Top 10 Strongest Air Force In Africa


The Air Force of a country is its branch of the military responsible for monitoring and protecting its Airspace and also a special armed force in charge of aerial warfare.

Air Force military utilizes aerial equipment's/weaponry like fighter jets, helicopters, rockets etc.

Advance countries like the United States, Japan, Great Britain, China and Russia have the strongest and most technological advance Air Force military in the world; this can be attributed to the countries yearly budget on security and dedication to protecting its citizens from air related threat.

In Africa few countries have improved significantly in its security services including its Air Force.

In this article, I will be sharing with you Africa strongest air forces.

The ranking in this article is base on missions/engagement, number of officers and number of air craft’s.

10) Libyan Air Force

Libyan air force is one of the strongest and advance armed forces in Africa.

Libyan Air Force was created in 1962; it was first called Royal Libyan Air Force.

Libyan aircrafts and personnel’s reduce significantly due to the Libyan civil war.

Manpower; Libyan air force has a total number of 4,500 personnel’s.

Aircraft; Libyan air force has a total number of 120 aircraft.

Aircraft include; Su-22, Su-24, C-130 Hercules, L-100 Hercules, An-72, ll-76, MiG-21, MiG-25, Mil Mi-24/3c.

Aircraft Source; Libya purchase aircrafts from the United States, France, Russia, Poland, Italy, Turkey and Soviet Union.

Base; 13 Military Airbases

i. Al-Jufra Air Base

ii. Ghadames Airport

iii. Ghat Airport

iv. Benina

v. Al-Watiya Air Base

Missions/Engagement; Libyan civil war, Uganda-Tanzania war, Libyan-Egyptian war, Chadian-Libyan conflict etc.


9) National Air Force of Angola

The National Air Force of Angola is the branch of the Angolan Military in charge of regulating and protecting Angolan Airspace.

Angolan Air Force was established on 21 January 1976, it was first called the People’s Air Force of Angola / Air and Antiaircraft Defense or FAPA/DAA.

Aircraft; National Air Force of Angola has a total number of 310 aircraft.

Aircraft include; Su-25, Su-22, Su-27, MiG-23, MiG-21, Mi-8, An-12, An-26, C-130 Hercules etc.

Aircraft Source; Angolan purchase aircrafts from the United States, Spain, Brazil, Ukraine, China, Italy, Soviet Union and Switzerland.


i. Luanda Base

ii. Catumbela Base

iii. Belas Base

iv. Luena Base

v. Lubango Base

Mission/Engagement; Angolan civil war


8) Tunisian Air Force

Established in 1956 (62 years), Tunisian Air Force is a branch of the Tunisian Armed Forces responsible for aerial warfare.

Manpower; Tunisian air force has a total number of 4,500 personnel.

Aircraft; Tunisian air force has 159 aircraft.

Aircraft include; Aermacchi MB-326, Northrop F-5, G-222, Super Hercules etc.

Aircraft Source; Tunisia purchases aircraft from France, US, Czech Republic, Turkey, Italy etc.

Base; Four Main Bases

i. Gafsa Base

ii. Bizerte Base

iii. Sfax Base

iv. Sidi Ahmed Base

Mission/Engagement; War on Terror


7) The Royal Moroccan Air Force (RMAF)

The Royal Moroccan Air Force was established in 1956, it was first called the Sherifian Royal Aviation.

It is a branch of its armed force that protects its Airspace.

Manpower; The Royal Moroccan Air Force (RMAF) has a total number of 13,500 personnel’s.

Aircraft; RMAF has 347 aircraft.

Aircraft include; KC-130, CH-47, SA 330, SA 342, AH-64E Apache etc.

Aircraft Source; RMAF purchase aircrafts from France, US, Israel, China, Turkey.

Base; 12 bases

i. Casablanca Aero naval Base

ii. Agadir South Area Headquarters

iii. Rabat North Area Headquarters

iv. Sale’ BAFRA etc.

Mission/Engagement; Western Sahara war, Sand war, Six Day war and Saudi Arabian led intervention in Yemen.


6) Kenyan Air Force (KAF)

Kenyan Air Force was established in 1964 (56 years).

Major General Francis Ogolla is the Commander of the Kenyan Air Force.

Aircraft; KAF has total number of 152 aircraft.

Aircraft include; Northrop F-5, Bell AH-1, Cessna 208, Scottish Aviation Bulldog, Short Tucano etc.

