South African Border War
The South African Border War known as the Namibian War of Independence, sometimes denoted in South Africa as the Angolan Bush War, was a asymmetric conflict that occurred in Namibia and Angola from 26 August 1966 to 21 March 1990. It was fought between the South African Defence Force and the People's Liberation Army of Namibia, an armed wing of the South West African People's Organisation; the South African Border War resulted in some of the largest battles on the African continent since World War II and was intertwined with the Angolan Civil War. Following several decades of unsuccessful petitioning through the United Nations and the International Court of Justice for Namibian independence, SWAPO formed the PLAN in 1962 with material assistance from the Soviet Union, the People's Republic of China, sympathetic African states such as Tanzania and Algeria. Fighting broke out between PLAN and the South African authorities in August 1966. Between 1975 and 1988 the SADF staged massive conventional raids into Angola and Zambia to eliminate PLAN's forward operating bases.
It deployed specialist counter-insurgency units such as Koevoet and 32 Battalion trained to carry out external reconnaissance and track guerrilla movements. South African tactics became aggressive as the conflict progressed; the SADF's incursions produced Angolan casualties and resulted in severe collateral damage to economic installations regarded as vital to the Angolan economy. Ostensibly to stop these raids, but to disrupt the growing alliance between the SADF and the National Union for the Total Independence for Angola, which the former was arming with captured PLAN equipment, the Soviet Union backed the People's Armed Forces of Liberation of Angola through a large contingent of military advisers and up to four billion dollars' worth of modern defence technology in the 1980s. Beginning in 1984, regular Angolan units under Soviet command were confident enough to confront the SADF, their positions were bolstered by thousands of Cuban troops. The state of war between South Africa and Angola ended with the short-lived Lusaka Accords, but resumed in August 1985 as both PLAN and UNITA took advantage of the ceasefire to intensify their own guerrilla activity, leading to a renewed phase of FAPLA combat operations culminating in the Battle of Cuito Cuanavale.
The South African Border War was ended by the Tripartite Accord, mediated by the United States, which committed to a withdrawal of Cuban and South African military personnel from Angola and South West Africa, respectively. PLAN launched its final guerrilla campaign in late March 1989. South West Africa received formal independence as the Republic of Namibia a year on 21 March 1990. Despite being fought in neighbouring states, the South African Border War had a phenomenal cultural and political impact on South African society; the country's apartheid government devoted considerable effort towards presenting the war as part of a containment programme against regional Soviet expansionism and used it to stoke public anti-communist sentiment. It remains an integral theme in contemporary South African literature at large and Afrikaans-language works in particular, having given rise to a unique genre known as grensliteratuur. Various names have been applied to the undeclared conflict waged by South Africa in Angola and Namibia from the mid 1960s to the late 1980s.
The term "South African Border War" has denoted the military campaign launched by the People's Liberation Army of Namibia, which took the form of sabotage and rural insurgency, as well as the external raids launched by South African troops on suspected PLAN bases inside Angola or Zambia, sometimes involving major conventional warfare against the People's Armed Forces of Liberation of Angola and its Cuban allies. The strategic situation was further complicated by the fact that South Africa occupied large swathes of Angola for extended periods in support of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola, making the "Border War" an inseparable conflict from the parallel Angolan Civil War."Border War" entered public discourse in South Africa during the late 1970s, was adopted thereafter by the country's ruling National Party. Due to the covert nature of most South African Defence Force operations inside Angola, the term was favoured as a means of omitting any reference to clashes on foreign soil.
