Uganda's political unrest over the past two decades continues with insurgency in the north, and an overspill from conflicts in the DR Congo and Rwanda in the South. The large Soviet-supplied combat fleet delivered in the 1970s has been destroyed or disintegrated where it sat. Reports that MiG-23s and Mi-24s were handed over in 1998-9 by Russia cannot be confirmed. The air force now operates communications/light transport types, both fixed and rotary wing, leaving two armed helicopters for combat duties. Its principal airbases are the nation's international airport at Entebbe, Arua, and Jinja. Reports suggest the L-39s never became operational following delivery. The police air wing forms part of the Uganda People's Defence Force. It is Entebbe-based.

Type No Role

AS202 Bravo 2 trans/trng

Mi-8/17 Hip 5 COIN/trans

Gulfstream III 1 trans

L-39 Albatros 3 trng

SF260W 4 trng/COIN

AB412 5 trans

AB206 JetRanger 3 liaison



DHC-6 Twin Otter 1 police (stored)

Bell 212 2 police

Bell 206B JetRanger 2 police




The Soviet Union's collapse left Ukraine with one of Europe's largest and strongest air forces, on paper at least. A large part of the USSR's air assets were stationed in Ukraine, including the majority of the Tu-160 Blackjack fleet and significant numbers of MiG-29 Fulcrums and Su-27 Flankers. However, paper strength and reality are often far removed. The Ukrainian air force's strength appears to include large numbers of stored aircraft and serviceability and aircrew flying hours are both reported as low. The Fifth Aviation Corps at Odessa and the Fourteenth Aviation Corps at Lvov control combat aircraft. Transport units and the Tu-22M-equipped bomber force both report to air force headquarters in Kiev, as does the Kharkov-based training school and the Nikolayev combat training centre. The Tu-22M Backfire bomber force is divided between two regiments at Priluki and Poltava. A regiment of older Tu-22 Blinders is used in the reconnaissance role based at Nezhin. The Su-24s are divided between five strike regiments, with Su-24MR variants serving in mixed type dedicated reconnaissance regiments. The fighters are divided between six regiments.

In 1999 The Ukrainians and Russians finally agreed to return strategic bombers. Eight of 19 Tu-160s and three of 27 Tu-95 Bears have been transferred from the Ukraine in return for reducing its debt to Russia. The remainder will rot where they stand at the Uzin and Priluki bases. Until the START treaty is fully implemented Ukraine remains a nuclear power.

Type No Role

Tu-22M Backfire 55 bomber

Tu-22R Blinder 26 recce

MiG-29 A/C/UB Fulcrum 225 int/attack/trng

MiG-23M/UB Flogger 150 int/trng

Su-27/UB Flanker 70 int/trng

Su-25 Frogfoot 65 attack

Su-24M/MR/MP Fencer 230 attack/recce/EW

Be-12 Mail 14 MR/ASW

Tu-22R Blinder 26 recce

Su-17M/UM Fitter 55 recce

Mi-6 Hook 20 trans/cmt sup

Il-22 Coot 1 cmd pt

An-12 Cub 21 trans

An-24 Coke 13 trans

An-26 Curl 28 trans

An-30 Clank 2 survey

An-72 Coaler 26 trans

Il-76/78 Candid 100 trans/tank-tran

Tu-134/UBL Crusty 2/3 VIP/trng

Yak-40 Codling 6 comms

An-2 Colt 50 trans

Mil-8/17 Hip 110 trans/EW

L-39 Albatros 450 trng

Yak-52 230 trng



Ukraine has ceased declaring any naval fixed wing combat aircraft as part of its obligations to the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) treaty. It previously operated MiG-29s, Su-25s, Tu-22Ms and Su-17s which appear to have been transferred to the air force. The naval air arm appears to be shore-based at Ochakov. The fleet is being established with possibly only two or three ships currently aviation capable.

Type No Role

Ka-27/29 Helix 12/4 ASW/assault

Ka-25 Hormone 18 ASW

Mi-14PL Haze 5 ASW

An-12 Cub 1 trans

An-26 Curl 1 trans

Mi-8 Hip 8 trans



Ukraine's army aviation assets include large numbers of air assault helicopters, Mi-24 Hinds and Mi-8 Hips. Many are unused and in storage, as are some of its other three

helicopter types. Some reports suggest the entire fleet of Mi-2s is non-operational. The helicopter fleet is controlled by three geographical commands: western, based at Lvov; northern, based at Chernigov; and southern, based at Odessa. They control seven army aviation brigades, organic to elements of the ground forces. Each brigade operates Mi-24s and transports, apart from 2 Brigade based at Chernobayevka in southern command which operates only Mi-6 command posts and Mi-8s, as it is attached to army command. Other bases include Brody, Gnoymo and Kalinovka in the west; Beridichev and Vapnyarka in the north; and Raukhovka in the south.

Type No Role

Mi-24 Hind 250 attack/recce/EW

Mi-8 Hip 240 trans/cmd pt/EW

Mi-6 Hook 50 trans/cmd pt

Mi-26 Halo 25 trans

Mi-2 Hoplite 50 trans




The UAEAF is funded by the seven emirates - Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al-Qaiwain - which form the UAE. Combat aircraft, trainers and transports are controlled jointly. Four of the states have aircraft operated as royal flights. The largest procurement decision has been the selection of a multirole fighter. The F-16 Block 60 was selected in May 1998, beating off competition from the Typhoon and Rafale. Subsequent progress has been slow, not least because of issues relating to the release of software associated with the EW suite and other issues. First delivery was scheduled for 2002 but this has probably slipped. A final contract may be signed by the end of 1999, possibly during the November Dubai air show. The aircraft will be armed with the AIM-120 AMRAAM and the UAE's Marconi Electronic Systems-developed precision guided munitions family. Dassault did not lose out entirely, as the UAE also ordered 30 Mirage 2000-9s and committed to upgrade 33 of its Mirage 2000 fleet. The -9 has both an air-to-air and air-to-surface capability and will be equipped with Matra BAe Dynamics Mica active radar guided medium range AAMs and ASRAAM short-range IR guided AAMs. A further buy of BAe Hawks for light attack duties could be sunk by a German offer of used Alpha Jets. The aircraft have a low purchase price but are expensive to return to an airworthy state. They have been stored for several years. The Hawks are also compatible with a range of UK-developed munitions not cleared on the Alpha Jet. The first of seven AS15TT-armed Panther helicopters is to be delivered by late 1999 with the remainder to arrive in 2000.

The air force is split into a western and central air command based in Abu Dhabi and Dubai respectively. Western command has air bases at Al Dhafra, Bateen, and Al Ain Sharjah international airport. The last of these is home to a squadron of armed Gazelles, the air force college and a communications flight equipped with JetRangers. The largest base is Al Dhafra which has two squadrons of Mirage 2000s and one with Mirage 5s. It is also home to the Abu Dhabi Royal Flight, the AH-64As, the Cougars and the Puma transports. Central command's assets are all at Mindhat and are divided between a light attack squadron equipped with Hawks, a transport squadron, a helicopter squadron, a flying school and the Dubai Royal Flight. Dubai took over the aircraft of the Sharjah Amiri Guard Air Wing in 1995.



