Royal Australian Air Force

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Royal Australian Air Force
Royal Australian Air Force

Emblem of the RAAF

Logo of the RAAF
Lineup March 31, 1921
Country AustraliaAustralia Australia
Armed forces Australian Defense Force
Type Armed forces ( air force )
Strength 15,430 (2011)
motto Latin " Per ardua ad astra "
German "Through difficulties to the stars"
Chief of Air Force Air MarshalMel Hupfeld
Air Marshal
Deputy Chief of Air Force Air Vice MarshalStephen Meredith
Air Vice Marshal
Air Commander Australia RAAF O8 rank.pngJoe Iervasi
Air Vice Marshal
Aircraft cockade Roundel of Australia.svg Roundel of Australia - Low Visibility.svg
Flag of the RAAF Air Force Ensign of Australia.svg

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) ( German  Royal Australian Air Force ) is the air force of the Australian Defense Force .


First World War

As a forerunner of the RAAF, the Australian Flying Corps was founded on October 22, 1912 . During the First World War it was used in support of British troops in Iraq , Egypt and Palestine as well as on the Western Front with four squadrons. After the end of the war, the Australian Flying Corps became the Royal Australian Air Force .

Second World War

At the beginning of the Second World War , Australia participated in the Empire Air Training Scheme . This provided for a joint training of pilots from all parts of the British Empire in order to train many pilots for the fight against the Axis powers in a short time . A total of 19 Australian squadrons were used under British command during the war. Most of the units were stationed in the British Isles , but there were also missions in the Mediterranean and North Africa . Some Australian crews have also been deployed aboard Royal Air Force bombers .

On February 19, 1942, Japanese bombers attacked the Australian city of Darwin . The Australian government saw its own territory threatened for the first time and began to withdraw air force units from Europe. Due to the lack of their own aircraft, British and US warplanes were also imported. The Bristol Beaufighter , which was clearly superior to the Japanese machines, proved its worth here . At the end of 1942, production of the first fighter aircraft developed entirely in Australia, the CA-12 Boomerang, began . From 1943 on, the RAAF played a key role in the reconquest of occupied areas in the Pacific .

It also flew several bombing raids on Japan using US-made B-24 bombers. Almost 100 Australian bombers were involved in the heavy air raids on Tokyo between February 25 and March 9, 1945 . The attack of March 9th (in Japan: March 10th) 1945, with over 100,000 dead within a few hours, is considered to be the most casualty conventional bombing in human history. The number of victims exceeded that of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

A total of around 20,000 RAAF pilots were deployed during the war. At that time, the RAAF comprised 219,600 people, 11,061 of whom were killed in the war.

During the Berlin blockade in 1948/49, a unit made up of parts from No. 36 Squadron and No. 38 Squadron was composed of a total of 2062 transport flights from Lübeck-Blankensee to Berlin-Gatow .

Korean and Vietnam War

During the Korean War (1950-1953) the RAAF received its first jet aircraft of the Gloster Meteor type . In addition, she used transport aircraft to supply the UN troops . The RAAF was also used in the Vietnam War , for the first time with helicopters ( Bell UH-1 ). The English Electric Canberra also carried out bombing raids on the Viet Cong until 1972 .

1980s and subsequent years

In the following decades, the RAAF concentrated on logistical air support for military interventions and peacekeeping operations of the United Nations , with the transport helicopters being decommissioned in 1989 and part of them given to the Australian Army Aviation for continued operation. The 1999 peace mission in East Timor , which took place under Australian command, received special attention ( see here ). During the 2003 Iraq War, Australian fighter jets were used again for the first time since the Vietnam War. F / A-18s carried out multiple bombing raids on targets in central Iraq along with British tornadoes . Australian fighter planes were also involved in monitoring the airspace. It was criticized that no official information was given about the operations.

The RAAF has been participating in the air strikes against the Islamic State in Iraq with up to eight F / A-18s since October 2014 .


