Military Wiki
Bangladesh Air Force
বাংলাদেশ বিমান বাহিনী
Active 1971–present
Country  Bangladesh
Allegiance Bangladesh
Branch Air Force
Type Military Aviation
Role Aerial Warfare

25,000+ personnel

300+ aircraft
Part of Bangladesh Armed Forces
Air Headquarters Dhaka Cantonment
Nickname(s) BAF
Patron The President of Bangladesh

বাংলার আকাশ রািখব মুক্ত
Transliteration:Banglar Aakash Rakhibo Mukto

(We shall keep the sky of Bangla Free)
Engagements Bangladesh Liberation War
Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Muhammad Enamul Bari ndu, psc
Ensign Bangladeshi Air Force Ensign.svg
Roundel Bangladeshi Air Force roundel.svg
Aircraft flown
Attack A-5, L-39, Mi-171
Bomber An-32 (converted)
Fighter F-7, MiG-29
Helicopter Bell 206, Bell 212, Mi-8, Mi-17
Interceptor F-7
Reconnaissance F-7
Trainer PT-6, T-37, L-39
Transport An-32, C-130

The Bangladesh Air Force (Bengali language: বাংলাদেশ বিমান বাহিনী

Bangladesh Biman Bahini), is the aerial warfare arm of the Bangladesh Armed Forces. Being the first line of defence of Bangladesh, the air force revealed their long-term advancement and procurement plan in Defence IQ 2011 International Fighter Aircraft Conference in London. The Bangladesh Air Force currently employs more than 25,000 personnel including 750+ pilots and navigators.
Location of Bangladesh

Location of Bangladesh.

View of BAF Information and Selection Centre, Dhaka

Bangladesh Air Force MiG-29 Taking Part in Flypast of victory day, 2012.

Mil Mi-17 Hip Helicopter of Bangladesh Air Force on UN Mission


The Bangladesh Air Force was officially formed at the Sector Commanders Conference during its independence war from Pakistan in 1971. Its official date of formation has been established as 28 September 1971 and it was launched formally by the Government on 8 October 1971. Out of 11 BDFdisambiguation needed Sectors, the most tactically significant sector, the Central Sector - BDFdisambiguation needed Sector 11, was in command of a BAF officer including Sector 6. A significant number of BAF personnel participated in the Bangladesh Liberation War. Initially, BAF was formed with all officers and airmen of Bengali origin serving in the Pakistan Air Force prior to the war. At that time, the embryo of Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) was formed with less than hundred officers and a quite good number of airmen and warrant officers. During the independence war, officers of the BAF attached to the Z-Force were then BD Gov't Representative to Chakulia Guerilla Trng. Camp Squadron Leader M. Hamidullah Khan,[2] later Sub-Sector Commander and as Commander-Sector 11, Flight Lieutenant Liaqat as Battalion Adjutant, Flying Officer Rouf, Flying Officer Ashraf and Flight Sergeant Shafiqullah as company commanders. Squadron Leader Sadruddin Hossain, Squadron Leader Wahidur Rahim, Squadron Leader Nurul Qader, Squadron Leader Shamsur Rahman and Air Commodore Ataur Rahman as sub sector company commanders. Squadron Leader Khademul Bashar participated in the war as Commander-Sector 6.[3]

Near the end of the war, a symbolic flight known as 'Kilo Flight' was flown to establish the Bangladesh Air Force. Initially, 'Kilo Flight' consisted of three old and malfunctioning aircraft left by the Indian authorities. Squadron Leader Sultan Mahmud was appointed as the commander of the 'Kilo Flight' with one helicopter. Technically efficient airmen after being able to repair the only helicopter, the Alouette, into some operational form, 'Kilo Flight' successfully began its maiden operational flight as part of the new air force. During the war, Pakistan transferred a huge amount of essential war materials, equipment including precious raw materials and items to then West Pakistan that was originally assigned and appropriated for the eastern zone and the rest taken to India. Surrendered war machinery, ammunition, infrastructure materials, cash and historical including archaeological artefacts were taken by India. After independence, BAF received a significant donation from the former USSR and later from China. Among the aircraft delivered were Ten single-seat MiG-21MF and two twin-seat MiG-21UM.

In 1972, three aircraft: 1 C-47 Dakota, 1 de Havilland Canada DHC-3 Otter and a French Aérospatiale Alouette III helicopter were left to Bangladesh by India. The Pakistan Air Force prior to 1971 had a large number of Bengali pilots, air traffic controllers, technicians and administrative officers. Many of them distinguished themselves during the Bangladesh Liberation War, thus despite the lack of aircraft, they provided the nascent Bangladesh Air Force with a good number of trained personnel.

