Kuwait Government Aviation Unit

Operator Profile

History

Narrative Summary

A Government Aviation Unit was established circa 1973 for VIP transport.

Key Dates

1973?    Kuwait Government Aviation Unit first established.

Current Status

Kuwait Government aircraft are operated by Kuwait Airways under contract to the government.

Future Plans

No information.

Markings

National Insignia

Kuwait Government aircraft fly in a white and blue colour scheme, with the national flag and the insignia of Kuwait Airways on the fin. The country title STATE OF KUWAIT appears on the fuselage in English and Arabic script.

Aircraft Serial Numbers

All government aircraft carry civilian registrations in the 9K-Axx series.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used

Aircraft

Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designations used

Current Aircraft Inventory

Aircraft Type Total Del’d Total Active Still on Order Role
Airbus A300C4-620 1 1 0 VIP Transport
Airbus A310-608 1 1 0 VIP Transport
Airbus A320-212 1 1 0 VIP Transport
Boeing 747-400 1 1 0 VIP Transport
Gulfstream V 3 3 0 VIP Transport
Sikorsky S-92A 3 3 0 VIP Transport

All-Time Aircraft Used List

Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Out of Service Origin
Airbus A300C4-620 1 19?? current France
Airbus A310-608 1 1993 current France
Airbus A320-212 1 2004 current France
Boeing 727-269 1 1989 1999 USA
Boeing 737-200 1 1978 1982 USA
Boeing 747-400 1 19?? current USA
Gulfstream II 2 1980 1985 USA
Gulfstream III 2 1984 1993 USA
Gulfstream IV 3 1991? 2000 USA
Gulfstream V 3 2000 current USA
Hawker Siddeley HS.125-700B 2 1982 1990 UK
Lockheed Jetstar 8A 1 1973 1981 USA
McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 1 19?? 2000 USA
Sikorsky S-92A 3 2007 current USA

Aircraft NOT Used

No false reports known.

Organisation

Main Headquarters

Kuwait City.

Organisational Structure

All aircraft were based at Kuwait International Airport.

Current Order of Battle

Not applicable.

Historical Orders of Battle

Not applicable.

All-Time Flying Units List

Not applicable.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

All aircraft are now based at Kuwait International Airport.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

To be added.

More Information

Books

To be added

Magazines

To be added

Websites

airliners.net

planepictures.net

planespotters.net

Oman Royal Flight

Operator Profile

History

Narrative Summary

The Oman Royal Flight was first established circa 1974 to provide VIP Transport for Sultan. Helicopters were added in 1975. The Flight has expanded considerably since its formation.

Key Dates

1974    Oman Royal Flight first established.
1975    First helicopter acquired.

Current Status

The Royal Flight is currently taking delivery of new EC225 helicopters to replace the Super Pumas now passed to the Air Force.

Future Plans

No information.

Markings

National Insignia

Royal Flight aircraft carry a red and green fuselage cheetline and the national ‘crossed swords and dagger’ symbol in black on the forward fuselage. The national flag is used as a fin stripe. No service titles are carried.

Aircraft Serial Numbers

All Royal Flight aircraft carry civilian registrations in the A4O-xx or A4O-xxx series.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used

Aircraft

Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designations used

Current Aircraft Inventory

Aircraft Type Total Del’d Total Active Still on Order Role
Aerospatiale AS350 2 2 0 VIP Transport
Airbus A320-233 1 1 0 VIP Transport
Boeing 747-430 1 1 0 VIP Transport
Boeing 747SP-27 2 1 0 VIP Transport
Eurocopter EC225/EC225LP 6 6 0 VIP Transport
Gulfstream IV 2 2 0 VIP Transport

