicopter force is 37 Lynx operated from French destroyers and frigates. Dauphins, Alouette IIIs and Super Frelons also deploy at sea aboard the gamut of naval vessels including the helicopter carrier Jeanne d'Arc.

The Lynx will be replaced by the NH90 NFH, with the first 27 being delivered in 2004/5, assuming the four nations sign the production agreement, which has been delayed. The Navale is interested in a version of the tactical transport NH90 to replace the Super Frelons.

Type No Role

Super Etendard 52 strike/attack

Rafale 60† int/att/rec

Etendard IVPM 10 rec

F-8E(FN) Crusader 19 int

Alize 9 ASW

E-2C Hawkeye 2 AEW

Lynx HAS4(FN) 37 ASW/SAR


Atlantique ATL2 28 MR/ASW

Falcon 20H Gardian 5 MR

Falcon 50 5* MR

N262 Fregate 14/15 trans/trng

SA321 Super Frelon 12/4 SAR/trans

SA365F/N Dauphin II 5/4 SAR/trans

AS565MA Panther 24 trans

SA316/SA319B Alouette III 17/13 trans

SE3130 Alouette II 8 trng/liaison

Falcon 10MER 6 liaison/trng

EMB-121AN Xingu 16 VIP/comms

Rallye 100S/100ST 9/6 trng

CAP10B 10 trng

† requirement



The ALAT has two major procurement plans: the Tiger (Tigre in French service) attack helicopter and the NH90 tactical transport. The Tiger programme received a major boost in 1999 when France and Germany signed the Tiger build contract. The NH90 is still awaiting such a go-ahead. Initial Tiger production will include 10 HAC and 70 HAP Tigers for the ALAT. First deliveries of the armed support HAP are due in 2003 but the anti-tank HAC will not arrive until later. The army may have to wait until 2011 for its NH90s. Of the current service types, the Gazelle has the most teeth; the ALAT operates the type with the Mistral air-to-air missile, the HOT anti-tank weapon and large calibre cannon. Almost all Gazelles are operated by the Force D'Action Rapide which is subdivided into regiments, which in turn are split into combat, anti-tank and transport flights. Transport operations remain the domain of the Puma and its derivative, the Cougar. The latter is also the platform for the Horizon battlefield surveillance system. The first Cougar Horizon was delivered in 1997; the four are to form a dedicated Regiment d'Surveillance.

Other units include the ALAT flying school with Gazelles, Fennecs and Pumas at Luc and overseas detachments supporting army commitments in Africa.

Type No Role

Tigre HAC/HAP 80*/215†  attack

SA341M/F Gazelle 156 cmd/recce/comms/trng

SA342M/L1 Gazelle 160/30 fire suppt

AS532UL Cougar Horizon 4 surveillance

SA330B/H Puma 132 trans

AS532M Super Puma/Cougar 22 trans

NH90 TTH 68†  trans

PC-6B/B Turbo-Porter 5 liaison

F406 Caravan II 2 TT/liaison

Socata TBM 700 3 liaison

AS555 Fennec 17 liaison/trng

SE3160 Alouette III 35 liaison

Alouette II 30 liaison/trng

† requirement




Formerly a part of French Equatorial Africa, Gabon has a small air force operated along similar lines to the French air force. Operating from two air bases, with the sole combat squadron with Mirage 5s at Mvengue. All transport aircraft are based at Libreville.

Type No Role

Mirage 5G 9 int/FGA

C-130H/L-100-20/30 1/1/1 trans

CN235 1 trans

EMB-110P Bandeirante 2 MR

Falcon 900EX 1 VIP

Gulfstream III 1 VIP



The presidential guard air wing provides a light-attack capability. It operates CM170 Magisters and T-34C-1 Turbo Mentors, all of which are armed, as well as the president's VIP fleet. The presidential guard became the first operator of the ATR 42F military transport in December 1989.

Type No Role

CM170 Magister 6 COIN/trng

T-34C-1 Turbo Mentor 4 COIN/trng

ATR 42F 1 trans

EMB-110P Bandeirante 1 VIP

Falcon 900 1 VIP

Gulfstream III 1 VIP

SA332L Super Puma 1 VIP



Gabon's army operates a small group of helicopters from the air force base at Libreville. The force includes three HOT-missile equipped Gazelles and four Pumas.




Like most other former Soviet republics, Georgia's air force equipment was simply taken over. However, Su-25s were manufactured in the capital, Tbilisi, and those in Georgia's fleet were completed, awaiting delivery in 1991. The Georgian Government is reported to have ordered 50 Su-39s, developed versions of the Su-25, for delivery over seven years. Most of the aircraft, including the Su-25s, are thought to be based in or around Tbilisi, although there is a former Soviet air base at Telavi. Reports from Tbilisi in May 1999 reported that the USA had offered the country 10 UH-1 helicopters as part of a military co-operation package.

Since independence in 1991, Georgia has been wracked with civil strife, including separatist conflicts in Abkhazia on the northern Black Sea coast and in South Ossetia in the north of the country. Fighting ceased in 1994, but no political solution has been found in either dispute and sporadic violence still occurs. The Georgian air force was involved in these conflicts and lost unspecified numbers of aircraft.

Type No Role

Su-25 Frogfoot 10 attack

Su-17 Fitter 5 attack

Mi-24 Hind 4 attack

Mi-8 Hip 10 assault/trans

Tu-134 1 VIP

Mi-2 Hoplite 2 trans

L-39C Albatros 10 trng

Yak-52 4 trng




The Luftwaffe has undergone a significant force reduction and restructuring since 1995. It is unclear what the change in German ruling party after 1998's elections will mean for the armed forces, but this has included the disbanding of five combat wings and one helicopter wing.

The biggest Luftwaffe procurement over the next decade will be 180 Eurofighters, in two tranches of 140 and 40. From 2003, the first batch will replace F-4Fs, 110 of which were modified under the Improved Combat Efficiency programme with the APG-65 radar and the AIM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air missile. The F-4s equip four wings - JG71 "Richthofen" at Wittmund; JG72 "Westfalen" at Hopsten; JG74 "Molders" at Neuburg; and JG73 "Steinhoff" at Laage which also operates the sole remaining pre-reunification East German assets, MiG-29s.

Five fighter bomber and one reconnaissance wing operate the Tornado IDS. The reconnaissance wing - AKG51 "Immelmann" at Jagel - was transferred from the German navy in late 1993/early 1994 to replace RF-4Es which were sold to Greece and Turkey. One of the fighter bomber wings, JBG32 at Lechfeld, operates the Tornado ECR in the SEAD role. All German Tornados are receiving a modest midlife upgrade. This includes improvements to the navigation and weapons systems which will incorporate a combined INS/ GPS; FLIR; an EW system with a radar warning receiver, missile launch warning system, a defensive aids subsystem and a towed decoy; and the ability to carry Rafael's Litening laser designator pod and Paveway III LGBs. The Luftwaffe is running several development and procurement programmes for Eurofighter weapons, including replacement short-range and long-range air-to-air missiles and stand-off weapons.

Transport and SAR forces are organised into three wings: ATW61, ATW62 and ATW63. The C160 forms the mainstay of the transport tactical transport fleet and is due to be replaced by a new airlifter after 2010: contenders include the A400M and An-70. C160s are being refurbished to extend their service life. Operating alongside the Transalls are UH-1Ds. A separate transport unit operates the long-range transports and VIP aircraft. The last three VFW614s were retired in 1998, their place taken by Challengers. The Luftwaffe has requested funding to replace its last Boeing 707s with ex-Lufthansa A310s. Some A310s are to become multi-role tanker transports. One of the main tasks of the long-range transports is supporting the Luftwaffe's US-based training organisation which operates T-37A/B, T-38s, F-4s and Tornados. Some Tornados are based in Canada for training.

