Ghana Air Force
Ghana Armed Forces emblem
Founded29 July 1959; 64 years ago (1959-07-29)
Country Ghana
TypeAir force
RoleAerial warfare
Size22 aircraft [1]
Part ofGhana Armed Forces
HeadquartersBurma Camp
EngagementsFirst Liberian Civil War[2][3]
Second Ivorian Civil War[4][5][6]
Mali War[7][8]
Chief of the Air StaffAir Vice Marshal Frederick Asare Bekoe
Fin flash
Aircraft flown
FighterEmbraer EMB 314 Super Tucano
PatrolDiamond DA42 Twin Star
TrainerHongdu K-8 Karakorum
TransportEADS CASA C-295, Fokker F28 Fellowship

The Ghana Air Force (GHF) is the aerial warfare organizational military branch of the Ghanaian Armed Forces (GAF). The GHF, along with the Ghanaian army (GA) and Ghanaian navy (GN), make up the Ghanaian Armed Forces (GAF), which are controlled by the Ghanaian Ministry of Defence (MoD).


The GHF (Ghana Air Force) started on 24 July 1959 as a Flying Training School with Israeli instructors and technicians, under the command of Lt. Col. Adam Shatkay of the IAF. The School was established as a cradle of a service to complement the Army and the Navy. Later that year a headquarters was established in Accra under the command of Indian Air commodore K. Jaswant-Singh who was appointed as the first Chief of Air Staff (CAS).[9] In 1960 Royal Air Force personnel took up the task of training the newly established Ghana Air Force and in 1961 they were joined by a small group of Royal Canadian Air Force personnel. In September 1961 as part of President Kwame Nkrumah's Africanization program, a Ghanaian CAS was appointed, with the first being J.E.S. de Graft-Hayford, born in the U.K. of Ghanaian descent.

The Ghana Air Force was in the beginning equipped with a squadron of Chipmunk trainers, and squadrons of Beavers, Otters and Caribou transport aircraft. In addition a DH125 jet was bought for Kwame Nkrumah, Hughes helicopters were bought for mosquito spraying plus DH Doves and Herons. British-made Westland Whirlwind helicopters and a squadron of Italian-made MB-326 ground attack/trainer jets were also purchased.

In 1962 the national School of Gliding was set up by Hanna Reitsch, who was once Adolf Hitler's top personal pilot. Under the command of Air Commodore de Graft-Hayford, she served as director, operations instructor and trainer of the school. She also acted as the personal pilot of Kwame Nkrumah from 1962 to 1966.


The GHF headquarters is located at Burma Camp and the main transport airfield is the Air Force Base Accra, which shares the same runway with the Kotoka International Airport. Other GHF airfields include:


President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan inspecting the Ghana Air Force guard of honour at The Flagstaff House (now the Jubilee House), 1 March 2016.

The role of the Ghana Air Force, as defined in the National Defence Policy, is to provide "Air Transport and Offensive Air Support to the Ghana Armed Forces and to protect the territorial air space of Ghana". The National Defense Policy states certain specific tasks which the Ghana Air Force is expected to perform:

The Ghana Air Force is also responsible for the co-ordination and direction of Search and Rescue (SAR) within the Accra Flight Information Region.[9]


Active inventory

A Ghanaian special forces team board a Mi-17 helicopter
Aircraft Origin Type Variant In service Notes
Embraer EMB 314 Brazil light attack / COIN 5 on order[10]
Diamond DA42 Austria surveillance 2[11]
CASA C-295 Spain utility / transport 2[11]
Mil Mi-24 Russia attack Mi-35 1 on order[11]
Mil Mi-17 Russia utility / transport Mi-17/171 6[11]
Bell 412 United States utility 1[11]
Harbin Z-9 China utility 4[11]
Trainer Aircraft
Aero L-39NG Czech Republic jet trainer 6 on order[12]
Hongdu K-8 China jet trainer 4[11]
Diamond DA42 Austria multi engine trainer 1[11]


