Royal Brunei Air Force
Tentera Udara Diraja Brunei
Royal Brunei Air Force emblem.svg
Badge of the Royal Brunei Air Force
Founded24 June 1966
Country Brunei
TypeAir force
RoleAerial warfare
Size21 aircraft[1]
Part ofRoyal Brunei Armed Forces
HeadquartersRimba Air Force Base
Commanders
Commander of Royal Brunei Air ForceBrigadier General (U) Dato Seri Pahlawan Mohammad Sharif bin Dato Paduka Haji Ibrahim
Deputy Commander of Royal Brunei Air ForceColonel (U) Haji Haszahaidi bin Haji Ahmad Daud
Commander Operations Group of Royal Brunei Air ForceColonel (U) Hishamuddin bin Abidin
Commander Support Group of Royal Brunei Air ForceLieutenant Colonel (U) Pengiran Hasrul Ariffin bin Pengiran Haji Rosley
Sergeant Major of Royal Brunei Air ForceWarrant Officer 1 (U) Suridi bin Haji Ibrahim
Notable
commanders
Brigadier General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Haji Mahmud bin Haji Saidin @ Haji Muhammad Saidin (first Bruneian with fighter pilot's licence)
Insignia
Fin flash
Fin Flash of Brunei.svg
Aircraft flown
HelicopterSikorsky S-70, MBB Bo 105, Bell 214ST
TrainerPilatus PC-7, Bell 206
TransportCASA CN-235

The Royal Brunei Air Force (RBAirF) (Malay: Tentera Udara Diraja Brunei, abbreviation TUDB) is the air force of the sultanate of Brunei. It is mainly based at the Rimba Air Base within the Brunei International Airport.[2] The role of the Royal Brunei Air Force is to defend the national airspace and to provide air surveillance of the land and maritime borders.[3]

The Royal Brunei Air Force was formed on 1 October 1991 from the Air Wing of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces. The Air Wing of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces had operated helicopters (the Bell 205) since 1966.[2]

History

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 pilots from the British Royal Air Force operating three Westland Whirlwind helicopters.[4]

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, the Second Squadron was established and equipped with six Bolkow BO 105 helicopters. The Third Squadron was established in 1982 and equipped with SIAI-Marchetti SF260s. 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.[4]

The Fourth Squadron was established in 1997 and was equipped with the Blackhawk S-70A helicopters. The Fifth Squadron was also established in 1997 and was equipped with a CN-235 plane and the Base Defence Squadron. In the same year, the Third Squadron received the Pilatus PC-7 Mark II training aircraft. The Thirty-Eight Squadron was established in 1999 and is equipped with the Mistral surface-to-air missile.[4]

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.

Organisation

The Air Force is divided into 7 Wings:[5][6]

The Operation Wing consists of 4 Flying Squadrons and two addition units:[7]

The Air Regiment consists of 3 Squadrons and Technical Training School:[8]

The Logistics Wing consists of three units which are the Engineering Squadron, Supply Squadron and Technical Equipment Maintenance Department (TEMD). The role of the Engineering Squadron is to provide and maintain aircraft serviceability for operational use. The role of Supply Squadron is to provide logistical support and equipment for the personnel. The role of the TEMD is to provide maintenance for the aircraft.[9]

The Training Wing consists of the Third Squadron, which is also known as the Flying Training School (FTS), the Air Technical Training School (ATTS) and the Standard and Evaluation Squadron (STANEVAL). The Training Wing is responsible for recruiting and training pilots and technicians, as well as preparing pilot instructor courses and flying standards. The Third Squadron is equipped with Bell 206 Jet Ranger helicopters and Pilatus PC-7 Mk 2 aircraft.[9]

The Administration Wing consists of the Physical Training Section, Pay Office, Regimental Police, Military Transport and Civilian Office.[10]

Incidents

A Bell 212 operated by the air force crashed in Kuala Belait on 20 July 2012 with the loss of 12 of the 14 crew on board.[11] The cause of the accident has yet to be ascertained.[12] The crash is the worst aviation incident in the history of Brunei.