Air Force personnel in 1971

During the independence war of 1971, many career Pakistan Air Force officers and airmen participated in different sectors in Bangladesh and also at the headquarters. Below are a list of some notable participants. Military ranks are not necessarily representative of actual rank during the period of conflict:

Air vice-marshal Khademul Bashar
PAF-BAF – Deceased
Wing Commander M.Hamidullah Khan
PAF-BAF – Deceased
Air vice-marshal Sadruddin Hossain
PAF-BAF – Retired
Air Commodore Ataur Rahman
PAF-BAF – Retired
Squadron Leader Wahidur Rahim
PAF-BAF – Retired
Squadron Leader Nurul Kader
PAF-BAF – Retired
Squadron Leader Shamsur Rahman
PAF-BAF – Retired
Air vice-marshal Sultan Mahmud
PAF-BAF – Retired
Squadron Leader Nurul Islam
PAF-BAF – Retired
Group Captain Shamsul Alam
PAF-BAF – Retired
Flight Lieutenant Badrul Alam, Bir Uttom
PAF-BAF - Retired
Flight Lieutenant Matiur Rahman, Bir Shreshtho
PAF-BAF – Killed during attempt to defect to Bangladesh in 1971.
Flight Lieutenant Liaqat
PAF-BAF- Retired
Flight Lieutenant Iqbal Rashid
PAF-BAF- Retired
Flying Officer Rouf

PAF-BAF- Retired

Group Captain Ashraf

PAF-BAF- Retired

Flight Sergeant Abu Yusuf Khan

PAF-BAF – Retired

Flight Sergeant Shafiqullah

PAF-BAF – Retired

Non-combatant staff

Group Captain A K Khandker PAF-BAF – Was assigned as the Deputy Chief of Staff at the end of July 1971 under Lieutenant Colonel Abdur Rab who remained in Comilla during the war. His primary responsibility consisted of liaison with local Indian officials and defence personnel at Kalyani, Calcutta.

Distinguished personnel

  • Group Captain M. G. Tawab PAF-BAF was not allowed to report to Colonel M. A. G. Osmani and remained in Thailand until 16 December 1971. He joined Bangladesh Forces the following day after returning to Dhaka, as Deputy C-in-C at BDF HQ at Dhaka Cantonment (Old 14 Div. HQ). Tawab remained in that post until 7 April along with General Osmani. Tawab was again victim to jealous perpetrators and was forced to quit. He returned to Bangladesh in 1975 after AVM A. K. Khandker was sacked in 16 August 1975 (due to inaction on Khandkers part regarding Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's assassination). Tawab was brought back to Bangladeshi soil on 16 August and promoted to Air Vice Marshal and became Chief of Air Staff the same day.
  • Group Captain Safiul Azam PAF-BAF (Legendary Eagle Of The Sky)

Organizational structure

The Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) has its HQ at Dhaka Cantonment. HQ has 3 branches, Operations & Training (Ops. & Trng.), Administration and Special Duties (Admin. & SD) and Material & Maintenance (M & Mte). Each branch is headed by officers who are considered as Principal Staff Officer (PSO) and known as Assistant Chief of Air Staff, e.g. ACAS (Ops & Trng). Under each PSO there are various Directorates headed by Directors of Group Captain Rank. Under each Director there are Deputy Directors (DD) headed by Wing Commanders and Staff Officers(SO)with rank of Squadron Leader and below.

  • Office of the Chief of Air Staff (COAS)
  • Air Secretary's Branch
  • Chief Inspectorate (Air Cdre Murshed Hasan Siddiqui, psc) Air Commodore star plate.svg
  • Directorate of Air Intelligence (Air Cdre Obaidur Rahman, ndc, psc) Air Commodore star plate.svg
  • Judge Advocate General

  • Operations and Training Branch
  • Directorate of Air Defence
  • Directorate of Air Operations
  • Directorate of Air Traffic Services
  • Directorate of Air Training
  • Directorate of Education
  • Directorate of Flight Safety
  • Directorate of IT
  • Directorate of Meteorology
  • Directorate of Plan
  • Directorate of Recruitment

  • Administrative and Special Duties Branch
  • Directorate of Provost Marshal
  • Directorate of Administrative Co-ordination
  • Directorate of Finance
  • Directorate of Medical Services
  • Directorate of Personnel
  • Office of the Chief Engineer
  • Directorate of Works
  • Directorate of Welfare and Ceremony

  • Material and Maintenance Branch
  • Directorate of Armament and Weapons
  • Directorate of Communication & Electronics
  • Directorate of Engineering (Air Cdre Nazrul Haque, psc) Air Commodore star plate.svg
  • Directorate of Project
  • Directorate of Logestics (Air Cdre M Abdul Hossain, psc) Air Commodore star plate.svg