Type No Role

F-16C/D Block 60 80‡ int/attack

Mirage 2000-9 30 int/attack

Mirage 2000E/R/D 22/5/6   int/att/rec/trng

Mirage VA/R/D/E 12/3/3/14 int/att/rec/trng

AH-64A Apache 30 anti-tank

SA342L Gazelle 12 anti-tank

AS532UC/SC Cougar 8/2 trans/ASW

AS565SA Panther 7* ASW

CN235M/MPA 7/4 trans/MR

C212-200 Aviocar 4 trans

C-130H Hercules 4 trans

SA330 Puma 8 trans

BO105CBS 4 trans

Hawk Mk63/100 20/18 trng/armed trng

PC-7 Turbo-Trainer 24 trng

Grob G115 Acro 12 trng

A300-620 2 Royal Flt

BAe 146-100 1 Royal Flt

Super King Air 350 2 Royal Flt

747SP 1 Royal Flt

Falcon 900 3 Royal Flt

AS332L Super Puma 2 Royal Flt



MB326KD/LD 3/2 COIN/trng

Hawk Mk61 8 armed trng

C-130H-30/L-100-30 2 trans

SC7 Skyvan 1 trans

Shorts 330UUT 1 trans

AB205A 6 trans

Bell 212 2 trans/Royal Flt

Bell 214B 4 trans

AB412 6 trans

IAR330 Puma 10 trans

BO105CBS 3 comms/police

B206B/AB206B JetRanger 2/3 comms

Bell 206L LongRanger 1 comms

BN-2T Islander 1 comms/patrol

MB339A 4 trng

SF260TP 5 trng

747SP 1 Royal Flt

Gulfstream II/IV 2 Royal Flt

S-76A 1 Royal Flt

AS365N Dauphin 1 Royal Flt



Citation I 1 Royal Flt/comms



737-200 1 Royal Flt/comms

Bell 206B JetRanger 3 comms



Bell 222 1 comms

‡in negotiation  to be upgraded




The UK's Strategic Defence Review (SDR) in July 1998 cut back on numbers in all forces, but it did promise all three services new equipment and set in place a series of initiatives to meet changes in the world order head-on. It also placed much emphasis on joint operations. Some tri-service elements were already in place; a combined Defence Helicopter Flying School (DHFS) was opened in 1997 for at least basic training of rotary wing pilots in the AAC, RN and RAF. Other joint efforts include a Joint Rapid Reaction Force, Joint Force 2000 combines RAF Harriers and RN Sea Harriers in a single task force inside a larger maritime command, and Joint Helicopter Command brings together the three services' support and armed helicopters. Major RAF procurement programmes are centred on its intended buy of 232 Eurofighters which are due to enter service in 2003/4 to replace Tornado F3s in the air defence role and Jaguar ground attack aircraft.

The Jaguar fleet has received a series of incremental updates, mainly because of its unstinting service in global trouble spots since 1990. These programmes, which have overhauled its cockpit, upgraded its engines and added new weapons, are now the model for the government's "Smart Procurement" initiative designed to reduce the length and complexity of procurement programmes. An ASTOR airborne stand-off radar selection was made in 1999 with Raytheon supplying the five systems based on Bombardier Global Express airframe. First deliveries are scheduled for 2005. Aircraft will be based at Waddington. In August 1998 Lockheed Martin delivered the first of 25 C-130J Hercules to Boscombe Down, two years behind schedule. The first squadron C-130J was handed over on 23 November 1999.

A second batch of 25 transports will be required in the early years of the next decade. Contenders include more C-130Js, the European Airbus A400M and Boeing C-17s. The SDR committed the RAF to a short-term lease of four "C-17 or similar" aircraft. The competition was scrapped in mid-1999, although the requirement remains. A combined FTA/STSA decision is due for announcement in early 2000. The RAF also needs new tanker transports and it is expected to order 20-30 Airbus A310/Boeing 767-sized aircraft. In September 1999, six consortiums were asked to make submissions based on a public-private finance initiative. Major weapons programmes are a Beyond Visual Range Medium Range Air to Air Missile for the EF2000: the Marconi Brimstone anti-tank missile and the Matra BAe Storm Shadow stand-off weapon have already triumphed in other contests, as has ASRAAM, which should have entered service in December 1998, but is at least a year late. Tornado F3s and GR1s are both receiving upgrades. The F3's upgrade is relatively modest, equipping it for ASRAAM and AMRAAM, while the GR1 to GR4 upgrade programme is more extensive and several years late, but aircraft have started to arrive at the squadrons. It includes a new databus, cockpit, weapons and sensors. Work is being carried out at BAe's Warton factory. BAe won the RAF's maritime patrol aircraft competition and is rebuilding 21 of the Nimrod fleet with new wings, BMW Rolls-Royce BR710 engines and other structural improvements, plus fitting the refurbished airframe with a Boeing missions system and new sensors. Other purchases include 14 new Chinooks, which are being delivered, and 22 Merlin transports which will arrive in squadron service in 2000; Sentrys are receiving radar upgrades, and Hawk trainers are receiving new fuselages. The Tornado GR4s will eventually be replaced by the Future Offensive Air System (FOAS).

The RAF's chain of command is split into Strike Command, which controls operations, Logistics Command, which controls supply and engineering, and Personnel and Training Command. Strike Command at RAF High Wycombe is split into the co-located 1 and 38 Groups and 11/18 Group, which has elements at Bentley Priory for air defence and Northwood for maritime operations. No 1 Group operates the Tornado GR1/4 squadrons including 15 (Reserve) Squadron at Lossiemouth which, like all Reserve Squadrons in 1 Group, is the operational conversion unit; it became the national type training unit in 1999 when the Anglo/Italian/German Tornado Tri-national Training Establishment closed. 15(R) Squadron shares Lossiemouth with 12 and 617 Squadrons with maritime strike Tornado GR1Bs, while the reconnaissance-configured GR1As are based at Marham and operated by 2 and 13 Squadrons. Bruggen in Germany plays host to the Tornados of 9, 14, 17 and 31 Squadrons. The RAF is to withdraw from Germany by 2002. One unit, 17 Squadron, is due to disband under the provisions of the SDR while 14 Squadron will move to Lossiemouth and the other two to Marham. Tactical support is provided by the Harriers of 1, 3, 4 and 20 (Reserve) Squadrons and the Jaguars of 6, 41 54 and 16 (Reserve) Squadrons. The Harriers of 3 and 4 Squadron moved from Laarbruch in Germany to Cottesmore in 1999 when the German station is closed. Wittering is home to 1 and 20 Squadrons. Jaguars are based at Coltishall, except the reserve unit which is at Lossiemouth but is due to join the other three squadrons. 1 Group also controls the support helicopter force of 7,18 and 27 Squadrons at Odiham, all with the Chinook; while the Puma equips 33 Squadron at Benson as well as part of 72 and 230 Squadrons at Aldergrove. Benson is also home to the second flight of 72 Squadron which operates the Wessex. 11/18 Group manages the UK's air and maritime defence and SAR services. The air defence element is formed of 43 and 111 Squadrons at Leuchars, 11 and 25 Squadrons at Leeming and 29 and 56 (Reserve) Squadrons at Coningsby. All air defence units operate the Tornado F3. 29 Squadron is due to disband as part of the SDR reduction in Tornado F3s. Leeming is also home to the Hawks of 100 Squadron. Sentry AEW1s are based at Waddington with the crews split between 8 and 23 Squadrons.

Three ASW squadrons - 42 (Reserve), 201 and 206 Squadrons - operate the Nimrod MR2 from Kinloss. Sea Kings are operated by 22 and 202 Squadrons which maintain SAR flights around the UK. 38 Group is responsible for five Hercules Squadrons - 24, 30, 47, 70 and 57 (Reserve) - at Lyneham; 32 (The Royal) Squadron at Northolt with BAe 146s, 125s and leased Twin Squirrels; 10 Squadron with VC10 tanker transports, 101 Squadron with VC10 tankers and 216 Squadron with TriStars at Brize Norton. Other Strike Command units include 84 Squadron on Cyprus with Wessex; and units of the Falklands Garrison at Mount Pleasant which includes 78 Squadron with Sea Kings and Chinooks, 1312 Flight with a single Hercules and a single VC10 tanker and 1435 Flight which flies Tornado F3s. Flying training is operated by a mixture of civilian contractors and the RAF. The Joint Elementary Flying Training School at Barkston Heath is operated by Hunting and uses Fireflys; Basic flying training is conducted on the Shorts Tucano at Linton on Ouse by 1 Flying Training School (FTS) which also is home to part of the Central Flying School (CFS). 3FTS is based at the Cranwell, home to the RAF College, and uses the Jetstream for multi-engine training, Dominie for navigator training and the Bulldog. Fast jet advanced training is with 4FTS at Valley using the Hawk. Valley is also home to the SAR Training Unit with Griffin HT1s and part of the CFS. Bulldogs used by the University Air Squadrons and Air Experience Flights are being replaced by 99 contractor-operated Grob 114D, following the selection of Bombardier Services in July 1998. The rest of DHFS is based at Shawbury for basic training on the Squirrel and with RAF advanced training on the Griffin. In 1999 it was decided to send some RAF crews to take part in the last phase of the NATO Flying Training in Canada programme. Types operated by the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency - including Alpha Jets purchased in 1999, the Empire Test Pilots School fleet and the UK's Open Skies Treaty aircraft - are not listed below.

