Lao People's Liberation Army Air Force

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Lao People's Liberation Army Air Force
Founded 1976
Country Laos
Branch Lao People's Army
Type Air force
Role Aerial warfare
Size 43 aircraft
HQ Vientiane
Fin Flash Laos roundel.svg

The Lao People's Liberation Army Air Force (LPLAAF) is the air force of Laos.[1]


The present-day LPLAAF is descended from the Aviation Laotienne, which was established by the French and later became the Royal Lao Air Force. Pathet Lao guerrilla forces began to operate a few aircraft from 1960, as did another rebel group led by Kong Le. Kong Le forces were later re-incorporated into the Royal Lao Air Force. When the communist take-over in, 1975, resulted in the adoption of the present title.[2]

Military co-operation agreement with Russia in 1997 resulted in 12 Mil Mi-17 helicopters that entered service in mid-1999 to follow on from previous deliveries of Mi-8s. SAM systems also entered service such as the SA-3 'Goa' and SA-7B 'Grail'.[3]


The LPLAAF operates from two main bases - Vientiane and Phonsavanh - with another three bases supported by detachments from the main units. Apart from the main military air bases, there are also a number of smaller airports and airfields around the country which are frequently used by the Air Force and the semi-military airline Lao Airlines. In 1961 Laos had 25 airstrips capable of taking a C-47.[4]


Current inventory[edit]

Aircraft Origin Type Variant In service Notes
Antonov An-74 Russia transport An-74TK-100 1[5]
Antonov An-26 Russia transport 1[6]
Xian MA60 China transport 2[6]
Harbin Z-9 China utility 5[6]
Mil Mi-17 Russia utility / transport 11[7]
Mil Mi-26 Russia heavy lift 1[6]
Kamov Ka-27 Russia utility Ka-32 2[6]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Lao People's Liberation Army Air Force". Retrieved 15 July 2016. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Lao People's Liberation Army Air Force". Retrieved 15 July 2016. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b c d e "World Air Forces 2016 pg. 22". Flightglobal Insight. 2016. Retrieved 1 May 2016. 
  7. ^