Royal Jordanian Air Force
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2008)|
|Royal Jordanian Air Force|
Royal Jordanian Air Force emblem
|Founded||25 September 1955|
|Allegiance||King of Jordan|
|Size||12,000 Active (2012 est.)|
|Equipment||450 aircraft (2012 est.)|
|Chief of Air Staff||Major General Mansour AlJobour|
|Attack||Bell AH-1 Cobra|
|Fighter||F-16 Fighting Falcon, Northrop F-5|
|Trainer||CASA C-101 Aviojet, Slingsby T-67 Firefly|
|Transport||Lockheed C-130 Hercules, CASA C-295|
- 1 History
- 2 Aircraft inventory
- 3 Active aircraft gallery
- 4 Armament
- 5 Royal Jordanian Air Defence
- 6 Markings
- 7 Notable persons
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Jordan gained independence in 1946, but its first air bases had been set up in 1931 by the Royal Air Force. By 1950, Jordan began to develop a small air arm which came to be known as the Arab Legion Air Force (ALAF). The Royal Air Force assisted in training this small air arm and provided equipment. The ALAF's primary fighter was the de Havilland Vampire and a Vickers VC.1 Viking was operated as a VIP aircraft for use by the King of Jordan. By 1955 King Hussein realized the need for Jordan to have a more modern Air force, and on 25 September 1955 the RJAF was established. By 1958 the Royal Air Force had left Jordan and the RJAF had taken control of the airfields in the country.
In the 1970s the RJAF was modernised. Lockheed F-104 Starfighters were acquired from the United States following heavy losses in the Six-Day War. However, the Starfighter proved superfluous and several were donated to the Pakistan Air Force with the last unit withdrawn from service in 1977 leaving a fighter gap that would not be filled until the arrival of the Dassault Mirage F1 in 1981. The RJAF also acquired Northrop F-5 Tigers via Iran during the reign of the Shah who procured them from the United States. Cessna T-37 Tweets were also acquired for the training role. In 1975, the RJAF gave its fleet of 31 Hawker Hunters to the Sultan of Oman's Air Force, having failed in their efforts to sell them to Rhodesia or Honduras. The Hunters were delivered to SOAF Thumrait between May and June 1975.
Following peace between Egypt and Israel in 1979, the RJAF began to modernize its fleet once again. The first part of this program was the procurement of the Dassault Mirage F1 which became the RJAF's frontline fighter supported by generous aid from wealthy oil-rich Arab states. The Mirage F1 was selected over the General Dynamics F-16/79 (an F-16A powered by the GE J79 turbojet series as opposed to the Pratt & Whitney F100, which had 25% more power in afterburn) while also acquiring the Northrop F-5 to complement the Mirage F1CJ/EJ in the process.
In the 1980s, the RJAF supported Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi regime during the Iran-Iraq War, committing their aircraft for combat training alongside Iraqi aircraft squadrons with one joint aircraft squadron. It remains unknown (and seemingly unlikely) that RJAF pilots took part in combat with Iran. During the 1991 Desert Storm conflict, Jordan declared political support for the Iraqi regime, but the RJAF was never committed to combat in that war. The RJAF provided instruction for Iraqi pilots who also operated the similar Mirage F1.
1991 Persian Gulf War and the 1990s
The fallout meant that the RJAF was impacted upon[clarification needed] but contrary to reports, did not lose its operational tempo and was not forced to cannibalize aircraft for shortages of spare parts. Despite this, the RJAF had to rationalize its existing resources due to a temporary downfall in spare parts and supplies. However, economic difficulties forced the RJAF to seek upgrades rather than the purchase of new equipment originally planned.
Modernization schemes continued with seven F-5Es sold to Singapore and some funding used to upgrade most of the remaining others with the AN/APG-67 radar (found on the aborted Northrop F-20 Tigershark, once an aircraft under evaluation by the RJAF), modern fire control systems, and WVR AAMs, thus putting the F-5 on par with more modern aircraft in terms of electronics. Despite this, the F-5s lack a BVR combat capability.