All-Time Aircraft Used List

Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Out of Service Origin
Aerospatiale SA330J Puma 4 1975 1997 France
Aerospatiale AS332C Super Puma 2 1982 2005 France
Aerospatiale AS332L1 Super Puma 1 1990 2002 France
Aerospatiale AS350 2 2005 current France
Agusta AB212 4 199? 1996 SOAF
Airbus A320-233 1 2005 current France
BAC VC10 1 1974 1987 UK
Boeing 747-430 1 2005 current USA
Boeing 747SP-27 2 1984 current USA
Dassault Falcon 20E 1 1980 1982 France
Eurocopter EC225/EC225LP 4/2 2007 current France
FFA AS.202 Bravo 2 1975 1997 Germany
Gulfstream II 2 1976 1992 USA
Gulfstream IV 2 1992 current USA
McDonnell Douglas DC-8-73CF 1 1981 1993 USA

Aircraft NOT Used

The ‘Dassault Falcon 10’ reportedly used was actually a Dassault Falcon 20E.

Organisation

Main Headquarters

Not known.

Organisational Structure

All aircraft were based at Seeb Airport.

Current Order of Battle

Not applicable.

Historical Orders of Battle

Not applicable.

All-Time Flying Units List

Not applicable.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

All aircraft are based at Seeb Airport.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

See above.

More Information

Books

To be added

Magazines

To be added

Websites

airliners.net

airliners.net

planepictures.net

planespotters.net

Qatar Amiri Flight

Operator Profile

History

Narrative Summary

The Qatar Amiri Flight was first established circa 1975 to provide VIP Transport for the Royal Family. The Flight has expanded considerably since its formation and now provides charter flights for many Qatari VIPs.

Key Dates

1975?    Qatar Amiri Flight first established.

Current Status

The aircraft of the Qatar Amiri Flight are maintained and flown by personnel from Qatar Airways.

Future Plans

No information.

Markings

National Insignia

Most Qatar Amiri Flight aircraft now fly in full Qatar Airways markings. No national markings are carried, except for a small national flag on the rear fuselage. No Amiri Flight titles are displayed. Until the 1990s, the aircraft flew in a redish-brown and white colour scheme with the ‘State of Qatar’ seal on the fin.

Aircraft Serial Numbers

All Qatar Amiri Flight aircraft carry civilian registrations in the A7-xxx series.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used

Aircraft

Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designations used

Current Aircraft Inventory

Aircraft Type Total Del’d Total Active Still on Order Role
Airbus A310-300 2 1 0 VIP Transport
Airbus A319-133X 1 1 0 VIP Transport
Airbus A320-232 1 1 0 VIP Transport
Airbus A330-203 2 2 0 VIP Transport
Airbus A340-211/313X 1/1 1 0 VIP Transport
Airbus A340-541 1 1 0 VIP Transport
Boeing 737-8KB 1 1 0 VIP Transport
Bombardier BD700 Global Express 2 2 0 VIP Transport
Canadair Challenger 300 1 1 0 VIP Transport

All-Time Aircraft Used List

Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Out of Service Origin
Airbus A310-300 2 1997 current France
Airbus A319-133X 1 2001 current France
Airbus A320-232 1 1999 current France
Airbus A330-203 2 2002 current France
Airbus A340-211/313X 1/1 1993 current France
Airbus A340-541 1 2006 current France
BAC VC10 1 1975 1981 BOAC
Boeing 707 2 1978 1999 USA
Boeing 727 1 1979 1997 USA
Boeing 737-8KB 1 2008 current USA
Boeing 747SP-21 2 1996 2007 USA
Bombardier BD700 Global Express 2 2003 current Canada
Canadair Challenger 300 1 2005 current Canada
Dassault Falcon 900 2 1991 2000 France
Hawker 800XP 1 2003 2004 USA

Aircraft NOT Used

Some reports confuse the Airbus A300 with the A310 that was actually used.

Organisation

Main Headquarters

Not known.

Organisational Structure

All aircraft were based at Doha International Airport.

Current Order of Battle

Not applicable.

Historical Orders of Battle

Not applicable.

All-Time Flying Units List

Not applicable.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

All aircraft are based at Doha International Airport.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

See above.

More Information

Books

To be added

Magazines

To be added

Websites

wikipedia: Qatar Amiri Flight

flickr: Qatar Amiri Flight

airliners.net

airliners.net

planepictures.net

planespotters.net

Bahrain Royal Flight

Operator Profile

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History

Narrative Summary

The Royal Flight operates a small number of aircraft for VIP transport. All aircraft carry civilian markings.