Where tactical aspects of various engagements were discussed, military historians identified the conflict as the "bush war". The South West African People's Organisation has described the South African Border War as the Namibian War of National Liberation and the Namibian Liberation Struggle. In the Namibian context it is commonly referred to as the Namibian War of Independence. However, these terms have been criticised for ignoring the wider regional implications of the war and the fact that PLAN was based in, did most of its fighting from, countries other than Namibia. Namibia was governed as German South West Africa, a colony of the German Empire, until World War I, when it was invaded and occupied by Allied forces under General Louis Botha. Following the Armistice of 11 November 1918, a mandate system was imposed by the League of Nations to govern African and Asian territories held by Germany and the Ottoman Empire prior to the war; the mandate system was formed as a compromise between those who advocated an Allied annexation of former German and Turkish territories, another proposition put forward by those who wished to grant them to an international trusteeship until they could govern themsel
In military operations, reconnaissance or scouting is the exploration outside an area occupied by friendly forces to gain information about natural features and other activities in the area. Examples of reconnaissance include patrolling by troops, ships or submarines, manned/unmanned reconnaissance aircraft, satellites, or by setting up covert observation posts. Espionage is not reconnaissance, because reconnaissance is a military's special forces operating ahead of its main forces. Called "recce" or "recon", the associated verb is reconnoitre. Traditionally, reconnaissance was a role, adopted by the cavalry. Speed was key in these maneuvers, thus infantry was ill-suited to the task. From horses to vehicles, for warriors throughout history, commanders procured their ability to have speed and mobility, to mount and dismount, during maneuver warfare. Military commanders favored specialized small units for speed and mobility, to gain valuable information about the terrain and enemy before sending the main troops into the area, covering force and exploitation roles.
Skirmishing is a traditional skill of reconnaissance, as well as harassment of the enemy. Reconnaissance conducted by ground forces includes special reconnaissance, armored reconnaissance, amphibious reconnaissance and civil reconnaissance. Aerial reconnaissance is reconnaissance carried out by aircraft; the purpose is to survey weather conditions, map terrain, may include military purposes such as observing tangible structures, particular areas, movement of enemy forces. Naval forces use aerial and satellite reconnaissance to observe enemy forces. Navies undertake hydrographic surveys and intelligence gathering. Reconnaissance satellites provide military commanders with photographs of enemy forces and other intelligence. Military forces use geographical and meteorological information from Earth observation satellites. A tracker needs to pay close attention to the psychology of his enemy. Knowledge of human psychology and cultural backgrounds is necessary to know the actions of the enemy and where the enemy is heading.
The celebrated Chief of Scouts Frederick Russell Burnham had this to say: It is imperative that a scout should know the history, religion, social customs, superstitions of whatever country or people he is called on to work in or among. This is as necessary as to know the physical character of the country, its climate and products. Certain people will do certain things without fail. Certain other things feasible, they will not do. There is no danger of knowing too much of the mental habits of an enemy. One should neither underestimate the credit him with superhuman powers. Fear and courage are latent in every human being, though roused into activity by diverse means. Types of reconnaissance: Terrain-oriented reconnaissance is a survey of the terrain. Force-oriented reconnaissance may include target acquisition. Civil-oriented reconnaissance focuses on the civil dimension of the battlespace; the techniques and objectives are not mutually exclusive. Units tasked with reconnaissance are armed only for self-defense, rely on stealth to gather information.
Others are well-enough armed to deny information to the enemy by destroying their reconnaissance elements. Reconnaissance-in-force is a type of military operation or military tactics used to probe an enemy's disposition. By mounting an offensive with considerable force, the commander hopes to elicit a strong reaction by the enemy that reveals its own strength and other tactical data; the RIF commander retains the option to fall back with the data or expand the conflict into a full engagement. Other methods consist of hit-and-run tactics using rapid mobility, in some cases light-armored vehicles for added fire superiority, as the need arises. Nazi Germany's reconnaissance during world war II is described in the following way: The purpose of reconnaissance and the types of units employed to obtain information are similar in the U. S. and the German Armies. German tactical principles of reconnaissance, diverge somewhat from those of the U. S; the Germans stress aggressiveness, attempt to obtain superiority in the area to be reconnoitered, strive for continuous observation of the enemy.