Since April 1994, the command structure has included an Air Force Command, Air Force Support Command and Air Force Office, all under the Chief Of Staff of the Luftwaffe (Inspekteur der Luftwaffe). The Air Force Command has two subordinate regional commands - Air Force Tactical Command North and South - as well as two functional commands - Air Transport Command and Air Force CA/US command, controlling the North American assets. The Air Force Support Command provides basic logistical support to the Luftwaffe. The Air Force Office controls all training and other elements. The two tactical commands each control two air force divisions. The wings, which are subordinate to the division, are formed of usually two, but occasionally three squadrons. Germany has also become part of the European Air Group based at RAF High Wycombe, while participation in Operation Allied Force marked the Luftwaffe's first operational missions since its reformations in the 1950s. The Luftwaffe's trials organisation continues to use small numbers of ex-Soviet types, including the Su-22 Fitter. These are not listed below.

Type No. Role

Eurofighter 180† int/attack

Tornado ECR 35 ECM/recce

Tornado IDS 230 attack/recce

MiG-29A/UB Fulcrum 14/4 int/trng

F-4F Phantom II 147 int

C-160 Transall 84 trans

A310 7 trans/VIP

707-320 2 trans/VIP

Tu-154M Careless 1 trans/VIP

Challenger 601 7 VIP

L-410 4 utility/VIP

UH-1D Iroquois 99 SAR/trans

AS532U2 Cougar 3 VIP

T-37B 35 trng

T-38A Talon 10 trng

† requirement



Although it initially received 112 Tornados, the Marineflieger operates just under 50 in a single wing at Eggebeck. Naval air wing (MFG) 2's main roles are anti-shipping, strike and tactical reconnaissance. The other Tornados, which formed MFG1, were transferred to the air force in 1994. Marineflieger's Tornados, like all others in Germany, have received a weapon and systems upgrade. Procurement plans for the Tornado fleet include laser designator pods, bomb guidance units and enhanced radar.

The 14 Atlantics of MFG3 are based at Nordholz. They were upgraded by Dornier with new radar, ESM and other sensors while the airframe life was extended, allowing the type to remain in service until 2010. In July 1998 Raytheon was awarded a contract to install advanced navigation equipment on the Atlantics. A replacement, the MPA2000, is expected to enter service in 2010. Procurement and/or development will most likely be jointly with Italy. Four Atlantics are used for SIGINT. Also within MFG3 are four 228s used for environmental and liaison tasks, and Germany's Lynx fleet. It has 17 Mk88s and is buying seven Mk88As which are equivalent to the Super Lynx with 360° radar, improved navigation equipment, a nose mounted FLIR turret, composite main rotor blades and a reverse-direction tail rotor; the first machine was rolled out in mid-1999. The Marineflieger plans to bring its Mk88s up to the same standard. NH90s will replace them around 2015. The Sea Lynxes perform ASuW/ASW tasks aboard the navy's F122 and F123-class frigates. The type has a secondary over-the-horizon-targeting role, guiding F122-class-fired Harpoon missiles. The four-nation NH90 helicopter will also replace the navy's 22 Sea Kings. Operated by MFG5 from its Kiel base, with detachments at Helgoland and Parow for SAR duties, the Sea Kings are predominately transports and will be assigned to auxiliary vessels from 2000.

Type No Role

Tornado IDS 49 attack/recce

Atlantic 1 14/4 ASW/SIGINT

Dornier 228LM/LT 2/2 liaison/pollution control

Sea King 41 21 SAR

Sea Lynx 88 17/7* ASW/OTHT

NH90 NFH 38† ASW

† requirement



Heeresflieger is a transport and combat air arm equipped with medium and light lift helicopters in the shape of the CH-53G and the UH-1D, and variants of the BO105 for anti-tank and observation work. Early next decade German army aviation should undergo a major change as deliveries of the Tiger and the NH90 Tactical Transport Helicopter begin in 2001 and 2004 respectively. The NH90 will enter service a year later than planned but the initial order is to be doubled from 67 to 134 helicopters. Some extra machines will be used for CSAR, but the requirement is mostly driven by the need to replace UH-1Ds; the number in service does not reflect the number available which is around 50. A Tiger initial production contract signed in 1999 covers delivery of 80 Tigers to Germany; it plans to take 212. Initially the Tigers will be armed with the same HOT3 anti-tank weapon as the BO105/PAH-1s. It is due to be replaced by the Trigat from 2005, although the withdrawal of the UK and France casts a shadow over the Trigat programme. A rival has appeared in the shape of a Rafael/Diehl Rheinmetall/STN Atlas offer based on the Israeli NT-D weapon. Tiger pilots will train at a Franco-German school in Luc en Provence in France. Twenty CH-53s are receiving upgrades including external long-range tanks, EW equipment and NVG-compatible cockpits to make the aircraft more suitable for NATO and UN operations. The EC635s - military EC135s - were ordered in 1997 to replace Alouette IIs in the training role. The first seven were delivered to Bueckeburg in 1998 with the remainder following in 1999. Heeresflieger is split into three commands which are subdivided into regiments that can in turn have more than one squadron. Each squadron operates only one type, but a regiment may operate two or more. Each command also has a reserve BO105/VBH regiment that only activates in wartime. Other units are direct reporting and include the training school at Bueckeburg and a BO105/PAH-1 unit at Cottbus in eastern Germany.

Type No Role

Tiger UHU 212† attack

NH90 TTH (LTH90) 120* trans

CH-53G 96 medium trans

UH-1D Iroquois 120 light trans

BO105P/M (PAH-1) 205 anti-tank

BO105M (VBH) 96 LOH/liaison

Alouette II 42 basic trng

EC635 15 trng

† requirement, 80 on firm order




The air force's one combat unit is based at Tamale in northern Ghana, and is equipped with MB326s and MB339s. Both types also have a training function. The Skyvans are operated by a transport squadron at Takoradi on the coast, while the F27s, one of which is stored, equip an Accra-based transport unit which also operates some of the helicopters in a liaison flight. A VIP transport squadron is also located in Accra. The flying school is based at Takoradi.

Type No Role

MB326K/E 4/2 COIN/trng

MB339A 2 arm trng

BN-2T Turbine Islander 4 trans

F27 Friendship 400M/600 2/2 trans/VIP

F28-3000 1 VIP

Skyvan 3M 6 trans

AB412 2 VIP

SA319 Alouette III 4 comms

A109 2 comms

Mi-2 Hoplite 2 trans

L-29 Delfin 8 trng

Bulldog 122/122A 10 trng




The Greek air force launched a major modernisation and expansion programme in 1996. As a result it has become the first international customer for the Eurofighter Typhoon, signalling an order for up to 90 aircraft. It has also ordered 15 additional Mirage 2000s which will be delivered to -5MkII standard and 50 more F-16s which will be Block 50s. Some earlier aircraft in both fleets will receive upgrades to the same standards. During 1999 Greece also finalised deals for four Embraer RJ-145s fitted with Ericsson Erieye AEW radar and with Raytheon for 45 T-6A Texan turboprop-powered trainers. The initial 25 will be delivered from March 2000 to an essentially USAF standard. Later aircraft plus five options will be to a HAF standard. T-6s will replace T-37s and T-41s. As an interim, the HAF will operate a Swedish air force Saab 340-based Argus AEW system to gain experience with the Erieye radar. It also bought 10 CL-415 water bombers in 1999, two of which were delivered the same year. Other competitions under way include a medium transport and an advanced trainer. The transport selection is between the C-27J, CN235, C295 and An-32. Fifteen aircraft are required. The Hawk, MB339, L-159T, AMX-T and ex-Luftwaffe Alpha Jets refurbished by Dasa are in the running as a T-2 replacement. Deliveries will start two-three years after a winner is selected. The HAF seeks an avionics upgrade for its 15 C-130s, while a purchase of six C-130Js has been mooted. In 1997 Dasa won a contract to upgrade 39 F-4s with a new weapons system which will include the APG-65 multi-mode radar, an Elbit modular multi-role weapon system and an integrated inertial navigation system/GPS. The first aircraft entered flight test in May 1999. Another new type in the inventory is six ex-US P-3B Orion maritime patrol aircraft which were delivered in 1996/8 to replace HU-16 Albatross amphibians. Both the navy and air force contend they should control these, which are operated by a jointly manned 353 Squadron under the air force's Air Support Command.