Key Dates

1981?    Establishment of Bahrain Amiri Royal Flight.
February 2002    Official name changed to Bahrain Royal Flight.

Current Status

The Royal Flight aircraft are used primarily for VIP transport.

Future Plans

Future procurement plans not known.

Markings

National Insignia

The national flag is carried as a fin flash. All aircraft carry the service title BAHRAIN in Arabic and English lettering on the upper fuselage sides (in place of the previous BAHRAIN AMIRI ROYAL FLIGHT titles).

Aircraft Serial Numbers

All Bahrain Royal Flight aircraft carry civilian registrations in the A9C-xx or A9C-xxx series.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used

Aircraft

Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designations used

Current Aircraft Inventory

Click on aircraft type for more details
Aircraft Type Total
Del'd
Total
Now
Still On
Order
Role
Bell 430110VIP Transport
Boeing 727-2M7110VIP Transport
Boeing 747-4P9110VIP Transport
Boeing 747SP210VIP Transport
Boeing 767-4SFER110VIP Transport
Gulfstream II(TT)110VIP Transport
Gulfstream IV110VIP Transport

All-Time Aircraft Used List

Click on aircraft type for more details
Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Retirement Origin
Airbus A340-212119941994France
Bell 43012001CurrentUSA
Boeing 727-2M711993CurrentUSA
Boeing 747-4P912003CurrentUSA
Boeing 747SP21998CurrentUSA
Boeing 767-4SFER12009CurrentUSA
Gulfstream II(TT)11981CurrentUSA
Gulfstream III119831999USA
Gulfstream IV12000CurrentUSA

Aircraft NOT Used

No false reports known.

Organisation

Main Headquarters

BAHRAIN ROYAL FLIGHT, PO Box 245, Manama, Bahrain.

Organisational Structure

The Royal Flight is organised into the VIP Fixed Wing Squadron and the VIP Helicopter Squadron.

Current Order of Battle

Not applicable.

Historical Orders of Battle

Not applicable.

All-Time Flying Units List

Not applicable.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

All aircraft are based at Shaikh Isa Air Base.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

The Royal Flight was initially formed at Bahrain International Airport (Manama), but moved to Shaikh Isa AB circa 1990.

More Information

Books

Bahrain Aviation Bibliography – to be added

Magazines

No feature articles known.

Websites

airliners.net

airliners.net

planepictures.net

planespotters.net

Any further photographs illustrating this air arm would be welcome.

Royal Bahraini Air Force

Operator Profile

History

Narrative Summary

Upon the independence of Bahrain in 1971, the primary security force in the country was Bahrain Public Security, formerly known as the Bahrain State Police. This organisation possessed a small Flying Wing which operated two helicopters.

An all-service military organisation called the Bahrain Defense Force (BDF) was established soon after independence. The BDF formed an Air Wing in 1976, in order to operate two MBB Bo 105C helicopters for liaison and communications duties. A third Bo 105C was later acquired. The BDF and Bahrain Public Security maintained close relations, with personnel and helicopters frequently working together. Bell 412 and Sikorsky S-76 helicopters were specifically acquired for a dual Police/Air Wing role. All flying was conducted from Bahrain International Airport at Manama.

Plans were soon formulated for an expansion into jet fighter operation, but an initial application to the USA for F-5E aircraft was refused by the Carter administration. The incoming Reagan administration took a different view. Bahrain’s interest in the Northrop F-20A Tigershark was welcomed, but the proposed order was too small to justify starting production of this new type and the F-5E was offered instead. An agreement for the procurement of a squadron of F-5E/F Tiger II fighters was signed in 1985, and deliveries commenced before the end of the same year.

In the meantime, in 1984, the Gulf Co-operation Council had agreed to fund the construction of a large modern air base in the south of Sitra island, which would be ideal for the new fighter unit and also available for the use of other GCC members. Unfortunately, economic difficulties in Saudi Arabia – the main contributor to the GCC – caused delays in funding for the project. It wasn’t until the US stepped in with material assistance in 1987 that construction got underway. The F-5s were moved to the new base, known as a Shaikh Isa Air Base, as soon as it was completed.