They believe in employing reconnaissance units in force as a rule. They are prepared to fight to obtain the desired information, they assign supplementary tasks to their reconnaissance units, such as sabotage behind enemy lines, harassment, or counter-reconnaissance. Only enough reconnaissance troops are sent on a mission to assure superiority in the area to be reconnoitred. Reserves are kept on hand to be committed when the reconnaissance must be intensified, when the original force meets strong enemy opposition, or when the direction and area to be reconnoitred are changed; the Germans encourage aggressive action against enemy security forces. When their reconnaissance units meet superior enemy forces, they fight a delaying action while other units attempt to flank the enemy. Reconnaissance by fire is the act of firing
Battle of Cuito Cuanavale
The Battle of Cuito Cuanavale was fought intermittently between August 14, 1987 and March 23, 1988, south and east of the town of Cuito Cuanavale, Angola, by the People's Armed Forces for the Liberation of Angola, South Africa, insurgents of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola during the Angolan Civil War and South African Border War. The battle was the largest engagement of the Angolan conflict and the biggest conventional battle on the African continent since World War II. UNITA and its South African allies defeated a major FAPLA offensive towards Mavinga, preserving the former's control of southern Angola, they proceeded to launch a bloody but inconclusive counteroffensive on FAPLA defensive positions around the Tumpo River east of Cuito Cuanavale. Following a number of failed attempts to take the settlements in 1986, eight FAPLA brigades mustered for a final offensive—Operação Saludando Octubre—in August 1987 with extensive auxiliary support from one of Angola's closest military allies, the Soviet Union.
The FAPLA offensive took the form of a two-pronged, multi-divisional movement southwards towards Mavinga, a major UNITA stronghold and logistics centre. Once Mavinga was in its hands, FAPLA intended to expel the remaining insurgents from Moxico Province and pave the way for a final assault on the UNITA headquarters at Jamba; the Soviet Union supplied FAPLA with over a billion dollars' worth of new military hardware for the purpose of this offensive, between 4 and 9 Soviet advisers were attached to each FAPLA unit on the brigade level. South Africa, which shared a common border with Angola through the contested territory of South West Africa, was determined to prevent FAPLA from gaining control of Mavinga and allowing insurgents of the People's Liberation Army of Namibia to operate in the region. Saludando Octubre prompted the South African Defence Force to underpin the defence of Mavinga and launch Operation Moduler with the objective of stopping FAPLA's advance. After weeks of preliminary skirmishes, the two armies met at the Lomba River on September 6.
Throughout September and October, the SADF repulsed several FAPLA attempts to cross the Lomba and destroyed most of the latter's vital bridging equipment. Repeated counterattacks by the SADF's 61 Mechanised Battalion Group resulted in the annihilation of FAPLA's 47 Brigade and the loss of its remaining bridgeheads, sending the remainder of the FAPLA units reeling back towards Cuito Cuanavale. During the second phase of the campaign, the SADF and UNITA made several unsuccessful attempts to encircle and destroy the surviving FAPLA forces before they could establish new defensive positions east of Cuito Cuanavale, an initiative known as Operation Hooper. However, FAPLA succeeded in concentrating its forces within a cramped perimetre between the Cuito and Dala rivers known as the "Tumpo Triangle", they were reinforced by a number of Cuban armoured and motorised units, who had become more directly committed to the fighting for the first time since the beginning of Cuba's military intervention in Angola in 1975.
The SADF and UNITA launched six heavy assaults on the Tumpo Triangle under the auspices of Operation Packer, inflicting serious casualties on FAPLA. Despite suffering significant losses, the defending FAPLA and Cuban troops held their lines; the SADF and UNITA disengaged in March 1988, after laying a series of minefields southeast of Cuito Cuanavale to dissuade a renewed FAPLA offensive. Both sides claimed victory; the Cuban and FAPLA defenders had interpreted the SADF's Tumpo Triangle campaign as part of a larger effort to seize the town of Cuito Cuanavale itself and presented their stand there as a successful defensive action. The SADF maintained that it had achieved its basic objectives of halting the FAPLA offensive during the Lomba River campaign without needing to occupy Cuito Cuanavale, which would have entailed unacceptable losses to its expeditionary force. Today, the Battle of Cuito Cuanavale is credited by some with ushering in the first round of trilateral negotiations, mediated by the United States, which secured the withdrawal of Cuban and South African troops from Angola and Namibia by 1991.
