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The Bangladesh Air Force (বাংলাদেশ বিমান বাহিনী Bangladesh Biman Bahini in Bangla), is the tactical and strategic air branch of the Bangladesh Armed Forces. It also provides air support for ground troops. Bangladesh Air Force consists of more than 27,000 personnel including 3,400+ officers of whom around 600+ are General Duty Pilots.


Bangladesh Air Force was officially formed at the Bangladesh Sector Commanders Conference 1971 during its independence war from Pakistan in 1971. Its official date of formation has been established as September 21, 1971. A number of BAF officers participated in the Bangladesh Liberation War. Initially, BAF was formed with all officers and trained 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 an air chief and less than a hundred officers and airmen. During Bangladesh independence war officers of the BAF in the Z-Force were Squadron Leader Muhammad Hamidullah Khan,who was assigned as Commander-Sector 11, Flight Lieutenant Liaqat as Battalion Adjutant, including Flying Officer Rouf, Flying Officer Ashraf and Flight Sergeant Shafiqullah as company commanders. Squadron Leader Wahidur Rahim, Squadron Leader Nurul Qader, Squadron Leader Shamur Rahman and Air Commodore Ataur Rahman as sub sector company commanders. Wing Commander Khademul Bashar who also participated in the war was Commander-Sector 6.During 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 Initially, 'Kilo Flight' consisted of three out of date malfunctioning aircraft provided by the Indian authorities. Trained BAF personnel repaired the aircraft and 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 aircraft into some operational form, 'Kilo Flight' successfully began its maiden flight operation in the new air force. It bombed an old and almost empty fuel storage in Chittagongmarker and Narayangonj area and thus the journey of BAF had commenced. During the war Pakistan flew away many essential materials and equipment that was assigned and appropriated for the eastern zone. Almost entirely all air force flight and aviation equipment and gear including infrastructure material that was remaining was acquired by the Indian armed force. BAF received a significant donation by the air force of the USSR after independence.

In 1972, the three aircraft C-47 Dakota, DC-3 and a French Alouette helicopter was left to Bangladesh by Indiamarker which being obsolete were soon out of operation. Despite the lack of aircraft, the Pakistan Air Force prior to 1971 had a large number of Bengalimarker pilots, air traffic controllers, technicians and administrative officers many of whom distinguished themselves during the Bangladesh Liberation War, this providing the Bangladesh Air Force with a good number of trained personnel.

Notable Air Force Personnel of Bangladesh Forces in 1971

During the independence war of 1971, many career air force officers and men participated in different sectors in Bangladeshmarker and also at the headquarters. Below are a list of some notable participants.

Squadron Leader Muhammad Hamidullah Khan b.11 September,1938. - Commander Sector 11 Bangladesh Forces - When in the rank of Squadron Leader, Hamidullah had emerged in a secure place in the history of Bangladesh and Bangladesh Air Force of unprecedented significance. Hamidullah is the only air force officer who represented interim Bangladesh Government as Chief Liaison and Coordination officer at Chakulia Guerilla Training Camp in Bihar and commanded as both sub-sector (Mankarchar Sub-Sector) and commander of Sector 11 during independence war of Bangladesh. He singlehandedly commanded the largest number of men of the largest sector, Sector 11, during the war. The famous Chilmari Landing, Kurigram and Gaibandha Guerrilla Campaigns, Kodalkati and Kamalpur Assaults, Tangail Area Ambushes and Raids, have all been planned and executed under his command. Hamidullah served in B.A.F until 1979 as Ground Defence Commander at Air HQ, Dhaka. He was called upon by then President Ziaur Rhaman to retire from the air force and enter public service. Hamidullah Khan was elected Member of Parlianment in the 2nd, 5th and 6th Bangladesh Parliament from Dhaka 5, later Munshigonj 2. Hamidullah was nominated for the parliamentary seat from Dhaka-15 in 2008 for the 9th Bangladesh Parliamentary elections that was held on December 29th of the same year.

Wing Commander Khademul Bashar - Commander Sector 6 Bangladesh Forces - Served as Senior Operations Officer at Dhaka International Airport in Tejgaon Air Base, until in March 1971. He was appointed Commander Sector 6 Bangladesh Forces by General M.A.G. Osmani. Bashar later became Chief of Staff, BAF. He died from a plane crash during a routine flight. BAF Base at Tejgaon, Dhaka has been renamed Base Bashar in his honour.

Squadron Leader Wahidur Rahim PAF-BAF - Company Commander. Retired as Wing Commander.

Squadron Leader Nurul Kader PAF-BAF

Squadron Leader Shamsur Rahman PAF-BAF

Squadron Leader Sultan Mahmud PAF-BAF - Freedom Fighter. Retired as Air Vice Marshall and Chief of Air Staff.

Squadron Leader Islam PAF-BAF - Freedom Fighter

Flight Lieutenant Matiur Rahman PAF-BAF - Killed during daring attempt to defect while in flight during training mission from PAF to BD for participating in war of independence

Flight Lieutenant Liaqat PAF-BAF - Freedom Fighter

Flight Lieutenant PAF-BAF - Iqbal Rashid - Freedom Fighter, Captain Sector 6 Bangladesh Forces

BD Interim Government Personnel 19718 Theatre Road, Kallyani, Calcuttamarker, Indiamarker

Group Captain A K Khandker - Deputy Chief of Staff Bangladesh Forces under General M.A.G. Osmani, C-in-C, Bangladesh Forces. Was appointed Chief Convenor of Independence War Gallantry Awards Committee by Osmani. For explicit reasons unknown excepted highest gallantry of Bir Uttam (not martyred). After independence was made Chief of Staff of Bangladesh Air Force by the new Awami League government. Immediately after Sheikh Mujib's assassination was appointed Ambassador to India during Mushtaq's government and later to Australia during Ershad Administration. Later managed to secure a cabinet post under Ershads regime as minister of planning. Created Sector Commanders Forum, a political action body in October 2007. As its head, spearheaded a drive throughout the nation and media regarding a controversial issue involving the role of religious based elements during the nations independence war, whom Mujib officially and unequivocally pardoned.