Type No Role

Eurofighter 232* int/strike

Tornado GR1/1A/1B/4/4A 130 strike/recce

Tornado F3 94 int

Harrier GR7/T10 62 attack

Jaguar GR1/3/T2/4 52 attack/rec/trng

Canberra PR9/T4 7 PR/trng

Sentry AEW1 7 AEW

Nimrod MR2P/R1P/MRA4 25† /3/21 MR/ASW/ELINT

Chinook HC2/HC2A/HC3 35/14* trans

Merlin HC3 22 trans

Wessex HC2 15 trans

Hercules C1/C1P/C3/C3P 55 trans

Hercules C4/C5 10/15* trans

HS125 CC3 6 trans

Puma HC1 41 trans

Islander CC2/CC2A 2 comms/surv

Sea King HAR3/HAR3A 25 SAR

TriStar K1/KC1/K2 9 tanker/trans

Twin Squirrel HCC1 2 VIP trans

BAe 146 CC2 3 VIP trans

Hawk T1/T1A 98 trng

Tucano T1 73 trng

Bulldog T1 105 trng

Dominie T1 10 trng

Griffin HT1 9 trng

Jetstream T1 11 trng

Squirrel HT1/HT2 38 trng

T67M-2 Firefly 18 trng

VC10 C1/C1K/K2/K3/K4 12/12 tank-trans/tank

Grob 115 Tutor 99‡ trng

Global Express ASTOR 5* surv

† 21 to be modified ‡contractor owned



The July 1998 SDR brought the Fleet Air Arm the prospect of two new, larger aircraft carriers to replace today's three Invincible class ships. The larger ship could have an air wing of 50 aircraft, which would include RAF strike aircraft. Air wings today typically consist of eight Sea Harrier FA2s, and 12 Sea Kings, three for AEW and nine for ASW. Every destroyer and frigate carries a Lynx HAS3/HMA8 or a Sea King HAS6 helicopter: the ice-patrol ship, HMS Endurance, carries two Lynx HAS3s. HMS Ocean, a dedicated helicopter carrier, carried out sea trials in 1998 pending delivery to the RN. It is large enough to embark a Squadron of Sea King HC4s and eventually WAH-64D and Lynx AH7s. The Merlin, the first of which was received in late 1998, will supplant the ASW Sea King. The SDR cancelled a follow on order for 24 Merlins. The Navy will also keep control of its rotary ASW/AEW assets which have not become part of the Joint Helicopter Command. However, Sea King HC4 transports are part of the force. Sea Harriers may get Pegasus 11-61 engines which have better hot and high performance. This is important as the FAA plays a full part in UN/NATO operations over Iraq and the former Yugoslavia. The Royal Navy participates in the US Joint Strike Fighter programme. The aircraft is a prospective replacement for the Sea Harrier in the next century.

Sea King AEW2As are being upgraded to AEW7 standard with improved Searchwater radar. Lynx HAS3s are being rebuilt to HMA8 standard, similar to the Super Lynx with 360° radar, FLIR, and avionics upgrades. Upgrade of Sea Harrier FRS1s to FA2 with Blue Vixen radar, AMRAAM capability and other improvements is nearly completed, with the last aircraft to be redelivered in 1999. RNAS Culdrose is the "type air station" (TAS) for five Sea King squadrons and the Merlin trials unit 700M Squadron. Of these five, one is a training unit, one is SAR. This leaves 814, 849 (AEW Sea Kings) and 820 Squadrons as frontline units, 706 and 810 as training squadrons and 771 as the SAR Squadron. Culdrose is also home to 750 Squadron's Jetstream T2s, used for observer training. RNAS Yeovilton is the TAS for the Sea Harrier FA2 fighters and the commando assault Sea King HC4s. There are two frontline Sea Harrier squadrons, 800 and 801, plus a training squadron, 899. With the formation of Joint Force 2000 in April 2000, 800 and 801 will move to RAF Cottesmore and 899 Squadron to RAF Wittering.

Helicopter units at Yeovilton include 845, 846, 847, 848 and 702 Squadrons with the Sea King HC4s and Royal Marines Lynx and Gazelles. RNAS Portland is the TAS for the Lynx; 702 Squadron trains Lynx aircrew and maintainers; 815 Squadron is the sole frontline Lynx parent unit. It also took over the evaluation tasks of 700L Squadron, the trials unit for the Lynx mid-life update programme. RNAS Prestwick has one ASW Sea King Squadron (819), which also performs SAR operations. In November 1998 the Royal Navy fired its first Tomahawk Land Attack Missile from HMS Splendid off the California coast. The capability was used operationally during Operation Allied Force in 1999.

Type No Role

Sea Harrier FA2 26 int/recce/strike

Harrier T8 7 trng

Sea King HAS5/6 60 SAR/ASW

Merlin HAS1/2 44* ASW

Sea King AEW2A 9 AEW

Sea King HC4 33 assault/SAR

Lynx HAS3/HMA8 50 ASuW/ASW

Lynx AH7 6 Royal Marine Ops

Gazelle AH1 9 Royal Marine Ops

Jetstream T2/3 9/3 trng/comms

Hawk 12 FRADU

Grob 115 Heron 5 trng



The AAC continues to develop 16 Air Assault Brigade (24 Airmobile Brigade until September 1999) which is part of the Joint Helicopter Command. The 67 WAH-64D Longbow Apaches, the AAC's biggest procurement programme, will spearhead the force when deliveries start in 2000. An Apache with RTM322 engines, as selected by the British Army, first flew in the UK in 1999. Once in service, the current anti-tank/attack helicopter, the Lynx AH7, will be adapted for a combat scout role and may receive a mast mounted sight. Lynx AH9s are tactical transports. Gazelles operate in the observation role in support of the Lynx but the fleet will be reduced in size in 1999/2000. As well as home-based units the AAC maintains a presence in Brunei, Cyprus, Belize, Canada, Bosnia and Germany. In the last the AAC has 12 Flight at Bruggen with Gazelle and 651, 652 and 661 Squadrons which all operate a mix of Lynx AH7s and Gazelle AH1s as part of 1 Regiment. The latter also has an Islander-equipped HQ Flight. 7 flight at Seria in Brunei is equipped with the AAC's only Bell 212s; 16 Flight at Dhekelia in Cyprus operates Gazelle AH1s; 25 Flight in Belize City has Lynx AH7s and Gazelle AH1s; the British Army Training Unit Suffield in Canada has Gazelles, as does the unit at Nicosia dedicated to the UN Forces in Cyprus. At the AAC's headquarters at Middle Wallop are 670 Squadron with Squirrel HT2s, operating as part of tri-service DFHS system; 671 Squadron which conducts operation training on the Lynx and Gazelle as well as 667 Squadron which is a trials unit with the same types; a Gazelle-equipped aircrewman training unit and an Islander flight. Five regiments are dedicated to HQ UK Land Forces. 3 and 4 Regiments at Wattisham consist of three Squadrons using a mix of Lynxes and Gazelles. As these two units are part of 24 Airmobile Brigade they operate the fleet of Lynx AH9s. 5 Regiment at Aldergrove has a squadron of Lynxes (655), a squadron of Gazelles (659) and an Islander flight. The Netheravon-based 7 Regiment consists of 658 Squadron with Gazelles, two Territorial Army units, 666 Squadron and 2 Flight with the same equipment and 8 Flight which is based at Hereford with A109As to support the SAS. Dishforth-based 9 Regiment has three squadrons - 654, 656 and 657 - which all operate a mix of Lynx AH7s and Gazelle AH1s. Territorial Army units at Leuchars (3 Flight) and Shawbury (6 Flight) fly the Gazelle.