Aircraft Source; KAF purchase aircrafts from the United States, China, Canada, Netherlands, Italy, France, UK and Germany.


i. Laikipia Air Base

ii. Moi Air Base

iii. Forward Operating Base (FOB) Mombasa

iv. FOB Mandera

v. FOB Wajir

Missions/Engagements; Kenyan Air Force participated in Operation Linda Nchi, AU Mission in Somalia etc.


5) Nigerian Air Force

Nigerian Air Force is the aerial and youngest branch of Nigerian armed forces.

Nigerian Air Force was established on 18 April 1964, its major headquarters is in Abuja, F.C.T.

Air Marshal Isiaka Oladayo Amao is the Chief of Air Staff in Nigeria.

Aircraft include; Alpha Jet, Aero L-39, ATR 42, Cessna Citation II, Chengdu F-7, JF-17.

Aircraft source; Nigeria purchases aircraft from China, Pakistan, France, Germany, United States, Austria etc.

Manpower; Nigerian Air Force has a total number of 18,000 active personnel.

Base; 17 Bases

i. NAF Abuja

ii. NAF Port Harcourt

iii. NAF Kano

iv. NAF Yola

v. NAF Benin

vi.NAF Unguwan etc.

Missions/Engagements; Nigerian civil war, Liberian civil war, Sierra Leona civil war, Niger Delta conflict, Orlu crises, Boko Haram insurgency etc.


4) South African Air Force (SAAF)

South African Air Force is one of the strongest and technological advance armed forces in Africa.

Its main headquarters is in Pretoria, it is the oldest air force in Africa as it was established on 1 February 1920 (101 years old).

South Africa air force participated in World War I and World War II, SAAF is also credited for manufacturing some of its aircraft like Denel Rooivalk and Atlas Oryx.

Manpower; SAAF has 10,815 active personnel’s and 831 reserve personnel’s.

Aircraft; SAAF has 229 aircraft.

Aircraft include; BAE Hawk, JAS 39 Gripen, Rooivalk, Agusta A109, C-47TP, C-47TP Elint.

Aircraft Source; Apart from manufacturing its aircrafts, SAAF purchase aircrafts from Sweden, US, France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland etc.

Missions/Engagements; World War I, World War ii, Korean War, Angolan Bush War, South African Border War etc.


3) Ethiopian Air Force (ETAF)

ETAF was established on 18 August 1929 (91 years).

Manpower; ETAF has 5000 personnel.

Aircraft; ETAF has a total number of 86 aircraft.

Aircraft used by ETAF include; Su-25, MiG-23, MiG-21, Su-27, Aermacchi SF-260, Mil Mi-24 etc.

Aircraft Suppliers; ETAF purchase aircrafts from Soviet Union, Russia, United States, France, Ukraine, Germany and Czech Republic.

Air base;

i. Gode Airport

ii. Bashir Dar Airport

iii. Alula Aba Mega Airport

iv. Herar Meda Airport

Missions/ Engagements; Ethiopian civil war, Gugsa Wales Rebellion, Second Italo-Ethiopian war, Ethiopian civil war, Ogeden war etc.


2) Algerian Air Force (AAF)

The Algerian Air Force was established in 1962.

Manpower; AAF has total number of 14,000 personnel’s.

Aircraft; AAF has 621 aircrafts.

Aircraft include; Su-24, MiG-29, Su-30, Mi-24, Mi-28, MiG-25, Su-30, King Air etc.

Aircraft Suppliers; AAF purchases aircraft from the United States, Spain, China, South Africa, Italy, France, Russia etc.

Base; 11 bases

i. Annaba (DABB)

ii. Biskra (DAUB)

iii. Bousfer (DAOE)

iv. Boufarik (DAAK)

v. Chief (DAOI)


1) Egyptian Air Force (EAF)

Egyptian air force is regarded as the strongest and most influential in Africa.

It was first established as part of the Egyptian Army in 1932 as an independent service arm in 1937.

Its headquarters is in Heliopolis, Cairo.

Manpower; EAF has 30,000 active and 20,000 reserve personnel’s.

Aircraft; EAF has 1,136 aircraft as of 2016.

Aircraft include; Alpha jet, Ka-52 Alligator, E-2HE 2K, Mirage 2000, Beech craft 1900, M-324, Mirages etc.

Aircraft Suppliers; Egypt purchase aircrafts from Russia, France, Germany, United States, Spain, Canada, Ukraine, Czech Republic and Italy.

Missions/ Engagements; Nigerian civil war, North Yemen civil war, Six-Day war, Intervention in Yemen, Shaba 1 etc.

 Article source: nigeriainfopedia