The air force is divided into three commands: Hellenic Tactical Air Force (HTAF), Air Support Command and Air Training Command. The HTAF is based in Larissa and operates from seven bases, each with a combat wing of two or three squadrons, plus a communications and liaison flight. It operates the F-16s, Mirage 2000s, Mirage F1s, A-7s, F-4s and F-5s. Air Support Command is based in Elefsis, and has responsibility for air transport, search and rescue, and emergency missions such as fire fighting, evacuations and some agricultural aircraft for crop spraying. It is also responsible for equipment maintenance and quality control. The Air Training Command is based in Dekelia.

Type No Role

Mirage 2000EG 34/15* int

Mirage F1CG 24 int

F-16C/D Fighting Falcon 75/50* attack/AD

F-4E/RF-4E Phantom 95 int/attack

RF/F-5A/B Tiger 97 int/recce/trng

A-7H Corsair 91 attack

RJ-145AEW 4* AEW

T-6A Texan 45* trng

T-2E Buckeye 35 trng

T-41D Mescalero 20 trng

T-37B/C 34 trng

T-33A 16 comms/cmb sup

C-130H Hercules 15 trans

C-47 Dakota 5 trans/trng

D28D Skyservant 15 trans

YS-11A 3 trans

P-3B Orion 6 MP

AB205A 14 SAR/trans

AB206A JetRanger 1 VIP

AB212 4 VIP

CL215/415 15/10* fire-fighting

PZL M-18A Dromader 21 fire-fighting

G164 AgCat 12 agricultural

Bell 47G/OH-13H Sioux 7/3 agricultural



The Greek navy's air arm was established in 1975 and operates helicopters in both land- and ship-based roles. The Penguin-armed S-70s and the AB212ASWs operate from the navy's frigate fleet. The S-70s in Greek naval service have a mixture of capabilities from the USN's SH-60Bs and SH-60F. The sole fixed-wing asset is six P-3s, which are operated in a joint air force/navy squadron formed in 1969 (see above). It requires more S-70s and is studying upgrades for the AB212ASWs and has investigated the Helidyne-modified Bell 412. The helicopters are operated by three squadrons based at Kotroni.

Type No Role

S-70B Aegean Hawk 8 ASW/ASuW/SAR


Alouette III 2 SAR/liaison/trng



The Greek army has its own independent air arm. Although predominately a transport force, it also has an attack capability in the form of a squadron of AH-64As. Four ex-US Army Apaches were purchased in 1999 as an attrition reserve. AH-64s are operated by 1 Attack Helicopter Battalion based at Stefanovikion in northern Greece close to the Turkish border. The base is shared with the training school and a transport unit equipped with UH-1Hs and the similar AB205s. Other transport elements include the CH-47Ds, upgraded by Boeing in 1992-5, and which are to be joined by seven more ordered in late 1999 and due for delivery in 2001. CH-47s are based at Megara with a third transport unit at Alexandroupolis. Fifteen AB206 JetRangers, used for liaison and air observation post tasks, were retired in 1996.

Type No Role

AH-64A Apache 24 attack

UH-1H Iroquois 65 assault trans

AB205A 40 assault trans

UH-60 Black Hawk 12 assault trans

CH-47D Chinook 9/7 trans

King Air 200 (C-12A) 1 VIP

AB212 1 comms

Commander 3 comms/survey

Nardi-Hughes 300C 26 trng

Cessna U-17A 20 surv/trng




Until 1996 Guatemala was engaged in a 36-year-long guerrilla war which involved the air force's helicopters and light attack types. The PC-7 turboprops as well as the A-37s can be armed. Five T-35Bs were transferred to the FAG during 1999 by the Chilean air force to support the PC-7 in the training role. Transport assets include venerable C-47s re-engined with turboprops and F27s, although at least two of the latter are thought to be in storage. The main base is at La Aurora, close to Guatemala City. The light attack types are at San Jose on the Pacific coast and El Peten in the north.

Type No Role

Cessna A-37B Dragonfly 8 COIN

PC-7 Turbo-Trainer 7 COIN

Basler Turbo-67 4 COIN/trans

Fokker F27 Friendship 3 trans

IAI-201 Arava 7 trans

Cessna T210 Centurion 1 comms

Cessna U206 Stationair 2 comms

PA-31 Navajo 2 comms

Beech Super King Air 4 comms

Bell 206B JetRanger 5 trans

Bell 206L Long Ranger 4 trans

Bell 212/412 6/6 trans

Bell UH-1H Iroquois 5 trans

Sikorsky S-76 Spirit 3 trans/VIP

T-35B Pillan 5 trng

Cessna T-41D Mescalero 6 trng




The majority of the air force's fleet is reaching obsolescence. Previously the air force was operated with the assistance of Soviet and North Korean technical advisers who have now been withdrawn, further reducing serviceability levels. The MiG-21s were supplied in return for landing rights for Soviet maritime patrol aircraft. The An-12 transports, L-29 Delfins and Yak-18 Maxs are reported as being either stored or withdrawn from use. The operational aircraft are grouped into a fighter unit, a transport squadron and a liaison flight. All are based at the capital, Conarky, but other airfields are at Boke, Kankan, Kissidougou and Nzerekore.

Type No Role

MiG-21 Fishbed 7 Int

MiG-17F Fresco 4 FGA

An-12 Cub 2 trans

An-14 Clod 4 trans

An-24 Coke 1 trans

SA316B Alouette III 1 liaison

SA330/IAR330 Puma 1/1 trans

SA342K Gazelle 1 VIP

AS350 Ecureuil 1 trans

MiG-15UTI Midget 2 trng




Fighting broke out again in Guinea-Bissau in May 1999, restarting trouble that has existed for many years. Most recent fighting was reported around the airport. Guinea-Bissau's air force has only a notional combat capability through a handful of MiG-21s. These, and the rest of the fleet, are of doubtful serviceability.

The air force operates from one air base close to the capital, Bissau. Its fleet is nominally organised into a combat and transport unit.

Type No Role

MiG-21/U Fishbed 5/1 int/attack

MiG-17F Fresco 3 attack/int

MiG-15UTI Midget 1 trng

An-24 Coke 1 trans

SA318 Alouette II 1 liaison

SA319 Alouette III 2 liaison




The air corps operates a transport force with no combat capability. Aircraft are based at the nation's capital, although they also operate from the airfields at Barticia, Good Hope, Lethem and Mathews Ridge. Spares shortages have grounded some Islanders, while two remaining Mi-8s have probably consumed three other Hips in a hunt for spares.

