|Royal Brunei Air Force|
|Size||27 aircraft |
|Part of||Royal Brunei Armed Forces|
|Headquarters||Rimba Air Force Base|
|Commander of Royal Brunei Air Force||Brigadier General (U) Dato Seri Pahlawan Mohammad Sharif bin Dato Paduka Haji Ibrahim|
|Deputy Commander of Royal Brunei Air Force||Colonel (U) Haji Alirupendi bin Haji Perudin|
|Brigadier General (U) Haji Mahmud bin Saidin (first Bruneian with fighter pilot's licence)|
|Helicopter||Sikorsky S-70, MBB Bo 105, Bell 214ST|
|Trainer||Pilatus PC-7, Bell 206|
The Royal Brunei Air Force (RBAF) (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. 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.
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. The Royal Air Force provides human resources specialists such as pilots and aircraft technicians to assist the Royal Brunei Air Force.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Operation Wing consists of 4 Flying Squadrons and two addition units:
The Air Regiment consists of 3 Squadrons and Technical Training School:
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.
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.
The Administration Wing consists of the Physical Training Section, Pay Office, Regimental Police, Military Transport and Civilian Office.
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. The cause of the accident has yet to be ascertained. The crash is the worst aviation incident in the history of Brunei.
|Bell 214ST||United States||utility||1|
|MBB Bo 105||Germany||utility/scout||6||Armed with Rocket pods|
|Sikorsky S-70||United States||utility / transport||S-70i||12||produced in Poland|
|Bell 206||United States||rotorcraft trainer||3|
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 3 CN235-220 CASA-IPTN CN 235M aircraft for maritime operations. Brunei decided to acquire C-130J as its modernisation for air lift capabilities in October 2014
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. In 2014 eight Bell 212 helicopters were retired from service.
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.