Military Wiki
Algerian Air Force
القوات الجوية الجزائرية
Al Quwwat aljawwiya aljaza'eriiya
Active From 1962 until now
Country  Algeria
Branch Air Force
Size 14,000 perssonel
Equipment 250-300 aircraft
130-150 helicopters
Roundel Algeria A-F Roundel.svg
Aircraft flown
Fighter Su-30, MiG-29, Su-24, MiG-25
Attack helicopter Mi-24
Interceptor Su-30, MiG-25
Patrol Fokker F27, King Air
Reconnaissance MiG-25, UAV Seeker, Su-24, B-1900D HISAR
Trainer Z 142, T-34C, L-39, Yak-130
Transport C-130, Il-76, C-295

The Algerian Air Force (QJJ) (Arabic language: القوات الجوية الجزائرية‎, Al Quwwat aljawwiya aljaza'eriiya), is the aerial arm of the Algerian People's Military.


C-130H Hercules in 2009


Sukhoi Su-30MKA

Historical overview on the creation and development of the Air Force Command

The creation of the Algerian military aviation was neither the result of a particular circumstance nor the initiative of a single person but the outcome of a global strategy having for a goal to develop and diversify the means of fight of the People National Army against the French occupying forces. It came in application of the decisions of the Soummam congress held on August 20, 1956 which recommended the working out of a long term plan to form a modern army [1]

From 1958 to 1962

Inside the revolution command, a structure was created to receive the Algerian student of the People National Army, among which some were sent to sister and friendly countries such as Egypt, Iraq, Syria, USSR and China, to follow a training of aircraft pilots and aeronautics technicians [2].

During this period, the French colonial army had started the lines of Challe and Morrice used to isolate the ALN fighters inside the country and to stop supplies coming from Tunisia and Morocco. Then, came the idea to train transport and helicopter pilots to ensure the supplying of the national liberation army and to prepare the first core of the military aviation.

From 1962 to 1970

Training was one of the major preoccupations of the ALN/FLN leaders. The military aviation had already a core of pilots and technicians after the independence, who laid the foundations of the present Air Force as a defense system which ensures the sovereignty on the aerial space and the integrity of the Algerian territory.

In this context, the Direction of Air was born and the first air units of independent Algeria were set up:

– A flight of helicopters that was acquired during the revolution.

– A flight of combat aircraft.

Algerians authorities at that time proceeded to a massive recruiting and sending of trainees to friendly countries such Egypt, Syria, Iraq, China and USSR, while waiting for the creation of Algerian Air Force schools which will allow the undertaking of most important training and instructing of classes in various aviation categories.

That is how in 1966, the Air Base of Tafraoui in the 2nd Military Region was built as an air officers school (EOA) where the first officer students were received for the training of pilots and technicians in aeronautics among which, some are, nowadays, commanders or have important responsibility positions in the Air Force [3].

During this first decade, immediately after the independence, Algerian Air Force acquired many planes from USSR, mainly MiG-15UTI and MiG-17, which some were donated by Egypt. When border clachs with Morocco occurred in 1963, Algerian government decided to reinforce the capacities of the army and the air force. Following that a consistent bunch of MiG-17F light bomber, MiG-21F13 interceptor, Su-7BMK fighter/bomber and some An-12 airlifter were purchased from USSR. Adding to that, Mi-1 and Mi-4 helicopters were deployed and largely used just after their delivery. During the six days war in 1967, and war of attrition between 1967 and 1973,[1] 2 Squadrons of MiG-17F, One Squadron of MiG-21F13 and one Squadron of Su-7BMK were sent and stationed in Egypt to support the Arab coalition .

From 1970 to 1980

Due to the important events of this decade (the nationalization of hydrocarbons, conflicts in the Middle East and Western Sahara) the political leaders had to acquire modern equipment to face more and more complex missions and to create new bases to meet the requirements. We must not omit to say that this decade witnessed the integration of women in the military aviation in the same fields as men, such as piloting supersonic aircraft.

During yom kippur war, Algerian Air Force participated in the conflict under the unified Egyptian military commandement. MiG-21F13 and newer MiG-21PF were mainly used to cover Cairo region and MiG-17F and Su-7BMK participated actively in the war, mostly in straffing and bombing missions. In October 1973 two Su-7BMK, one MiG-21 and a number of MiG-17F were lost.[2][3]

In 1976, Algerian Air Force planes were returned from Egypt to their home bases in Algeria. Shortly after dozens of MiG-23MF, MiG-23BN and MiG-25P were acquired and entered in the inventory. Morever the MiG-21F13 and MiG-21PF were replaced by more performant MiG-21MF and later MiG-21Bis interceptors.

From 1980 to 2000

Regarding the importance of the missions assigned to the military aviation, and like professional armies, the High Command decided to dissociate the Air Defense of the Territory from the Department of Air force, which was built in 1986 as an air force command with an organization more going with the new missions assigned to it.

This organization is made of the following structures:

– A central command assisted by a general staff and an inspectorate, an arms division, a department of support and specialized offices.

– Air commands in the military regions.

– Air bases, schools, training centers, support institutions, equipment renovation enterprises and defense and control units.

