Royal Air Force of Oman

Operator Profile

Key Facts

Current Title:
al-Quwwat al-Jawwiya al-Sultanat Oman
English Title:
Royal Air Force of Oman
First Established:
ICAO Code:


Narrative Summary

Military aviation started in Muscat and Oman in 1959 with the formation of the Sultan of Oman’s Air Force (SOAF). Initially intended for policing duties it was largely manned by ex-RAF personnel. The start of the Dhofar rebellion in the 1960s lead to a rapid expansion of the air arm and a re-orientation towards counter-insurgency operations. Jet light attack aircraft and helicopters were acquired. In 1990 the SOAF was renamed the Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO).

Key Dates

March 1959    Sultan of Oman’s Air Force first formed
1969    First jet aircraft delivered – Strikemaster
1970    First helicopters received – Wessex
1990    Renamed Royal Air Force of Oman

Current Status

To be added.

Future Plans

Replacement of AB205 and Super Puma with 20 NHI NH-90s.

One C-130J is also order.


National Insignia

Current — Historical

Aircraft Serial Numbers

Early SOAF aircraft retained their former RAF/Army Air Corps serial numbers. In the late 1960s a three-digit serial numbering system was introduced, in the range 100-999, e.g. C-47 501. Numbers are reused as aircraft types are retired.

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

An order for 8 Panavia Tornado F.3s was placed in 1985, but cancelled in 1990. The ‘Dassault Falcon 10’ reportedly used by No.4 Sqn was actually a Royal Flight Dassault Falcon 20. Dornier Do 228 aircraft reported to be in RAFO service are actually Police Air Wing aircraft.


Main Headquarters

Muaskar al-Murtafa.

Organisational Structure

The RAFO is organised along British Royal Air Force lines, with aircraft currently grouped into 11 separate Squadrons.

Current Order of Battle

Table of Current Order of Battle

Historical Orders of Battle

List of Historical Orders of Battle – to be added.

All-Time Flying Units List

To be added.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

The main air bases currently used are Al Musanah, Masirah, Salalah, Seeb and Thumrait.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

A new base has been constructed at Al Musanah, and consequently the use of Seeb Airport will eventually be discontinued.
Military Air Bases Listing – to be added.

More Information


Oman Military Aviation Bibliography – to be added.


Combat Aircraft magazine


Official Oman Air Force webpage

wikipedia: Oman Air Force

Scramble: Oman Air Force

Air-Britain Photos: Oman Air Force

A few pictures from The Sultan of Oman’s Air Force

Photographs of The Sultan’s Armed Forces

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