In 1987, the BDF was reorganised 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. Following constitutional changes in the country, in February 2002 the official name of the air force was changed to Royal Bahraini Air Force (RBAF).

Key Dates

1976    Bahrain Defense Force Air Wing established
December 1985    First jet fighters delivered
1987    BDF Air Wing renamed Bahrain Amiri Air Force
1987    Construction of Shaikh Isa Air Base started
1990    First F-16s delivered
26 January 1991    First offensive missions flown by BAAF in Gulf War
October 2000    Second batch of F-16s delivered
January 2002    BAE SYSTEMS contracted to establish Flying Training School for RBAF
February 2002    Official name changed to Royal Bahraini Air Force

Current Status

To be added.

Future Plans

No future procurement plans known.

F-16C serial 111 photographed
at Muharraq in 1991 (photo, John Cotterill)

Markings

National Insignia

Current — Historical

Aircraft Serial Numbers

1976-1985
Helicopers procured for the BDF Air Wing carried a three figure serial number prefixed by the letters BDF, eg: BDF-761, where the first two numbers represent the year of procurement, in this case 1976, and the last number was taken from an overall sequence which did not reset at the start of each year.

1985-Present
From 1985, a new military serialling system was introduced. This comprised a three-digit serial number without any prefix letters. The numbers are not issued sequentially and feature ‘blackout’ blocks of skipped-over numbers, eg: 152 and 154 are consecutive deliveries of F-16Ds.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used

Aircraft

Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designations used.

Current Aircraft Inventory

Table of Current Service Aircraft

All-Time Aircraft Used List

All-Time Table of Aircraft Used

Aircraft NOT Used

False reports of aircraft on order or in service

Organisation

Main Headquarters

Royal Bahraini Air Force, Air Operations Centre, P.O. Box 245, Bahrain.

Organisational Structure

The Royal Bahraini Air Force is divided ten squadrons of aircraft and helicopters, located at two main air bases. Fixed wing aircraft are based at Shaikh Isa AB and rotary wing aircraft at Rifa’a.

Current Order of Battle

Table of Current Order of Battle

Historical Orders of Battle

Table of Historical Orders of Battle

All-Time Flying Units List

1st Fighter Squadron
2nd Fighter Squadron
3 Squadron
4 Squadron
5 Squadron [Navy]
6th Fighter Squadron
7 Squadron
8 Squadron
9 Squadron
10 Squadron

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

Air bases currently used are Shaikh Isa and Rifa’a.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

Air bases currently used are Shaikh Isa and Rifa’a. Prior to the opening of Shaikh Isa, Manama Airport was used by the Air Force.
Military Air Bases Listing

More Information

Books

Bahrain Aviation Bibliography – to be added

Magazines

World Air Power Journal Vol 26 Autumn 1996 p.112-115 (photo feature)

Websites

Bahrain Air Force

wikipedia: Royal Bahraini Air Force

militaryphotos.net

Any further photographs illustrating this air arm would be welcome.

Bahrain Public Security Flying Wing

Operator Profile

History

Narrative Summary

The Bahrain State Police was first established in 1962, to look after internal security matters. In June 1965 it acquired its first helicopter, a Westland Scout. A second Scout was obtained the following year. At independence from Britain in 1971, the force was renamed Bahrain Public Security and it subsequently became a component of the Bahrain Defense Force. Further helicopters were acquired for the Flying Wing. The BPS remains an all-helicopter force which maintains close co-operation with the Royal Bahraini Air Force and Royal Bahraini Navy.

Key Dates

1962    Bahrain State Police first established.
June 1965    First helicopter acquired.
1971    Bahrain State Police renamed Bahrain Public Security.

Current Status

BPS helicopters are currently used for various policing and internal security tasks.

Future Plans

No future procurement plans known.

Markings

National Insignia

The same national markings as the Air Force are carried. The service title BAHRAIN PUBLIC SECURITY is displayed in Arabic and English on the fuselage sides.