Type No Role

Bell 206B JetRanger 1 recce/trans

Bell 412 1 trans

BN-2A Defender 5 trans

Mi-8 Hip 2 trans

Skyvan 3M 1 trans




Haitian military forces were demobilised following a US-led invasion in 1994. The air corps had been part of the army with a small combat element operating ex-US Air Force O-2s refurbished to O-2-337 standard by Summit Sentry. As a result of demobilisation it is unlikely that much, if any, of the air force's equipment is serviceable.

Type No Role

Cessna O-2/337 6 COIN

Beech Baron 1 trans

Cessna 402 1 comms

DHC-6 Twin Otter 200 1 trans

BN-2 Defender 1 trans

C-47 Dakota 3 trans

SF260TP 5 trng

Cessna 150/172 3/1 trng

Beech F33 Bonanza 1 trng

Beech Twin Bonanza 1 trng




Lack of resources for new fighters caused the Honduran air force to reactivate its stored Super Mystere fighter-bombers in 1997/8. The aircraft were received secondhand from Israel in the 1970s and are armed with the Shafrir AAM, and possibly AIM-9 Sidewinders. They are based at Le Ceiba on the Caribbean coast alongside A-37s and F-5 Tigers received from the USA in 1987/8. Some liaison aircraft are also based at Le Ceiba, while transport units are located at San Pedro Sula on the Caribbean coast and near the capital, Tegucigalpa, at Tocontin. Training units are based at Palmerola in central Honduras, which also has a US Army presence that includes UH-60As.

Type No Role

Super Mystere B2 11 int

F-5E/F Tiger II 10/2 attack

A-37B Dragonfly 13 FGA

C-47 Dakota 7 trans

IAI-201 Arava 2 trans

IAI 1124 Westwind 1 VIP

PA-42 Cheyenne 1 VIP

C-130A/D Hercules 2/1 trans

L-188 Electra 1 VIP

Cessna 310 1 comms

Commander 690 1 comms

Cessna 401 1 comms

PA-31-235 Navajo 2 comms

Cessna 182/185 2/5 comms

Bell 412EP 9 trans

Bell UH-1H 7 trans

MD500D 4 trans

Cessna T-41D Mescalero 5 trng

EMB-312 Tucano (T-27) 11 armed trng

C101BB Aviojet 4 trng

TH-55 Osage 3 trng




Hungary joined NATO in April 1999 and was home to some allied aircraft during Operation Allied Force against neighbouring Yugoslavia in the same year. The air force is one of several ex-Warsaw Pact countries evaluating Western fighters as replacements for ageing Soviet designs: the F-16, F/A-18 and the JAS39 Gripen are the candidates for a 30-aircraft order. Meanwhile, the MiG-29s, the air force's most modern type, are to receive an upgrade to make them compatible with Western airspace. Serviceability and flying hours are low on all types. The air force is split into two commands, one having responsibility for flying units and the other for SAM units. Five airbases each have a co-located wing. The wings specialise in a given role and can include two, three or four squadrons. The MiG-21s are based at Pápa in north-western Hungary while the MiG-29s, and some L-39ZOs are at Kecskemét in eastern Hungary. The MiG-29s were taken as part repayment for a debt owed by Moscow after withdrawal of Soviet troops. In October 1998, the Russians offered between five and eight secondhand MiG-29s in return for wheat. The Mi-24 and Mi-8/17 helicopters - which include one command post Hip-G and two EW Hip-Ks - are grouped as a assault wing and based at Szentkirályszabadja. Hungary bought a batch of 16 Hinds from Germany, which had acquired the type through reunification. The aircraft have not been flown but are being stripped for spares. Transport wings are based at Szolnok and Tokol. The former includes rotorcraft and fixed-wing types and it manages the VIP fleet. The air force academy is also at Szolnok. It operates Yak-52s and L-39ZOs. The latter were acquired from East Germany and five have been overhauled and upgraded by Danubian Aircraft. The first modified aircraft was delivered in April 1998; the remainder arrived by the end of the same year. The aircraft were delivered to the 3rd Squadron, 59 Fighter Wing at Kecskemét. Upgrades include removal of the ranging radar and replacement of Soviet IFF with a Western equivalent.

Type No Role

MiG-29A/UB Fulcrum 21/6 int/trng

MiG-21bis/MF Fishbed 32/16 int/trng

Mi-24D/V Hind 29/10 attack

Mi-8/Mi-17/P Hip 30/3/5 trans/cmt sup

L-39ZO Albatros 19 trng

An-26 Curl 9 trans

Zlin 43 4 comms

Yak-52 12 comms

Mi-2 Hoplite 20 trng/liaison




The coast guard operates as a law enforcement, fisheries protection, SAR and EMS force. Its fleet consists of an F27-200 Friendship, an AS332L1 Super Puma, an SA365N Dauphin 2 and an AS350B Ecureuil. All are based at Reykjavik International Airport. The helicopters also support the police. Although Iceland is a member of NATO it does not have armed forces. Its air defence is provided by the USA, which rotates F-15 and F-16 squadrons to the US Navy base at Keflavik with supporting KC-135 tankers. A permanent USAF presence is maintained by an HH-60G Pave Hawk combat SAR helicopter supported by a Hercules tanker which operates on a rotational basis from the USA. The USN rotates P-3 Orions through Keflavik, while a single UP-3A equips a station flight.




India's arms procurement and development programmes have been hampered by global condemnation and sanctions after India's first nuclear tests at Pokhran in May 1998. A border dispute with Pakistan in Kashmir 12 months later as well as the related shooting down of a Pakistani Atlantic has not aided India's case to have restrictions eased.

While US companies have withdrawn development support, the Russians are delivering equipment signed for and discussing further sales. India has an order for 50 Su-30MKIs strike aircraft from Russia. The first eight aircraft delivered in 1997 are effectively Su-30Ks which will be upgraded to the full MKI-capability, which will include thrust-vectoring nozzles and canards. Delivery of subsequent batches has been delayed while the avionics fit is finalised. Sextant will provide some of the equipment. Indian licence production of the Su-30 is likely to be granted in early 2000.

MAPO flew the first upgraded MiG-21s in early October 1998. Changes to the weapons system and avionics will make the aircraft compatible with the Vympel R-73 (AA-11 Archer) infrared short range and R-77 (AA-12 Adder) active radar air-to-air missiles, both of which were test fired in 1999. Although the first two aircraft will be upgraded by ANPK's Sokol plant, the others will be modified by Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) using Russian-supplied kits. Delivery of the last of the 125 modified aircraft was due in 2000, but will not take place until 2003 at the earliest. MAPO has also offered to upgrade India's MiG-29 fleet to SMT standard, following service chiefs' calls for more upgrade programmes. HAL started to deliver licence-built MiG-27Ms in 1986 which progressively replaced Sukhoi Su-7s and indigenous Ajeets. In April 1998 plans were announced for an HAL upgrade to the type's radar, avionics, weapons system and compatibility with precision guided missiles. HAL-produced Jaguars are also receiving an avionics upgrade as are the Hind attack helicopters, which are being modified in Israel.

India has opened negotiations with Dassault on a possible purchase of 18 Mirage 2000Ds to provide a nuclear deterrent. In September 1999 Russia and India were finalising a lease of Beriev A-50 AEW aircraft. India's own AEW development programme suffered a major setback when its 748 testbed crashed after the separation of its rotodome. Four senior project scientists were killed.

