Bangladesh Air Force

Ensign of the Bangladesh Air ForceEnsign of the Bangladesh Air Force
Active1971 – present
Country Bangladesh
Size11,000 personnel
200+ aircraft
Air HeadquarterDhaka, Bangladesh
Mottoবাংলার আকাশ রাখিব মুক্ত
The Sky of Bangladesh Will Be Kept Secured
Air Force Chief of StaffAir Marshal Shah Mohammad Ziaur Rahman
RoundelBangladeshi Air Force roundel.svg
Aircraft flown
AttackNanchang A-5, Aero L-39, Mil Mi-171
BomberNanchang A-5, Antonov An-32 (converted)
FighterChengdu F-7, Mikoyan MiG-29
HelicopterBell 206, Bell 212, Mil Mi-17
InterceptorChengdu F-7
TrainerNanchang PT-6, Cessna T-37, Aero L-39
TransportAntonov An-32, Lockheed C-130
The Bangladesh Air Force (বাংলাদেশ বিমান বাহিনী Bangladesh Biman Bahini in Bangla), is the air arm of the Bangladesh Armed Forces. Bangladesh Air Force currently employs more than 11,000 personnel including 600+ Pilots.


Bangladesh Air Force was officially formed at the Sector Commanders Conference during its independence war from Pakistan in 1971. Its official date of formation has been established as September 28, 1971 and it was launched formally by the Government on 8 October 1971. A number of BAF officers participated in the Bangladesh Liberation War. Initially, BAF was formed with all officers and airmen of Bengali origin serving in the Pakistan Air Force prior to the war. At that time, the embryo of Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) was formed with less than hundred officers and airmen. During the independence war, officers of the BAF attached to the Z-Force were Squadron Leader M. Hamidullah Khan,as Commander-Sector 11, Flight Lieutenant Liaqat as Battalion Adjutant, Flying Officer Rouf, Flying Officer Ashraf and Flight Sergeant Shafiqullah as company commanders. Squadron Leader Sadruddin Hossain, Squadron Leader Wahidur Rahim, Squadron Leader Nurul Qader, Squadron Leader Shamsur Rahman and Air Commodore Ataur Rahman as sub sector company commanders. Wing Commander Khademul Bashar participated in the war as Commander-Sector 6.
Near the end of the war a symbolic flight known as 'Kilo Flight' was flown to establish the Bangladesh Air Force. Initially, 'Kilo Flight' consisted of three aircraft provided by the Indian authorities. Nine officers and 47 airmen were given a symbolic operation to mark the beginning of the air force. Squadron Leader Sultan Mahmud was appointed as the commander of the 'Kilo Flight' with two transport planes and one helicopter. After repairing the three air crafts into some operational form, 'Kilo Flight' successfully began its maiden operational flight as part of the new air force. It bombed several fuel storage in Chittagong and Narayangonj area and thus the journey of BAF had commenced.
During the war, Pakistan transferred a huge amount of essential war materials and equipment to then West Pakistan that was originally assigned and appropriated for the eastern zone. After independence BAF received a significant donation from the former USSR and later from China. Among the aircraft delivered were Ten single-seat MiG-21MF and two twin-seat MiG-21UM.
In 1972, three aircraft 1 C-47 Dakota, 1 de Havilland Canada DHC-3 Otter and a French Aérospatiale Alouette III helicopter were left to Bangladesh by India. The Pakistan Air Force prior to 1971 had a large number of Bengali pilots, air traffic controllers, technicians and administrative officers. Many of them distinguished themselves during the Bangladesh Liberation War, thus despite the lack of aircraft, they provided the nascent Bangladesh Air Force with a good number of trained personnel.

