Britten-Norman BN2B-21 Maritime Defender
in Cyprus Air Command service

History

The BN-2B-21 Maritime Defender is similar in design to the BN-2T and was acquired for use coastal patrol and general transport duties.
Only one aircraft of this type was acquired in late 1984, although it was returned to Britain in 1999 for repair and refurbishment.

The type was supplied with basic armaments, and can also be used to tow aerial targets for training air-defences. It was retired in March 2012.

Individual Details

Serial c/no. Prev. Identity Delivered Fate/Notes
5B-ICV 2106 5B-CFP 18 Dec 1984 ex G-BIXC, G-MICV. To 12106 from June 1990 then back to 5B-ICV. wfu March 2012

Pictures

None at present.

More Information

References

  • World Air Power Journal No.5 p.142
  • European Air Forces Directory 2003/04 (Mach III)
  • European Air Forces Directory 2005/06 (Mach III)
  • European Air Forces Directory 2012/13 (Mach III)

Other Sources

To be added.

Aircraft Not Used
Cyprus Air Command

This page gives details of some of the aircraft types that were offered or promised to the Cyprus Air Force but not delivered, cancelled official orders, and types have been falsely reported as being in service.

Bell 206B JetRanger
Reports of the Cyprus Air Force operating the Bell 206B are due to the similarity of this type with the 206L LongRanger, which is actually operated.

Bell 412
In late 2001, a $22 million US dollar motion to procure 4 Bell 412EP medium-transport helicopters was vetoed by the Cypriot House of Representatives. Existing political tensions between the two leading parties, DISY and AKEL, further exacerbated by a standing US embargo on arms to Cyprus, forced the purchase to be abandoned.

Hughes 369
Two Hughes 369/Hughes 500 have been frequently reported to be operated by the Cyprus Air Force. In fact these two helicopters are Argentine Air Force machines operated on behalf of UNFICYP in full United Nations markings.

Furthermore, since 1970, Cyprus has utilised the service of two training and observation helicopters of the Hellenic Army, supplied via the ELDYK garrison. The type, initially, was the Hughes 369, though these were returned to Greece in 1972, and later replaced two or three times with McDonnell Douglas MD-500 Defenders. Since operation and control of the aircraft unit lay within the local jurisdiction of the Hellenic Army, the type was very rarely seen in active Cypriot military deployment, despite being armed, and was retained for training only. The status of MD-500 contribution in now unclear.

Kamov Ka-32 Helix
The Ka-32 Helix is an unusual double co-axial rotor aircraft from Kamov of Russia. A total of 2 aircraft were leased by the Cyprus Government from the Ukraine in 2001 for 16-month trials to assess it as a new helicopter for the armed forces. The main requirement for the new aircraft type totalled 3 units capable of fighting forest-fires during peace-time, while also performing short-to-medium range patrol and light transport duties for the armed forces and coastguard.
Both aircraft are still currently in Cyprus and are based at Larnaca International Airport. It is not clear how long they are due to stay in the country and whether or not the type itself would be procured.

MDH MD500
Two MD500 have been wrongly reported as being operated by the Cyprus Air Force. Possibly due to confusion with the Hughes 369, see above.

Mil Mi-2
Reports of the Mi-2 being in service with the Cyprus Air Force are due to confusion with the PZL-Swidnik W-3 Kania, a derivative of the Mi-2.

Mil Mi-2
In 2002 a discrete purchase of 3 Mil Mi-17 Hip-H transport helicopters failed to reach completion.

Bell UH-1H Iroquois
in Cyprus Air Command service

History

Two Bell UH-1H Iroquois were leased from the Greek Army from March 2001 as a stop-gap pending the arrival of up to 7 new transport helicopters expected before 2005. In 2004 a further 2 examples were leased, (plus a single Italian-built AB205). They appear to have been returned to Greece in late 2005.
The Bell UH-1H is a medium-weight utility helicopter designed in the Vietnam war-era to transport up to 15 troops onto the battlefield while carrying self-defensive weapons on mounted pylons.
The Bell UH-1Hs leased from the Greek Army were later grounded after major threats of sanctions by the US, and were returned before a replacement arrived.

Individual Details

Serial c/no. Prev. Identity Delivered Fate/Notes
EΣ-617       first noted June 2004
EΣ-623     Mar 2001 first noted Oct 2002
EΣ-632       noted July 2005
EΣ-678     Mar 2001 first noted Oct 2002

Pictures

None at present.

More Information

References

  • European Air Forces Directory 2003/04 (Mach III)
  • European Air Forces Directory 2005/06 (Mach III)
  • European Air Forces Directory 2012/13 (Mach III)

Other Sources

To be added.

Aerospatiale SA 342L Gazelle
in Cyprus Air Command service

History

The French-made SA 342L1 Gazelle Eurocopter once formed the backbone of the Cyprus Air Force, and is still in service today as a light anti-tank and scout helicopter. Its main base is Lakatamia. It was first ordered in June 1987, and deliveries were taking place by January 1988.
A total of 6 aircraft were ordered in the initial batch, though only 4 were initially delivered.
The main weapon of the SA-342L Gazelle is the HOT wire-guided anti-tank missile, with a total of 4 per aircraft. The Gazelle can also carry up to 3 passengers.
The missing construction numbers should come from the following candidates: 2202, 2203, 2204.

Individual Details

Serial c/no. Prev. Identity Delivered Fate/Notes
351 ?   ?  
352 2193   1988 photo Air Fan Oct 1995.
353 2196   1988 first noted Feb 1990
354 2197   1988 first noted Aug 1993
355 2199   1988 first noted Nov 1988, photo
356 ?   1988 first noted Aug 1993, photo

Pictures

Gazelle with HOT missiles.
(photo: Cyprus Air Force)

More Information

References

  • World Air Power Journal No.25 p.5
  • European Air Forces Directory 2003/04 (Mach III)
  • European Air Forces Directory 2005/06 (Mach III)
  • European Air Forces Directory 2012/13 (Mach III)
  • Air Forces Monthly Oct 2003 p57

Other Sources

To be added.