The Angolan Civil War played out against the backdrop of the Cold War struggle between the Soviet Union and the United States. Both superpowers tried to influence the outcome of the civil war through proxies. For 13 years until 1974, three armed groups fought for Angola's independence from Portugal: the Soviet-backed Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola, led by Agostinho Neto. After the Carnation Revolution of April 1974 in Portugal, the new revolutionary government of Portugal let go of Portugal's African overseas possessions, including Angola; the Treaty of Alvor comprised a series of agreements between the three rebel factions and Portugal that were to pave the way to independence. Under its terms, a transitional government was formed, elections were scheduled for the end of the year, 11 November 1975 was slated as Angola's independence day. Fighting between the three rebel factions started soon after the transitional government took office on 31 January 1975, with each movement gaining control of their traditional areas of influence by mid-1975: the MPLA in the capital and central Angola, the FNLA in the north and UNITA in the south.
The FNLA was defeated in the 1970s and the struggle for control continued between the Soviet-backed MPLA forces and the United States- and South African-backed UNITA movement. The MPLA government of Angola and SWAPO were supported by Cuba, the Soviet Union, other communist states, while UNITA and FNLA we
Algerian Air Force
The Algerian Air Force is the aerial arm of the Algerian People's Military. Algerian military aviation was created to support the fight of the People National Army against the French occupying forces, it came as part of the decisions of the Soummam congress held on August 20, 1956, which recommended a long-term plan to form a modern army. A structure was created to train the future pilots. Many pilots were sent to friendly countries such as Egypt, Iraq and the USSR, to train as aircraft pilots and aeronautics technicians. During this period, the French colonial army started the lines of Challe and Morrice used to isolate the ALN fighters inside the country and to stop supplies coming from Tunisia and Morocco. Came the idea to train transport and helicopter pilots to ensure supplying the national liberation army, to prepare the first core of the military aviation. Training was one of the major preoccupations of the ALN/FLN leaders. Military aviation had a core of pilots and ASDFDASF technicians after independence, who laid the foundations of the present Air Force.
The air force branch was born and the first air force units were set up, i.e. a flight of helicopters, acquired during the revolution, a flight of combat aircraft. The Algerians authorities sent trainees to friendly countries such Egypt, Iraq and the USSR, while waiting for the creation of Algerian Air Force schools. In 1966, the Air Base of Tafraoui in the 2nd Military Region was built as an air officers' school where the first officer students were received to train as pilots and technicians in aeronautics. During this first decade after independence, the Algerian Air Force acquired planes from the USSR MiG-15UTI and MiG-17, some donated by Egypt; when border clashes with Morocco occurred in 1963, the Algerian government decided to enhance the capabilities of the army and the air force. MiG-17F light bomber, MiG-21 F13 interceptor, Su-7BMK fighter/bomber and some An-12 airlifters were purchased from the USSR. Mi-1 and Mi-4 helicopters were deployed. During the Six-Day War in 1967, War of Attrition between 1967 and 1973, two squadrons of MiG-17F, one squadron of MiG-21F13, one squadron of Su-7BMK were stationed in Egypt to support the Arab coalition.
During the Yom Kippur War, the Algerian Air Force participated in the conflict under the unified Egyptian military command. MiG-21F-13s and newer MiG-21PFs were used to protect the Cairo region. MiG-17F and Su-7BMK aircraft participated in the war in strafing and bombing missions. In October 1973 two Su-7BMKs, one MiG-21 and a number of MiG-17Fs were shot down by Israel. In 1976, Algerian Air Force planes returned from Egypt to their home bases in Algeria. Shortly after dozens of MiG-23MF, MiG-23BN and MiG-25P were entered in the inventory. MiG-21F-13s and MiG-21PFs were replaced by higher-performance MiG-21MF and MiG-21Bi interceptors; the High Command dissociated the Air Defense of the territory from the Department of the Air Force, built in 1986 as an air force command. The organization has the following structure: A central command assisted by a general staff and an inspectorate, an arms division, a department of support, specialized offices Air commands in the military regions Air bases, training centers, support institutions, equipment renovation enterprises & defense, control unitsDuring this period few changes occurred in the combat aircraft inventory of the Algerian Air Force.