First flight of the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) continues to be delayed. India's attempts to overcome problems with help from US companies has been hampered by sanctions following India's nuclear test in May 1998. GE was supporting engine work and Lockheed Martin was working on the digital flight control systems. The first aircraft was rolled out in 1996. Neither it nor a second prototype had flown by October 1999. A requirement exists for 200 aircraft to be delivered from 2005. India's long-standing trainer requirements appear to be closer to resolution after a damning report linked the Indian air force's bad safety record with a lack of modern trainers at the basic and advanced stage. The BAe Hawk is viewed as the most likely winner as the Alpha Jet is out of production. The Indians require 24 used aircraft within one year of contract signing, 36 new production aircraft within three years and a licence for HAL to produce further aircraft. HAL has also been given permission to start development of the HJT-36 basic trainer. In the meantime, India has purchased 12 ex-Polish Iskras. The air force at some stage will take delivery of some of around 200 Advanced Light Helicopters (ALHs) required by the Indian armed forces. The air force ordered 24 CFM Aircraft Shadow microlights for training in November 1999. The first is due in April 2001.

Organisationally the air force is split into seven commands subordinate to the HQ in New Delhi. Five of the commands are geographical and two - training and maintenance commands -- are functional. Western air command is also based in New Delhi and controls the northwestern states including the disputed Kashmir. It has around nine permanent airbases and four forward airfields. Its air defence squadrons operate MiG-21s, MiG-23s and MiG-29s while ground attack forces use the MiG-21, MiG-23, MiG-27 and Jaguar. South Western Air Command, based in Jodhpur, covers western states such as Rajasthan and Maharashtra. Its air defence units operate the Su-30s, as well as MiG-21s and MiG-29s, while its attack force includes MiG-21s, MiG-23s and maritime strike Jaguars.

Central Air Command at Allahabad controls the area between Delhi and Bengal. While it has MiG-21 and Mirage 2000 air defence units it also the controls the majority of the Indian air force's transports, both fixed and rotary wing. Based at Shillong, Eastern air command covers the border with Bangladesh and Myanmar; its air defence squadrons operate MiG-21s while the strike units use MiG-27s. Southern air command at Trivandrum covers the south and is responsible for operations in the Bay of Bengal and around the Andaman and Nicobar islands. It controls no squadrons, relying on secondment from other commands.

 Type No Role

Su-30MKI Flanker 50* strike/int

MiG-29A/UB Fulcrum 68/7 int/trng

Jaguar IS/IB/IM 85/14/7 attack/trng

Mirage 2000H/TH 38/7 int/trng

MiG-27M Flogger 160 attack

MiG-23BN/UM/MF 90/15/160 attack/trng/int

MiG-21bis/M/FL/U 230/60/74/40 int/attack/trng

MiG-25R/U 6/2 recce/trng

Canberra B(I)/B(TT)58/PR57 5/10/6 attack/TT/recce

HPT-32 Deepak 130 trng

HJT-16 Kiran 1/2 170 trng

TS-11 Iskra 50 tact trng

Gulfstream III 3 ELINT

Learjet 29 2 survey

707-320C 2 EW/trans

Il-76MD Candid 24 trans

An-32 Cline 104 trans

BAe 748 59 trans/VIP/trng

737-200 4 VIP

Dornier 228 43 trans

Mi-8/17 Hip 125 trans

Mi-24/35 Hind 20/40 attack

Mi-26 Halo 10 heavy lift

Chetak (Alouette III) 40 trng/obs

Cheetah 12 trng


SA365 Dauphin 6 VIP

CFM Shadow 24 trng

‡from army allocation  For MiG-21-93 upgrade



The Indian navy is left with a single carrier, INS Viraat (ex-HMS Hermes) after decommissioning of INS Vikrant and pending the outcome of negotiations to buy the Baku/Admiral Gorshkov from Russia. Any deal is likely to include Su-30MKs or MiG-29Ks. INS Viraat entered refit in May 1999 to extend her service life to 2005/6. The refit includes a long-range surveillance radar and a modern communications system as well as updates to safety equipment. India plans to build at least one "air defence ship" to replace INS Viraat for service from 2010. A plan to revamp its Sea Harriers to an equivalent to the Royal Navy's F/A2 standard has proven prohibitively expensive, but a cheaper option using Israeli systems may be affordable. The Sea Harriers and Sea Kings are armed with the Sea Eagle ASM which has also been tested with the Bear fleet. The navy will take delivery of four Ka-31 AEW helicopters in 2000. They will equip INS Viraat and three Russian-built frigates due for delivery in 2000. About half the Defender fleet has been re-engined with turboprops. The remainder may be upgraded in the future. New programmes include a requirement for 50 of the indigenous ALH. The Indian navy has also been linked with the potent Tu-22M. The Sea Harrier squadron and OCU are based at Goa-Dabolim as are the Il-38s, the Ka-28s and a single squadron of Chetaks and a squadron of Defenders. The Bears are based at Chennai and the Sea Kings at Cochin. Chetaks, Ka-28s and Sea Kings deploy aboard the navy's destroyer and frigate fleets. The navy is receiving HAL-built Dornier 228s, as is the navy-controlled coast guard.

Type No Role

Sea Harrier FRS51 23 int/attack/rec

Harrier T60/T4 4/2 trng

HJT-16 Kiran 1/2 12 trng

HPT-32 Deepak 8 trng

BN-2A/B Defender 7/6 EEZ MR/comms

Tu-142M Bear F 11 MR

Il-38 May 8 MR

Dornier 228 30 MR/comms

Sea King Mk42/42A/42B 8/3/19/6 ASW/SAR/trans

Ka-28 Helix 14 ASW

Ka-25 Hormone 5 ASW

Ka-31 Helix 3/4* AEW

Chetak (Alouette III) 26 trng/comms

ALH 50 ASW/trans



F27 Friendship 1 coastal patrol

Dornier 228 36* coastal patrol

Chetak (Alouette III 6 liaison/SAR

ALH 2* liaison/SAR



The Indian army is the fourth largest in the world. Its aviation corps operates two types, the HAL Chetak and Cheetah, both of which are licence-built versions of the French SA316B Alouette III and the SA315 Lama respectively. They are split between around 20 observation and liaison units which are controlled through the army's corps structure. Both types will be replaced by the ALH.

Type No Role

Chetak (Alouette III) 150 obs/liaison

Cheetah 40 obs/liaison

ALH 200* obs/liaison





Indonesia has been through major turmoil in recent years with the Asian economic crisis, the departure of Suharto after 20 years as president and the arrival of a UN force in the freedom-seeking territory of East Timor during mid-1999. Suharto's departure caused no obvious changes in the armed forces, principally because the military supported the new president, Bacharuddin Habibie, previously Indonesia's vice-president and head of IPTN. Financial difficulties caused the cancellation of an order for eight Su-30MKIs in August 1998 and an army order for Mi-17s. Sanctions prevented the delivery of the last six BAe Hawk 200s. The first 16 Hawk 200 single-seaters and eight tandem-seat Hawk 100s was ordered in 1992 and a second batch of 16 Hawk 200s in 1996. Five earlier Hawks have been returned to BAe.

Indonesia's F-5s are being modified by SABCA under a $40 million deal signed in 1995. The first aircraft, an F-5E and an F-5F, were modified in Belgium, while the others will be upgraded three at a time at the Lanud Iswhyundi airbase using Belgian technicians and SABCA-supplied kits. Modifications include a Marconi HUD, an air data computer, an INS and RWR, while the radar has been upgraded to make it compatible with the AGM-65 Maverick ASM. Boeing upgraded the 737-based Surveiller MPAs in 1992/3.

The air force structure is split into Koopsau 1, covering the west from its Jakarta headquarters, and Koopsau 2, looking after the east from its base at Ujung Pandang, and a training command. Koopsau 2 has the majority of the combat forces, with a mixed squadron of OV-10Fs and Hawks at Malang which is shared with two transport units; F-16, F-5 and Hawk Mk53 units at Madium; and A-4s and the 737 Surveillers at Ujung Pandang. Koopsau 1 has two Hawk units at Pekanbaru; three transport squadrons at Jakarta and two helicopter units at Bogor.

