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Royal Air Force of Oman
سلاح الجو السلطاني عمان
Emblem of the Royal Air Force of Oman.svg
Founded March 1959-present
Country Oman
Commanders
Commander of the RAFO Air Vice-Marshal Matar bin Ali Al Obaidani
Insignia
Roundel of the former SOAF (Sultan of Oman's Air Force) Roundel of the Royal Air Force of Oman
RAFO Fin Flash Fin Flash of Oman
Ensign of the former SOAF (Sultan of Oman's Air Force) Air Force Ensign of Oman
Aircraft flown

The Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFOسلاح الجو السلطاني عمان - Silāḥ al-Jaww as-Sulṭāniy ‘Umān) is the air arm of the Armed Forces of Oman

HistoryEdit

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.

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 centuary. A contact 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.[1] 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.[2]

Oman was considering the purchase of either Eurofighter Typhoon or JAS 39 Gripen aircraft,[3] 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.[4]

EquipmentEdit

Aircraft Origin Type Versions In service[5] Notes
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.
Airbus A320CJ transport A320CJ 2
BAe Hawk 103 UK trainer Hawk 103 4 A total of 5 delivered, including 1 ex-Canadian.
BAe Hawk 203 UK fighter Hawk 203 11
Bell 206B JetRanger USA helicopter Bell 206 5 7 delivered.
Bell 214\214ST USA utility helicopter Bell 214
Bell 214ST
5
6
Bell HH-1H Iroquois USA helicopter HH-1H 20
Dornier Do 228-100 Germany light transport Do 228-100 2
Eurocopter AS 550 Fennec helicopter AS 550 3 Delivered To Omani Royal Flight.
Eurocopter EC 225 Super Puma helicopter EC 225 6 Delivered to Omani Royal Flight.
Lockheed C-130 Hercules USA tactical transport C-130H
C-130J-30
6
4
2 more ordered in August 2010.[6]
Lockheed Martin F-16C/D Fighting Falcon USA fighter F-16C/D 12 12 more on order and 1 lost to crash killing its pilot on Sunday 22/9/2013 status of aircraft is unknown but believed to be damaged beyond repair [7][8]
Hawk 128 (Hawk T2) UK Advanced Jet Trainer Hawk 128 8 on order.
Eurofighter Typhoon UK fighter Eurofighter Typhoon 12 on order. Manufacturing will begin in 2014 with delivery expected in 2017.[9]
NHI NH90 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.
PAC Super MFI-17 Mushshak Pakistan trainer 7 8 delivered.
Pilatus PC-9M Switzerland trainer PC-9M 12
SEPECAT Jaguar S/B ground attack Jaguar S/B 22 A total of 27 SEPECAT Jaguar delivered.[10][11][12]

Two lost to crash on 11/9/2013 after a Mid-Air collision killing one pilot and the other ejected but sustained injuries.[13]

Short SC.7 Skyvan 3M UK light Transport Skyvan 3M 12
Westland Super Lynx UK helicopter Super Lynx Mk. 120 15 16 Delivered.

1 lost to crash 2006.08.18.[14]

Total 200+

AAMsEdit

AGMsEdit

BombsEdit

  • BL-755
  • GBU-31\38
  • (84) JDAM (GBU-13\32)
  • Paveway-II (150) (GBU-10\12\16)
  • CBU-97 SFW350 (50)

Avionics\PodsEdit

  • 2 TARS
  • 7 Sniper AN-AAQ-33
  • AN-ALE-47
  • AN-ALQ-211
  • JHMCS Pilot helmet
  • Topowl
  • TWE
  • 12 AN\APG-66 combat aircraft radars (forF-16C\D)

Target DronesEdit

  • 53 TTL BTT-3 Banshee

RadarsEdit

  • AR-15
  • 4x S-713 Martello 3-D
  • 2x S-600
  • 1x Watchman

Historical AircraftEdit

ReferencesEdit

'World aircraft information files Brightstar publishing File 330 Sheet 1

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