U.S. military assistance has been primarily directed toward upgrading Jordan’s air force, as recent purchases include upgrades to U.S.-made F-16 fighters, air-to-air missiles, and radar systems. Following the 1994 Israel–Jordan peace treaty and the lending of Jordanian support to the United States during the Persian Gulf War, the U.S. recommenced full military relations with Jordan starting with the donation of 16 General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon (12 F-16A and 4 F-16B) in storage at the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center (AMARC) at Davis Monthan AFB. Deliveries commenced in 1997 and were completed next year, replacing the Mirage F1CJs in the air-defence role, following extensive exercises with the existing Mirage F1CJ/EJ and F-5E/F in RJAF service and assuming the lead role.
Some 17 further ex-AMARC aircraft were also procured along with six ex-Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16BMs for training purposes (Combat Capable) along with 16 ex-Belgian F-16AM/BM in MLU (Mid Life Update, Block 20) standard in 2009, Another 2 ex-Spanish Mirage F1CE/EE aircraft were procured in 2006. In July/Aug 2011 RJAF received another 9 ex-Belgian F-16AM/BM MLU standard, thus boosting the RJAF's own multi-role capabilities.
RJAF pilots have participated in 'Bright Star' in Egypt against regional F-16 Fighting Falcons and have improved their skills considerably, especially in defining critical areas of upgrading. The AIM-120 AMRAAM has been procured by the RJAF and will improve combat capabilities of the basic F-16. Unlike the AIM-7M Sparrow III the AMRAAM is lighter and more versatile with superior ECM/ECCM and capable of engaging high-g targets, along with an active radar homing warhead (unlike the semi-active homing warhead of the 'Sparrow III') with standard datalink for mid-course guidance and correction purposes.
Some 17 Block 15 F-16s were sent to Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) where they were upgraded to MLU (Block 40) standard, this enabling advanced AGMs and latest PGMs to be carried. It remains unclear what will eventually complement the F-16s as the F-5s and F-1s dwindle in numbers due to economic, stress and fatigue reasons. In 2008 10 Northrop F-5E, 3 F-5EM and 2 F-5F were sold to Kenya. The remaining F-5s should be officially out of service by 2010, while and Mirage F1CJ/EJ are being slowly decommissioned, so the F-16MLU will remain the RJAF's standard fighters.
Most sources cite that the RJAF is seeking 80–90 F-16s and are now equipped with 79 F-16s (63 MLUs. The main goal seems to be having all F-16s in common upgraded version. The RJAF's F-16s are currently undergoing a new paint scheme to KA2 standard similar to the 'low visibility' fatigues adopted by the Royal Jordanian Land Force.
Two light CASA C-295s have been procured and procurement is likely to continue of the type. RJAF also received smaller numbers of the Antonov An-32 from Ukraine for STOL operations for Royal Special Forces, although the status of the Jordanian An-32s is uncertain. One Lockheed C-130 Hercules was received in March 1997. In 2006 two Ilyushin Il-76MF freighters were purchased from Russia. In 2011 RJAF announced the intention to turn 2 of the CASA/IPTN CN-235 transport aircraft into small aerial gunships.
The Jordanian Special Operations Aviation Brigade has been using Sikorsky UH-60L Blackhawk and MD Helicopters MD-530F helicopters for special operations and border security. Two squadrons of ex-US Army AH-1F Cobra gunships were delivered in the late 1990s/early 2000s. Some have been sold to Pakistan and AH-1Fs will be replaced by new AH-6I attack helicopters. After signing the MDAP 18 surplus Bell UH-1H helicopters were delivered in 1994, followed by another 18 in 1996. Two C-130B Hercules transport aircraft and 16 UH-1H helicopters have been delivered to the Iraqi Air Force. Three C-130E will be received from the US in exchange. Currently two squadrons of UH-1Hs and one of AS332 Super Pumas support Army operations.
Jordan assist Air forces in the Middle East, training Bahraini pilots and assisting Iraq. There is also a close cooperation with the USAF. The current commander of the Royal Jordan Air Force is Major General Mansour Aljobour.