Type No Role

F-16A/B 8/4 nt/trng

F-5E/F/B 10/2/4 int/trng

A-4E/TA-4H/J Skyhawk 18/4/2 attack/trng

Hawk Mk209 26/6* attack

Hawk Mk109 8 trng/attack

Hawk Mk53 14 trng/attack

OV-10F Bronco 12 COIN

737-2X9 Surveiller 3 MR/trans

KC-130B 2 tanker

C-130B/H/H-30/L-100-30 9/3/7/1 trans

C-160NG 6 trans

707-320C 1 VIP

CN235 7 trans

F27-400M 7 trans

F28-1000/3000 1/2 trans

Skyvan 3M 1 trans/survey

NC212-100/200 Aviocar 2/8 trans

Cessna 401/402 5/2 comms

NAS332 Super Puma 13 trans/VIP

Bell 412 1 trans

NAS330J Puma 11 trans

S-58T 12 trans

NBO105CB 12 trans

AS202 Bravo 39 trng

T-34C Turbo Mentor 23 trng

T-41D Mescalero 10 trng/liaison

MD3-160 20 trng

PC-6/B Turbo Porter 5 crop spraying


Naval aviation's primary role is surveillance of the 13,500 or so islands which make up the Indonesian archipelago; long-range patrol is left to the air force and its fleet of 737 Surveillers. It has a requirement to replace its elderly Wasp shipborne helicopters with six Super Lynx 300s or Super SeaSprite. A deal has been prevented by the national economy and now sanctions. As few as two of the Wasps remain airworthy, and even these may be grounded as the navy has needed no support from the manufacturer for more than three years.

The navy has a longstanding order with IPTN for MPA versions of the CN235. These should have been delivered in 1995, but are still not in service. The six which have been delivered are used for transport and patrol. Indonesia's navy took delivery of 20 Nomads from the Australian army in early 1997 and also two of the five DHC-5D Buffalos which were taken in part exchange for CN235s. IPTN-built C212s and BO105s were added to the fleet in 1996 and subsequently have been fitted with Thomson-CSF Amascos mission systems which include radar and FLIR, while the NC212s receive a Gemini navigation computer and the NBO105s the Cirrus navigation system. The Super Pumas were also built by IPTN, which is pushing for it to take at least some of the remaining unsold examples in storage. The air arm is split into four squadrons, all based at Surabaya on Java.

Type No Role

DHC-5D Buffalo 2 trans

N22B/N22S/N24A Nomad 25/8/5 MR/trans

NAS322L Super Puma 10 SAR


NBO105CB 10 trans

CN235 6 trans

NC212 8 MPA/trans

IPTN/Bell 412 4 trans

Commander 100 4 comms/trng

PA-38 Tomahawk 6 trng

PA-34 Seneca 4 trng

SA313 Alouette II 2 trng

F33A Bonanza 2 trng

TB9 Tampico 1 trng



Financial difficulties have caused indefinite postponement of an order for eight Kazan-built Mi-17Vs; instead the army is seeking secondhand Bell 212s and 205s. The army was hoping to acquire S-70/UH-60s and has been pressured by IPTN to buy some of 17 licence-built but unsold Super Pumas.

The Buffalos are ex-UAE and were acquired by IPTN as a trade-in for CN235s. Although predominately a transport force, the NBO105s can be armed. The army's aviation element is split between two bases in Jakarta and Semarang. The latter also hosts the training school.

Type No Role

Bell 205A-1 30 trans

NB412SP 28 trans

NBO105CB-4s 17 liaison

Alouette III 1 comms

Schweizer 300C 10 trng

NC212 4 trans

DHC-5D Buffalo 3 trans

BN-2A Islander 1 comms

Cessna 310 2 comms

Commander 680 2 comms

PZL Wilga 32 18 comms




Details of the air force and its procurement plans remain scant. However, as the country is making overtures towards reintegration into the world community, more information is emerging. Russia has been Iran's major supplier since the 1979 revolution. The two nations have discussed purchases including Kamov Ka-52 attack and Ka-60 transport helicopters. Discussions on licence building Klimov RD-33 engines for MiG-29s - which Iran has operated since 1990 - have taken place. Iran's aerospace industry has reverse-engineered Bell JetRangers and 212s and is building the machines for the Iranian air force.

The USA has thwarted attempts by Iran to buy second hand equipment from CIS countries, forcing Iran to turn to China. Although talks were held on the Xian FB-7 and Shenyang F-8IIM strike aircraft, none were ordered, although 14 Y-7 transports are to be delivered, the last one in around 2002.

Some of the 100-120 aircraft flown to Iran by Iraq during the 1991 Gulf War were put into service by the air force. Reports suggest that some Su-24s have been used to bolster an earlier order while some Su-20/22s are in Revolutionary Guard service. Four MiG-29s are widely assumed to have joined aircraft already in service. The Il-76-based Adnan is also ex-Iraqi. Su-25s, MiG-23s and Mirage F1s, also fled from Iraq, but are thought not to be in service, due to age, low capability (MiG-23s) or too few numbers (Su-25).

US Congressional hearings into the so-called Iran-Contra affair established that Iran did receive spares for its US-purchased equipment during the 1980s. It is estimated that only 40 of the 132 F-4Ds, 177 F-4Es and 16 RF-4E Phantoms delivered before 1979 are in service. Around 45 of the 169 F-5E/Fs delivered are still flying, while about 20 F-14A Tomcats of the 79 delivered are still airworthy. The F-14s have been modified locally to carry bombs. Some reports suggest that the IRIAF can fly up to seven F-14s at any one time, but each aircraft can only fly once in three days. Additionally, another 30 F-4s, 30 F-5s and 35 F-14s are not serviceable, largely because they have been cannibalised for spare parts. Serviceability rates are improving slowly, although most units continue to operate with reduced establishments. The Iranian navy and army air arms also continue to operate, again with severely reduced stocks of serviceable aircraft.

Type No Role

MiG-29A/UB Fulcrum 35/5 int/trng

F-14A Tomcat 20 int

Boeing 707-3J9C 10 tank/trans

Il-76 Adnan † 1 AEW

P-3F Orion 2 MR/SAR

C-130E/H/RC-130H 24/2 trans/recce

Su-24MK Fencer D 20 strike

F-4D/E/RF-4E Phantom 40 int/FGA/recce

F-5E/B/F Tiger II 45 int/FGA

An-74 Coaler 10* trans

Boeing 747F-131 7 trans/tank

F27-400M/600 Friendship ‡ 15 trans

Harbin Y-12 9 trans

Harbin Y-7 14* trans

CH-47C Chinook 5 trans

Falcon 20 3 VIP

Jetstar 8 1 VIP

Aero Commander 690 3 comms

AB206B JetRanger 2 comms

PC-6/B Turbo-Porter 10 trans

AB212 10 trans

AB214A/C 25 trans

Beech F33 Bonanza 26 trng/comms

EMB-312 Tucano 10 trng

PC-7 Turbo-Trainer 45 trng

MFI-17B Mushshak 25 trng

Dornier 228 5 survey



Shenyang F-7 (MiG-21) 30 int/FGA

Shenyang F-6 (MiG-19) 18 int/FGA

Su-20/22 Fitter 4/40 attack

† from, or partly, from Iraq

‡ may include army and navy aircraft



Falcon 20E 4 VIP

Commander 500/690 1/7 liaison

RH-53D Sea Stallion 2 minesweeping

SH-3D Sea King 10 ASW


AB205A 5 trans

AB206B JetRanger 10 liaison



Falcon 20E 2 VIP

Commander 690 5 comms

Cessna 185 15 liaison

AH-1J Cobra 70 anti-tank/COIN

CH-47C Chinook 30 heavylift

AB214A/C 100 trans

AB212 20 trans

AB205A-1 20 trans

AB206A/B JetRanger 40 obs/comms




Once one of the world's largest air forces, the Iraqi air force is still struggling to recover from the aftermath of its 1990 invasion of Kuwait, the subsequent 1991 Gulf War and almost a decade of UN-mandated operations over the country which culminated in Operation Desert Fox in late 1998. All this left the country and armed forces in a rundown state. UN-imposed no fly zones north of the 36th parallel and south of the 33rd remain. Quantity was no match in 1991 for the coalition forces and many of Iraq's aircraft were either shot down or destroyed on the ground. Another 100-120 aircraft were dispatched to sanctuary in neighbouring Iran where they have remained as reparations for the Iran/Iraq war of the 1980s.