Type No Role

Lynx AH7/AH9 103/24 anti-tank/utility/recce

WAH-64 Apache 67* attack

Gazelle AH1 150+ recce/liaison/comms

Islander AL1 4/2 comms/trng

A109A 4 sp for

Bell 212 3 utility/comms




The USAF continues to adapt to the post Cold War world that has forced it to become a specialist in rapid deployment, conducting operations at a distance from its fixed base structure.

A paper published in 1996, Global Engagement, outlines six core competencies that the USAF will provide in the first quarter of the next century. These consist of air and space superiority, global attack, rapid global mobility, precision engagement, information superiority and agile combat support.

At the heart of the strategy is long-range striking power from the continental USA, allowing for power projection anywhere on the globe. Any doubts about launching strikes from the USA has been assuaged during Operation Allied Force when B-2 strikes were launched from Whiteman AFB, Missouri, on Belgrade and other Serbian cities.

The USAF is creating the Expeditionary Aerospace Force (EAF) as the most efficient means of deploying forces worldwide. The EAF concept should allow the US to participate in two contingencies, such as a build-up of force in the Persian Gulf while also maintaining a participation in NATO operations over the former Yugoslavia.

The ten EAFs will call upon active duty, Air Force Reserve (AFR) and Air National Guard (ANG), units will be allocated to the EAFs by the end of 1999. Two will be on alert to respond immediately, each one serving for a 90-day period every 15 months. Each EAF has a full range of capabilities, including up 250 fighters, bombers, transports and tankers.

The re-organisation serves as a backdrop for the drastic cutback in the number of equivalent tactical fighter wings. The USAF today maintains only 12 active and seven reserve fighter wings - down from 16 and 12, respectively. The active duty force size has decreased 36% since the end of the Cold War, but deployments have increased four-fold.

Average USAF aircraft ages are steadily increasing and the service has a range of programmes to replace some and upgrade others. The biggest acquisition programme is the F-22 Raptor. This programme faced stiff funding scrutiny in 1999. It emerged with its funding but Congress will keep a tight grasp on the purse strings, funding being dependent on milestones being passed. In the transport forces the USAF continues to procure C-17s and has earmarked funds to procure aircraft in excess of the 120 already ordered. Some of these will have a special forces role. The C-5 behemoth will not be replaced, but the USAF is starting an upgrade programme which should see the aircraft re-engined as well as receive an avionics modernisation programme (AMP). Both will reduce the maintenance burden of the giant airlifter while the AMP will improve crew workloads and allow the aircraft to operate in the future air traffic control environment. Tanker assets will continue to be based around the KC-135 for the foreseeable future. Re-engineing continues and avionics/cockpit improvements are proceeding. Some C-130s will be replaced by the C-130J. The first WC-130J was delivered to the Reserve in 1999. Funding difficulties mean the USAF is reluctant to sign up to further aircraft for the time being.

The bomber fleet will receive a serious of almost continual improvements to maintain its capability until 2035-2040 when new bombers should be available.

Another major acquisition programme will be the Joint Strike Fighter. The conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) is for the USAF, and is essentially an F-16 replacement, although it will also supersede other types. The USAF will purchase between 1,700 and 2,000 examples. Boeing and Lockheed Martin were selected in 1996 as the two design competitors. Both types will fly in 2000. One contractor will be selected for the engineering and manufacturing development phase in 2001.

In detail, the ACC includes the assets of the 8th Air Force with its B-52H, B-1B and B-2 bombers. The 1st Air Force at Tyndall AFB, Florida, the 9th Air Force at Shaw AFB, South Carolina with its F-15, F-16 and E-8C aircraft, and the 12th Air Force at Bergstrom AFB, Texas, with its F-117A, U-2R and E-3 aircraft, and the Air Warfare Centre at Nellis AFB, Nevada, round out ACC.

The Air Mobility Command (AMC), headquartered at Scott AFB, Illinois, has significant numbers of AFR and ANG units. It provides rapid, global tactical and strategic airlift and aerial refuelling. As the USAF component for US Transportation Command, units include the 15th Air Force, Travis AFB, California, and the 21st Air Force, McGuire AFB, New Jersey. Aircraft operated are all the C-5 and C-141 transports plus C-130s and C-17s. Fifteen subordinate airlift and air-refuelling wings are part of AMC, including the 22nd Air Refueling Wing with Boeing KC-135 tankers at McConnell AFB, Kansas, and the C-17-equipped 437th Airlift Wing at Charleston AFB, South Carolina.

Air Force Space Command (AFSPC), headquartered at Peterson AFB, Colorado, played a key role in the 1991 Gulf War and its task is growing as the service depends more on its satellites. The 20th Air Force controls the USA's 50 Peacekeeper and 530 Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles.

The Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), at Hurlburt Field, Florida, serves as the USAF's component of US Special Operations Command, a unified command. It comprises the active duty 16th Special Operations Wing (SOW), Hurlburt Field, the ANG's 193rd SOW with six EC-130E Commando Solo aircraft at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and the 919th SOW with MC-130E Combat Talon I aircraft at Duke Field, Florida, an AFR unit.

There are also two special operations aviation groups, the 352nd Special Operations Group and 353rd SOG at RAF Mildenhall, UK, and Kadena AB, Japan, respectively. Other equipment includes the AC-130H Spectre and AC-130U Spooky gunships, the MC-130P Combat Shadow, MH-53J Pave Low and MH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters, the MC-130H Combat Talon II, and EC-130 Volant Solo aircraft.

Air Education and Training Command (AETC) at Randolph AFB, Texas, operates more than 1,100 aircraft, including the T-37, T-38, T-43A, C-21A, and T-1A Jayhawk trainers. It decided in 1999 to abandon training on the T-3 and will contractorise the initial stages of flight training for which the Firefly had been used. The USAF and US Navy are buying more than 700 T-6A Texan IIs under the $4 billion Joint Primary Aircraft Training System (JPATS) contract to replace USAF T-37Bs and USN T-34Cs for the primary phase of pilot training beginning in 2000.

Other major commands include the AF Materiel Command (AFMC) at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, which manages USAF research and development, test and acquisition of major weapons systems. The Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) headquartered at Hickman AFB, Hawaii, and the US Air Forces in Europe (USAFE), located at Ramstein AB, Germany, plan, conduct, and co-ordinate offensive and defensive air operations in the Pacific/Asian theatres and Europe, respectively.

The AFR and ANG are now organised as the Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) to signify their growing military roles. The ANG has both a state and a federal mission. With 90 wings nationwide, the ANG serves the ACC, AETC, AFSOC and other active-duty air units. With almost 1,200 aircraft, it provides 100% of the USAF's fighter/interceptor force, 44% of tactical airlift, 43% of KC-135 air refuelling, and 33% of fighters.



