Namibian Air Force

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Namibian Air Force
Founded 1994 (Namibia Defence Force Air Wing)
2005 (Namibian Air Force)
Country Namibia
Branch Air Force
Role Air supremacy, Air defense
Part of Namibia Defence Force
Air Force Commander Air vice-marshal Martin Pinehas
Roundel Namibie identification aéronefs.svg

The Namibia Air Force was commissioned on 13 March 2005 at Grootfontein Air Base.[1] The policy, mission statements and concept of operations envisage the development of an Air Force to operate in support of the Army and the Navy.

Five separate roles for Air Force are; surveillance, transport of personnel and transport of supplies/equipment; support to the civil authorities or civil community, and training.[2]

With Grootfontein as the main air base, expansion projects are underway to expand the Keetmanshoop air base, as well as construct a new base at Karibib. This was reported by The Namibian on 20 June 2008.

The policy for the Air Force is to acquire dedicated air assets to undertake the surveillance and transport tasks. The MOD and NDF will train and employ their own pilots and technicians. Co-operation and co-ordination with other Ministries may extend to making such assets available for non-defence tasking. In addition, consideration will be given to arrangements whereby private and other national air assets could be employed where appropriate or necessary.

Aircraft Inventory

Following the independence of Namibia from South Africa in 1991, the Air defence wing of the defence forces were established in 1993-1994.[citation needed] 12 Chengdu F-7 Airguard jets were delivered in 2006 and 2008.[3]


Aircraft Photo Orig Type Versions Numbers In Service Comments
Fighter / Trainer Aircraft
Chengdu F-7 Airguard Nigerian F7.jpg  China Fighter/Trainer Total
FT-7NG trainer versions received in November 2006[5] 8 F-7NG on order
Hongdu K-8 Karakorum Air Force of Zimbabwe K-8 Karakorum.jpg  China Fighter/Trainer K-8 12[4]


Cessna Skymaster Cessna Super Skymaster 337F N793DS.JPG  United States utility FTB.337G
5[citation needed]
Antonov An-26 Curl Gatow Antonow An-26 (2009).jpg  Ukraine transport An-26 2 One airframe damaged after crash landing at Omega airstrip while on LAM Mozambique Airlines Flight 470 recovery mission [6]
Harbin Y-12 Y12e.jpg  China Transport
VIP transport
Y-12[citation needed] 2
Learjet 36 NDANG C-21A Learjet.JPEG  United States VIP transport Model 36 1[citation needed]
Dassault Falcon 900 Falcon 900b n100up lands birmingham arp.jpg  France VIP transport Falcon 900[citation needed] 1
Attack Helicopters
Mil Mi-25 Afghan Mi-35s.jpg  Russia attack helicopter Mi-25 2[4]
Mil Mi-17 Hip Mi-17 Macedonian Air Force.jpg  Russia Assault helicopter Mi-17 2[4]
Harbin Z-9 Eurocopter Dauphin Malinese Air Force.jpg  China Light Transport helicopter 1[7] no H-700 and H-701, Two delivered.One airframe written off after deadly crash[8]
Aérospatiale SA 319 Alouette III 100308-N-4774B-056 - Argentine Navy Alouette III on USS Bunker Hill.jpg  France light utility SA 319 2
HAL Cheetah Helicoptere Lama2.jpg  India light utility 1[9] Indian variant of French Aérospatiale Lama.
no H-703
HAL Chetak Indian Army's HAL Cheetah at Leh cropped.JPG  India light utility 2 Indian variant of French Aérospatiale Alouette III.
no H-705 and H-707

Retired aircraft[edit]

Air Force Bases[edit]

Expansion of the Air Force base at Keetmanshoop is planned.[10]


The fighter squadron is the 23rd Namibian Squadron.The 23rd Squadron is the primary air defence unit of the Air Force as it is equipped with the Chengdu F-7 Airguard. The helicopter squadron is the 151st Namibian squadron of the 15th Wing.[11]



The Air Force has deployed numerous times to help civic authorities during disasters..It has assisted in transporting Electoral material and personnel during National elections.[12] It has also flown foreign Heads of States during their stay in Namibia[13]


The Air force was deployed to the DRC during the Second Congo War. Harbin Y-12 Transport aircraft where utilized on logistics supply runs to the DRC as well as withdrawing Namibian troops at the end of the War.Two Namibian Allouette helicopters crashed in mid air while on operations during the war due to bad weather.The accident claimed nine lives including two Namibian pilots and three technicians.[14] During the 2014 floods at Tokwe-Murkosi in Masvingo, Zimbabwe the air force deployed a flight consisting of one Harbin Z-9 and two Allouette's to assist with the evacuation of the affected people.[15] The mission lasted seven days in which 600 residents were airlifted with 56 tons of goods.[16]

Other establishments and units[edit]

Air Force School of Air Power Studies[edit]

The school of air power studies will offer 6 months training to candidates.[12]

Air Force Technical Training Centre[edit]

The Air Force operates the Air Force Technical Training Centre (AFTTC) at Grootfontein Air Base.The centre caters for technical training of the Air force's ground personnel.Its programmes are run in conjunction with the Namibian Aviation Training Academy. [17]


Commissioned officers[edit]

The highest rank a commissioned officer can attain in the Air Force is Air Vice Marshal. There may however be an exception when an Air Force officer is appointed as Chief of the Defence Force for which the individual which ascend to the rank of Air Marshal.

  • Air Marshal
  • Air Vice Marshal
  • Air Commodore
  • Group Captain
  • Wing Commander
  • Squadron Leader
  • Flight Lieutenant
  • Flying Officer
  • Pilot Officer

Non-commissioned officers/Other ranks[edit]

The highest rank an enlisted member can attain is Warrant Officer Class 1.

  • Warrant Officer Class 1
  • Warrant Officer Class 2
  • Flight Sergeant
  • Sergeant
  • Aircraftman
  • Leading Aircraftman
  • Private


  1. ^ Accessed 2007/07/27
  2. ^ Accessed 2007/07/27
  3. ^ Hopwood, Graham (February 2012). "Flying high". insight Namibia. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Hoyle Flight International 13–19 December 2011, p. 44.
  5. ^ Accessed 2007/07/27
  6. ^ Carin Pretorius - Developed CEIT Development CC. "The Namibian - Airforce plane in near horrific plane crash (News - Namibia)". The Namibian. 
  7. ^ "Ministry of Defense". 
  8. ^
  9. ^ HAL bags $10 mn order for Chetak, Cheetah from Namibia
  10. ^ Parliament of Namibia, Summary of Development and Investment Expenditure by Vote, Inside/Outside SRF - Vote Code 8: Defence. Retrieved August 2010
  11. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ "IRIN Update 591 for 20 Jan 1999". 
  15. ^ "Namibia helicopters rescue flood victims". The Zimbabwe Independent. 
  16. ^ New Era Publication Corporation. "Namibian Air Force returns from Zimbabwe mission". New Era Newspaper Namibia. 
  17. ^ Tomas, F (December 2012). "ATTC 5th graduation". NDF Journal' 42: 10. 

External links[edit]