Air Force Headquarters

  • Air Command
    • Air Combat Group
      • No. 78 Wing
        • No. 76 Squadron
        • No. 79 Squadron
        • No. 278 Squadron
      • No. 81 wing
        • No. 75 Squadron
        • No. 77 Squadron
        • No. 3 Squadron
        • No. 2 OCU
        • 81 Combined Works
      • No. 82 wing
        • No. 1 Squadron
        • No. 4 Squadron
        • No. 6 Squadron
    • Air Mobility Group
      • No. 84 wing
        • No. 35 Squadron
        • No. 37 Squadron
        • Air Mobility Training and Development Unit (AMTDU)
      • No. 86 wing
        • No. 33 Squadron
        • No. 34 Squadron
        • No. 36 Squadron
        • Air Mobility Control Center (AMCC)
    • Air Force Training Group
      • Air Training Wing
        • No. 1 Flying Training School
        • No. 2 Flying Training School
        • No. 32 Squadron
        • ADF Basic Flying Training School
        • Central Flying School
        • Combat Survival Training School
        • School of Air Traffic Control
        • RAAF museum
      • Ground Training Wing
        • Defense Explosive Ordnance Training School
        • RAAF School of Administration and Logistics Training
        • RAAF Security and Fire School
        • RAAF School of Technical Training
      • RAAF College
        • No. 1 recruit training unit
        • Air Force Band
        • Officers' Training School
        • School of Post Graduate Studies
    • Air Warfare Center
      • Test and Evaluation Directorate
        • Aircraft Research and Development Unit
        • Aeronautical Information Service
        • Air Warfare Engineering Squadron
        • Aircraft Stores Compatibility Engineering Squadron
        • Institute of Aviation Medicine
      • Information Warfare Directorate
        • Air Force Intelligence Project
        • Distributed Ground Station - Australia Flight
        • Distributed Ground Station - Australia Project
        • Joint Electronic Warfare Operational Support Unit
        • Aeronautical Information Service
        • No. 87 Squadron
        • No. 460 Squadron
        • No. 462 Squadron
      • Air Force Rangers Directorate
        • Woomera test range
      • Tactics and Training Directorate
        • Air Warfare School
    • Combat Support Group
      • 95 wing
        • No. 1 Combat Communications Squadron
        • No. 3 Security Forces Squadron
        • No. 2 Security Forces Squadron
        • No. 1 Security Forces Squadron
        • No. 65 Squadron
        • No. 381 Squadron
        • No. 383 Squadron
        • No. 382 Squadron
        • No. 295 Squadron
      • 96 wing
        • No. 13 Squadron
        • No. 17 Squadron
        • No. 19th Squadron
        • No. 20 Squadron
        • No. 21 Squadron
        • No. 22 Squadron
        • No. 23 Squadron
        • No. 24 Squadron
        • No. 25 Squadron
        • No. 26 Squadron
        • No. 27 Squadron
        • No. 30 Squadron
      • Health Services Wing
        • No. 1 Expeditionary Health Squadron
        • No. 2 Expeditionary Health Squadron
        • No. 3 Aero-Medical Evacuation Squadron
        • Health Operational Conversion Unit
    • Surveillance and Response Group
      • No. 41 wing
        • No. 3 CRU
        • No. 1 RSU
        • No. 114 MCRU
        • SACTU
      • No. 42 wing
        • No. 2 Squadron
      • No. 44 wing
        • No. 453 Squadron
        • No. 452 Squadron
      • No. 92 wing
        • No. 10 Squadron
        • No. 11 Squadron
        • No. 292 Squadron
        • No. 5 flight

Current aircraft

The Royal Australian Air Force operates 325 aircraft (as of the end of 2019).

plane photo origin use version active Ordered Remarks
McDonnell Douglas F / A-18 Hornet FA-18 Adelaide Clipsal 500 2010.jpg United StatesUnited States United States / Australia
Multipurpose fighter F / A-18A 52 License construction
Boeing F / A-18 Super Hornet A44-209 YMAV 20130227 8890 (13922817126) .jpg United StatesUnited States United States Multipurpose fighter F / A-18F 24
Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II First Australian F-35A (modified) .jpg United StatesUnited States United States Multipurpose fighter F-35A 6th 84
Aircraft for special missions
Boeing EA-18 growler Australian EA-18G at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in 2017.jpg United StatesUnited States United States EloKa - fighter aircraft I / O-18G 11
Boeing 737 AEW & C Boeing 737 AEW & C Avalon.jpg United StatesUnited States United States AWACS B737AEW & C 6th
Lockheed P-3 Orion AP-3C Orion 2918573216.jpg United StatesUnited States United States Maritime patrol aircraft AP-3C 3 Is the eight P-Poseidon replaced
Boeing P-8 Poseidon Port side view of A47-007 in May 2018.jpg United StatesUnited States United States Maritime patrol aircraft 11 3
Tanker planes
Airbus A330 MRTT A39-003 YMAV 20130227 8724 (13185795523) .jpg European UnionEuropean Union European Union Tanker aircraft 6th
Transport aircraft
Boeing C-17 Globemaster III RAAF C-17.jpg United StatesUnited States United States Strategic transporter C-17A 8th
Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules RAAF C-130J 2008.jpg United StatesUnited States United States Military transporter C-130J-30 12
Alenia C-27J Alenia C-27J (Pratica di Mare) .jpg European UnionEuropean Union European Union Military transporter C-27J 10
Boeing BBJ RAAFBBJA36001.JPG United StatesUnited States United States VIP transportation BBJ 2
Bombardier Challenger 600 RAAFA37001.JPG CanadaCanada Canada VIP transportation C604 3
Beechcraft King Air Australian Beechcraft B300 King Air 350.JPG United StatesUnited States United States Liaison aircraft King Air 350 8th
Training aircraft
McDonnell Douglas F / A-18 Hornet Example image United StatesUnited States United States Trainer aircraft F / A-18B 15th License construction
Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II First Australian F-35A (modified) .jpg United StatesUnited States United States Trainer aircraft F-35A 10
BAE Hawk BAe Hawk Mk127 79 Sqn RAAF 1.jpg United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom Trainer aircraft Hawk 127 33
Beechcraft King Air Australian Beechcraft B300 King Air 350.JPG United StatesUnited States United States Navigation trainer King Air 350 8th
Pilatus PC-9 RAAF PC-9.png SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland Trainer aircraft PC-9 / A 54 License construction
Pilatus PC-21 Royal Australian Air Force (A54-003) Pilatus PC-21 at Wagga Wagga Airport.jpg SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland Trainer aircraft 43 3