Type No Role

B-1B Lancer 73 bomber

B-2A Spirit 21 bomber

B-52H Stratofortress 85 bomber

A-10/OA-10 Thunderbolt II 126/91 attack/CAS

F-15/F-15E Eagle 615 fighter/attack

F-16 Fighting Falcon 792 fighter/attack

F-22 Raptor 2/339* fighter

F-117 Nighthawk 52 attack

C-5A/B Galaxy 81 transport

C-9 Nightingale 23 transport

C-12 Huron 34 transport

C-17 Globemaster III 120* transport

C-20 (Gulfstream III/IV) 13 transport

C-21 (Learjet) 76 transport

C-23 Sherpa 3 transport

C-32A (757) 4 VIP/comms

C-37 (Gulfstream V) 4* VIP/comms

C-130/NC-130 Hercules 191/4 transport/test

C-135 Stratotanker 4/2 transport/trng

C-137/EC-137 4/1 transport

C-141 Starlifter 139 transport

NT-39 Sabreliner 2/1 transport/trng

VC-25A 2 VIP/comms

HH-60/MH-60 Pave Hawk 47/9 SAR/Spec Ops

TH-53/MH-53 Stallion 6/40 SAR/Spec Ops

CV-22 Osprey 50* sp ops

UH-1 Iroquois 63 missile support

U-2/TU-2 31/4 recce/trng

RQ-1 4 recce

E-3 Sentry 32 AEW

E-4 4 command post

E-8 Joint-STARS 5 surveillance

E-9A Dash 8 2 test

AL-1A 7* airborne laser

EC-18/C-18 3/2 surv/trng

EC-130 22 EW/ELINT

EC-/OC-/RC-/WC-135 9/2/19/2 ELINT/Open Skies/recce

AC-130 21 gunship

MC-130/HC-130 53/9 sp ops/tanker

KC-10A Extender 59 tank-trans

KC-135/NKC-135 Stratotanker 255/3 tanker/test

T-6 Texan II 372* trng

T-38/AT-38 Talon 416/93 trng

T-1A Jayhawk 180 trng

T-3 Firefly 110 † trng

T-37 Tweet 418 trng

T-41 Mescalero 3 trng

T-43 11 trng

TG-3/4 3/14 trng

TG-7 9 trng

TG-9 4 recce/surv

TG-10 1 trng

TG-11 2 trng

UV-18 Twin Otter 3 para trng



B-52H Stratofortress 9 bomber

A/OA-10 Thunderbolt 27/24 CAS

F-16 Fighting Falcon 71 fighter attack

C-5A Galaxy 32 transport

C-/HC-130 Hercules 110/7 transport/SAR

MC-/WC-130 13/10 sp ops

C-141B Starlifter 48 transport

HH-60 Black Hawk 23 sp ops/SAR

KC-135 Stratotanker 72 tanker



B-1B Lancer 17 bomber

A/OA-10 Thunderbolt II 74/26 CAS

F-15 Eagle 116 fighter

F-16 Fighting Falcon 607 interceptor

C-5 Galaxy 13 transport

C-21 (Learjet) 4 comms

C-22 (727) 3 comms

C-26 (Merlin) 16 comms

C-38 (Astra SPX) 2 comms

C-/HC-130 Hercules 225/13 transport/SAR

C-141 Starlifter 18 transport

HH-60G Black Hawk 17 sp ops/SAR

EC-130 8 EW

KC-135/C-135 Stratotanker 223/1 tanker/trans

† to be disposed of



The USN maintains 12 aircraft carriers (11 active and one operational reserve) and their tactical aviation assets, which include 10 active-duty air wings and one reserve wing. Each air wing generally consists of 76 fixed-wing aircraft and a half-dozen helicopters. The nuclear-powered Nimitz class carrier will remain at the heart of the USA's power-projection capabilities until the CVX-78 arrives around 2013. The final Nimitz-class carrier, the CVN-77, is to be delivered in 2003 and will act as a transition ship to the next-generation large-deck, nuclear-powered CVX, which will carry 75 tactical aircraft and incorporate a new design nuclear propulsion plant and electric power system.

The USN is proceeding with procurement of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. Compared with the F/A-18C/D, the single-seat F/A-18E and two-seat F/A-18F models have greater range and payload, more powerful engines and provisions for advanced avionics and weapons systems. The F/A-18E/F made its first flight in November 1995 and initial operational capability is scheduled for 2001. The type is well on the way to achieving this, having entered operational evaluation (Opeval) in 1999.The USN has also been given clearance to begin negotiating a 222 aircraft order rather than progressing along the more traditional multi-year buy route. Up to 545 aircraft could be procured in the long term. Boeing is keen to develop the aircraft to replace other types, with the two-seat F/A-18F pencilled in as a possible successor to the F-14 Tomcat and EA-6B. The F-14 has received a air-to-ground capability to replace retired A-6 Intruders.

The USN is modernising EA-6Bs and upgrading and procuring new E-2C Hawkeyes, to enable them to extend their capability and service life until a replacement aircraft is developed in the next century. The EA-6B is a busy asset and additional aircraft have been brought into the fleet to ensure availability. The E-2C is one of the types likely to be replaced by the Common Support Aircraft if the programme ever becomes reality. Other types to be replaced by CSA include the S-3 and C-2.

All 12 Hawkeye squadrons are equipped with E-2Cs. There are more than 30 helicopter squadrons in the USN, with UH-1s, SH-2s, SH-3s, CH-46s, and SH-60Bs, plus three mine-countermeasures squadrons operating the RH-53D. The latter are being replaced by the MH-53E. All H-60s, be they small ship SH-60Bs, SH-60Fs or HH-60s will be replaced in the medium term. SH-60s will be upgraded to a common SH-60R platform that combines and upgrades the capabilities of today's platforms while the HH-60s and CH-46s will be replaced by the CH-60S utility machine. The first SH-60R will be delivered in 2002.

Five transport squadrons provide worldwide fleet support, including carrier onboard delivery.

Naval Air Training Command has 20 squadrons in six wings operating T-45As, T-34Cs, T-44As, T-2Cs and TA-4Js. T-39Ns are used to train radar operators. The USN is procuring the T-6A Texan II trainer, and T-45A deliveries are under way for fast-jet training. The USN Reserve operates a large fleet of fixed- and rotary-wing types.



The active-duty Marine aviation arm is divided into three Marine Air Wings (MAWs), which support ground forces. Although the composition of each wing varies, the average size is about 160 fixed-wing aircraft and 155 helicopters.

Marine Fighter/Attack squadrons fly the F/A-18 Hornet. The F/A-18A/B/C/D are utilised for close air support and anti-air warfare missions. The two seat F/A-18D also provides forward air control and reconnaissance support to the ground combat element. The USMC is receiving the latest night-attack-capable Harrier variant, which is equipped with the Raytheon APG-65 radar, and has plans to modify 72 of its day-attack AV-8Bs into the new radar configuration. The Marine Corps' electronic warfare assets are in four squadrons, each possessing five EA-6B Prowlers. KC-130 Hercules are divided among three tanker/transport squadrons with each Marine Air Wing having one KC-130 squadron assigned. The Marine helicopter force consists of heavy (HMH), medium (HMM) and light-attack (HMLA) squadrons. The heavy-lift force has four CH-53D squadrons and six CH-53E squadrons. The Corps' medium-lift helicopter, the CH-46E Sea Knight, comprises the majority of the USMC vertical-lift force equipping 15 HMM squadrons. The CH-46E will be replaced by the MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft in the early 2000s. The V-22 programme is intended to provide 425 MV-22Bs for the USMC and 48 HV-22Bs for the US Navy. First production V-22s were delivered in 1999 with the type entering Opeval towards the end of the year. USMC utility and attack helicopters have been formed into six composite (HMLA) squadrons of UH-1Ns and AH-1Ws. Bell is upgrading 180 AH-1W gunships and 100 UH-1Ns with four-bladed main rotors and new systems to ease maintenance and boost performance. The UH-1Ns will also get the AH-1W's GE T700 engines. The modernised rotorcraft are being designated the AH-1Z and UH-1Y. The Marine Reserves continue to modernise their fleet. Fighter and attack aircraft consist of four F/A-18 squadrons. The Marine Reserves now fly the KC-130F for aerial refuelling and transport missions. The AH-1W is now completely introduced into the Reserve fleet and the CH-53E transition is near completion.

