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Kuwait Air Force
Founded early 1950s
Country Kuwait
Role Air Defence
Size Approx. 2,500 personnel
Part of Military of Kuwait
HQ Al Mubarak Air Base
Engagements invasion of Kuwait, Gulf War
Lt. Gen. Abdulaziz Al-Jassim
Roundel Roundel Kuwait.svg
Aircraft flown
Attack F/A-18, AH-64D, SA-342
Fighter F/A-18
Reconnaissance SA-342
Trainer Tucano, BAE Hawk
Transport L-100, SA-330, Super Puma

The Kuwait Air Force (Arabic: للقوات الجوية الكويتية Trans: al-Quwwat al-Jawwiya al-Kuwaitiya) is the air arm of the State of Kuwait. The Air Force headquarters is located at Al Mubarak Air Base, with the remaining forces stationed at Air Defence Brigade, Ali Al Salem Air Base and Ahmed Al Jaber Air Base. The Kuwait Air Force numbers approximately 2,500 officer and enlisted personnel.



The current air force that we know of now started as the Security Department of Kuwait which operated a number of Austers in different configurations and two DeHavilland DH104 Dove's. The Kuwait Air Force and Air Defence was formed in the course of 1961 following an intervention by the British that avoided Iraq to claim Kuwait as one of its provinces. The first aircraft to enter KAF service were four Whirlwind helicopters and six BAC/Hunting Jet Provost T.51s. This support from the UK would remain in place for a long time and 1964 was known for the arrival of the first Hawker Hunters. These would later be amended by more examples in 1969. The first DeHavilland Canada type to enter KAF service was the DHC-4 Caribou from which two arrived in 1963. The transport capacity would later be improved by the acquisition of an ex-RAF Argosy in 1969 and later, in 1971, by two Lockheed L-100-20 Hercules. In the meantime the fighter force was given a boost by the procurement of twelve Lightning F53s and two T55 trainer versions that were delivered in the late 60s. The Strikemaster Mk.83s from which twelve were ordered were delivered in 1969. Between 1968 and 1977 two Bell 206's operated in KAF service and from November 1969, eight Agusta Bell 205s were delivered, replacing the ageing Whirlwinds. Only five years after the delivery of the Lightings, the KAF decided it needed a better serviceable aircraft. It had been using the Hunters and the Strikemasters in the interceptor and ground strike role, rather than the Lightnings. Finally in 1974 the Mirage F1 was selected as the new Air Defence fighter and a total of 27 Mirage F1CKs and seven Mirage F1BKs were ordered and delivered in two separate batches until 1983. The ground strike role would be filled in by the total of 36 Douglas (T)A-4KU Skyhawks that were ordered in 1974 and delivered during 1977. 24 SNIAS SA-342K Gazelles were delivered during the mid-70s and four were subsequently passed on to the Police Air Wing. Four L-100-30 Hercules transport aircraft were delivered in 1983, replacing the shorter L-100-20 version from which only one survived (the other crashed in France). Also in 1983, twelve Hawk T64 were ordered to fill the gap that the KAF had on training capacity. In 1988 the Air Force was baptised al-Quwwat al-Jawwiya al-Kuwaitiya (Kuwait Air Force). The lead-in-fighter-trainer that was selected, The Shorts Tucano T.52, would only be delivered in 1995. They were earmarked for delivery in 1990 but due to the break-out of the Gulf War, deliveries were postponed. After the Gulf War, the KAF underwent a reorganisation and both the Douglas A-4 Skyhawks and the Dassault Mirage F1s were soon phased out in favour of the McDonnell Douglas F-18 Hornet. 32 F/A-18Cs and eight F/A-18D Hornets are flying with 9sq and 25sq from Ahmed al Jaber. The Mirages is are withdrawn from use and stored. Most of the remaining Skyhawks continued their operational life with the Brazilian Navy. The first six of sixteen ordered AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopters were handed over to the Kuwait Air Force on 3 February 2006. The remaining ten aircraft were delivered thereafter. All the helicopters are preconfigured to carry the AN/APG-78 Longbow radar kits.


The kuwait air force is planing to buy 14 to 28 Rafale and 8 KC-130J tanker and transporter to meet the requirements of the air force


Aircraft inventory

Kuwait Air Force Lockheed Hercules transport aircraft in 1999
Aircraft Origin Type Versions In service[1] Notes
Aerospatale SA-330 Puma  France Transport helicopter SA-330H 4
Aerospatiale SA-342 Gazelle  France Trainer & Reconnaissance helicopter SA-342K 13
BAE Hawk  United Kingdom Advanced Trainer Mk.64 10
McDonnell Douglas AH-64D Longbow Apache  United States Multirole helicopter - 16
Lockheed L-100 Hercules  United States Transport L100-30 3
Eurocopter AS-332 Super Puma  France Search & Rescue AS-332M 5
McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet  United States Multirole Fighter C\D 39 One crashed
Shorts Tucano  United Kingdom Lead-in trainer Mk.52 16
Sikorsky S-92 Helicopter  United States Transport Helicopter S-92A 2 Amiri Flight
Eurocopter EC-135  France Utility Helicopter T1 2 Police Air Wing
Aérospatiale AS-365 Dauphin  France Utility Helicopter N3 2 police Air Wing


  1. ^ Kuwaiti military aviation OrBat



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