Main air bases are:
- Muwaffaq Salti Air Base in Azraq,
- King Feisal bin Abdul Aziz Air Base in Jafr
- King Abdullah I Air Base – Marka, Amman
- King Abdullah II Air Base – Jabal Rabawi
- Prince Hassan Air Base – Hotel Five (H5)
- King Hussein Air College – Mafraq
Operations in Syria 2014–
In the morning of 16 April 2014, Jordanian air force fighter jets destroyed an undetermined number of vehicles trying to enter into Jordan by crossing the border from war-torn Syria during the Syrian Civil War.
On 23 September 2014, Jordanian air force aircraft joined in US-led air strikes against terrorist targets in Syria that later became known as Operation Inherent Resolve.
On 24 December 2014, an RJAF F-16 crashed near Raqqa, Syria, and its pilot, Flight Lieutenant Moaz Youssef al-Kasasbeh, was captured by Islamic State militants. On 30 December 2014, a member of the Jordanian parliament, Rula al-Hroob, told America's National Public Radio that the RJAF had suspended military operations over Syria in order to help secure al-Kasasbeh's release. An attempt by US special operations to rescue al-Kasasbeh from Raqqa on 1 January 2015 failed when their helicopters were driven off by heavy enemy fire.
Following unsuccessful negotiations about a prisoner exchange, on 3 February 2015 it was reported that Islamic State had murdered al-Kasasbeh by burning him alive, something that was done in early January but not revealed.
The Royal Jordanian Air Force consists of about 12,000 officers and non-commissioned officers and a civilian[who?]. It contains six major air bases in addition to sixteen air squadrons, fourteen I-Hawk Batteries, two training school (fighter aviation training school, school of air combat). The Royal Jordanian Air Force Headquarters is at King Abdullah I Airbase in Amman. The tasks of the air force are to provide:
- Air Defense
- Support Ground Forces
- Airlift Operations
- Reconnaissance Operations
- Search & Rescue Operations
|Lockheed F-16 Fighting Falcon||Fighter
|ADF Block 15 Peace Falcon
RJAF recognized the need to give these aircraft a mid-life update (MLU) in the next 2 or 3 years. (2 F-16A Block 15 ADF and 1 F-16B ADF aircraft crashed over the years of service), Jordan received 3 F-16A from USA in 2008. 13 F-16 ADF (12 A, 1 B) Block 15 were sold to Pakistan.
|Lockheed F-16 Fighting Falcon||Multirole Fighter
|MLU Block 40 (Peace Falcon II, III, IV)/ 50 (Peace Falcon V, VI)
One F-16AM MLU crashed in Feb 2011, 17 F-16 A/B upgraded by Turkish Aerospace Industries to F-16 AM/BM MLU standard Peace Falcon II, 16 F-16 AM/BM from Belgium Peace Falcon III (one lost in action, Syria, 24/12/14), 6 F-16 BM from Netherlands Peace Falcon IV & An additional 9 F-16 AM/BM MLU-M4 (6 F-16 AM, 3 F-16 BM) delivered in July/ Aug 2011 from Belgium in 32 million euro Deal Peace Falcon V . RJAF bought 15 F-16 MLU-M5  (13 F-16 AM, 2 F-16 BM) from Netherlands in 2013 in 100 million euro Deal Peace Falcon VI.