The Aviation Combat Element's (ACE) prime goal is to provide day/night air support to the MAGTF Ground Combat Element. This is accomplished through responsive offensive air support and assault support. The aviation systems enhance and complement the Corps' expeditionary nature and execution of Operational Manoeuvre from the Sea. Figures include total USN, USN Reserve, USMC, and those being rebuilt.

Type No Role

F/A-18A/B Hornet 287/33 AD/att/trng

F/A-18C/D Hornet 347/140 AD/att/trng

F/A-18E/F Hornet 9/6/545* AD/att/trng

F-14A/B/D Tomcat 383 AD/FGA/rec

AV-8B/B+/TAV-8B 200/19 attack/trng

AH-1W SuperCobra 155 attack

SH-2F/G SeaSprite 2/23 MCM

SH-3D/G/H Sea King 1/1/50 ASW/SAR

SH-60B/F Seahawk † 160/76 ASW/SAR

E-2C Hawkeye 94 AEW

P-3A/B/C Orion 293 MR/ASW

EP-3E/J Orion 8/2 ELINT

RP-3A/TP-3A Orion 1/11 survey/trng

UP-3A/B/VP-3A Orion 7/2/5 VIP

S-3A/B Viking 17/120 MR/ASW

E-6A Mercury 16 TACAMO

VH-3A/D Sea King 4/11 VIP

VH-60N 8 VIP

CT-39E/G Sabreliner 1/9 comms/VIP

V-22 Osprey 7/475* trans

737-700 4* trans

C-9B Nightingale 29 medevac

C-2A Greyhound 38 COD

C-130F/T Hercules 3/14 trans

LC-130F/R Hercules 3/4 trans

KC-130F/R/T/J 77/2* tanker

UC-12B/F/M King Air 85 utility

C-26A Metro III 2 comms

C-20D/G (Gulfstream) 2/5 comms

UH/HH-1N Iroquois 150 SAR/utility

CH-46D/E Sea Knight 28/241 trans

HH-46D/UH-46D 43/13 utility

UH-3A/H Sea King 5/42 utility

CH-53D/E Sea Stallion 75/141 trans

RH-53D Sea Dragon 19 MCM

MH-53E Sea Stallion 45 utility

HH-60H Black Hawk 24 CSAR


EA-6B Prowler 128 ECM

F-5E/F Tiger II 34/4 aggressor

T-34C Turbo-Mentor 319 trng

T-44A Pegasus 57 trng

T-45A Goshawk 170* trng

TH-57B/C SeaRanger 7/87 trng

T-6A Texan II 339* trng

T-39N Sabreliner 17 trng

TC-4C Academe 4 trng

TC-18F 2 trng

DC-130A Hercules 3 drone cntl

RC-12F/M 2/2 utility

† to be upgraded



The West's largest helicopter operator, with more than 5,000 machines, the US Army also operates some 260 fixed-wing aircraft. The US Army's focus on future development is the Joint Vision 2010/Army After Next which aims to shape the service for the first quarter of the next century.

The plan is for 1,197 RAH-66s, 569 AH-64Ds, 1,450 UH-60s, 357 UH-60Q Dust Off medevac machines and 444 CH-47Fs which will be replaced by a similar number of Joint Transport Rotorcraft machine.

Today's combat types include the OH-58A/C Kiowa scouts; the AH-6J and MH-6J Little Bird special operations helicopters, the AH-1S Cobra and OH-58D Kiowa Warrior light attack/armed reconnaissance helicopters, and the AH-64D Apache attack helicopter. Two special operations types, the MH-47E Chinook and the MH-60K Black Hawk are also fielded. Delivery of the transport/utility UH-60L is continuing, while the TH-67A Creek is used for rotary-wing training.

Funding is available to the Army for the modification of 761 AH-64As to the AH-64D Apache Longbow configuration. The first AH-64D combat battalion formed at Fort Hood, Texas with a second battalion starting to receive its AH-64Ds in late 1999.

A second major aircraft modernisation programme involves the CH-47D Chinook heavylift cargo helicopter. Boeing Helicopters could earn as much as $3 billion if 300 Chinooks are remanufactured to CH-47F standard as part of the Improved Cargo Helicopter (ICH) project. The Chinook will get an engine upgrade, airframe strengthening and a partial digital glass cockpit. First flight of a CH-47F prototype is set for April 2001. Boeing is to deliver the first production ICH Chinooks in 2002. They will stay in service until at least 2020 when the Joint Transport Rotorcraft is to be fielded. The plan is to modify 26 CH-47Ds a year through 2013.

The AH-6J/MH-6J, however, will be further upgraded by Boeing under the Mission Enhanced Little Bird (MELB) programme. They will conduct clandestine missions until replaced by the RW-X rotorcraft in the 2015-18 timeframe. The MELB combines the six-bladed rotor system of the MD600 with a four-bladed tail rotor.

The second RAH-66 Comanche prototype flew in 1999. The programme continues to seek assured funding for development. In 1999 money was secured to allow development flying of the second RAH-66 during 2000. The US Army plans to build 1,292 RAH-66s. Aside from the two prototypes, the US Army will build six "early operational capability" aircraft from 2003 for early field trials followed by eight aircraft which will be delivered for operational evaluation trials in 2004 and 2005.

Major programmes include a planned but as yet undefined UH-60X upgrade for the UH-60 utility machine and the replacement of many of the fixed wing types with the Aerial Common Sensor Platform programme. Up to 80 aircraft are required to replace RC-12s and RC-7s from 2007.


Type No Role

AH-64A/D Apache 499/49 anti-tank/attack

AH-1E/F/G/P/S Cobra 86 anti-tank

OH-58A/C Kiowa 253 scout/FAC

OH-58D Kiowa 335 scout

AH-6J/MH-6J 20/20 sp ops

UH-60A/L Black Hawk 924 utility

EH-60A Black Hawk 59 tactical ECM

MH-60K/L Black Hawk* 23/37 sp ops

MH-47D/E Chinook 11/25 sp ops

UH-1H/V Iroquois 360 utility

CH-47D Chinook 226 medium lift

TH-67 Creek 137 trng

C-12 Huron 47 comms

C-23 Sherpa 7 trans

RC-12 Guardrail 47 SIGINT

RC-7 (Dash 7) 13 IN0T

C-31 (F27 Friendship) 2 trans

UC-35 (Citation V) 3 trans

UV-18A Twin Otter 6 trans

C-26 Metro 11 trans

UV-20 Chiricahua 2 trans



C-12 Huron 67 comms

C-20 (Gulfstream II/III/IV) 2 comms

C-21 (Learjet) 1 comms

C-23 Sherpa 12 trans

RC-12 Huron 3 SIGINT

AH-1E/F/G/P/S Cobra 406 anti-tank

AH-64A Apache 184 anti-tank

CH-47 Chinook 183 heavylift

OH-58A/C Kiowa 292 obs

OH-58D Kiowa Warrior 15 obs

UH-1H/V Iroquois 839 utility

UH-60A/L Black Hawk 441 medium lift

EH-60A Black Hawk 5 tactical ECM




Uruguay's air force has a limited combat capability in its A-37B Dragonflys, a handful of Argentine built Pucaras and armed PC-7s. In late 1996 it retired four AT-33As which also served in this role. The primary task of the air force is transport operations with a diverse collection of aircraft. Like many other Latin American air forces, the FAU runs a domestic airline, Transporte Aereo Militar Uruguayo, which operates additional C212s. Six Wessex HC2 are ex-RAF and were delivered after the withdrawal from Hong Kong in June 1997. The newest equipment is 10 Cessna 206 Stationairs delivered in 1999. The air force command structure incorporates an Air Operations Command, Air Personnel Command and Air Logistics Command and a division responsible for the country's airspace infrastructure. Air Operations Command controls two brigades, at Montevideo and Santa Bernadina. The former has a transport and a helicopter squadron. The latter controls a Pucara squadron, an A-37B unit, a COIN/advanced training unit equipped with PC-7s and a communications flight. Personnel Command is responsible for the military academy flying school at Pando which is equipped with T-41s, T-34s and the Queen Air which is used for light transport duties. Logistics command uses the survey-configured Commander 680.

