Royal Air Force of Oman
|Royal Air Force of Oman
سلاح الجو السلطاني العماني
Royal Air Force of Oman emblem
|Founded||Since March 1959|
|Commander of the RAFO||Air Vice-Marshal Matar bin Ali Al Obaidani|
|Roundel of the former SOAF (Sultan of Oman's Air Force)|
|RAFO Fin Flash|
|Ensign of the former SOAF (Sultan of Oman's Air Force)|
|Fighter||Lockheed Martin F-16C/D Fighting Falcon / BAe Hawk 203|
|Trainer||BAe Hawk 103, Pilatus PC-9M, PAC Super MFI-17 Mushshak|
|Transport||Airbus A320CJ, Lockheed C-130 Hercules, Dornier Do 228-100|
The Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO — سلاح الجو السلطاني عمان - Silāḥ al-Jaww as-Sulṭāniy ‘Umān) is the air arm of the Armed Forces of Oman
Sultan of Oman's Air Force era
The Sultan of Oman's Air Force (SOAF) was formed with British personnel and aircraft in March 1959. The first aircraft were two Scottish Aviation Pioneers transferred from the Royal Air Force. The first armed aircraft was the Percival Provost T52.
In 1968 the SOAF received the first of 24 BAC Strikemaster jet trainer and light strike aircraft for operation against insurgents in the Dhofar region. In 1974 the SOAF was expanded with orders for the Britten Norman Defender, BAC One-Eleven, BAC VC10 and 32 Hawker Hunter ground attack aircraft. In 1977 Jaguar International joined the SOAF, followed in the 1980s by the BAe Hawk.
Royal Air Force of Oman era
In 1990 the SOAF was renamed the Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO). In 1993 and 1994 the RAFO replaced its Hawker Hunters with four BAE Hawk Mk 103 fighter-trainers and 12 single-seat Hawk Mk 203, equipped with Westinghouse APG-66H radar, as light ground attack/interceptors. In September 1997 after the evaluation of new combat aircraft the RAFO decided to upgrade and extend the service lives of its remaining 17 SEPECAT Jaguar ground attack fighters until the second decade of the 21st century. A contract was placed with the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence to upgrade the avionics of the Jaguar aircraft for $40 million. In 2005 deliveries started of the F-16, equipped with improved GPS/INS. The aircraft can carry a further batch of advanced missiles; the AGM-88 HARM missile, JDAM, JSOW and WCMD. Block 50 aircraft are powered by the F110-GE-129 while the Block 52 jets use the F100-PW-229.
On 3 August 2010 the USA Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified the congress of a possible sale of 18 F-16 Block 50/52 to Oman in a contract worth 3.5 Billion USD. In addition to the new fighters, the contract included upgrading existing 12 F-16 C/D in the RAFO inventory. On 14 December 2011 it was announced that Oman had agreed to buy an additional 12 F-16C/D Block 50s to join the 12 F-16s C/Ds already in service.
Oman was considering the purchase of either Eurofighter Typhoon or JAS 39 Gripen aircraft, but on the 21st of December 2012 a £2.5 billion deal was signed in Muscat to supply RAFO with 12 Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets and 8 BAE Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer aircraft, the delivery should start by 2017.
A Royal Air Force of Oman Jaguar intercepting an Il-38 in 1987.
|Installation||Unit with aircraft type||Notes|
|RAFO Adam||Eurofighter Typhoon||Air base is currently being built.|
|RAFO Khasab||No. 14 Squadron (det) with NH90-TTH|
|RAFO Musannah||No. 14 Squadron (det) with NH90-TTH|
|No. 15 Squadron with NH90-TTH & Super Lynx Mk.120|
|RAFO Masirah||No. 1 Squadron with Super Mushshak & PC-9(M)|
|No. 6 Squadron with Hawk 103, Hawk 103A & Hawk 203|
|No. 15 Squadron (det) with Super Lynx Mk.120|
|RAFO Muscat||No. 2 Squadron with SC7-3M-4022 Seavan||Air base co-located within Muscat International Airport.|
|No. 4 Squadron with A320-214CJ|
|No. 14 Squadron with NH90-TTH & SA330J|
|No. 16 Squadron with C-130H & C-130J|
|RAFO Salalah||No. 3 Squadron with NH90-TTH, Bell 206B & Super Lynx Mk.120|
|No. 5 Squadron with C295M|
|RAFO Thumrait||No. 18 Squadron with F-16C-50-CF & F-16D-50-CF||Squadron expected to move to RAFO Musannah soon.|
