|Royal Brunei Air Force|
|Tentera Udara Diraja Brunei|
|Founded||1 October 1991|
|Allegiance||Royal Brunei Armed Forces|
|Role||Aerial warfare, air defence, air policing, search and rescue|
|Size||20 manned aircraft, plus 4 UAVs|
|Part of||Royal Brunei Armed Forces|
|Headquarters||Rimba, Brunei-Muara, Brunei|
|Commander||Brig Gen Sharif Ibrahim|
|Deputy Commander||Col Haszahaidi Ahmad Daud|
|Chief of staff||Lt Col Mohammad Albadii Shahnoel|
|Sergeant Major||WO1 Suridi Ibrahim|
|Brig Gen Mahmud Saidin @ Muhammad Saidin (first Bruneian with fighter pilot's licence)|
|Multirole helicopter||S-70i, Bell 214ST|
|Trainer helicopter||Bell 206|
The Royal Brunei Air Force (RBAirF) (Malay: Tentera Udara Diraja Brunei, abbreviation TUDB) is the air force of the sultanate of Brunei Darussalam. It is headquartered and mainly based at the Royal Brunei Air Force Base, Rimba, within the Brunei International Airport (BIA). The role of the Royal Brunei Air Force is to defend the national airspace and to provide air policing and surveillance of its land and maritime borders. As of 2023[update], the Royal Brunei Air Force operates twenty manned aircraft and four unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).
The Royal Brunei Air Force was formed as an independent air force on 1 October 1991. It was originally created in 1965 as the Air Wing of the Royal Brunei Malay Regiment (Malay: Askar Melayu Diraja Brunei – AMDB), the forerunner of today's Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF). The Air Wing of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces had operated helicopters (the Bell 205) since 1966.
The Royal Brunei Air Force was established as the Air Wing of the Royal Brunei Malay Regiment in 1965. It was first tasked to fly doctors to rural area with two Sikorsky S-55 aircraft, which was operated by pilots from the Worldwide Helicopter Company. In 1966, the tasks were taken over by three British pilots from the Royal Air Force (RAF) operating three RAF Westland Whirlwind helicopters.
In 1967, the unit was renamed as the Helicopter Platoon, and received five Bell 206 Jet Ranger helicopters. The Air Technical Training School was established in 1980. In 1981, No. 2 Squadron was established and equipped with six Bölkow BO105 helicopters.
No. 3 Squadron was established in 1982 and equipped with SIAI-Marchetti SF260s. On 1 September 1983, the No. 2 Wing was founded at what was previously the Air Defense Battery. When Brunei assumed responsibility for its own defence from the United Kingdom in 1984, the Air Wing was expanded. On 1 October 1991, with the consent of The Sultan, the Air Wing was officially renamed the Royal Brunei Air Force. The Air Defense Battery was transferred to the Royal Brunei Air Force on 24 March 1995, and given the new name Air Defence Squadron.
No. 4 Squadron was established in 1997, and was equipped with the Blackhawk S-70A helicopters. No. 5 Squadron was also established in 1997, and was equipped with a CN-235 fixed-wing aeroplane and the Base Defence Squadron. In the same year, 3 Squadron received the Pilatus PC-7 Mark II training aircraft. No. 38 Squadron was established in 1999, and is equipped with the Mistral surface-to-air missile, following acquisition of its Mistral System. In the same year, Airfield Ground Defense was transferred from the RBAirF's Administration Wing to the Air Regiment.
A brand-new wing called No. 3 Wing was inaugurated on 27 July 2016. In 2019, the RBAirF unveiled the Digital Disruptive Pattern BDU in digital grey colours at the 58th anniversary celebration at the Bolkiah Garrison. As of 28 August 2020, the commander of the Royal Brunei Air Force is Brigadier General (U) Dato Seri Pahlawan Mohd Sharif bin Dato Paduka Haji Ibrahim.
Following an order made in 2020, the RBAirF acquired five Boeing Insitu RQ-21 Blackjack unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) from the United States in 2021. They will be used for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) around Brunei's territorial waters in the South China Sea. The first was unveiled by the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, an event held in June 2021 to mark the 60th anniversary of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces.