Ten Su-24MKs were received from the USSR. A new airplane supplier emerged just after the Iranian revolution when Algeria received 18 C-130H Hercules, 12 T-34 Mentors, 12 Hawker Beechcrafts supplied by USA from 1981 to 1989, for transport and training; the Air Force purchased a large number of MiG-29s from Belarus and Ukraine from 1999 to 2003. At least 25 Su-24MKs were acquired during the same period. After the large military deal concluded with Russia during March 2006, Algeria ordered 28 Su-30MKAs, 16 Yak-130As, 34 MiG-29SMTs. In 2008, the MiG-29 SMT contract was cancelled and the planes delivered were returned to Russia and exchanged for 16 Su-30MKA multirole fighters. While the current front-line fleet consists of Russian-origin aircraft such as the Sukhoi Su-30 and the MiG-29, Algeria has expressed an interest in acquiring aircraft from China. Algeria has been seen as a potential operator of the Chinese 4th-Generation JF-17 Thunder fighter project. Oum El Bouaghi 35°52′22″N 007°15′48″E Annaba/El Mellah 36°49′11″N 007°48′42″E Ain Oussera 35°31′16″N 002°52′59″E Biskra 34°48′21″N 005°44′23″E Bou Sfer 35°43′53″N 000°48′15″W Boufarik 36°33′10″N 002°52′33″E Boudghene Ben Ali Lotfi 31°39′05″N 002°15′40″E Chlef 36°12′38″N 001°19′46″E El Boulaida/Blida 36°29′52″N 002°48′36″E Laghouat 33°46′07″N 002°55′18″E Tamanrasset/Aguenar 22°48′40″N 05°27′03″ESee List of airports in Algeria for other airfields which may have a dual civil-military function.
The air force has two regiments of Fusiliers Commandos de l'Air base defence troops but which have taken part int anti-terrorism operations. They are the 782nd Regiment des Fusiliers Commandos de l'air. On April 11, 2018, an Il-76 strategic airlifter crashed in a field shortly after taking off from Boufarik Airport, it resulted in 257 deaths. Http://www.avions-militaires.net/dossiers/armee-air/dza.php
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates, sometimes called the Emirates, is a country in Western Asia at the southeast end of the Arabian Peninsula on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman to the east and Saudi Arabia to the south, as well as sharing maritime borders with Qatar to the west and Iran to the north. The sovereign constitutional monarchy is a federation of seven emirates consisting of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah and Umm Al Quwain, their boundaries are complex, with numerous enclaves within the various emirates. Each emirate is governed by a ruler. One of the rulers serves as the President of the United Arab Emirates. In 2013, the UAE's population was 9.2 million, of which 1.4 million are Emirati citizens and 7.8 million are expatriates. Human occupation of the present UAE has been traced back to the emergence of anatomically modern humans from Africa some 125,000 BCE through finds at the Faya-1 site in Mleiha, Sharjah. Burial sites dating back to the Neolithic Age and the Bronze Age include the oldest known such inland site at Jebel Buhais.
Known as Magan to the Sumerians, the area was home to a prosperous Bronze Age trading culture during the Umm Al Nar period, which traded between the Indus Valley and Mesopotamia as well as Iran and the Levant. The ensuing Wadi Suq period and three Iron Ages saw the emergence of nomadism as well as the development of water management and irrigation systems supporting human settlement in both the coast and interior; the Islamic age of the UAE dates back to the expulsion of the Sasanians and the subsequent Battle of Dibba. The UAE's long history of trade led to the emergence of Julfar, in the present day emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, as a major regional trading and maritime hub in the area; the maritime dominance of the Persian Gulf by Emirati traders led to conflicts with European powers, including the Portuguese and British. Following decades of maritime conflict, the coastal emirates became known as the Trucial States with the signing of a Perpetual Treaty of Maritime Peace with the British in 1819, which established the Trucial States as a British Protectorate.