Previous notable aircraft operated were the Aermacchi MB-339, MB-326, DHC-4 Caribou, Fokker F27 Friendship, de Havilland Heron, Short Skyvan, BN-2 Islander, Beagle Husky, DHC-3 Otter, Cessna 172, Bell 212, Westland Wessex, Aérospatiale Alouette III, Mil Mi-2, Scottish Aviation Bulldog, DHC-1 Chipmunk, L-29 Delfín,HAL HT-2 and the Aero L-39ZO[13][14]

Chiefs of Air Staff

Further information: Chief of Air Staff (Ghana)

The senior appointment in the GHF is the Chief of Air Staff. The following is a list of the Ghana Air Force Chiefs of Air Staff:[15]

Rank structure

Main article: Military ranks of Ghana

The GHF's rank structure is similar to the RAF's rank structure from where its ranks were derived.

Commissioned officers
Rank group General / flag officers Senior officers Junior officers Officer cadet
 Ghana Air Force[21]
Air chief marshal Air marshal Air vice-marshal Air commodore Group captain Wing commander Squadron leader Flight lieutenant Flying officer Pilot officer
Rank group Senior NCOs Junior NCOs Enlisted
 Ghana Air Force[21]
No insignia
Warrant officer class I Warrant officer class II Flight sergeant Sergeant Corporal Leading aircraftsman Aircraftsman


  1. ^ World Air Forces 2014, Flightglobal Insight, 2014
  2. ^ Noble, Kenneth B. (17 September 1990). "Ghana Is Said to Strike Liberian Rebels". New York Times.
  3. ^ "Ghana's aircraft bomb rebel targets in Liberia". Tampa Bay Times. 17 October 2005.
  4. ^ "Legacy of Ghav's pioneers of peace". African Aerospace. 22 November 2017.
  5. ^ "Ghana's air force in a class of its own". African Aerospace. 8 May 2019.
  6. ^ Nossiter, Adam (4 April 2011). "Strikes by U.N. and France Corner Leader of Ivory Coast". New York Times.
  7. ^! [dead link]
  8. ^ "Ghana's small unit making a huge impact". African Aerospace. 10 March 2017.
  9. ^ a b c Ghana air force.
  10. ^ "Embraer Defense & Security sells five A-29 Super Tucano to the Ghana Air Force". Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h "World Air Forces 2023". Flightglobal Insight. 2023. Retrieved 7 December 2022.
  12. ^ "Ghana Air Force to get six L-39NG aircraft". Air Recognition. 21 December 2021. Retrieved 22 December 2021.
  13. ^ "World Air Forces 2004 pg, 59". Flightglobal I. 2004. Retrieved 4 December 2014.
  14. ^ "Historical Listings: Ghana, (GHA)." Archived 2011-07-20 at the Wayback Machine World Air Forces. Retrieved: 19 May 2011.
  15. ^ "Past Chiefs of Air Staff". Official website. Ghana Armed Forces. 6 February 2008. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 2 November 2008.
  16. ^ Military Air Vice-Marshal Archived 28 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  17. ^ "Ghana News, Volumes 8". Ghana News. Washington, D.C. : Embassy of Ghana: 3. 1979.
  18. ^ "Immediate Past Chief of Air Staff – Ghana Air Force". Official website. Ghana Armed Forces. 22 April 2005. Archived from the original on 7 January 2008. Retrieved 11 June 2007.
  19. ^ "Chief of Air Staff – Ghana Air Force". Official website. Ghana Armed Forces. 21 May 2005. Archived from the original on 27 August 2007. Retrieved 11 June 2007.
  20. ^ a b c Mahama, makes changes at the military hierarchy. "Mahama makes changes at the military hierarchy". Multimedia Group. Archived from the original on 1 August 2017. Retrieved 5 June 2017.
  21. ^ a b "Rank Structure". Ghana Air Force. 2018. Archived from the original on 21 January 2018. Retrieved 3 March 2024.