Air bases

The Royal Australian Air Force operates bases across Australia. Air Force members work in many other military bases and offices. The military airfields are home to the “ wings ” subordinate to the respective “groups”, some of which are spread over several fields. They are subordinate to one or more " squadrons " as flying or non-flying units. Only the most important flight squadrons are listed below.

There are three so-called bare bases in the north of the country , runways with basic facilities that the Australian Air Force can activate at short notice in an emergency:

  • RAAF Base Scherger, Weipa, Queensland
  • RAAF Base Learmonth, Exmouth, Western Australia
  • RAAF Base Curtin, Derby, Western Australia

A small RAAF contingent is stationed in Butterworth, Malaysia on the RMAF Base Butterworth of the Malaysian Air Force . The basic training of all future pilots of the Australian Defense Forces will take place (until the end of 2019) in the Basic Flying Training School on the former RAAF Base Tamworth and will be carried out on the CT / 4B air trainer from Pacific Aerospace by BAE Systems . Lockheed Martin then takes on this task in East Sale. The 34th Squadron uses the Defense Establishment Fairbairn in Canberra.

Ranks and Rank Badges


Rank group Generals Staff officers Subaltern officers
Rank insignia of air chief marshal RAAF.svg
RAAF O9 rank.png
RAAF O8 rank.png
RAAF O7 rank.png
RAAF O6 rank.png
RAAF O5 rank.png
RAAF O4 rank.png
RAAF O3 rank.png
RAAF O2 rank.png
RAAF O1 rank.png
Rank Air Chief Marshal Air Marshal Air Vice Marshal Air Commodore Group captain Wing Commander Squadron Leader Flight Lieutenant Flying officer Pilot officer
general Lieutenant General Major general Brigadier General Colonel Lieutenant colonel major Captain First lieutenant lieutenant
NATO rank code OF-9 OF-8 OF-7 OF-6 OF-5 OF-4 OF-3 OF-2 OF-1

NCOs and men

Rank group Warrant Officer NCOs Teams
Australia RAAF OR-9b.svg
Australia RAAF OR-9a.svg
Australia RAAF OR-8.svg
Australia RAAF OR-6.svg
Australia RAAF OR-5.svg
Australia RAAF OR-3.svg
Australia RAAF OR-2.svg
Rank Warrant Officer
of the Air Force
Warrant Officer Flight sergeant sergeant Corporal Leading Aircraftman /
Leading Aircraftwoman
Aircraftman /
Sergeant Major Staff Sergeant Oberfeldwebel /
Staff NCO /
Hauptgefreiter /
NATO rank code OR-9 OR-8 OR-6 OR-5 OR-3 OR-2

Web links

Commons : Royal Australian Air Force  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Beginnings of the Australian Flying Corps. Retrieved March 1, 2020 .
  2. aircraft of RAAF during the Berlin blockade on Retrieved March 10, 2020 .
  3. Australia flies attacks in Iraq , accessed October 15, 2014
  4. World Air Force 2020. Flight International , December 10, 2019, accessed June 11, 2020 .
  5. Virgin Australia to open pilot training center in Tamworth, Flightglobal, October 321, 2018