Disaster in 1991

In 1991, devastating cyclone struck the Bangladeshi coast and around 80 operational BAF aircraft were lost or damaged beyond repair. That did limit the operational capability of BAF significantly at that time. But slowly BAF recovered from the setback and now maintains a high standard of maintenance and situational awareded Air Force personnel in 1971
During the independence war of 1971, many career air force officers and men participated in different sectors in Bangladesh and also at the headquarters. Below are a list of some notable participants.
Wing Commander Khademul Bashar
PAF-BAF - Deceased while Air Vice Marshall and Chief of Air Staff.
Squadron Leader M.Hamidullah Khan
Squadron Leader Sadruddin Hossain
PAF-BAF – Retired as Air Vice Marshall and Chief of Air Staff.
Squadron Leader Ataur Rahman
Squadron Leader Wahidur Rahim
PAF-BAF – Retired as Wing Commander.
Squadron Leader Nurul Kader
Squadron Leader Shamsur Rahman
Squadron Leader Sultan Mahmud
PAF-BAF – Retired as Air Vice Marshall and Chief of Air Staff.
Squadron Leader Islam
Squadron Leader Shamsul Alam
Flight Lieutenant Matiur Rahman
PAF-BAF – Killed during a daring attempt to defect to Bangladesh.
Flight Lieutenant Liaqat
Flight Lieutenant Iqbal Rashid
Flight Lieutenant Badrul Alam
PAF-BAF – Asst. to Group Captain A K Khandker
Flying Officer Rouf
Flying Officer Ashraf
Flight Sergeant Abu Yusuf Khan
Flight Sergeant Shafiqullah

Non Combatant Staff

Group Captain A K Khandker PAF-BAF – Was assigned as the Deputy Chief of Staff under Lieutenant Colonel Abdur Rab, as of end of May 1971. His primary responsibility consisted of liaison with local Indian officials and defense personnel at Kalyani, Calcutta.
Squadron Leader Badrul Alam PAF-BAF - Was A K Khandkers deputy in 1971 at Kalyani, Calcutta.

Distinguished personnel

Group Captain Safiul Azam PAF-BAF( Legendary Eagle Of The Sky )

Organizational structure

The Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) has its HQ at Dhaka Cantonment. HQ has 3 branches, Operations & Training (Ops. & Trng.), Administration and Special Duties (Admin. & SD) and Material & Maintenance (M & Mte). Each branch is headed by officers who are considered as Principal Staff Officer (PSO)and known as Assistant Chief of Air Staff, e.g. ACAS (Ops & Trng). Under each PSO there are various Directorates headed by Directors of Group Captain Rank. Under each Director there are Deputy Directors (DD) and Staff Officers (SO).
  • Office of the Chief of Air Staff (COAS)
  • Air Secretary's Branch
  • Chief Inspectorate
  • Directorate of Air Intelligence
  • Judge Advocate General
  • Operations & Training Branch
  • Directorate of Air Defence
  • Directorate of Air Operations
  • Directorate of Air Traffic Services
  • Directorate of Air Training
  • Directorate of Education
  • Directorate of Flight Safety
  • Directorate of IT
  • Directorate of Meteorology
  • Directorate of Plan
  • Directorate of Recruitment
  • Administrative Branch and Special Duties
  • Chief Engineer's Office
  • Directorate of Administrative Co-ordination
  • Directorate of Finance
  • Directorate of Medical Services
  • Directorate of Personnel
  • Directorate of Provost Marshal
  • Directorate of Welfare and Ceremony
  • Directorate of Works
  • Material and Maintenance Branch
  • Directorate of Armament and Weapons
  • Directorate of Communication & Electronics
  • Directorate of Engineering
  • Directorate of Project
  • Directorate of Supply

Command Structure

Shoulder/Sleeve insigniaAppointmentRank & NameStar Plate
UK-Air-OF8.svgChief of the Air StaffAir Marshal Shah Mohammad Ziaur Rahman ndc, afwc, pscAir Marshal star plate.svg
UK-Air-OF7.svgAssistant Chief of the Air Staff (Operations & Training)Air Vice Marshal Abu Esrar ndu, acscAir Vice-Marshal star plate.svg
UK-Air-OF7.svgAssistant Chief of the Air Staff (Administration and Special Duties)Air Vice Marshal Muhammad Enamul Bari ndu, pscAir Vice-Marshal star plate.svg
UK-Air-OF6.svgAssistant Chief of the Air Staff (Material and Maintenance)Air Commodore MazharAir Commodore star plate.svg
UK-Air-OF6.svgAir Officer Commanding, BAF Base Khademul BasharAir Commodore Naeem HasanAir Commodore star plate.svg
UK-Air-OF6.svgAir Officer Commanding, BAF Base KurmitolaAir Commodore Mashihuzzaman SerniabatAir Commodore star plate.svg
UK-Air-OF6.svgAir Officer Commanding, BAF Base Zahurul HaqAir Commodore Sanaul HuqAir Commodore star plate.svg
UK-Air-OF6.svgAir Officer Commanding, BAF Base Matiur RahmanAir Commodore Abul BasharAir Commodore star plate.svg
UK-Air-OF6.svgAir Officer Commanding, BAF Base PaharkanchanpurAir Commodore AnwarAir Commodore star plate.svg