Aircraft

Sikorsky S-70

Current inventory

Aircraft Origin Type Variant In service Notes
Transport
CASA/IPTN CN-235 Indonesia transport 1[1]
Helicopters
Bell 214ST United States utility 1[1]
Sikorsky S-70 United States utility / transport S-70i 12[1] Produced in Poland
Trainer Aircraft
Bell 206 United States rotorcraft trainer 3[1]
Pilatus PC-7 Switzerland trainer 4[1]
UAV
Boeing Insitu RQ-21 Blackjack United States ISTAR 5[13][14] Acquired in 2021[15]

There have been plans to secure fighter capability by purchasing several BAE Hawk aircraft, but these plans have been delayed on several occasions.[16] 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.[17] The RBAirF is to acquire 3 CN235-220 CASA-IPTN CN 235M aircraft for maritime operations.[18] Brunei decided to acquire C-130J as its modernisation for air lift capabilities in October 2014[19]

To boost Malaysia'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 (RBAF) transferred four of its S-70A Black Hawk to the Royal Malaysian Air Force.[20][21] In 2014 eight Bell 212 helicopters were retired from service.[22]

During Royal Brunei Armed Forces Diamond Jubilee Celebration in 2021, a Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) program 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 introduce in the future for maritime security surveillance role.[15]

Retired

Previous notable aircraft operated were the Hawker Siddeley HS 748, SF.260, Bell 212, MBB Bo 105 and the Westland Whirlwind helicopter.[23][24]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f "World Air Forces 2022". Flightglobal. 2022. Retrieved 21 January 2022.
  2. ^ a b Introduction Royal Brunei Air Force Archived 2 April 2007 at the Wayback Machine - Retrieved 21 April 2007
  3. ^ Roles Royal Brunei Air Force Archived 20 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine - Retrieved 21 April 2007
  4. ^ a b c History Royal Brunei Air Force Archived 20 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine - Retrieved 21 April 2007
  5. ^ http://www.mindef.gov.bn/airforce/_layouts/15/start.aspx#/SitePages/About%20Us.aspx
  6. ^ Organisation Royal Brunei Air Force Archived 20 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine - Retrieved 21 April 2007
  7. ^ a b c d e Operation Wing Squadrons Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine - Retrieved 21 April 2007
  8. ^ a b c d e f g Air Regiment Squadrons Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine - Retrieved 21 April 2007
  9. ^ a b Logistics and Training Wing Royal Brunei Air Force Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine - Retrieved 21 July 2007
  10. ^ Administration Wing Royal Brunei Air Force Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine - Retrieved 21 July 2007
  11. ^ AFP (21 July 2012). "Brunei helicopter crash kills 12: air force". Archived from the original on 24 July 2012. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
  12. ^ CNN Wire Staff. "12 killed in Brunei helicopter crash". Archived from the original on 22 July 2012. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
  13. ^ "Royal Brunei Air Force acquires Insitu Integrator unmanned aerial system". Janes.com. Retrieved 20 July 2022.
  14. ^ "s10.png | Servimg.com - Free image hosting service". servimg.com. Retrieved 1 August 2022.
  15. ^ a b Shareen Han (31 May 2021). "RBAF to use drones for maritime security surveillance". The Scoop.
  16. ^ British Aerospace Hawk Still Leads the Pack Flug Revue Online Archived 23 April 2007 at the Wayback Machine - Retrieved 21 April 2007
  17. ^ http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_channel.jsp?channel=defense&id=news/awx/2011/11/17/awx_11_17_2011_p0-395706.xml[dead link]
  18. ^ "Janes | Latest defence and security news". Archived from the original on 23 February 2014. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
  19. ^ "US clears way for Brunei purchase of Lockheed C-130J". Archived from the original on 5 August 2016. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
  20. ^ Marcel Burger (23 January 2015). "Brunei gives four Black Hawks as present to Malaysia". AIRheads. Archived from the original on 24 January 2015. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
  21. ^ "Brunei transfers S-70A Blackhawks to Malaysian Armed Forces". Borneo Bulletin. 29 January 2015. Archived from the original on 31 March 2016. Retrieved 19 April 2016.
  22. ^ "Bell 212 choppers decommissioned | the Brunei Times". Archived from the original on 1 July 2016. Retrieved 27 May 2016.
  23. ^ "All-Time Aircraft Used List Royal Brunei Air Force". 26 February 2017. Retrieved 19 February 2022.
  24. ^ "Bolkow 105 Retirement From Service Ceremony" (Press release). Brunei Ministry of Defense. 2 April 2022. Retrieved 19 February 2022.