|Northrop F-5E/F Tiger II||Fighter
|28||2014.04.14 one lost to crash. 6 shall be delivered to the Lebanese Air Force from the U.S. through Jordan|
|Bell AH-1 Cobra||Attack Helicopter||AH-1F||25|
|Boeing AH-6||Light Attack Helicopter||AH-6i||0||18 on order|
|CASA C-101 Aviojet||Trainer||C-101CC||13||might be replaced by 20 Aero L-159 Alca|
|Slingsby T-67 Firefly||Trainer||T-67M260||15||4 lost in accidents|
|Eurocopter AS350||Light utility helicopter||AS 350B3||8||From UAEAF; Some used for MEDEVAC|
|MD Helicopters MD 500||Light Helicopter||H500D
|to be replaced by Robinson R44 helicopters|
|Robinson R44||Light Helicopter||Raven II||0||8 on order to replace Hughes 500D helicopters|
|Ilyushin Il-76||Heavy-Lift Transport||IL-76MF
|Delivered in 2011, IL-76MF max. payload 60 tons, option on 2 more|
|Lockheed C-130 Hercules||Tactical Transport||C-130H
|2 C-130E received in Dec 2011 and the 3rd in spring 2012|
|CASA C-295||Tactical Transport||CN-295||2||In June 2014, Airbus and ATK announced that they would modify one C-295 into a gunship, similar to the Jordanian AC-235.|
|Eurocopter AS332||Transport Helicopter||AS 332M1||10|
|Bell UH-1 Iroquois||Transport Helicopter||UH-1H
|16 were delivered to Iraqi Air Force, 32 in service.|
|Eurocopter EC 635||Utility Helicopter||EC-635T1
|16 EC-635T1 in service with RJAF and 4 EC-635T2i with Police Air Wing.|
|Prince Hashem Bin Abdulah II brigade /5 (JSOC)|
|Antonov An-32||Tactical Transport||AN-32B||3||32nd sqn.|
|MC-235||Gunship||MC-235||2||Modified by ATK into Gunships carrying weapons (Hellfire II, Hydra 70, M230 link-fed 30mm chain gun ) for special operation. These Gunships will join the 32nd sqn.|
|Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk||Transport Helicopter||UH-60L||8||30th Aviation sqn.|
|MD Helicopters MD 500||Scout Helicopter||MD 530F||8||28th Aviation sqn.|
|Beechcraft Super King Air||ISR||King Air 350ER||Jordan ordered King Air 350ER Manned ISR in 2013.|
|Air Tractor AT-802||Reconnaissance & COIN||AT-802U||6||Jordan set to receive six donated AT-802 Border Patrol Aircraft (BPA) Block 1 armed reconnaissance and light-strike turboprop aircraft from UAE.|
|Cessna 208 Caravan||Reconnaissance||Ce-208 Recce||5|
|Schiebel Camcopter S-100||Reconnaissance||UAV||2|
|Selex ES Falco||Reconnaissance||UAV||According to Army-Technology.com, in November 2009 the Jordanian Armed Forces awarded a contract to SELEX Galileo to develop indigenous UAV technologies and electro-optic sensors for Jordan special operations forces based on the company's Falco tactical unmanned aerial system (TUAS).|
|Kamov Ka-226||Light utility||Ka-226||6||it will be assembled in Jordan|
|Seabird Seeker||Light Observation||SB7L-360A||6||light observation aircraft can be used in roles such as pipeline inspection, coast watch, environmental duties, aerial photography and security.|
|Socata TB||Utility||TB 20 Trinidad||2|
|Airbus A340||Transport||A340-642X||1||RJAF installed AN/AAQ-24 NEMESIS on it for the movement and protection of the “Head of State”.|
|Gulfstream V||Transport||G-550 VIP||1|
|Gulfstream IV||Transport||G-450 VIP||1|
|Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk||Transport Helicopter||UH-60M||2||UH-60M VVIP modified by Sabreliner Corp.|
Active aircraft gallery
A Jordanian paratrooper, with Jordanian flag, at a festival in Amman.
A Royal Jordanian Air Force Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk.
Historic aircraft of the Royal Jordanian Air Force
- Combat aircraft
- Transport Aircraft
- Air-to-Air missile
- 890 AIM-9J/P/M-9 (450 AIM-9J, 340 AIM-9P,100 AIM-9M9)
- AIM-9X Sidewinder
- 180 AIM-120C AMRAAM(130 AIM-120C-7, 50 AIM-120C-5)
- 64 AIM-7M Sparrow
- 225 R550 Magic
- 75 Super 530
- 75 R.530
- Air-to-Surface missile
- 705 AGM-65G Maverick
- 50 AS-30L
- BGM-71E/F (Mounted on Cobra)
- AGM-114K/M Hellfire II in use with AH-6i, ATK C-235, AT-802U.
