Papua New Guinea Defence Force

Operator Profile

Key Facts

Current Title:
Papua New Guinea Defence Force
English Title:
Papua New Guinea Defence Force
First Established:
ICAO Code:
Papua New Guinea


Narrative Summary

The Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF) was first formed in January 1973 from the existing Australian Army land forces units serving in the Territory of Papua New Guinea at that time. These primarily consisted of infantry units of native soldiers with Australian officers and NCOs. An Air Operations Element, (originally called the Air Transport Wing), was created in 1975, shortly before independence was achieved in September 1975. The first aircraft being three C-47 Dakotas donated by Australia.

Key Dates

January 1973    Formation of PNG Defence Force
1975   Formation of Air Transport Wing
19??   Air Transport Wing renamed Air Operations Element

Current Status

The aircraft of the PNG DF Air Operations Element are fully operational.

Future Plans

No information available.


National Insignia


Aircraft Serial Numbers

PNG military aircraft carry three-digit or four-digit serial numbers commencing with 001, and prefixed by the Papua New Guinea civil aircraft registration prefix, P2. The second digit of the serial indicates the aircraft type: 0 = C-47, 1 = Aztec/Nomad, 2 = Arava, 3 = Bo 105?, 4 = UH-1H, 5 = CN-235. An example is: CN-235 P2-0502.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used


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 in Service

Aircraft Losses and Incidents

None known.


Main Headquarters

Papua New Guinea Defence Force, Murray Barracks, Port Moresby.

Organisational Structure

The Air Operations Element currently has no subsidiary units.

Current Order of Battle

Table of Current Order of Battle

Historical Orders of Battle

Historical Order of Battle for 1990

All-Time Flying Units List

Air Transport Squadron

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

All current PNG DF aircraft and helicopters are based at Jacksons International Airport, Port Moresby. The military base is on the other side of the runway to the civilian operators.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

The PNG DF has previously used five air bases: Lae, Madang, Port Moresby, Rabaul and Wewak. The main air base was at Lae, with the a secondary base at Port Moresby. After Lae City airport was closed, the main base moved to Port Moresby.

More Information


None known.


To be added.


PNG Defence Force
wikipedia: Papua New Guinea Defence Force
Papua New Guinea Defence Force Air Wing

Any photographs illustrating this air arm would be welcome.

Leave a Comment