Norwegian Air Force
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Air Force

Current Title: Luftforsvaret
Title in English: Royal Norwegian Air Force
Abbreviation: RNorAF


Narrative Summary:
First aircraft presented to Royal Norwegian Army in June 1912. Army Flying School established in 1914. Haerens Flyvapen (Army Air Arm) officially formed in 1915. During German invasion of 1940, many units destroyed on the ground. Survivors retreated to Northern Norway and then Britain. Joint Army/Navy training base set up in Toronto, Canada, as 'Little Norway'. Four squadrons (Nos 330, 331, 332 and 333) operated under RAF command from 1941 to 1945. In spring 1944 the Army Air Arm and the Naval Air Arm were merged to form the Royal Norwegian Air Force.
Note: The title 'Kongelige Norske Luftforsvaret' often used in foreign sources is incorrect, and is not the official Norwegian title.

Key Dates:
10 November 1944    Army and Navy Flying Services amalgamated into Air Force (Luftforsvaret)
May 1945    Air Force HQ returns to Norway
1947    Oslo Agreement - major contract for supply of British aircraft
May 1948    First jet aircraft delivered - Vampire F.3
1949    Start of expansion and re-organsiation to meet NATO standards
1954    Luftforsvaret renamed Kongelige Norske Flyvåpen (or Flyvåpnet)
1955    First helicopters received - Bell 47D
1957    Air Force title reverts to Luftforsvaret

Current Status:
To be added

Future Plans:
Completion of MLU for 49 F-16A and 11 F-16B to F-16AM/BM standard.
Procurement of up to 48 a new multi-role fighters in two batches from 2006 to replace the F-16. Main candidate is the JSF/F-35.
14 (+10 options) NH.90 NFH helicopters (6 ASW and 8 SAR versions) have been ordered to replace the Sea King from 2005. Six additional examples may be acquired to replace the Bell 412.
334 Skv will reform at Sola to operate the NH.90.
A structural upgrade of the C-130H has been launched, to extend service life until 2018.


National Insignia:
Current --- Historical

Aircraft Serial Numbering System(s):
Aircraft operated by the Norwegian-manned squadrons serving with the RAF retained their RAF serial numbers, eg: Sunderland III ML824.

In the immediate post-war period, a new serialling system was introduced, which comprised a three-letter code, eg: Spitfire IX A-AY. These codes had the appearance and placement of RAF-style squadron codes, but were actually individual aircraft identities. The first letter identified the aircraft type, while the 2-letter combination was issued sequentially, starting with AB and progressing to AC, AD etc. The letters J and Q were normally ommitted. When AZ had been reached, the sequence moved to BB etc. (The construction number or original serial identity was often also worn externally at the same time).

The following aircraft type codes were allocated:
A Spitfire B Vampire
E F-84 F Mosquito
K Catalina L Cornell
M Harvard N Fi 156
R Norseman S
T Lodestar U Safir
V W Oxford

In 1954, the letter serials were replaced by conventional squadron code letters - recognisable because the 2-letter group didn't start with an 'A' or 'B'. The aircraft's original serial, or a number derived from the construction number was now taken as the official serial, eg: F-86K 41335.

In the middle of 1972 the unit codes were dropped and the serial abbreviated to the last three digits, eg: UH-1B 993 (previously carried 62-1993).

Unit/Base Aircraft Code System(s):
The following unit codes were used (1954-mid 1972):
AH 332 Skv AU Flygeskolan
AZ 717 Skv BW 335 Skv
CE Army Field Artillery DP 718 Skv
FA Observer Service FN 331 Skv
JT 720 Skv KK 333 Skv
MU 338 Skv PX 336 Skv
RI 334 Skv SI 339 Skv
XJ 719 Skv  


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:
Huseby, Oslo Mil, N-0016, Oslo 1.

Current Organisational Structure:
The RNorAF is organised into Skvadrons (Squadrons) of three to eighteen aircraft each. 330 Skv maintains a number of SAR detachments at the main operational bases.

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:
List of Norwegian AF Units

Air Bases

Current Air Bases:
The main air bases currently used are Andoya, Banak, Bardufoss, Bodo, Orland, Olso-Gardermoen, Rygge and Stavanger-Sola.

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

More Information


Norwegian Military Aviation Bibliography - to be added.


Flying Review International June 1962
Flying Review International April 1969
Flying Review International May 1969
Air International October 1989
Air Forces Monthly Sept 1985
World Air Power Journal No.1 p.132
Military Aviation Review Sept 1978
Military Aviation Review Feb 1979 - June 1979
Scramble 216 May 1997


Official Norwegian Defence Ministry Website

wikipedia: Royal Norwegian Air Force

Vingtor - Luftforsvaret SIG

Luftforsvaret - Unofficial Information




Little Norway - The History

wikipedia: Little Norway

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First Created: 19 November 1995 - Last Revised: 18 July 2008
Copyright 1995 John Hayles.    e-mail: