Armed Forces of Malta

Operator Profile

History

Narrative Summary

Air Wing History

Key Dates

Air Wing Timeline

Current Status

Malta does not have conscription, and consequently, the Air Wing is manned by professionals. The main tasks are coastal patrol, communications, search and rescue and medical evacuation flights.

Future Plans

None known.

Markings

National Insignia

CurrentHistorical

Aircraft Serial Numbers

1972-2000
All Maltese military aircraft were initially allocated civilian registrations on the Maltese civil aircraft register. For example, the single Agusta-Bell AB.206A was registered 9H-AAJ.

2000-Present
In May 2000, a new military serialling system was introduced. This comprised a four-digit serial number prefixed by the letters ‘AS’ for Air Squadron. The first two digits indicate the year of introduction into service and the second two being the overall sequence number. Thus Bulldog AS0020 was acquired in the year 2000 and was the 20th aircraft to be operated by Malta.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used

Aircraft

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

One Eurocopter UH-72A Lakota was ordered from the US production line in 2008, but this order was deferred in April 2009 and eventually cancelled.

Aircraft Losses and Incidents

None known.

Organisation

Main Headquarters

St Patrick’s Barracks, Luqa.

Organisational Structure

Malta has no defence ministry so the AFM reports directly to the Prime Minister. The AFM originally comprised 3 numbered Regiments, of which the second had the Air Squadron attached to it. The 2nd Regiment comprised Air Defence Artillery, Aviation and Maritime units. In October 2006 the 2nd Regiment was disbanded and its subordinate units given greater autonomy. The Air Squadron was enlarged into an Air Wing to take on more maritime security duties. It currently comprises a helicopter flight and a fixed-wing flight.

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

Not applicable.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

All aircraft and helicopters are currently based at Luqa International Airport.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

The Helicopter Flight was initially based at St Patrick’s Barracks but later moved to Luqa. The British established a number of airfields around the country, and some may still be in civilian use.

Malta Air Bases Listing – to be added.

More Information

Books

Aerospace Encyclopedia of World Air Forces (Aerospace, 1999)

Magazines

World Air Power Journal No.5 p.146
World Air Power Journal No.9 p.22-23
World Air Power Journal No.10 p.18
Air Action No.37 p.30-31
Air Forces Monthly January 1997 p.23-25
Air International July 1996
Air Pictorial April 2002

Websites

wikipedia: Air Wing of the Armed Forces of Malta

Official Armed Forces of Malta Website

2nd Regiment Armed Forces of Malta Unofficial Website (Password: St. Barbara)

Aviation in Malta AFM Page

Key Dates
Armed Forces of Malta

Key Dates:
October 1971    First Maltese personnel go to West Germany for helicopter training
May 1972    Helicopter Flight of The Malta Land Force (MLF) established
19 April 1973    Renamed the Helicopter Flight of the Armed Forces of Malta (AFM)
April 1979    Helicopter Flight moves to Luqa Airport
1 April 1980    Helicopter Flight Malta Task Force
August 1980    Libyan assistance withdrawn
11 May 1988    Reverted to previous title
February 1992    First fixed-wing aircraft received
22 July 1992    Renamed Air Squadron, Armed Forces of Malta
31 October 2006    Renamed Air Wing, Armed Forces of Malta

AgustaWestland AW139
in Armed Forces of Malta service

History

One Italian-built AgustaWestland AW139 was ordered in July 2013, with 2 options. A second example was ordered in April 2014, and the third option was exercised in July 2015.

Individual Details

Serial c/no. Prev. Identity Delivered Fate/Notes
AS1428 31560   8 Aug 2014  
AS1429 31595   Dec 2014  
      2016  

Pictures

None available at present.

More Information

References

Other Sources

To be added.

Beech Super King Air 200
in Armed Forces of Malta service

History

Two Beech Super King Air 200s delivered in 2011 and 2012 respectively, after having special mission equipment fitted.

Individual Details

Serial c/no. Prev. Identity Delivered Fate/Notes
AS1126 BB-2016 N6316K, D-IMPA Feb 2011  
AS1227 BB-2018 N8018J, D-IMPB 2012  

Pictures

None available at present.

More Information

References

  • European Air Forces Directory 2012/13 (Mach III)
  • Scramble Military Database

Other Sources

To be added.

CASA C-212
in Armed Forces of Malta service

History

One former Swedish Navy CASA C-212 (Tp 89) delivered in July 2009. Withdrawn by Sept 2010.

Individual Details

Serial c/no. Prev. Identity Delivered Fate/Notes
AS0925 139 89001 Jul 2009 wfu by Sept 2010. Stored Luxembourg Sept 2010.

Pictures

None available at the moment.

More Information

References

  • European Air Forces Directory 2012/13 (Mach III)
  • Scramble Military Database

Other Sources

To be added.

Bell 47G-2
in Armed Forces of Malta service

History

One Bell 47G-2 donated by West Germany (ex-HEER) and delivered in May 1972. Used for patrol and Search & Rescue duties. Overhauled at Bergamo, Italy 1975-mid 1976.

Individual Details

Serial c/no. Prev. Identity Delivered Fate/Notes
AS7204 1991 74+35 1972 Initially serialled 9H-AAH. stored Feb 2002

Pictures

None available at the moment.

More Information

References

  • World Air Power Journal No.9
  • European Air Forces Directory 2001/02 (Mach III)
  • European Air Arms 2004 (Mach III)
  • European Air Forces Directory 2005/06 (Mach III)
  • European Air Forces Directory 2012/13 (Mach III)
  • Scramble Military Database

Other Sources

To be added.

Britten-Norman BN-2B-26 Islander
in Armed Forces of Malta service

History

One BN.2B-26 Islander acquired second-hand from the civil market and delivered in December 1995. Later modified with a larger nose to house a search radar. A second example, (a BN-2T), was brought at the end of 1997 and modified to BN-2B-26 standard by PBN before being delivered in 1998. No radar is fitted on the second aircraft. Used for patrolling the fishing zone, monitoring pollution, and anti-smuggling and airborne policing duties.

Individual Details

Serial c/no. Prev. Identity Delivered Fate/Notes
AS9516 2159   1995 Initially serialled 9H-ACU.
AS9819 2156 G-LIPP 1998 Initially serialled 9H-ADF.

Pictures

Islander AS9516 with radar nose.
(photo: Flight Sgt. Larry Spiteri via armedforcesofmalta.com)

More Information

References

  • World Air Power Journal No.9
  • European Air Forces Directory 2001/02 (Mach III)
  • Air Pictorial April 2002
  • World Air Power Journal No.37 p.5
  • European Air Forces Directory 2005/06 (Mach III)
  • European Air Forces Directory 2012/13 (Mach III)
  • Scramble Military Database

Other Sources

To be added.