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Nepalese Army Air Service
Roundel of Nepal.svg
Active 1965 - present
Country Nepal Nepal
Branch Nepal Army
Type Army aviation
Role Battlefield support and transport
Size 500
Part of Military
Garrison/HQ Kathmandu
Engagements Nepalese Civil War

Nepal has no separate Air Force but flies several aircraft within Nepalese Army Service, also known as the Nepal Army Air Wing. It was formed in 1960s, but became an air force unit in 1979. Finally, It is now again a part of the Army. It has limited combat capabilities as only few helicopters can be armed .The main objective of this flying element is transport, flying paratroopers and assistance in case of an emergency (e.g. natural disasters). Apart from the 11th Brigade the country has established a VIP Flight from Tribhuvan Airport, mostly the aircraft are stationed at Kathmandu, Surkhet and Dipayal.

From 1996 - 2006 the country was in civil war against Maoist rebels who strove to overthrow the constitutional monarchy and establish a republic. Their attacks increased since the massacre of the Royal Family in 2001. This development led to the need for armed helicopters. Several types of aircraft have entered service since: MI-17s, M28 Skytruck, HAL Lancer and HAL Dhruv. The UK has delivered two Britten-Norman Islanders and two MI-17s free of charge. China decided to supply an MA-60 (an Y-7 derivative). Nepal has also purchased HAL Cheetah and HAL Chetak helicopters.

The NAAS consists of about 500 members.

Aircraft[edit | edit source]

Hawker Siddeley HS 748 at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu

This is a list of currently-active aircraft in use with the Nepalese Army Air Service:

Aircraft Origit;"|Type Versions In service Notes
Aérospatiale SA 316 Alouette III France light utility helicopter 3 Upgraded
BAE Avro 748 UK Troop Transport 2
PZL M28 Skytruck Poland Paratroop Transport & Light Cargo 2
Shorts Skyvan UK Troop Transport & Cargo 1
Mil Mi-17 Russia transport helicopter 2 Upgraded for "hot and high" conditions. GPMG guns can also be mounted to give ground support to the troops. The army is to get Rs 2.3($30mil) for the purchase of two new Mi-17s.
Mil Mi-8 Hip-H Russia transport helicopter/Light Ground Support 3 3 operated Nepal government; one of the MI-17 helicopters got damaged in April 2006 during clashes in Sarlahi District between security forces and the Maoist People's Liberation Army. It has been repaired. It is fitted with Night Vision equipments, GPMG Gun and provision for drop bomb facility.[1]
Eurocopter AS 350 Ecureuil Light utility helicopter 2 Upgraded
Eurocopter AS 332 Super Puma utility helicopter AS 332L 2 Stretched civil version with uprated engines, lengthened fuselage, more cabin space, increased fuel capacity and airline like interior.
HAL Dhruv India Utility helicopter 2 3 delivered 1 crashed during the insurgency.
Aérospatiale Lama India light utility helicopter/light attack 4 Indian license-produced SA 315B variant by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited called Cheetah(utility) and Lancer(light attack) armed with 12.7 mm machine guns and six 70 mm rockets.
Britten-Norman Islander UK Light Transport 1 Meant for recon & other Army/Government Officials

One lost to crash 2011.

Xian MA-60 China Troop Transport/Cargo 0 Placed orders for 2 Aircraft. Delivery put on hold due to ongoing peace process.

Facilities[edit | edit source]

In all Nepal there are 36 airfields that are able to support military operations. See also the full list of airports in Nepal

Army pilots training School[edit | edit source]

The Nepal Army Air service has its flying and Helicopter Pilots training school since 2004 within the 11no. Brigade and is the only Helicopter Pilot training school in Nepal. Along with the army air service pilots, the school also produces civilian pilots. The school provides Mi-17, Bell and Ecureuil Helicopter flight training exercise.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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