Chadian Air Force


Chadian Air Force
Force Aérienne Tchadienne
Founded1961; 60 years ago (1961)
Country Chad
TypeAir force
RoleAerial warfare
Part ofChadian Armed Forces
RoundelRoundel of Chad.svg
Fin flashFlag of Chad.svg
Aircraft flown
HelicopterMil Mi-24, Mil Mi-8, Aérospatiale SA 330 Puma, Eurocopter Fennec, Alouette III
ReconnaissanceCessna 208
TrainerPilatus PC-9, Pilatus PC-7, SF.260
TransportAntonov An-26, C-130 Hercules, C-27J Spartan, Cessna 208, Do 328Jet

The Chadian Air Force, in French Force Aérienne Tchadienne, was formed in 1961 as the Escadrille Nationale Tchadienne (Chadian National Flight/Squadron), and was given its current name in 1973. It continues to be part of the Chadian Army.

The force shares a base with French forces at N'Djamena International Airport.



In the 1960s the Chadian Air Force consisted of one hundred men, one DC-3 cargo aircraft, three light observation aircraft, and two helicopters.


A Chadian MiG-29 landing at Lviv International Airport with drogue parachute deployed

In 1973, when its strength was increased to 200 men, the air force possessed three C-47 medium transport aircraft (increased to 13 in the mid-1970s), three light transport planes, and one helicopter, all serviced at the local French air base in N'Djamena. Nearly all of the pilots at the time were French. C-47 tail numbers included 100509, 10307 and 10409.

In 1976, the Air Force obtained 7 Douglas AD-4N Skyraiders from France, which were used in anti-guerrilla campaigns in the north until 1987 when they were deemed inoperable. (Tail numbers included Skyraider 126959). Skyraiders first saw service in Chad with the Armée de l'Air, and later with the nominally independent Chadian Air Force, staffed by French mercenaries.[1]

Successful action in air combats (1980 - 1990)

During the 1983 conflict with Libya, the Chad Air Force reported destroying eight Libyan Aermacchi SF-260s. Three were captured and served from 1987. One crashed in 1989 and another was sold to the US. Chad also acquired 24 Stinger shoulder-launched SAMs in late 1987.

According to several news reports, the Chad Air Force was heavily involved in beating back a rebel invasion from neighboring Sudan in 2009.[2] Sudanese officials also claimed that Chad aircraft made several cross-border raids into Sudan during the conflict.[3] However, media reports are unclear as to exactly what types of aircraft were used by Chad to fend off the rebels and to conduct the cross-border strikes. As of 1987, the Air Force was commanded by Lt. Mornadji Mbaissanabe.

Incidents & Media

Safety Incidents

The Aviation Safety Network listed four incidents between 1976 and 1987, one involving a Douglas DC-3, a Douglas DC-4 that was shot down by a Surface-to-air missile and the remaining two with the C-130 Hercules transports, one crashing during a routine takeoff, the other during a landing.[4]

In 2004, while transporting journalists and UN officials to a tarmac meeting with Kofi Annan, one of the Chadian helicopters malfunctioned and made a rough landing in the desert.[5] Chad lost at least one helicopter during the Battle of Adre, on December 18, 2005.

Alleged human rights violations

On November 15, 2000, an unidentified Chadian Air Force Chief of Operations applied for refugee status in Canada, claiming he had accused the Chadian government of human rights violations.[6]

2017 storm

Several aircraft and helicopters were damaged in a storm on 1 July 2017 that struck the air force's main base at N'Djamena International Airport. The severity of the storm was amplified by the use of fabric hangar coverings. Losses or damaged equipment included three helicopters, a PC-12, a MiG-29 fighter, and two Su-25 attack planes.[7][8][9][10][11]


A Su-25 frogfoot at N'djamena Airport
An Antonov An-26 on the tarmac

Current inventory

Aircraft Origin Type Variant In service Notes
Combat Aircraft
Sukhoi Su-25 Russia attack 6[12]
Cessna 208 United States transport / ISR 2[12]
C-27J Spartan Italy utility transport 2[12]
Antonov An-12 Russia transport 1[12]
Antonov An-26 Russia transport 3[12]
C-130 Hercules United States transport C-130H 1[12]
Mil Mi-17 Russia utility Mi-17/171 7[12]
Mil Mi-24 Russia attack 3[12]
Alouette III France light utility 1[12]
Eurocopter AS550 France light utility 6[12]
Trainer Aircraft
Pilatus PC-9 Switzerland advanced trainer 1[12]
Pilatus PC-7 Switzerland trainer 2[12]
SIAI-Marchetti SF.260 Italy basic trainer 1[12]

Operational aircraft of the force may be far less than official figures represent. According to a report in Le Figaro in April, 2006, the Chad Air Force consisted only of two Lockheed C-130 Hercules transports, one working Mil Mi-17 Hip-H helicopter, and two non-working Mil Mi-24 "Hind" helicopters.[13] Later C-130 TT-PAF was lost in a landing accident at Abéché, Chad, on 11 June 2006.[14]


  1. ^ Francillon 1979, pp. 403–404.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Chad carries out air strikes in Sudan's Darfur - official - Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan". Retrieved 2019-07-08.
  4. ^ Ranter, Harro. "Aviation Safety Network > ASN Aviation Safety Database > Operator index > Chad > Force Aérienne Tchadienne". Retrieved 2019-07-08.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-03-03. Retrieved 2005-12-29.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) After its repair, it transported US Marines into Niger. [1]
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2005-09-01. Retrieved 2005-12-29.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ Ekene, Lionel (July 8, 2017). "Chadian Military loses half of it's [sic] Air Force". Military Africa. Retrieved 12 December 2019.
  8. ^ "Chad's Air Force badly damaged by storm | defenceWeb". Retrieved 2018-05-08.
  9. ^ "635th MMS Assists Chadian Air Force to overcome windstorm damage to ai". U.S. Air Forces in Europe & Air Forces Africa. Retrieved 2018-05-08.
  10. ^ "Chadian aircraft suffer severe storm damage". Jane's 360. Retrieved 2018-05-08.
  11. ^ "A Storm out of the Norm in Chad". 2017-08-15. Retrieved 2018-05-08.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "World Air Forces 2021". Flightglobal Insight. 2021. Retrieved 4 May 2021.
  13. ^ Le Figaro – Actualité en direct et informations en continu
  14. ^ Aircraft Safety Network


  • World aircraft information files Bright Star Publishing London File 337 Sheet 4
  • Cooper, Tom & Weinert, Peter (2010). African MiGs: Volume I: Angola to Ivory Coast. Harpia Publishing LLC. ISBN 978-0-9825539-5-4.
  • Francillon, René J. McDonnell Douglas Aircraft since 1920. London: Putnam, 1979. ISBN 0-370-00050-1.