Eritrean Air Force

Operator Profile


Narrative Summary

Eritrean gained its independence from Ethiopia in 1993. During the independence war, a number of aircraft and helicopters were captured from Ethiopia. In 1994 an Eritrean Air Force was formally established. The first equipment comprised former Ethiopian Air Force aircraft. To enable a full range of operational capabilities, transport aircraft were obtained from China and training aircraft from Finland and Italy. Following the acquisition of Su-27s by Ethiopia in 1998, a batch of MiG-29s was delivered to maintain military parity.

Key Dates

1994    Eritrean Air Force first established

Current Status

The Eritrean Air Force is fully operational.

Future Plans

To be added.


National Insignia

To be added.

Aircraft Serial Numbers

The Eritrean Air Force serial numbering system normally consists of a three digit number plus the prefix ‘ERAF-‘ or ‘ER-‘. Trainer aircraft appear to carry no serial prefix. e.g. ER-102 for MiG-21, ERAF-301 for Mi-17 and 404 for MB339.

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

To be added.


Main Headquarters


Organisational Structure

The ErAF is organised into 8 Squadrons of aircraft.

Current Order of Battle

Table of Current Order of Battle

Historical Orders of Battle

To be added.

All-Time Flying Units List

1 Squadron
2 Squadron
3 Squadron
4 Squadron
5 Squadron
6 Squadron
7 Squadron
8 Squadron

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

See current order of battle.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

To be added.

More Information


African Air Forces by Winston Brent (Freeworld Publications)

World Air Forces Directory 2013/14 by Ian Carroll (Mach III)


To be added.


Pictures of the Eritrean Air Force

wikipedia: Eritrean Air Force

Scramble: Eritrea

All-Time Aircraft Used List
Eritrean Air Force

Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Out of Service Origin
Beech Super King Air 200 1 2005 current USA
IAI 1125 Astra 1 1993 1997 Israel
Dornier Do 28 4 2004 ? contractor
Lockheed T-33A ? 9 19?? 19?? Ethiopian AF
Aermacchi MB339 6 1997 current Italy
Mikoyan-Gurevitch MiG-21 ‘Fishbed’ 6 1991 1998 Ethiopian AF
Mikoyan-Gurevitch MiG-23 ‘Flogger’ 1 1998 1998 Ethiopian AF
Mikoyan-Gurevitch MiG-29 ‘Fulcrum’ 9 1998 current Russia
Sukhoi Su-27 ‘Flanker’ 2 2003 current ?
Agusta-Bell AB412 4 2000 current Italy
Mil Mi-8 ‘Hip’ 2 19?? current Ethiopian AF
Mil Mi-17 ‘Hip’ 4 2000 current Ethiopian AF
Mil Mi-24 ‘Hind’ 4 1996 current ?
Harbin Y-12 4 1993 current China
Valmet L-90TP Redigo 8 1994 current Finland

Current Aircraft Inventory
Eritrean Air Force

Aircraft Type Total Del’d Total Active Still on Order Role
Mikoyan-Gurevitch MiG-29 9 5 0 Fighter-Bomber
Sukhoi Su-27 2 2 0 Fighter-Bomber
Beech Super King Air 200 1 1 0 Transport
Harbin Y-12 4 4 0 Transport
Agusta-Bell AB412 4 3 0 Utility
Mil Mi-17 ‘Hip’ 6 6 0 Utility
Mil Mi-24/35 ‘Hind’ 6 6 0 Attack
Valmet L-90TP Redigo 8 8 0 Trainer
Aermacchi MB339 6 5 0 Trainer/Attack



Country Profile

The Country


Details to be added.

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National History

Summary Narrative History

Timeline – Key Dates in Eritrea History

Further National Information

BBC News Profile: Eritrea
wikipedia: Eritrea
wikipedia: History of Eritrea


Text to be added on the development of aviation in Eritrea.


Civil Aircraft Registrations

Prior to independence, civil aircraft based in Eritrea used the Ethiopian civil aircraft register. After secession in 1991 the prefix ER-xxx was adopted. Since formal independence in 1993 the registration sequence E3-AAA to E3-ZZZ has been used.

All-time Eritrea – civil aircraft register (E3-aaa).
[Get involved with the Aeroflight Cloud.]

Aircraft Operators

Military Air Arms

Air Force (Eritrean Air Force)

Central Government Agencies

Government Aviation – the Presidential aircraft is operated by the Air Force

Public Service Aviation

Medical Aviation – no EMS/Rescue helicopter service
Police Aviation (Eritrean Police Force) – no aviation unit

Commercial Aviation

Air Eritrea

wikipedia: Airlines of Eritrea
The World’s Airlines: Eritrea

Private Aviation

To be added


Aircraft Manufacturers

None at present.

Aircraft Maintenance/Repair Depots

None known.


Civil Airports & Airfields

Airports in Eritrea

Military Air Bases & Airfields

Military Air Bases Listing – to be added.

On Show

Aviation Museums

Expo Park, Asmara

Airshow Dates

Key Airshow Dates

More Information

Aviation-Related Magazines

None known.

Aviation Bibliography

To be added

Web Links

To be added.