Royal Bahraini Air Force


Royal Bahraini Air Force

The Royal Bahraini Air Force (RBAF) was formerly known as Bahrain Amiri Air Force (BAAF) but since the elections of 14 February 2002, the state became a monarchy and the Armed Forces were renamed accordingly. The air force had 650 personnel in 1992. [ [http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/bhtoc.html A Country Study: Bahrain] , " [http://www.loc.gov/index.html Library of Congress] ".]

History

The air branch of the Bahrain Defence Force (BDF) was organized in 1977 and began flying helicopters. In 1986, F-5 fighter jets were acquired from the United States.

In 1987, the Bahrain Defense Force was reorganized into separate Army, Navy and Air force branches with the Air Wing becoming the Bahrain Amiri Air Force (BAAF). The delivery of a squadron of F-16s from 1990 marked a further increase in the capabilities of the air arm. The new F-16 unit was based at Shaikh Isa AB alongside the F-5s. On 2 August 1990 several aircraft from the Kuwait Air Force were evacuated to Bahrain during the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. During the subsequent Gulf War, BAAF F-5s and F-16s first flew defensive missions on 25 January 1991 and began offensive operations the following day. The Gulf War ended on 28 February 1991.

A second batch of F-16s commenced delivery in 2000. The new aircraft were equipped to carry the AIM-120 AMRAAM missile, first used by the USAF in the Gulf War. The original batch of F-16s received will be upgraded to carry the AMRAAM also. In July 2000, Bahrain signed a deal with BAE Systems to establish a pilot academy based around the Hawk trainer - similar to the NFTC in Canada. Subsequently, orders were placed for Slingsby T.67 Fireflys and BAE Hawk 100 trainers. The first trainers were delivered in October 2006." [http://www.scramble.nl/bh.htm Royal Bahraini Air Force] ", Scramble on the Web.]

Bahrain will buy 9 UH-60M helicopters; according to Sikorsky’s June 2007 announcement, they will cost up to $204 million with included add-ons, spares, and support. The helicopters will be used in a variety of roles, including combat search and rescue.

Incidents and accidents

One F-16 was lost on 27 September 2003 when Lieutenant Colonel Abdulaziz Snan Al Dossary crashed in the Persian Gulf, 46 miles north of Bahrain. [ [http://www.f-16.net/f-16_fighting_falcon_airframe-4467.html F-16.net :: F-16 Airframe Details - RBAF F-16C # 204 ] ]

Strength

The RBAF operates a total of 73 aircraft, including 32 jet combat aircraft and 38 helicopters.

! style="text-align: left; background: #aacccc;"|Aircraft! style="text-align: left; background: #aacccc;"|Origin! style="text-align: left; background: #aacccc;"|Type! style="text-align: left; background: #aacccc;"|Versions! style="text-align: left; background: #aacccc;"|In service [ [http://www.milaviapress.com/orbat/bahrain/index.php Bahraini military aviation OrBat] ] ! style="text-align: left; background: #aacccc;"|Notes
-----
Agusta-Bell 212 Twin Huey
ITA
Utility helicopter
AB212
12

-----
Bell AH-1 Cobra
USA
Attack helicopter
Total
AH-1E
AH-1P
TAH-1P
24
10
6
6|
-----
British Aerospace Hawk
UK
Advanced Lead-In Fighter Trainer
Hawk 129
6
-----
Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon
USA
Fighter
Total
F-16C
F-16D
20
16
4 [ [http://www.milaviapress.com/orbat/bahrain/index.php Bahraini military aviation OrBat] ]

-----
MBB Bo 105
GER
Utility helicopter

3
Additional 2 Bo 105CBS-MSS operated by the navy.
-----
Northrop F-5E/F Tiger II
USA
Fighter
Total
F-5E
F-5F
12
8
4 [ [http://www.milaviapress.com/orbat/bahrain/index.php Bahraini military aviation OrBat] ]

-----
Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk
USA
Utility helicopter
UH-60L
1

-----
Slingsby T-67 Firefly
UK
Trainer
T-67M
3

In addition, the Bahraini police operate 2 Bell 412 helicopters as well as 1 Bell 427.

References

External links

* [http://www.xairforces.net/airforces.asp?id=29 - Royal Bahraini Air Force (RBAF) ]


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