Type No Role

A-37B Dragonfly 11 COIN

IA58 Pucara 5 COIN

C-130B Hercules 3 trans

Wessex HC2 6 trans

C212 Aviocar 1 trans

EMB110C/B1 Bandeirante 2/1 trans/survey

F27-100 Friendship 1 trans

Bell 212 2 trans

UH-1H Iroquois 6 trans

AS365 Dauphin 2 trans

Queen Air A65 1 comms

Cessna U-17A 3 comms

Cessna 182 1 comms

Beech Baron 2 comms

PA-18 Super Cub 1 comms

Cessna 206 10 comms

Cessna 210 1 comms

PC-7U Turbo-Trainer 6 trng

T-34A/B Mentor 12 trng

T-41D Mescalero 5 trng

Commander UR-4B 1 survey



All navy aircraft are operated from Base Aeronaval Captain Curbelo, at Laguna del Sauce. The S-2 Trackers and a Super King Air are used by a maritime patrol squadron, while the Wessex are operated for transport and SAR. The navy bought five of the Wessex from the RAF when its helicopter training school was contractorised. Two Jetstreams are ex-RN and were delivered in January 1999. The other aircraft are perated by the navy's Naval Aviation School.

Type No Role

S-2A/G Tracker 4 ASW

Beech Super King Air 200T 1 MR

Wessex 60/HC2 2/5 trans/SAR

PA-34 Seneca II 2 comms

T-28 Fennec 2 COIN/trng

T-34B/C-1 Mentor/Turbo-Mentor 2/2 trng/comms

Jetstream T2 2 MR/trng




Uzbekistan took over around 300 aircraft when the Soviet Union collapsed. Around 60% of the fleet is serviceable. The Uzbek air force had close links with the Russian air force because of a bilateral agreement between the republic and the CIS High Command. However, Uzbekistan declined to resign the agreement in April 1999, forcing the withdrawal of Russian troops which could have negative effects on the air force. The air force has seven regiments which operate either a single type or a single role. A ground attack regiment at Chirchik operates Su-17s and Su-25s; an attack and reconnaissance regiment at Khanabad operates the SU-24s; the MiG-29s and Su-27s are operated by air defence regiments at Kakaydy and Andizhan; Mi-6s and Mi-8s are operated by a helicopter unit at Kagan. The air mobility/assault unit at Verkhnekomsomolsk is equipped Mi-24 Hinds, Mi-8 Hips and a single Mi-26 Halo. The fixed wing transports are at Fergana and two VIP aircraft are based at Tashkent.

Type No Role

Su-24/MR Fencer 23/11 attack/recon

Su-27P/UB Flanker 25/6 int/trng

MiG-29A/UB Fulcrum 33/6 int/attack/trng

Su-17M/UB Fitter 24/6 attack/trng

Su-25 Frogfoot 20 attack

Mi-24 Hind 45 attack

Mi-8 Hip 60 assault trans

An-12 Cub 20 trans/EW

An-24 Curl 1 trans

An-26 Curl 15 trans/EW

Mi-6 Hook 30 trans/cmd post

Mi-26 Halo 1 trans

Tu-134 Crusty 1 VIP




Venezuela has selected Aermacchi's MB339FD jet trainer to replace its T-2Ds Buckeyes, with deliveries beginning in 2000. This is the opening round in a bigger deal as the air force intends to order up to 40 aircraft which will be split between the MB339 and the two-seat, light attack version of the AMX-T/ATA, which will be operated in the light strike role. Problems arose with the deal, although the air force reconfirmed its plans in September 1999 when it ordered eight AMX-Ts for delivery from 2001. Venezuela selected the Aermacchi SF260E piston-engined trainer to replace its T-34 Mentors in 1998. Unconfirmed reports suggest Venezuela ordered 30 Russian transports in mid-1999.

The first of 12 will be delivered in 1999. Singapore Technologies Aerospace upgraded nine CF-5s, which have been redesignated VF-5s, for the Venezuelan air force in 1991/3 and is hoping to win a contract for six more. The improvement included a new mission computer, INS navigation, a radar altimeter and a digital communications bus. F-16s were delivered in the early 1980s when the USA was more concerned about Cuba than an arms build up in Latin America. The air force is split into ten Grupo Aereo. Two transport groups based at the joint air force, army and naval base at Generalisimo Francisco de Miranda, close to Caracas, have two squadrons each. A third transport group at Palo Negro has a Hercules/707 squadron and a G222 squadron. The same base plays host to a fighter group with two F-16 squadrons and two "special operations" groups. A fighter group at Barquisimeto controls a squadron of T-2Ds and a squadron of VF-5s. The OV-10s are operated by two squadrons with a special operations group at Maracaibo. Training units are at Barcelona with Tucanos and Maracay with the Tucano and T-34.

Type No Role

F-16A/B Fighting Falcon 17/4 int/trng

Mirage 50EV/DV 16 int/attack/trng

NF/VF-5A/B 9/7 attack/trng

OV-10E Bronco 24 COIN

MB339FD 8* COIN/trng

AMX-T 8* LIF/trng

C-130H Hercules 6 trans

G222 8 trans

Mi-17 Hip 18 trans

Bell 214ST 3 trans

Bell 412SP 4 trans

UH-1B/H/N Iroquois 1/4/10 attack/trans

AS332B Super Puma 8 trans

SA316B Alouette III 10 attack/coms

707-320C 2 tanker-trans

737-200 1 pres flt

Gulfstream II/III 1/1 pres flt

Learjet 24D 1 VIP/comms

Super King Air 200/200C 5 comms

Cessna Citation I/II 1/1 comms

Falcon 20 3 comms

SF260E 12* trng

EMB312 Tucano 30 trng

T-2D Buckeye 18 trng

T-34A Mentor 20 trng

Pitts S2 4 aerobatic team



Venezuela's navy was the launch customer for the C212-400 with uprated engines and an electronic flight instrumentation system. The three aircraft were delivered in mid-1998. They have joined the rest of the navy's fleet based at the air force's main base at Generalisimo Francisco de Miranda close to Caracas. Its aircraft are organised into three squadrons. Four Heli-Dyne modified Bell 412s are on order and the navy requires eight ASW-capable machines.

Type No Role

Bell 212ASW 12 ASW

C212-200AS/400 Aviocar 4/2/3 ASW/MR/SAR/trans

Heli-Dyne Bell 412 4* SAR

DHC-7 Dash 7 1 trans/MR

Cessna 310R 2 liaison

Cessna 402C 1 liaison

King Air E90 1 VIP

Commander 695 1 comms



The Venezuelan army has a substantial transport and liaison fleet of fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters. It shares its main base with the air force and navy at Generalisimo Francisco de Miranda, close to Caracas, where it bases a squadron with a variety of transport aircraft and all its helicopters. A second squadron is at Del Centro in Caracas. This has only fixed wing transports. The Army's only other air unit is a training squadron with the Cessna 182 at San Felipe. The national guard's air element is based around the country.