Branches of Bangladesh Air Force are:
Administration and Training
Air Defence Weapon Controller
Air Traffic Control
General Duty (Navigator)
General Duty (Pilot)

View of BAF Information and Selection Centre, Dhaka
BAF Headquarters is located in Dhaka Cantonment. There are numerous bases set up all over the country. BAF Base Khademul Bashar Dhaka, BAF Base Zahurul Haque Chittagong and BAF Base Matiur Rahman Jessore are named after National as well as Air Force heroes. Other major bases are BAF Base Kurmitola Dhaka and BAF Base Pahar Kanchanpur Tangail. There are also several independent units and detachments in places like Moulavibazar Radar Unit (MRU), Bogra Radar Unit (BRU), No. 74 Squadron Bangladesh Air Force at Chittagong & No.71 Sqadron Bangladesh Air Force at Dhaka & Shamshernagar (Sylhet). Recently the plan for a new Forward Operations Base (FOB) at Coxs Bazar has been approved for which a construction program is already underway.

Bangladesh Air Force Academy is the commissioned officer training academy for all branches of Bangladesh Air Force. It is located at BAF Base Matiur Rahman in Jessore.

Officer ranks

(in descending order) Bangladesh Bangladesh Air Force

Air Chief MarshalAir MarshalAir Vice-MarshalAir CommodoreGroup CaptainWing CommanderSquadron LeaderFlight LieutenantFlying OfficerPilot Officer

Aircraft Inventory

A BAF MiG-29

A BAF An-32 Cline
Type of AircraftNumber of AircraftUnit AssignmentNotes
Multi Role Combat Aircraft64+Squadrons: 5, 8, 21 & 35
Operational Conversion Unit22+Squadrons: 5, 8, 21 & 35
Counter Insurgency15+Squadrons: 25Also used in advanced jet conversion role.
Transport Aircraft7Squadrons: 3 & 101st Special Flying UnitAn-32 has dual transport/bomber role.
Helicopter41+Squadrons: 1, 9, 31 & 101st Special Flying UnitAll armed.
Intermediate Jet Trainer12+Squadrons: 15
Rotary Wing Trainer4Squadrons: 18
Primary Fixed Wing Trainer40+Squadrons: 11

Future Modernization Program

BAF has an ongoing modernization program that includes plan to introduce 16 x F-7BG Air Guard aircraft for FOB at Cox's Bazar, one Squadron of MiG-29 MKI and 2 state of the art Air Defence Radar within 2012. BAF will also include SAM to strenghthen the ground based air-defence throughout the country. The formation of an Air Regiment, which will be responsible for the defence of the airforce bases is also on progress.

UN Mission Deployment

More than 600+ BAF personnel, including officers & airmen, 10 BAF helicopters are currently deployed to various UN Missions. Another C-130 transport aircraft is providing support to UN Mission in Africa.

Guided Weapons

NameVersionTypeUsed byNotes
Infrared Guided Air-to-air missileF-7MB, A-5C
PL-5EActive Infrared Guided Air-to-air missileF-7MB, A-5C
Infrared Guided Air-to-air missileF-7MB, A-5CPRC version of the French Matra Magic R.550 missile.
PL-9CInfrared Guided Air-to-air missileF-7BG
Vympel R-27
Infrared Guided (R-27T), Semi Active Radar Guided (R-27R), and Active Radar Guided (R-27AE)MiG-29
Vympel R-73
Infrared Guided Air-to-air missileMiG-29
Vympel R-77
Active Radar Guided Air-to-air missileMiG-29
Laser Guided BombF-7BG, F-7MB, A-5C
Satellite Guided BombF-7BG, F-7MB, A-5C

Small Arms

Type 92Semi-automatic pistol9mm ChinaStandard issue sidearm.
Sarsilmaz Cobra Special TacticalSemi-automatic shotgun12 gauge TurkeyStandard BAF issue shotgun.
BD-08Assault rifle7.62mm BangladeshProduced under license by BOF.
BD-08Light machine gun7.62mm BangladeshProduced under license by BOF.
RPDLight machine gun7.62mm Soviet Union
MGL Mk1Grenade launcher46mm South AfricaIn service with BAF Ground Security Unit.

1 comment:

  1. I have confusion about the 1st chief of Bangladesh Air Force, is he sultan mahmud or A K khandakar?


Powered by Blogger.