Royal Brunei Air Force

Operator Profile

Key Facts

Current Title:
Tentera Udara Diraja Brunei
English Title:
Royal Brunei Air Force
First Established:
ICAO Code:


Narrative Summary

The present Royal Brunei Air Force was first established in May 1965 with the creation of an Air Service for the Royal Brunei Malay Regiment. Initially equipped with three Whirlwind helicopters flown by foreign pilots under contract, the unit transported army doctors to remote areas. In 1966 the Whirlwinds were replaced by three Wessex 54 helicopters manned by British RAF crews and the unit became known as the Helicopter Platoon. In the following year five Bell 206 JetRanger helicopters were received. In 1971 the first fixed-wing aircraft was delivered, a H.S.748 transport. In late 1972, the Royal Brunei Malay Regiment was reorganised, and the Helicopter Platoon became the Air Wing.

The First Squadron was formed around the Bell 206 unit and a Piper Cherokee light aircraft was obtained in 1976. In 1980 the Air Technical Training School was established. A Second Squadron was formed in 1981 with the MBB Bo 105 and a Third Squadron in 1982 with SF-260 light attack aircraft. After formal independence from Britain on 1 January 1984 the country became responsible for its own defence. The personnel strength of the Air Wing was expanded considerably and on 1 October 1991 it was renamed the Royal Brunei Air Force.

In 1997 an influx of new equipment allowed two more squadrons, numbers Four and Five, to be established and the re-equipment of the Third Squadron. In November 2011 the biggest aircraft order to date, for twelve S-70i Black Hawk helicopters, was announced. Delivery from 2013 is enabling a significant growth in the capability of the RBAF.

Key Dates

May 1965 Air Service of the Royal Brunei Malay Regiment established.
March 1984 Air Wing of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces.
1 October 1991 Royal Brunei Air Force.

Current Status

All RBAF aircraft and helicopters currently are currently active.

Future Plans

Acquire one C-130J for transport duties.


National Insignia


Aircraft Serial Numbers

All RBAF aircraft are allocated a three-digit serial number. This is prefixed with a four or five service identifier, which has changed over time:
AMDB (May 1965- March 1984)
ABDB (March 1984- September 1991)
ATU DB (October 1991- ? 2005)
TUDB (? 2005+)


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

Instructional Airframes

To be added.

Aircraft NOT Used

False reports of aircraft on order or in service


Main Headquarters

HQ RBAF, Ministry of Defence (MINDEF), Bolkiah Garrison, Government Building and Capitol Building, BB3510, Brunei Muara. Brunei Darussalam, Brunei.

Organisational Structure

The Air Force is divided into 5 Wings: Operation Wing (front-line aircraft), Air Regiment (air defence missiles and base ground defence), Logistics Wing (maintenance and technical support), Training Wing (training and standards evaluation), Administration Wing (back office duties). Only the Operation and Training Wings operate aircraft. There are five flying squadrons.

Current Order of Battle

Table of Current Order of Battle

Historical Orders of Battle

Historical Order of Battle for 2002

All-Time Flying Units List

Operation Wing
Training Wing
1 Squadron
2 Squadron
3 Squadron
4 Squadron
5 Squadron

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

The main air bases currently used is Rimba Air Base, situated within Brunei International Airport.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

Apart from the main base, there is only one other airfield in Brunei. The RBAF also operates helicopters from warships of the Royal Brunei Navy.
Military Air Bases Listing

Aircraft-Carrying Ships Listing

More Information


Brunei Military Aviation Bibliography – to be added.


To be added


Official Homepage of the Royal Brunei Air Force

wikipedia: Royal Brunei Air Force

Scramble: Royal Brunei Air Force

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