Dutch Air Force
Aeroflight Home Page
 World Air Forces
Back to Netherlands Index Page

Air Force

Current Title: Konninklijke Luchtmacht
Title in English: Royal Netherlands Air Force
Abbreviation: KLu


Narrative Summary:
1910 military aviation committee established, four army officers sent for flying training in Belgium. Sept 1911 first experiments with military use of civil owned aircraft. 1st July 1913 Aviation Division (Luchtvaart Afdeling) of Royal Netherlands Army formed. 1 Nov 1938 the Army's Aviation Division becomes the Army Air Service (Wapen Der Militaire Luchtvaart - LSK) with complete reorganisation and expansion. Sept 1939 aircraft dispersed around the country and neutrality patrols mounted. Following May 1940 German attack, survivors retreat to France and then Britain. On 27 March 1953 the Royal Netherlands Air Force was formed as independent equal status service. Air support to the army was provided by the Groep Lichte Vliegtuigen (GpLV- Light Aircraft Group), which is now entirely comprised of helicopters and thus has been renamed the Tactical Helicopter Group.

Key Dates:
27 March 1953    Air Force formed from existing Army air arm

Current Status:
To be added

Future Plans:
7 Additional Chinooks are to be obtained.
Gain a CSAR (Combat SAR) capability by 2007, possibly with modified Cougars.
The remaining Alouette IIIs are to be retired by 2009.


National Insignia:
Current --- Historical

Aircraft Serial Numbering System(s):

The Dutch military serial numbering system consists of a single-letter prefix and a number of btween one and four digits. The letter identifies the aircraft type and the number is strictly sequential within the letter block. The letters are reused once a type has been retired. An example serial is F-16AM J-248.


Aircraft Designation System(s):
None - Manufacturers designations used.

Current Aircraft Inventory:
Table of Current Service Aircraft

All-Time Aircraft Used List:
Alphabetical Order --- Chronological Order

Aircraft NOT Used:
False reports of aircraft on order or in service


Main Headquarters:
Van De Boshstraat 8, Den Haag.

Current Organisational Structure:
The old Wing and Group structure has been abandoned, and the KLu is now simply organised into a number of operational squadrons. An Apache unit and a F-16 unit are located in the USA for training purposes.

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 Eindhoven, Gilze-Rijen, Leeuwarden, Twenthe, Volkel and Woensdrecht.

All-Time Air Bases Used List:
In addition to the main bases, here are also a number of smaller airports and airfields around the country which are sometimes used by the Air Force.
Military Air Bases Listing - to be added.

More Information


Dutch Military Aviation Bibliography - to be added.


World Air Power Journal No.1 p.140
Air Forces Monthly May 1998
Scramble 208 Sept 1996


Official Dutch Air Force webpage

wikipedia: Royal Netherlands Air Force

Scramble: Dutch Air Force



Air-Britain Photos: Netherlands Air Force

^ Top of Page  << Last Page   Index Page   Next Page >>  Site Search 
First Created: 24 November 1995 - Last Revised: 26 June 2008
Copyright 1995 John Hayles.    e-mail: john@aeroflight.co.uk