- Hydra 70 2.75 inch rocket
- DAGR in use with AH-6i, ATK C-235, AT-802U.
- APKWS use on CN-235 gunship.
- 150 MK20 Rockeye II Cluster bomb 
- 200 CBU-71 Cluster bomb 
- BLG-66 Belouga CBU
- BLU-107 Durandal anti-runway bomb
- MK-82, MK-83, MK-84 Low-Drag GPBs.
- Joint Direct Attack Munition
- GBU-12 Paveway II
- Aircraft Pods
- Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod 
- AN/ALQ-211 AIDEWS
- AN/ALQ-131 Block II
- AN/AAQ-13 Navigation Pod
- ACMI Pod
- AN/ALE-47 Airborne Countermeasures Dispenser System
- Target drones
- 82 TTL BTT-3 Banshee with 5 launchers
Note: These Figures refer only to quantities of missiles from the transactions and not to the actual quantity of missiles in RJAF.
Royal Jordanian Air Defence
- Royal Jordanian air defense is part of the Royal Jordanian Air Force is equipped with Surface-to-Air missiles and Anti-Aircraft guns and Radar stations, as well as modern Electronic Warfare center and electronic countermeasure which is linked to command and control (C2) centers.
- Jordan provided with an integrated, real-time air picture across multiple command centers and many remote sites to better protect the country’s airspace. The system, known as Omnyx™, will combine sensor, voice and data communications to provide interoperability throughout the Royal Jordanian Air Force and other elements of Jordan’s armed forces. With input from radars and other data links, the system will assist in detecting incoming air traffic and also provide the capabilities needed for airspace management, air sovereignty and air defense missions.
- RJAF C2 and EW Capability
- Omnyx™ System enabling Jordanian Air Force to track and identify aircraft, evaluate any threats, initiate or monitor airborne engagements and enhance situational awareness of Jordanian airspace at all times.
- Jordan have a C4ISR subsystem capable of serving multiple internal services and agencies within Jordan and An Air Defense subsystem capable of early warning of air attack and real-time Command and Control (C2) of national air defense forces.
- RADIANT C4I National EW network, connecting regional control centers, ground radars and AD assets.
- Jordan has the ability to detect cruise missiles, aircraft and unmanned drones at long distances through the project linking a modern Russian radar (Protivnik GE) bought by Jordan recently with some U.S. 3D radars such as (FPS-117, TPS-77, TPS-43E) and Gap-filler radars with ADSI (Air Defence System Integrator) and all Fire Units to build air defence umbrella (IADS).
- Air Surveillance Radars
- AA Gun System
- Short-Range Tactical SAM System
- Medium & Long Range Air Defence
- 22 MIM-23 Hawk Phase III with MIM-23B/E Missiles (upgraded from 1998 to 2008)
- In the period from 1998 to 2008 was the purchase of the components of 8 Hawk Phase III batteries gradually and upgrade 14 old Hawk batteries to latest phase (Phase III ), Jordan has more than 1200 Hawk missiles (600 MEI-23E missiles), The decision has not been taken yet whether the system will be upgraded or it will be replaced by a modern air defense system from Russia (Buk-M2E) or Europe (SAMP/T, NASAMS) or USA (SL-AMRAAM ER).
- 3 MIM-104 Patriot unknown type Batteries (12 launchers)
- 22 MIM-23 Hawk Phase III with MIM-23B/E Missiles (upgraded from 1998 to 2008)
The roundel of the RJAF is three circles, with black, white and green circles, going from outside to inside. At the top of the roundel is a red triangle containing the seven-pointed star of the Flag of Jordan. The tails of aircraft usually carry an image of the flag of Jordan.
- Muath al-Kasasbeh, Royal Jordanian Air Force pilot captured, held hostage, and burned alive by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Royal Jordanian Air Force.|
- "RJAF Commander". Rjaf.mil.jo. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
- F-16 Versions – F-16/79 :: F-16.net
- PICTURES: Jordan accepts six more secondhand F-16s
- Belgian Air Force F-16's to Jordan
- F-16 Air Forces – Jordan :: F-16.net
- RJAF takes delivery of its first upgraded F-16 from TAI
- "Jordanian air force destroys vehicles entering from Syria". Retrieved 13 November 2014.