Command structure

Shoulder/Sleeve insignia Appointment Rank & Name Star Plate
UK-Air-OF8.svg Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Muhammad Enamul Bari, ndu, psc Air Marshal star plate.svg
UK-Air-OF7.svg Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Operations & Training) Air Vice Marshal Abu Esrar, ndu, acsc Air Vice-Marshal star plate.svg
UK-Air-OF7.svg Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Administration) Air Vice Marshal Mashiuzzaman Serniabad,

ndu, psc

Air Vice-Marshal star plate.svg
UK-Air-OF7.svg Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Maintenance) Air Vice Marshal Mazharul Islam, psc Air Vice-Marshal star plate.svg
UK-Air-OF6.svg Air Officer Commanding, BAF Base Khademul Bashar Air Vice Marshal Nayeem Hassan Air Vice-Marshal star plate.svg
UK-Air-OF6.svg Air Officer Commanding, BAF Base Bangabandhu Air Commodore Md Obaidur Rahman Air Commodore star plate.svg
UK-Air-OF6.svg Air Officer Commanding, BAF Base Zahurul Haq Air Commodore Humayun Kabir Air Commodore star plate.svg
UK-Air-OF6.svg Air Officer Commanding, BAF Base Matiur Rahman Air Commodore M Anwarul Haque Sardar Air Commodore star plate.svg
UK-Air-OF6.svg Air Officer Commanding, BAF Base Paharkanchanpur Air Commodore Anisur Rahman Air Commodore star plate.svg
UK-Air-OF6.svg Air Officer Commanding, BAF Base Cox's Bazar Air Commodore Sheikh Abdul Hannan Air Commodore star plate.svg

Branches (officer)

Bell 206 Long Ranger of Bangladesh Air Force.

Branches of Bangladesh Air Force are:

Administration and Special Duties
Air Traffic Control
Air Defence Weapons Control
Education and Training
General Duty (Navigator)
General Duty (Pilot)

Trades (airmen)

Trades of Bangladesh Air Force are:

BAF Antonov An-32

Aircraft Engineering
Electrical and Instrument Engineering
General Engineering
Mechanical Transport Fitter & Operator
Armament Engineering
Radio Engineering
Ground Signalling
Radar Operating
Life Saving Equipment
Air Traffic Control
General Service


BAF Headquarters is located in Dhaka Cantonment. There are numerous bases set up all over the country. BAF Base Khademul Bashar Dhaka, BAF Base Bangabandhu Dhaka, BAF Base Zahurul Haque Chittagong and BAF Base Matiur Rahman Jessore are named after National as well as Air Force heroes. Other major bases are BAF Base Pahar Kanchanpur Tangail and Forward Operations Base at Cox's Bazar. There are also several independent units and detachments in places like Moulavibazar Radar Unit (MRU), Bogra Radar Unit (BRU), No. 74 Squadron Bangladesh Air Force at Chittagong & No.71 Squadron Bangladesh Air Force at Dhaka & Shamshernagar.

Bangladesh Air Force Academy is the commissioned officer training academy for all branches of Bangladesh Air Force. It is located at BAF Base Matiur Rahman in Jessore.


Officer ranks

(in descending order) Bangladesh Bangladesh Air Force

UK-Air-OF9.svg    UK-Air-OF8.svg    UK-Air-OF7.svg    UK-Air-OF6.svg    UK-Air-OF5.svg    UK-Air-OF4.svg    UK-Air-OF3.svg    UK-Air-OF2.svg    UK-Air-OF1A.svg    UK-Air-OF1B.svg   
Air Chief Marshal    Air Marshal    Air Vice-Marshal    Air Commodore    Group Captain    Wing Commander    Squadron Leader    Flight Lieutenant    Flying Officer    Pilot Officer   

Junior Commissioned Officer, Non Commissioned Officer and Ordinary Airman ranks

(in descending order) Bangladesh Bangladesh Air Force

Master Warrant Officer.jpg Senior Warrant Officer baf.jpeg Warrant Officer baf.jpeg Sergeant-baf.jpg Corporal baf.jpeg Leading Aircraftman.jpeg Aircraftman.jpeg
Master Warrant Officer Senior Warrant Officer Warrant Officer Sergeant Corporal Leading Aircraftman Aircraftman Aircraftman

Aircraft inventory

Type of Aircraft Number of Aircraft Unit Assignment Notes
Air Superiority 50 Squadrons: 8
Fighter / Interceptor 69[4] Squadrons: 5 & 35
Attack Aircraft 23 Squadrons: 21 To be retired in 2014
Jet Fighter Conversion 16 Squadrons: 25 Also perform the role of Transport Trainer
Transport Aircraft 7 Squadrons: 3 & 101st Special Flying Unit An-32 has dual transport/bomber role.
Attack helicopter 16[5] Squadrons:1 & 31
Helicopter 65 Squadrons:1, 9 & 31
Intermediate Jet Trainer 7 Squadrons: 15
Primary Fixed Wing Trainer 25+ Squadrons: 11,12 Also stationed in Bogra for Flying Instructor's School
Primary Rotary Wing Trainer 4 Squadrons: 18