Reports in the middle of 1999 suggested many of these aircraft were being repatriated. It has not been possible to confirm this and it is difficult to understand what the Iranians could gain from such a move. Following Desert Fox, the UN Special Commission (UNSCOM) reported that the Iraq air force has tried to modify L-29 trainers and other fixed-wing types as UAVs which would carry chemical and biological warfare agents. UNSCOM was responsible for cataloguing and removing Iraq's weapons of mass destruction capability.

Iraq is subject to an arms embargo which makes spares acquisition difficult, although rumours suggest some aid is flowing from Russia. Today's air force is spearheaded by Mirage F1EQs, MiG-21s and MiG-23s of various types with a few MiG-25s in support. Aircraft evacuated to Iran include MiG-23s, MiG-29s, Il-76s, Su-20/22s, Su-25s, Mirage F1EQs and one of the two Adnans.

It is likely that the entire Tu-16 Badger fleet was destroyed during the 1991 conflict. Remaining MiG-29s are apparently in long-term storage.

Type No Role

Tu-22A/U Blinder 5 bomber

MiG-25 Foxbat 10 int/recce

MiG-23MF/ML Flogger 60 int/attack

Chengdu F-7 (MiG-21) 40 int

MiG-21PFM/MF Fishbed 36 int

Su-7/20/22 Fitter 33 strike

Mirage F1EQ/BQ 60 attack/trng

Su-25 Frogfoot 13 attack

SA342L Gazelle 20 attack/comms/trng

Bell 214ST 10 trans

BO105C 75 attack/comms/trng

Mi-24/Mi-25 Hind 20 attack

Mi-8/Mi-17 Hip 80 trans

SA321 Super Frelon 10 ASuW

Il-76 Adnan 1 1 AEW

MD500D/MD530F 10/16 obs/trans

An-12 Cub 3 tanker/trans

An-24 Coke 9 trans

An-26 Curl 2 trans

Mi-6 Hook 2 trans

SA330 Puma 20 trans/VIP


Alouette III 30 comms

BK117A/B 10 SAR

L-39ZO 50 trng

EMB-312 Tucano 40 trng

AS202 18 trng

PC-7 Turbo-Trainer 30 trng

PC-9 10 trng




The Irish Air Corps, along with the Irish Navy, was the subject of a Price Waterhouse report published in 1998. If the recommendations are followed four now-retired Magisters and the SF260Ws will be replaced by eight aircraft of a single training/light strike type; four medium lift helicopters would replace a contractorised SAR capability and meet a troop carrying requirement; the Cessna 172 fleet would be replaced by two Defender-type aircraft; a mixture of 15 helicopters would be replaced by eight Squirrel-type rotorcraft and the King Airs would in time be replaced by more CN235s. Rationalising the fleet would bring maintenance and personnel savings while taking over Ireland's SAR commitment from private contractors would reduce costs. After the Price Waterhouse study a further report was commissioned to determine ways of raising acquisition funds. One suggestion is the opening of Casement Aerodrome to commercial traffic, a move previously twice rejected.

The Corps is based at Casement Aerodrome at Baldonnel near Dublin, which is also the home of the Training Wing, Garda Air Support Unit (GASU) and 1 Support Wing and its three squadrons. They include the Light Strike Squadron, which retired its last Magister in 1999. The Maritime Squadron is equipped with two CN235s fitted with search radar, FLIR and tactical management system. They are used for economic exclusion zone patrol and fisheries protection. The Transport and Training Squadron is equipped with a VIP Gulfstream IV and a Super King Air. The Irish Air Corps has taken over responsibility for the GASU and now flies and maintains the Garda's (police force) Defender and Squirrel. The Training Wing operates the Magister on loan from the Light Strike Squadron and the SF260s. An army co-operation squadron equipped with Cessna 172s operates from Gormanston airbase in County Meath as part of 3 Support Wing. Other units within this wing include the Alouette III Army Support Squadron, the Gazelle operating Helicopter Squadron which is responsible for training, and the Naval Support Squadron (NSS) with Dauphins, which are all based at Baldonnel. Dauphins detach to Finner Air Station, County Donegal, and Alouettes are temporarily assigned to Waterford airport as part of the SAR unit. The NSS's Dauphins operate from the Navy's fishery protection vessel.

Type No Role

SF260WE 7 trng/COIN

Super King Air 200 1 VIP trans/trng

Cessna FR172H/K 5/1 AOP/liaison

CN235N 2 fish protect/MPA

SA365F Dauphin 4 naval liaison/ SAR

SA342L Gazelle 2 trng

SA316B Alouette III 7 utility/SAR/comms

Gulfstream IV 1 VIP

BN-2T Defender 4000 1 GASU

SA355N Squirrel 1 GASU




The Israeli air force's biggest acquisition in 1999 was 50 F-16Is and options on another 60 more for delivery from 2003. The two-seat F-16I - which has conformal fuel tanks, a new modular mission computer, colour displays and a host of Israeli-developed avionics - beat competition from the F-15. Israel has also become a participant in the JSF programme. The F-16I will fill some of the gap left by the retirement of types such as the F-4 and A-4 over the next few years. Many of its avionics systems could be used to upgrade F-16A/Bs. The F-15I - basically the same as an F-15E - was selected in November 1993, beating competition from the F-16D and F/A-18D: the first squadron was declared operational in January 1999. Israel also plans to replace its Magister basic trainers with an aircraft in the Hawk/T-45/L-159 class. It is to buy 12AH-64D Apache Longbows and is likely to upgrade its-64As. The Israeli air force is also looking for aircraft to replace its ELINT C-47s, much of its transport fleet and Piper Super Cub flight screening trainers. Five aircraft are initially required.

Israel has a policy of indigenous upgrades and part of its Phantom and CH-53 heavylift helicopter fleets have received major structural and avionics upgrades in recent years. Many other types in Israeli service benefit from locally developed avionics and systems or are modified during service with such equipment. Plans exist for the Cobra attack helicopter fleet to go through the process and receive a new mission computer and possibly more powerful engines. The air force is expected to keep the Kfir TC7 in service until at least the turn of the century, using the type primarily as a platform to deliver laser-guided bombs in conjunction with designating F-4s and F-16s. Significant numbers of Kfirs and Skyhawks, plus a few C-47s remain in storage. Four Hawkeyes have been withdrawn from use following the introduction of the indigenous Phalcon radar system on two 707s.

