Army aviation

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Army aviation
U.S. soldiers in OH-58D Kiowa and AH-64 Apache helicopters conduct a combat air patrol in Iraq

An army aviation unit is an aviation-related unit of a nation's army, often described as an air corps. These units are generally separate from a nation's dedicated air force, and usually comprise helicopters and light support fixed-wing aircraft.


Soldiers rappelling (abseiling) from a JGSDF UH-1H in 2007
A Defender command and control, surveillance and transport aircraft, of the British Army Air Corps
A CH-53G helicopter of the German Army Aviation Corps during Operation Provide Comfort in Northern Iraq
A French Army Light Aviation Eurocopter Cougar in Afghanistan
An Indian Army HAL Dhruv helicopter deploying US troops during a joint exercise

The tasks of each army's aviation units are defined slightly different, depending on nationality. Some general characteristics, however, apply to all army aviation units regardless of provenience:


In order to fulfill their manifold tasks, army aviation mostly uses helicopters. These helicopters can be classified into the following categories:

In addition to helicopters, many armies also operate fixed-wing aircraft. They include the following categories:

  • Reconnaissance
  • Surveillance
  • Transport
  • Airborne command post

List of notable national army aviation components[edit]

An Argentine Army Cessna T-41D Mescalero AE-054, in 2009

See also[edit]


Further reading[edit]

  • Allen, Matthew (1993), Military helicopter doctrines of the major powers, 1945-1992. Making decisions about air-land warfare, Westport (CT): Greenwood, ISBN 0-313-28522-5 
  • Gunston, Bill (1981), An illustrated guide to military helicopters, New York: Arco Publishing, ISBN 0-668-05345-3 
  • Halberstadt, Hans (1990), Army Aviation, Novato (CA): Presidio, ISBN 0-89141-251-4 
  • Sutton, John; Walker, John (1990), From horse to helicopter. Transporting the British Army in war and peace, London: Cooper, ISBN 0-85052-724-4 
  • Warner, Guy; Boyd, Alex (2004), Army Aviation in Ulster, Newtownards, Co. Down: Colourpoint Books, ISBN 1-904242-27-8 
  • Young, Ralph B. (2000), Army aviation in Vietnam. An illustrated history of unit insignia, aircraft camouflage and markings, Ramsey (NJ): Huey Co., ISBN 0-9671980-1-1 

External links[edit]