A parade was held at the Air Movement Centre (AMC) in celebration of the 55th anniversary on 25 June 2021. Of note was the introduction of Integrator into the RBAirF, a drone unmanned aerial system (UAS). In collaboration with the Philippine Air Force (PAF) on 3 December 2021, pilots from the Philippines will carry out their training with the S-70i Blackhawk flight simulator at the Canadian Aviation Electronics (CAE) Brunei Multi-Purpose Training Centre (BMPTC).
The decommissioning ceremony of the RBAirF's Bölkow BO105 fleet was held at the AMC within the Air Force Base, Rimba, on 5 February 2022. First introduced as a fleet of six helicopters into No. 2 Squadron, Air Wing in 1981, administered and maintained by the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) from the UK until 1993, this ended 41 years' service of the type as latterly operated by No. 1 Wing, Operations Group.
The Royal Brunei Air Force is divided into seven (7) Wings:
The Operation Wing consists of four flying wings and three addition units:
|Term of office||Ref.|
|Took office||Left office||Time in office|
|?||20 August 2009|||
|20 August 2009||7 December 2012||3 years, 109 days|||
Wardi Abdul Latip
|7 December 2012||26 September 2015||2 years, 293 days|||
|26 September 2015||18 August 2018||2 years, 326 days|||
|18 August 2018||28 August 2020||2 years, 10 days|||
|28 August 2020||Incumbent||2 years, 230 days|||
Main article: Military ranks of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces
The rank insignia for commissioned officers for the Royal Brunei Air Force.
|Rank group||General/flag officers||Senior officers||Junior officers||Officer cadet|
| Royal Brunei Air Force
|Marsyal udara||Jeneral (udara)||Leftenan jeneral (udara)||Mejar jeneral (udara)||Brigedier jeneral (udara)||Kolonel (udara)||Leftenan kolonel (udara)||Mejar (udara)||Kapten (udara)||Leftenan (udara)||Leftenan muda (udara)||Pegawai kadet (udara)|
Unlike most Commonwealth armed forces, Brunei has maintained 4 warrant officer ranks, used in conjunction with the standard Commonwealth NCO and enlisted personnel and ratings ranks. The following are the rank insignia for enlisted personnel for the Royal Brunei Air Force.
|Rank group||Senior NCOs||Junior NCOs||Enlisted|
| Royal Brunei Air Force
|Pegawai waran 1 (udara)||Pegawai waran 2 (udara)||Staf sarjan (udara)||Sarjan (udara)||Koperal (udara)||Lans koperal (udara)||Prebet/Soldadu (udara)|
A Bell 212 operated by the Royal Brunei Air Force crashed in Kuala Belait on 20 July 2012 with the loss of 12 of the 14 crew on board. The cause of the accident has yet to be ascertained. The crash is the worst aviation incident in the history of Brunei.
Main article: List of equipment of the Royal Brunei Air Force
Armaments for the aircraft consist of M134 Minigun's, FZ rockets and unguided air-to-surface SURA rockets. There have been plans to secure fighter capability by purchasing several BAE Hawk aircraft, but these plans have been delayed on several occasions. In November 2011, the White House announced that a deal has been secured by Sikorsky to sell 12 UH-60Ms to the Royal Brunei Air Force. The RBAirF is to acquire three CN235-220 CASA-IPTN CN 235M aircraft for maritime operations. The C-130J Super Hercules is expected to be delivered to the RBAirF in 2018. Then RBAirF's commander, Brigadier General Wardi Abdul Latip, stated that the RBAirF was actively working with aerospace company Lockheed Martin to purchase the military transport aircraft, with delivery expected in 2018 or 2's security in eastern Sabah from the threats of militants from the southern Philippines, as well as to dispose of older inventory, the Royal Brunei Air Force (RBAirF) transferred four of its S-70A Black Hawk to the Royal Malaysian Air Force. In 2014, eight Bell 212 helicopters were retired and officially decommissioned from service.
During Royal Brunei Armed Forces diamond jubilee celebration in 2021, an unmanned aerial system (UAS) programme was launched by the Sultan of Brunei, and a RQ-21 Blackjack model was unveiled by a US company, Insitu to the Sultan. This UAS will be used for maritime security surveillance role. Moreover, the newly acquired M134D Minigun will be expected to be integrated into the RBAirF later in 2022.
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