During this period few modification occurred in the combat aircraft inventory of Algerian Air Force. 10 Su-24MK were received from USSR and MiG-17F were phased out. However a new airplane supplier emerged just after Iranian revolution. Algeria received 18 C-130H Hercules, 12 T-34 Mentor, and 12 Hawker Beechcraft supplied by USA from 1981 to 1989, for transport and training.

Since 2000


Ilyushin IL-78 (7T-WIH)

The Air Force carried on the ascension of their technical and operational capacities, by equipping their fleet with more efficient support and equipments to be at the level of new technologies. To fulfill these objectives, Algerian Air Force purchased a large number of MiG-29S (index 9.13) from Belarusse and Ukraine from 1999 to 2003. Moreover at least 25 Su-24MK were also received in the same period. After the large military deal concluded with Russia during March 2006, Algeria ordered newest and modern fighters including 28 Su-30MKA, 16 Yak-130A and 34 MiG-29SMT. However, in 2008 the contract of MiG-29 SMT was cancelled and the planes delivered were returned to Russia and exchanged with 16 Su-30MKA multirole fighters. While the current front-line fleet primarily consists of Russian-origin aircraft such as the Sukhoi Su-30 and the MiG-29, Algeria has expressed an interest in acquiring competing modern aircraft from China. Algeria has been seen as a potential operator of the Chinese 4th-Generation JF-17 Thunder fighter Project.[4]

Moreover, the new challenges, the dialog process undertaken by the People National Army with the NATO and the cooperation with foreign armies pushed the air force Command to revise its training structure for a better adaptation of men to the new environment in which they will act.

In this framework, the air force schools were equipped with the appropriate human and pedagogical means for the training of experts able to accomplish the missions assigned to them inside the People National Army and / or with foreign armies.

Air Bases


Sukhoi Su-30MKA

See also List of airports in Algeria for other airfields which may have a dual civil-military function.


Aircraft Origin Type Versions Delivered[5] In service[5][6] Notes
Fighter aircraft
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25  Soviet Union
/ Ukraine
20[5] 12[5] to 14[6]
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29  Ukraine
/ Belarus
Multirole Fighter MiG-29S/UB 43 to 56 25[5] to 34[6]
Sukhoi Su-24  Soviet Union
/ Russia
Electronic warfare
45 22[6] to 38[5]
Sukhoi Su-30  Russia Multirole Fighter Su-30MKA 28 28[6] +16 to be delivered[6]
Trainer aircraft
Aero L-39 Albatros  Czech Republic Advanced Trainer; Light attack L-39ZA / L-39 C 73 30[6] to 43[5]
Yakovlev Yak-130  Russia Advanced Trainer
light attack
Yak-130 16 16[5][6]
Zlín Z-142/Fernas-142  Czech Republic
/ Algeria
Trainer Z-142 20 [7] Produced in Algeria under licence [8]
Safir-43  Czech Republic
/ Algeria
Trainer S-43 20 Produced in Algeria under licence [8]
Beechcraft King Air United States Utility transport C90B/GTx 6[citation needed]
Beechcraft Super King Air United States Utility transport B200 10[citation needed]
King Air 200 MPA United States Maritime patrol King Air 200 MPA 2[citation needed]
Beechcraft Super King Air United States Utility transport B300/350ER 6[citation needed]
Raytheon 1900D United States Utility transport Raytheon 1900D 6 6
Raytheon 1900 HISAR United States
/ Canada
Recce HISAR/MMSA 6 6 Equipment include, Side Loocking Airborn Radar and IR/TV cameras[citation needed]
CASA C-295  Spain Transport C-295 6[5] 5 One lost on 9 November 2012.[9]
Gulfstream III United States VIP Transport 3[5] 3[5] Transport of government staff and officials VIP
Gulfstream V United States VIP Transport 1 Transport of government staff and officials VIP
Airbus A340-500  France VIP Transport 1 1 Transport of government staff and officials VIP
Ilyushin Il-76  Soviet Union
/ Russia
Transport Il-76MD/Il-76TD 11[6]
Lockheed C-130 Hercules United States Transport C-130H/C-130H-30 18 13[5] to 16[6] Originally 18 were acquiered, 7T-WHQ was lost in 2003 during a flight training, 7T-WHA was heavily damaged at Le Bourget airport when landing in 2010 [2]
Ilyushin Il-78  Russia Tanker Il-78M/T 2[5] to 5[6]
Bell 412 United States Transport helicopter 412EP 3 VIP and utility transport
Eurocopter AS 355 Ecureuil  France Utility helicopter AS 355N/AS 555N 12[5] 12 [5][6]
Kamov Ka-32  Russia SAR Ka-32T/Ka-32C 3 2 Ka-32T at Bousfer Air Base and 1 Ka-32C at Boufarik Air Base
Mil Mi-2  Poland Utility helicopter Mi-2 2 [6]
PZL W-3 Sokół  Poland Multipurpose helicopter W-3A 0 0 +8 in orders (2013-2014)
Mil Mi-8/Mil Mi-17  Soviet Union
/ Russia
Transport helicopter Mi-8/Mi-17/Mi-171 100+ 74[6] to 87[5]
Mil Mi-24  Soviet Union
/ South Africa
Attack helicopter Mi-24MKIII 36[5] 36[5][6]
Seeker II  South Africa Unmanned Air Vehicle Seeker II 6[citation needed]

See also







External links

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