Aircraft Serial Numbers

All police aircraft carry police specific serial numbers. The first two helicopters acquired used the serial prefix BSP (for Bahrain State Police) followed by a single digit sequence number eg: BSP-1. Helicopters acquired after independence used the serial prefix BPS (for Bahrain Public Security) followed by a single digit sequence number which followed on from those previously allocated eg: BPS-3. By about 1980, the numbers 1 to 9 had been used up, and a new two-digit numbering sequence commencing at 01 was initiated eg: BPS-03.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used

Aircraft

Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designations used

Current Aircraft Inventory

Click on aircraft type for more details

Aircraft Type Total Del’d Total Active Still on Order Role
Bell 412 2 1 0 Policing/Transport
Bell 412SP 1 1 0 Policing/Transport

All-Time Aircraft Used List

All-Time Table of Aircraft Used

Aircraft NOT Used

A Bell 407 was reported delivered in 2001. This was actually a Bell 427.

Organisation

Main Headquarters

Sheikh Isa Air Base.

Organisational Structure

Not applicable.

Current Order of Battle

Not applicable.

Historical Orders of Battle

Not applicable.

All-Time Flying Units List

Not applicable.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

By 2002 all helicopters were based at Sheikh Isa Air Base.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

The initial Flying Wing base was Manama Fort, near the capital, but circa 2002 a move was made to Sheikh Isa AB.

More Information

Books

Bahrain Aviation Bibliography – to be added

Magazines

No feature articles found.

Websites

Official Bahrain Ministry of the Interior website

Any photographs illustrating this air arm would be welcome.

Royal Bahraini Navy Air Arm

Operator Profile

History

Narrative Summary

The Royal Bahraini Navy was first established in the 1970s as the Naval branch of the Bahrain Defense Force, to monitor shipping routes around the islands of the Bahrain archipelago. In 1987, the title Bahrain Amiri Navy was formally adopted. In 1994 the first helicopters were ordered and delivery took place soon after. In 2002 the official name was changed to Royal Bahraini Navy. The Navy air arm remains an all-helicopter force.

Key Dates

1971?    Bahrain Defense Force first established.
1987    BDF naval branch renamed Bahrain Amiri Navy.
1994    First helicopters acquired.
Feb 2002    Bahrain Amiri Navy renamed Royal Bahraini Navy.

Current Status

The Royal Bahraini Navy operates two fast attack craft and an ex-US Navy frigate which can embark helicopters. The helicopters are currently used for maritime surveillance and Search-and-Rescue tasks.

Future Plans

No future procurement plans known.

Markings

National Insignia

The Navy uses the same roundel and fin flash as the Amiri Air Force. The service titles ROYAL BAHRAINI NAVY are carried in Arabic and English on the fuselage sides, replacing the previous BAHRAIN AMIRI NAVY titles.

Aircraft Serial Numbers

The Navy uses the same three-digit numerical sequence system as the Air Force eg: 511.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used

Aircraft

Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designations used

Current Aircraft Inventory

Click on aircraft type for more details

Aircraft Type Total Del’d Total Active Still on Order Role
MBB Bo 105CBS 2 2 0 Maritime Patrol/SAR

All-Time Aircraft Used List

Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Out of Service Origin
MBB Bo 105CBS 2 1994 current Germany

Aircraft NOT Used

No false reports known.

Organisation

Main Headquarters

Manama.

Organisational Structure

The Navy’s single helicopter squadron is co-located with the Air Force’s helicopter units at Rifa’a on Bahrain Island.

Current Order of Battle

Click on unit title for more details

Squadron Type Base
5 Squadron MBB Bo 105CBS Rifa’a

Historical Orders of Battle

Not applicable.

All-Time Flying Units List

Not applicable.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

All helicopters are based at Rifa’a on Bahrain Island.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

To be added

More Information

Books

Bahrain Aviation Bibliography – to be added

Magazines

No feature articles known.

Websites

wikipedia: Royal Bahrain Naval Force

Any photographs illustrating this air arm would be welcome.