This arrangement ended with independence and the establishment of the United Arab Emirates on 2 December 1971 following the British withdrawal from its treaty obligations. Six emirates joined the UAE in 1971, the seventh, Ras Al Khaimah, joined the federation on 10 February 1972. Islam is the official religion and Arabic is the official language of the UAE; the UAE's oil reserves are the seventh-largest in the world while its natural gas reserves are the world's seventeenth-largest. Sheikh Zayed, ruler of Abu Dhabi and the first President of the UAE, oversaw the development of the Emirates and steered oil revenues into healthcare and infrastructure; the UAE's economy is the most diversified in the Gulf Cooperation Council, while its most populous city of Dubai is an important global city and an international aviation and maritime trade hub. The country is much less reliant on oil and gas than in previous years and is economically focusing on tourism and business; the UAE government does not levy income tax although there is a system of corporate tax in place and value added tax was established in 2018 at 5%.
The UAE's rising international profile has led to it being recognised as a regional and a middle power. It is a member of the United Nations, the Arab League, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, OPEC, the Non-Aligned Movement and the Gulf Cooperation Council; the land of the Emirates has been occupied for thousands of years. Stone tools recovered from Jebel Faya in the emirate of Sharjah reveal a settlement of people from Africa some 127,000 years ago and a stone tool used for butchering animals discovered at Jebel Barakah on the Arabian coast suggests an older habitation from 130,000 years ago. There is no proof of contact with the outside world at that stage, although in time lively trading links developed with civilisations in Mesopotamia and the Harappan culture of the Indus Valley; this contact persisted and became wide-ranging motivated by the trade in copper from the Hajar Mountains, which commenced around 3,000 BCE. Sumerian sources talk of the UAE as home to Magan people. There are six major periods of human settlement with distinctive behaviours in the pre-Islamic UAE, which includes the Hafit period from 3,200-2,600 BCE.
From 1,200 BC to the advent of Islam in Eastern Arabia, through three distinctive Iron Ages and the Mleiha period, the area was variously occupied by Achaemenid and other forces and saw the construction of fortified settlements and extensive husbandry thanks to the development of the falaj irrigation system. In ancient times, Al Hasa adjoined Greater Oman. From the second century AD, there was a movement of tribes from Al Bahreyn towards the lower Gulf, together with a migration among the Azdite Qahtani and Quda'ah tribal groups from south-west Arabia towards central Oman; the spread of Islam to the North Eastern tip of the Arabian Peninsula is thought to have followed directly from a letter sent by the Islamic prophet, Muhammad, to the rulers of Oman in 630 AD, nine years after the hijrah. This led to a group of rulers travelling to Medina, converting to Islam and subsequently driving a successful u
United Arab Emirates Air Force
The United Arab Emirates Air Force is the air force of the United Arab Emirates. Its predecessor was established in 1968. Since it has undergone a continual reorganisation and expansion in terms of both capability and numbers of aircraft; the UAEAF has around 4,000 personnel and operates 573 fixed and rotorcraft. The UAEAF's history starts in 1968. After becoming the ALRAMS Air Force in 1972, major investment assured an expansion in terms of capabilities and quantity of aircraft. Training and instruction was provided by the Pakistan Air Force. Neighbour Emirate of Dubai maintained its own air component, the Dubai Defence Force Air Wing, until 1999, when the two were merged to become what is now the United Arab Emirates Air Force. Although the integration of the two independent forces has been complete, a small degree of autonomy exists at the operational command level, with the Western Air Command being headquartered in Abu Dhabi and the Central Air Command in Dubai. Since the 1980s, a combination of regional instability and high oil prices has resulted in an ambitious modernisation of the UAEAF, with the goal of attaining a level of capability matching the highest NATO standards.