Future modernization program

The BAF has an ongoing modernization program that includes plans to introduce 3-4 squadrons of 4.5 generation fighter aircraft. In Defence IQ 2011 International Fighter Aircraft Conference in London, Chief of air staff of the Bangladesh Air Force (2007-2012), Air Marshal Shah Mohammad Ziaur Rahman revealed Bangladesh Air Force's long-term procurement and modernization plan. According to his statement, the aircraft that are being evaluated are for the procurement are Mig-29SMT and Su-30MK2.[6] While the Mig-29SMT and the Su-30MK2 are the primary aircraft under consideration, the air force is also evaluating JAS 39 Gripen and Lockheed Martin F-16.[6] The order should materialize within 5–10 years according to him.

On the mean time, one squadron of stop-gap light fighter Chengdu F-7BGI have been delivered in 2013. These aircraft are based on the Chengdu J-7G in service with PLAAF and are equipped with advanced avionics that includes HOTAS Control, three MFD displays and a HUD. The aircraft is also equipped with both air-to-air and GPS guided munitions.Three Mi-171SH attack helicopters were also received in 2013.

Meanwhile, the existing MiG-29 fleet will also be upgraded to Mig-29SMT standard for operational use for another 15–20 years.

Bangladesh Govt. is negotiating for a total of 24 Yakovlev Yak-130 Lead-in fighter trainer and 5 Mi-171SH attack helicopters from Russia.[7]

Bangladesh is also negotiating with US government for the regeneration, overhaul, modifications and logistics support for 4 off-the-shelf Lockheed Martin C-130E, 20 engines and associated parts, equipment, and training for an estimated cost of $180 million.[8]

UN mission deployment

More than 600+ BAF personnel, including officers and airmen, 10 BAF helicopters and are currently deployed to various UN Missions. Another C-130 transport aircraft is providing support to UN Mission in Africa. With the deployment of C-130 aircraft and its personnel, Bangladesh became the largest troops contributing country in UN Peace Keeping Missions.

Guided weapons

Name Version Type Used by Notes
PL-2 Infrared Guided Air-to-air missile F-7MB, A-5C
PL-5 E Active Infrared Guided Air-to-air missile F-7MB, A-5C
PL-7 Infrared Guided Air-to-air missile F-7MB, A-5C PRC version of the French Matra Magic R.550 missile.
PL-9 C Infrared Guided Air-to-air missile F-7BG
Vympel R-27 Infrared Guided (R-27T), Semi Active Radar Guided (R-27R), and Active Radar Guided (R-27AE) MiG-29
Vympel R-73 Infrared Guided Air-to-air missile MiG-29
Vympel R-77 Beyond-visual-range missile Air-to-air missile MiG-29
LT-2 Laser Guided Bomb F-7BG, F-7MB, A-5C
LS-6 Satellite Guided Bomb F-7BG, F-7MB, A-5C
FM-90 Surface-to-air missile Ground Based Air Defence BAF introduce Ground Based Air Defence


Bangladeshi Air Force roundel.svg

The basic dimensions of the Bangladesh Air Force badge, motto, ensign, and roundel are similar to that of the Commonwealth nations. Their basic colours are blue, green and red.

List of the Chiefs of Air Staff, Bangladesh Air Force

Air Vice Marshal Abdul Karim Khandker
(10 April 1972 – 17 August 1975)
Air Vice Marshal Muhammad Ghulam Tawab
(August 18th 1975–1977)
Air Vice Marshal Khademul Bashar
Air Vice Marshal Abdul Gafoor Mahmud
Air Vice Marshal Sadruddin Mohammad Hossain
Air Vice Marshal Sultan Mahmud
Air Vice Marshal Momtaz Uddin Ahmed
Air Vice Marshal Altaf Hossain Chowdhury
(4 June 1991 – 3 June 1995)
Air Marshal Jamal Uddin Ahmed
(3 June 1995 – 4 June 2001)
Air Vice Marshal Rafiqul Islam
(4 June 2001 – 7 April 2002)
Air Vice Marshal Fakhrul Azam
(8 April 2002 – 7 April 2007)
Air Marshal Shah Mohammad Ziaur Rahman ndc, fawc, psc
(8 April 2007 – 12 June 2012)
Air Marshal Muhammad Enamul Bari ndu, psc
(13 June 2012 – present )

See also


External links

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