Type No Role

F-16A/B Netz 100/20 int/FGA/trng

F-16C/D Barak/Brakeet 75/50 int/FGA/trng

F-16I 50/60†   int/FGA

F-15A/B Baz 38/6 int/trng

F-15C/D Akef 16/11 int/trng

F-15I Ra'am 25* attack/int

Kfir C7/TC7 50   int/FGA/trng

F-4E/F-4E-2000/RF-4E Kurnass 40/53/12 FGA/recce

A-4N Ahit 105†   attack

AH-64A/D Peten 41/12* attack

AH-1G/1S Tsefa 40 anti-tank

CH-53-2000 Yas'ur 43 trans

AS565SA Atalef/HH-65 8/1 ASW

Seascan (Westwind 1124) 3 maritime patrol

707-320 2/2/2/2/7 AEW/ECM/ELINT/VIP/tanker

IAI-201 Arava 10/9 ELINT/trans

C-130E/H/EC-130/KC-130 6/10/2/4 trans/ELINT/tanker

C-47/RC-47 Dakota 11 trans/supp

UH-60A/L Yanshuf 10/15* trans

JetRanger/LongRanger 36/8 comms/trng

Super King Air 200 4 comms

U-21A/RU-21A/RC-12D/K 4/9 comms/ELINT

Dornier 28 12 comms

CM170 Magister 40 trng

PA-18 Super Cub 35 trng

Queen Air B80 16 trng

E-2C Hawkeye 4 (WFU/for sale)

Bell 212 Anafa 60 trans/SAR

† Substantial numbers in storage




In March 1999 the Italian air force reformed its command structure into six brigades split by operational tasking, missile systems, fighters, fighter-bomber/reconnaissance, fixed- and rotary-wing air support, air transport and airspace which controls ATC. These operational brigades are grouped within the air forces command, while a logistics and a training command also form part of the air force. Programmes approved in 1999 include a structural upgrade for the MB339 trainers which will also get some new avionics, and upgrade of all AMXs to a common standard with the possibility of further modification in the future. The 707 tanker-transport fleet is to get improvements to make it compatible with all aircraft types' refuelling probes and not just the Tornado IDS and ECR. These aircraft are nearer to a mid-life upgrade programme, but formal go-ahead is still awaited. The air force has ordered 18 C-130Js in 1997 for delivery in 1999-2004 and the industry ministry is attempting to finance Italian air force usage of the C-27J, the G222 modified with C-130J systems. These moves could force Italy out of the seven nation Airbus A400M programme. Six of the C-130Js will be fitted with Flight Refuelling Mk32B air-to-air refuelling pods for tanking duties.

All 24 of the Italian air force's leased, air defence-optimised Tornado F3s are now with 36 Fighter wing at Gioia Del Colle near Bari, following the transfer of 21 Gruppo from Cameri near Novara to join 12 Gruppo. These aircraft are a temporary stopgap until the first of 121 Eurofighters are delivered in around 2002. The Tornado F3s support Italy's eternal Starfighters in the air defence role. The F-104 is still operated by five squadrons; 49 single seat and 15 two-seat TF104s received a service life extension, principally new electrical and hydraulic systems, in 1997/8.

Strike duties fall to Tornado IDS and ECR types and the Italian/Brazilian AMX. The Tornado IDS equips three squadrons. Italy took delivery of its first of 15 SEAD/reconnaissance Tornado ECRs in June 1998 and they form another Tornado unit, 155 Gruppo at Piacenzia San Daminanmo. The C-130Js will be stationed at Pisa alongside C-130Hs, which will be kept in service until 2010. It is also considering the C-130J as a possible AEW platform; four aircraft are required. However, the AEW programme is at risk as its expenditure in 1997 was shelved to ring fence funding for the Eurofighter.

Other changes to the transport fleet in 1999 include the delivery of two Airbus A319CJs to replace a similar number of elderly DC-9-32s, while Falcon 900EXs will supersede Gulfstream IIIs. The air force-owned, but navy-controlled Atlantic ASW force has received a weapon system modernisation programme, which incorporates the Iguane radar of the Atlantique ATL2. The type is to be replaced around 2010; Italy and Germany are working on a joint programme. Italy has also joined the NATO Training in Canada programme.

Type No Role

Tornado IDS/ECR 89/15 strike/recce

Tornado F3 24 int

F-104ASA-M/TF-104 88/20 int/attack/trng

Eurofighter 2000 121* int/attack

AMX/AMX(T) 104/25 attack/rec/trng

MB339A/CD/PAN 73/14/17 trng/attack/aeroteam

SF260AM 38 trng

Atlantic 18 MR/ASW

707-320 4 tanker/trans

C-130H/J Hercules 12/18* trans

G222/VS/RM 33/1/4 trans/ELINT/calib

DC-9 1 VIP

A319CJ 2 VIP

Gulfstream III 1 VIP

P180 Avanti 6 VIP

Falcon 50 4 VIP

Falcon 900EX 2 VIP

PD808RM/ECM 6 calib/EW/VIP

P166M/DL-3 1/6 comms/trng/surv

S208M 40 liaison/SAR

HH-3F 33 SAR


AB212 36 SAR

NH500E 50 liaison/trng



Delivery of 16 Harrier II Pluses with the APG-65 radar followed a change in Italian law preventing the navy from operating fixed wing aircraft. They have both a surface attack and a fleet air defence role. Italy and Spain are sharing the cost of integrating AMRAAM with the AV-8B Plus. Plans exist for the acquisition of four more AV-8Bs from the USMC as an attrition reserve. These will be replaced by 20-24 JSFs, a programme Italy joined in 1999. The AV-8Bs are embarked aboard the helicopter carrier Giuseppe Garibaldi, which was launched in 1983 and can embark 16 AV-8Bs or 18 SH-3s, and will also use a new carrier due to enter service in 2006. First operational use of the Harriers was in support of the UN in Somalia in 1995. The EH101 was ordered in July 1997. Eight will be for ASW, four for AEW and the remainder utility helicopters. The EH101 replaces the Sea King in the first and last of the roles. The navy does not have AEW aircraft. For AEW the EH101 will be fitted with a belly-mounted Fiar radar. From 2004, NH90 NFH will replace AB212ASWs which are on almost every Italian naval vessel, but principally its destroyers and frigates.

Type No Role

AV-8B/TAV-8B Harrier II+ 16/2 int/attack/trng


ASH-3D/3H Sea King 19/2/10 ASW/trans

EH101 8*/4*/4* ASW/AEW/trans

NH90 46* ASW



The Italian army uses the Mangusta attack helicopter extensively. It deployed the type on UN operations in Somalia in 1995 and with NATO and UN operations in Albania, Bosnia and Macedonia. The last 15 of 60 Mangustas acquired are to be the "International" standard - albeit without the more powerful T800 engine in place of the T700 - with five-bladed main rotors, uprated transmissions and a 20mm turret gun in the nose. Most Italian army Mangustas have no gun, relying purely on TOW missiles for offensive capability. In 1999 the army was given the go-ahead to standardise its 45 Mangustas and give them a wider combat role, rather than just anti- tank. The programme starts in 2000 and lasts until 2006. In combat the A129 is supported by the Hirundo with a roof-mounted sight and TOW. The licence-built JetRangers have an unarmed scouting role similar to that of the US Army's OH-58. Tactical transport versions of the NH90 will replace a number of older types, including the AB205 and AB212s.

Type No Role

A129 Mangusta 60†   attack

A109A/CM Hirundo 4/24 attack/obs

AB206A2/C1 JetRanger 115 recce/trng

Dornier 228-212 3 trans

CH-47C 38 trans

SM1019E 50 comms

AB205/A/B 16/62/2 trans

AB212 14 trans

AB412 25 trans

NH90 TTH 160 trans

† requirement

Source: Flight International