Type No Role

IAI-201 Arava 4 trans

BN-2A Islander 1 trans

AS-61A 4 trans

UH-1H Iroquois 4 trans

Bell 205A 3 trans

Queen Air B80 1 comms

King Air 90/Super King Air 1/1 comms

Cessna U206G/T207 2/1 comms

JetRanger/LongRanger 1/1 comms

A109A 6 comms

Cessna 172 1 comms

Cessna 182 2 trng



IAI-201 Arava 3 trans

M-28 Skytruck 10* trans

Bell 214ST 1 trans

AS365F Ecureuil 10 trans

King Air/Super King Air 1/1 comms

Queen Air 80 2 comms

BN-2A Islander 1 comms

Cessna U206 Stationair 1 comms

JetRanger/LongRanger 5/1 comms

A109A 8 comms




Vietnam started to modernise its air force by taking delivery of 12 Su-27 Flankers in two batches of six in 1994 and six 1997; it plans to triple the number by 2001. It has also secured spares packages for its large fleet of MiG-21s and it has discussed upgrading the aircraft with MAPO/Sokol as well as Elbit/Aerostar, which have refurbished and modernised the Romanian air force's Fishbed fleet. The air force structure consists of three divisions - 370 at Da Nang, 371 at Phuc, 372 at Xuan - which control the combat forces, transport and training units which are responsible directly to headquarters. 370 Division controls two regiments of MiG-21s at Da Nang and a regiment of Su-22s at Tho Xuan. It is probable that it also controls the Su-27 squadron following the merger of the air force and air defence force in 1999. 371 Division controls three MiG-21 regiments at Hanoi, Kep and Yen Bai, while 372 Division has regiments of Su-22s and MiG-21s at Tho Xuan and a Phu Cat based regiment of MiG-21s. Transports and helicopters operate at Hoa Lac, Tan-son-Nhut and Hanoi. The Kamov rotary wing types are operated by 954 Regiment at Da Nang, while MiG-21 pilot conversion is performed by 920 Regiment at Phu Cat following L-39-based training at Nha Trang.

Type No Role

SU-27P/UB Flanker 10/2 int/trng

MiG-21PF/bis/UM Fishbed 150 int/FGA/trng

Su-22BKL Fitter 50 attack

Mi-24 Hind 30 attack

Ka-25 Hormone 5 ASW

Ka-28/32 Helix 8/6 ASW

Mi-8 Hip 60 trans

An-26 Curl 30 trans

An-30 Clank 2 survey/trans

Yak-40 Codling 5 VIP

Mi-6 Hook 10 trans

Yak-18 Max/Nanchang BT-6 20 trng

L-39 Albatros 25 trng




North and South Yemen merged in 1990 and the air forces of the two countries were amalgamated. It experienced a civil war in 1994 and sporadic fighting continues. Yemen continues to suffer from a cut in support from Saudi Arabia following failure to support the coalition forces during the Gulf War. MiG-29s and an Il-76 have been delivered since the civil war. Yemen ordered 12 L-39Cs in 1999 which were delivered by the end of the same year. The country has been linked with a buy of 12 Su-27s. Much of the large fleet inherited from the Democratic People's Republic of (South) Yemen Air Force and the (North) Yemen Arab Republic's Air Force is either unserviceable or has been destroyed. Around 50 combat aircraft are available while a similar number is stored. Most of the air force is based at the capital Sanaa.

Type No Role

MiG-23BN/UM Flogger 25 attack/trng

MiG-21F/MF/bis Fishbed 50 int/FGA

MiG-29A/U Fulcrum 8/2 int/attack/trng

F-5E Tiger/F-5B 10/4 int/attack/trng

Su-22BKL/M-2/U Fitter 30 attack/trng

L-39C 12 armed trng

Mi-24 Hind 15 attack/anti-tank

Mi-8 Hip 14 trans

An-12B Cub 2 trans

An-24Coke 1 trans

An-26 /Curl 6 trans

C-130H Hercules 3 trans

Il-76 Candid 1 trans

SC7 Skyvan 2 trans

AB206B JetRanger 6 comms

AB212 5/1 trans/VIP

AB204B 2 trans

MiG-15UTI Midget 4 trng

Yak-11 Moose 18 trng




Yugoslavia's air force suffered at the hands of NATO during the 79-day Operation Allied Force air campaign in March-June 1999. The 16-strong MiG-29 fleet was effectively wiped out and six examples were shot down. The MiG-21, Jastreb, Galeb and Super Galeb fleets also suffered with perhaps 150 aircraft destroyed in total. The attacks left the infrastructure in ruins. With president Milosevic in power, there seems little possibility that a UN arms embargo, imposed in the mid-1990s following Serbia's aggression against its neighbours, will be lifted. Major airbases are at Batajnica, Kovin, Kraljevo, Nis, Podgorica-Titograd, Ponikve and Pristinia. The list reflects the inventory before Allied Force.

Type No Role

MiG-29A/B Fulcrum 14/2 int/FGA/trng

MiG-21bis/R/UM Fishbed 60 int/recce/trng

J1/RJ1 Jastreb 30 attack/recce

IJ22/J22/NJ22 Orao 2 65 attack/attack

SA342L Gazelle 45 attack

G2 Galeb 10 armed trng

G4 Super Galeb 50 armed trng

Mi-8/17 Hip 44 trans/attack

An-26 Curl 25 trans

An-2TD Colt 6 trans

Falcon 50 2 VIP

Yak-40 Codling 6 VIP/calibration

Learjet 25 4 comms

UTVA-66 15 comms

UTVA-75 30 trng




Zambia's air force has two air defence/ground attack squadrons, one with Chinese-built F-6s and one with MiG-21s. Two Jastrebs are unlikely to be serviceable, leaving light attack duties to MB326s. About half of the fleet is thought to be airworthy. Principal bases are at M'bala, although transports, helicopters and VIP aircraft are based at Lusaka. Other useable airports/airfields are at Livingstone and Mumbwa.

Type No Role

MiG-21MF/U Fishbed 12 int/attack/trng

Shenyang F-6 (MiG-19) 12 int/attack

J1E Jastreb 2 attack

Mi-8 Hip 12 trans

An-26 Curl 4 trans

DHC-5D Buffalo 4 trans

Y-12 (II) 3 trans

BAe 748 Srs2A 1 trans

King Air C90 1 comms

Yak-40 Codling 2 VIP

AB47G 12 trng/comms

AB212 5 trans

AB205 10 trans

Dornier 28 Skyservant 7 trans

MB326GB 16 armed trng

Nanchang BT6 10 trng

Saab MFI17 15 trng/COIN

SF260MZ 8 trng/COIN




Zimbabwe's air force uses Chinese MiG-21 copies as the basis of its combat fleet supported by elderly UK-built Hunters and various armed trainers and COIN aircraft. The O-2s, donated by the USAF, have an anti-poaching role over the country's extensive national parks. Zimbabwe's active participation in the conflict in neighbouring DR Congo means the Zimbabwe air force has lost at least one transport, a Hunter and two helicopters.

Its principal base is at Gweru (previously Thornhill) where 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6 Squadrons are based. Combat assets are used by 5 Squadron with F-7s, while 1 Squadron operates the Hunters and 2 Squadron is equipped with the Hawk. COIN and anti-poaching operations are flown by the FTB337/O-2 equipped 4 Squadron. Training is 6 Squadron's remit, using the SF260s. The AFZ's other base is at Manyame, formerly New Sarum, and is part of Harare's international airport. A transport unit, 3 Squadron with C212s and Islanders as well as the two helicopter units 7 and 8 Squadrons, are based at Manyame.

Type No Role

F-7/FT-7 (MiG-21) 10/2 int/FGA/trng

Hunter FGA9/T81 10/1 int/FGA/trng

FTB337G Lynx/O-2 15/2 COIN

C212 Aviocar 10 trans

BN-2A Islander 5 trans

AS532UL Cougar 2 VIP

Hawk 60/60A 11 trng/attack

AB412 9 trans

SA319 Alouette III 23 comms

SF260TP 6 COIN/trng

SF260M/W/F 23/6* trng/COIN

C-47 Dakota 10 trans (stored)

Source: Flight International