In 1991 Gulf War, the UAE helped other countries by carrying out airstrikes against the Iraqi forces. In 2014, the United Arab Emirates Air Force along with the Egyptian Air Force carried out airstrikes in Libya against Islamist factions in Tripoli. In September 2014, UAE air force aircraft joined in US-led air strikes against terrorist targets in Syria and Iraq that became known as Operation Inherent Resolve; these operations were suspended after a Jordanian pilot was captured by Islamic State militants in late December 2014. The UAEAF consists of about 4,000 personnel. In the 1970s and 80s, the UAEAF was instructed by Pakistan Air Force pilots on Dassault Mirage 5s, the backbone of the UAEAF at the time. Today, many of the personnel are ex-Pakistan Air Force officers and technicians. Most of the flying instructors at Al Ain are from Pakistan, training pilots using Grob G 115, Pilatus PC-7, Aermacchi MB-339, BAE Hawk 63 aircraft. A few officers of No. 12 Squadron at Al Minhad Air Base, are from the Pakistan Air Force.
Some of these officers are on deputation, but most are on civilian contracts with the Air Force Headquarters in Abu Dhabi. Numerous officers of other nationalities have trained UAE pilots, among them Pakistanis, Canadians and South Africans. Women have started training as pilots; the first batch consisted of engineers given approval for flight training. So far, only three women have become one a transport pilot. One woman pilot was grounded due to an ejection from a training flight in a Hawk 63. Instructors at Al Dhafra Air Base are now from the US, as the UAEAF has retired its Mirage 5s in favour of F-16s. There are five main air bases operational, split between the Western and Central Air Command; the Special Operations Command operates a wide range of helicopters. Candidates apply to the Khalifa bin Zayed Air College, located at the Al Ain International Airport in Al Ain, they first go through a rigorous schedule of academics and officer training. Those who are selected as cadets start the second phase of academics: Flight Sciences.
Cadets who pass the assessment period of the second phase are designated aviation cadets and start flight training. The first aircraft cadets get to fly is the Grob G115 TA; those who qualify go on to fly the Pilatus PC-7. On this aircraft, they learn the basics of flying, take-off and landing techniques and procedures followed by a bit of aerobatics. Following the Primary Flying Course is the Basic Flight Course, piloting the Hawk 63. Graduates are graded and assigned accordingly to one of three options: the Advanced Strike course at Minhad on the Hawk 102 aircraft, transport aircraft, helicopters. At Minhad, the new pilots learn Basic Fighters Manoeuvres, drop bombs and learn to fly cross-country to a neighbouring country Bahrain or Kuwait. Upon completion of the Advanced Strike course, officers are selected either for the F-16 or the Dassault Mirage 2000-9, both at Al Dhafra AB. A few pilots are selected to learn to fly the F-16 with the United States Air Force's 162d Fighter Wing in Tucson, Arizona.
2007 marked the culmination of the largest procurement programmes undertaken by the UAE Air Force, with the final deliveries of the 80 F-16E/F Block 60 "Desert Falcons" and 60 upgraded Mirage 2000-9, giving the air force a considerable multirole capability. These two investments represented a total expenditure of around $10 billion, with additional money spent on infrastructure and logistics. A $6.4 billion contract with Lockheed Martin for the supply and support of the 80 F-16s was signed in March 2000, while a $3.4 billion deal for the purchase of 30 new Mirage 2000-9 and retrofitting of the 33 older UAE Mirage 2000s was signed earlier in 1998. Missiles were purchased: 160 AGM-88 HARMs, 1,000 or more AGM-65 Mavericks, about 500 AIM-120 AMRAAMs, 270 AIM-9 Sidewinders and 52 AGM-84 Harpoons. In November 2017, the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces announced their intention to sign a contract with Dassault Aviation for the upgrade of its Mirage 2000-9 aircraft. French newspaper La Tribune reported the modernization would cost €300 million.