|No. 20 Squadron with F-16C-50-CF & F-16D-50-CF|
|Lockheed Martin F-16C/D Fighting Falcon||USA||Fighter||F-16C/D||12||An initial batch of 12 aircraft were delivered between 2005-2006, one of which was lost in a crash on 22 September 2013, killing its pilot. An additional 12 aircraft were ordered (1 of which has been delivered)|
|Eurofighter Typhoon||European Union||Fighter||Eurofighter Typhoon||0||12 on order. Manufacturing will begin in 2014 with delivery expected in 2017.|
|BAe Hawk 203||UK||Ground Attack||Hawk 203||11||12 delivered in 1993|
|Lockheed C-130 Hercules||USA||Tactical Transport||C-130H
|2 more ordered in August 2010.|
|Dornier Do 228-100||GER||Light Transport||Do 228-100||2|
|EADS CASA C-295||SPA||Transport / Maritime Patrol||C-295||1||8 ordered in total to replace Skyvans, 5 as Transporters and 3 to be used as Maritime patrol aircraft|
|Short SC.7 Skyvan 3M||UK||Light Transport||Skyvan 3M||12||to be replaced by C-295|
|BAe Hawk 103||UK||Advanced Jet Trainer||Hawk 103||4||A total of 5 delivered in 1993, including 1 ex-Canadian.|
|Hawk 128 (Hawk T2)||UK||Advanced Jet Trainer||Hawk 128||8 on order.|
|PAC Super MFI-17 Mushshak||PAK||Trainer||7||8 delivered.|
|Pilatus PC-9M||Swiss||Trainer||PC-9M||12||delivered 1999-2000|
|Agusta-Bell AB205A-1||Italy||Search and Rescue Helicopter||AB205A-1||21||To be retired and replaced with NH90 and Lynx Mk 120. A total of 37 delivered and 3 on loan from Iran.|
|AgustaWestland AW139||Italy||Helicopter||AW139||10||10 purchased for Royal Oman Police aviation wing.|
|Bell 206B JetRanger||USA||Helicopter||Bell 206||5||7 delivered.|
|Bell 214\214ST||USA||Utility Helicopter||Bell 214
|Bell HH-1H Iroquois||USA||Helicopter||HH-1H||20|
|Eurocopter AS 550 Fennec||FRA||Helicopter||AS 550||3||Delivered To Omani Royal Flight.|
|Eurocopter EC225 Super Puma||EU||Helicopter||EC 225||6||Delivered to Omani Royal Flight.|
|NHI NH90||EU||Helicopter||11||8 to be delivered, The RAFO have up to now ordered 20 NH90 TTH in order to replace its fleet of aging AB205A/206/212/214.|
|Westland Super Lynx||UK||Helicopter||Super Lynx Mk. 120||15||16 Delivered from 2004.
1 w/o 18 August 2006
- (84) JDAM (GBU-13\32)
- Paveway-II (150) (GBU-10\12\16)
- CBU-97 SFW350 (50)
- 2 TARS
- 7 Sniper AN-AAQ-33
- JHMCS Pilot helmet
- 12 AN\APG-66 combat aircraft radars (for F-16C\D)
- 53 TTL BTT-3 Banshee
- 4x S-713 Martello 3-D
- 2x S-600
- 1x Watchman
- 24 SEPECAT Jaguar S/B 
- 33 Hawker Hunter FGA.73\73A\73B, FR.10, T.66
- 4 Douglas C-47 Dakota
- 5 de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver
- 6 de Havilland Canada DHC-4 Caribou
- 4 de Havilland Canada DHC-5D Buffalo
- 7 Vickers Viscount
- 9 Percival Provost Mk 52
- 4 Westland Wessex HC.2
- 25 BAC 167 Strikemaster Mk 82\82A
- 2 Pilatus PC-6 Porter
- 4 FFA AS-202 Bravo
- 4 Scottish Aviation Pioneer
- 8 Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander
- 3 BAe BAC-1-11
- 2 Scheibe Super-Falke
- 3 Agusta-Bell AB212 Twin Huey
- "Royal Air Force of Oman". Retrieved 31 January 2014.
- Hoyle, Craig. "Omani F-16 deal means continued wait for Eurofighter." Flight International via flightglobal.com, 14 December 2011. Retrieved: 18 December 2011.
- Royal Air Force of Oman, JAS 39 Gripen and Eurofighter Typhoon. Tactical Report (2010-06-03). Retrieved on 2013-08-16.
- BBC News - BAE Systems wins £2.5bn Oman Hawk and Typhoon contract. Bbc.co.uk (2012-12-21). Retrieved on 2013-08-16.
- Omani military aviation OrBat
- "Oman airman dies in second training accident in weeks". Fox News. 23 September 2013.
- "BAE Systems wins £2.5bn Oman Hawk and Typhoon contract". BBC News. 21 December 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-21.
- "The C-130J: New Hercules & Old Bottlenecks". Retrieved 2010-08-21.
- AirForces Monthly. Stamford, Lincolnshire, England: Key Publishing Ltd. August 2014. p. 22.
- Oman retires last Jaguar strike aircraft - Flightglobal.com, 12 August 2014
- The Sultan’s Armed Forces mentioning the Royal Air Force of Oman
- World aircraft information files Brightstar publishing File 330 Sheet 1