Tunisian Air Force

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Tunisian Air Force
"القوات الجوية التونسية"
El Quwat ej-Jawiya et'Tunsia
File:أركان جيش الطيران، تونس.svg
Seal of the Tunisian Air Force
Founded 1959
Country  Tunisia
Size 4,000 personnel
Part of Tunisian Armed Forces
HQ Bizerte
Nickname(s) TAF
Anniversaries 24 July
Equipment 119 aircraft
Engagements War on Terror
Commanders
Commander General Taïeb Lajimi
Insignia
Roundel Roundel of the Tunisian Air Force.svg
Aircraft flown
Attack Aermacchi MB-326
Fighter Northrop F-5E/F Tiger II+
Patrol SIAI-Marchetti S.208
Trainer Aero L-59 Super Albatros
Aermacchi SF.260
Transport G-222
Let L-410 Turbolet
Lockheed C-130B/H/J-30 Hercules/Super Hercules

The Tunisian Air Force (El Quwat ej-Jawiya et'Tunsia) is one of the branches of the Tunisian Armed Forces.

Air Force

The Tunisian Air Force was established in 1959, three years after Tunisia regained its independence from France. It took deliveries of its first aircraft, eight Saab 91 Safirs, in 1960, later to be complemented by further Saab 91 Safirs. The Tunisian Air Force entered the jet age in 1965 with the purchase of 8 MB326-B's and then 5 MB326-LT's. In 1969, the country received 15 ex-USAF F-86F Sabre. Between 1974 and 1978 12 SF.260 Warriors and 9 SF.260C were delivered for basic training. In 1977–78 8 MB.326KT's were supplied for light attack duties. In 1981 Tunisia ordered 12 F-5's (8 F-5E and 4 F-5F), deliveries taking place in 1984-85. Then adding 5 ex-USAF F-5E's from the Alconbury Aggressor Squadron (in 1989). In 1985 Tunisia ordered 2 C130-H's Hercules. In 1995 a major Czech order was placed with 12 Aero L-59 armed trainers and 3 Let L-410UVP transports ordered. In 1997 five surplus C-130B's were delivered from the USA. Tunisa has two C-130J-30s on order for delivery in 2013 and 2014.

Possible purchase of 12 UH-60M[1]

There are four main bases: Bizerte/Sidi Ahmed, Gafsa, Bizerte/La Karouba and Sfax.

Organization

The order of battle of the Tunisian Air force is as below:[2]

Tunis-Laouina

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No. 12 Squadron
Transport squadron, Let L-410 Turbolet

Bizerte-Sidi Ahmed

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No. 11 Squadron
Jet trainer squadron, Aermacchi MB-326
No. 15 Squadron
Fighter squadron, Northrop F-5 Tiger
No. 21 Squadron
Transport squadron, C-130 Hercules, G-222

Bizerte-La Karouba

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No. 31 Squadron
Helicopter squadron, Bell 205, UH-1 Iroquois
No. 32 Squadron
Helicopter squadron, Alouette II, Ecureuil
No. 33 Squadron
Helicopter squadron
No. 36 Squadron
Helicopter squadron

Sfax-Thyna

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No. 13 Squadron
Light utility and liaison squadron, flying SF-260s
No. 14 Squadron
Light utility and liaison squadron, flying SF-260s
No. ? Squadron
Helicopter squadron

Gafsa

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No. 16 Squadron
Jet trainer squadron, flying L-59s
No. ? Squadron

Aircraft

A Tunisian HH-3 helicopter participating in a rescue exercise in Bizerte

File:Aermac10.jpg

Current inventory

Aircraft Origin Type Variant In service Notes
Combat Aircraft
F-5 United States fighter F-5E 12[3] +48 (ex KSA)
Transport
C-130J United States utility transport C-130J-30 2[3]
C-130 United States transport / SAR C-130B/H 7[3]
L-410 Czech Republic utility 3[3]
Helicopters
AS350 France utility / liaison 6[3]
Bell UH-1 United States utility UH-1H 31[3]
Bell 412 United States utility 3[3]
Sikorsky HH-3 United States SAR / transport 19[3]
Alouette II France liaison /light utility 8[3]
Alouette III France liaison / utility 8[3]
UH-60 United States utility UH-60M 12 on order[3]
Trainer Aircraft
F-5 United States conversion trainer F-5F 3[3]
Aero L-59 Czech Republic jet trainer 9[3]
MB-326 Italy jet trainer 10[3]
SF.260 Italy trainer 18[3]

References

Sources

  • World Aircraft Information Files. Brightstar Publishing, London. File 337 Sheet 03