After a competition between the BAE Hawk, KAI T-50 Golden Eagle and Alenia Aermacchi M-346 Master, the UAEA
The Aérospatiale Gazelle is a French five-seat helicopter used for light transport and light attack duties. It is powered by a single Turbomeca Astazou turbine engine and was the first helicopter to feature a fenestron tail instead of a conventional tail rotor, it was designed by Sud Aviation Aérospatiale, manufactured in France and the United Kingdom through a joint production agreement with Westland Aircraft. Further manufacturing under license was performed by SOKO in Yugoslavia and the Arab British Helicopter Company in Egypt. Since being introduced to service in 1973, the Gazelle has been procured and operated by a number of export customers, it has participated in numerous conflicts around the world, including by Syria during the 1982 Lebanon War, by Rwanda during the Rwandan Civil War in the 1990s, by numerous participants on both sides of the 1991 Gulf War. In French service, the Gazelle has been supplemented as an attack helicopter by the larger Eurocopter Tiger, but remains in use as a scout helicopter.
The Gazelle originated in a French Army requirement for a lightweight observation helicopter intended to replace the Aérospatiale Alouette III. In 1966, Sud Aviation began working on a light observation helicopter to replace its Alouette II with seating for five people; the first prototype SA 340 flew for the first time on 7 April 1967, it flew with a conventional tail rotor taken from the Alouette II. The tail was replaced in early 1968 with the distinctive fenestron tail on the second prototype. Four SA 341 prototypes were flown, including one for British firm Westland Helicopters. On 6 August 1971, the first production Gazelle conducted its first flight. On 13 May 1967, a Gazelle demonstrated its speed capabilities when two separate world speed records were broken on a closed course, achieving speeds of 307 km/h over 3 kilometres and 292 km/h over 100 kilometres. Early on, the Gazelle had attracted British interest, which would culminate in the issuing of a major joint development and production work share agreement between Aerospatiale and Westland.
The deal, signed in February 1967, allowed the production in Britain of 292 Gazelles and 48 Aérospatiale Pumas ordered by the British armed forces. Additionally, Westland would have a 65% work share in the manufacturing, be a joint partner to Aérospatiale on further refinements and upgrades to the Gazelle. Westland would produce a total of 262 Gazelles of various models for various branches of the British armed forces, Gazelles for the civil market were produced. In service with the French Army Light Aviation, the Gazelle is used as an anti-tank gunship armed with Euromissile HOT missiles. A light support version equipped with a 20 mm cannon is used as well as anti-air variants carrying the Mistral air-to-air missile; the latest anti-tank and reconnaissance versions carry the Viviane thermal imagery system and so are called Gazelle Viviane. The Gazelle is being replaced in frontline duties by the Eurocopter Tiger, but will continue to be used for light transport and liaison roles, it served with all branches of the British armed forces—the Royal Air Force, Royal Navy and the British Army in a variety of roles.
Four versions of the Gazelle were used by the British forces. The SA 341D was designated Gazelle HT.3 in RAF service, equipped as a helicopter pilot trainer. The SA 341E was used by the RAF for communications duties and VIP transport as the Gazelle HCC.4. The SA 341C was purchased as the Gazelle HT.2 pilot trainer for the Royal Navy. The SA 341B was equipped to a specification for the Army Air Corps as the Gazelle AH.1. The Gazelle proved to be a commercial success, which led Aerospatiale to develop and introduce the SA 342 Gazelle series, equipped with uprated powerplants. Licensed production of the type did not just take place in the UK, domestic manufacturing was conducted by Egyptian firm ABHCO. Yugoslavian production by SOKO produced a total of 132 Gazelles; as the Gazelle became progressively older, newer combat helicopters were brought into service in the anti-tank role. Developed as a replacement to Aérospatiale's Alouette helicopter, some aspects of the Gazelle such as its purpose and layout were based on the previous model.
The Gazelle featured several important innovations. It was the first helicopter to carry a fantail; the fenestron, while requiring a small increase in power at slow speeds, has advantages such as being less vulnerable and low power requirements during cruise speeds, has been described as "far more suitable for high-speed flight". The fenestron is to have been one of the key advances that allowed the Gazelle to become the world's f