- "Jordan pilot ejected over Syria after 'technical failure'". Yahoo News. 31 December 2014.
- Botelho, Greg; Ford, Dana. "Jordan executes prisoners after ISIS hostage burned alive". CNN World News. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
- "Jordan F-16s strike ISIS targets and honor dead pilot's family". f-16.net.
- "Jordan launches new air strikes against ISIL". aljazeera.com.
- "Jordanian military aviation OrBat". Retrieved 13 November 2014.
- Ankit Panda, The Diplomat. "Pakistan Purchases F-16s From Jordan". The Diplomat. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
- "Billions to Upgrade and Up-arm Pakistan’s F-16s". Defense Industry Daily. 3 September 2014. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
- "Wapenexportbeleid; Brief regering; Verkoop F-16 jachtvliegtuigen aan Jordanië". Retrieved 13 November 2014.
- Van onze verslaggever. "Luchtmacht verkoopt vijftien F-16’s aan Jordanië". Retrieved 13 November 2014.
- "Jordanië aast op F-16’s". telegraaf.nl. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
- More Belgian F-16s for Jordan?
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- Jordanian AH-6i – Shepardmedia.com, 9 May 2012
- Press Release | Embassy of the United States
- Jordan to expand gunship fleet with C295 conversion – Flightglobal.com, 17 June 2014
- The EC635 is the military version of the light twin-engined EC135 helicopter
- Kingdom of Jordan Orders 4 Additional EC 635 Helicopters
- [dead link]
- Jordan’s Pocket Gunships: Converted CN-235s
- Jordan Orders CASA C-235 Gunship Conversion « World Aviation « Aviation Today « Air Aviation News
- "ATK Completes First Flight Test of Its Light Gunship for Airbus Military C235 of the Kingdom of Jordan". 5 December 2013.
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- "Jordan set to receive donated Air Tractor light attack aircraft – Paris Air Show 2013 – IHS Jane's". Retrieved 13 November 2014.
- "Selex to Develop UAV Technologies for Jordan". Retrieved 13 November 2014.
- Ms. Kim C Gillespie (USASAC) (23 April 2013). "Black Hawk helicopters fit for Jordanian king". Retrieved 13 November 2014.
- "Sabreliner Corporation Completes Two VVIP Helicopters for the Royal Jordanian Air Force". AviationPros.com. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
- FMS: Jordan Seeks 85 AIM-120C-7 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles
- FMS: Jordan Wants AIM-120 AMRAAM Missiles
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- Landmine & Cluster Munition Monitor | Country Profiles | Jordan | 2012 | Cluster Munition Ban Policy
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- "Alert 5". Retrieved 13 November 2014.
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- "AN/ALQ-131 Self Protection Jammer Pod". Retrieved 13 November 2014.
- Lockheed Martin · Lockheed Martin Receives $26 Million Contract to Help Royal Jordanian Air Force Control and Defend Its Airspace
- Jordan: Air Force interoperability and modernization | Middle East Confidential
- [dead link]
- FMS: Jordan Seeks Integrated C4ISR System
- Jordan to Establish C4ISR Network – Tags: ARMS transfers MILITARY art & science
- Jordan seeks C4ISR upgrade | Defense News | defensenews.com
- شركة Ultra ELECTRONICS تعرض نظم إمرة وتحكم لمنظومات الدفاع الجوي
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- Jordan To Receive 3 US Patriot Anti-missile Batteries On Feb 6 – Diplomats
- "Report: Jordan to deploy Patriot batteries on Syria border". ynet. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
- Griffin, David J., 60 Years of the Hawker Hunter, 1951 to 2011
- Official Site of the Royal Jordanian Air Force
- Royal Jordanian Airforce courtesy of Scramble.nl
- Royal Jordanian Air Force F-16s