Asst. to Dep. Chief Bangladesh Forces- Flt. Lt. Badrul Alam - Bir Uttam (Reasons Unknown)

Other Notable Personnel

Group Captain Safiul Azam PAF-BAF - While Flight Lieutenant Saiful Azam has the unique distinction of having kills against air forces of two different countries. As a young Flying Officer during the 65 War, Saiful Azam scored a kill against an Indian Air Force Gnat, in recognition of which he was awarded Sitara-i-Jurat. Two years later Saiful Azam became the first Pakistani pilot to score against the Israeli Air Force in the 1967 Arab-Israel war. He shot down a Vatour Bomber, a super Mystere, and a Mirage IIIC, all in only two missions thus raising his tally to four kills. To date, he remains the highest shooter of Israeli aircraft in the history of dogfighting.He has been highly decorated with gallantry awards by both Jordan and Iraq for his extraordinary display of skill and courage. He retired as a Group Captain from Bangladesh Air Force. In 2001, he was honoured by the United States Air Force (USAF) and enjoys the status of being one of the twenty two 'Living Eagles' of the world.Air Commodore Ataur Rahman PAF-BAF


Shoulder/Sleeve insignia Appointment Rank & Name Star Plate
Chief of Air Staff
|| Air Marshal Shah Mohammad Ziaur Rahman ndc, afwc, psc  ||‎||
Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Operations & Training) Air Vice Marshal Abu Esrar ndu, acsc
Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Admin) Air Vice Marshal Muhammad Enamul Bari ndu, psc
Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Maintenance) Air Commodore Mazhar
Air Officer Commanding, BAF Base Khademul Bashar (AOC Bashar) Air Commodore Mahmudul Hasan
Air Officer Commanding, BAF Base Kurmitola (AOC Kurmitola) Air Commodore Mashihuzzaman Serniabat
Air Officer Commanding, BAF Base Zahurul Haq (AOC Zahur) Air Commodore Sanaul Huq
Air Officer Commanding, BAF Base Matiur Rahman (AOC Matiur) Air Commodore Shah Alam
Air Officer Commanding, BAF Base Paharkanchanpur (AOC PKP) Air Commodore Anwar

Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) has its HQ at Dhaka Cantonment. HQ has 3branches, Operations & Training (Ops & Trg), Administration (Admin) and Maintenance (Maint). Each branch is headed by officers who are considered as Principal Staff Officer (PSO)and known as Assistant Chief of Air Staff, eg ACAS (Ops & Trg). 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).

Chief of Air Staff (COAS) Office:Air Seretary's branch,Directorate of Air Intelligence,Judge Advocate General,Chief Inspectorate;

Operation & Training Branch:Directorate of Air Operations,Directorate of Plan,Directorate of Air Training,Directorate of Flight Safety,Directorate of Air Defence,Directorate of Recruitment,Directorate of Education,Directorate of Metereology,Directorate of Air Traffic Services;

Administrative Branch:Directorate of Personnel,Directorate of Works,Directorate of Welfare and ceremony,Directorate of Administrative Co-ordination,Directorate of Finance,Directorate of Medical Services (Air),Directorate of Provost Marshal,Chief Engineer's Office (Air);

Maintenance Branch:Directorate of Engineering,Directorate of Project,Directorate of Armament and Weapons,Directorate of Communication & Electronics,Directorate of Supply;

Branches of Bangladesh Air Force

Branches of Bangladesh Air Force are:

  • General Duty (Pilot)
  • General Duty (Navigator)
  • Air Defence Weapon Controller
  • Administration and Training
  • Air Traffic Control
  • Logistics
  • Maintenance Technical Engineering
  • Maintenance Technical Communication and Electronics
  • Maintenance Technical Armament
  • Education
  • Legal
  • Accounts
  • Meteorology


BAF Headquarters is located in Dhaka Cantonment. There are many bases set up all over the country. BAF Bases Bashar (Dhaka), Zahurul Haque (Chittagong) and Matiur (Jessore) are named after National and Air Force heroes. Other major bases are BAF Base Pahar Kanchanpur (Tangail), BAF Base Shamshernagar (Sylhet). Recently a new base has been set up at Bogra.

Bangladesh Air Force Academy

Bangladesh Air Force Academy is the officer training academy of the Bangladesh Air Force.It is situated in BAF base Jessoremarker.

Officer Ranks

(in decreasing order)

Rank Rank Insignia
Air Chief Marshal
Air Marshal
Air Vice Marshal
Air Commodore
Group Captain
Wing Commander
Squadron Leader
Flight Lieutenant
Flying Officer
Pilot Officer

The rank Marshal of the Air Force is a rank given in only two distinct times. That is to the chiefs of staff during wartime and under an honorary basis to retired chiefs of staff and certain other very notable senior officers in peacetime for extraordinary service at the discretion of the Head of State.

Aircraft Inventory

Aircraft Origin Type Versions In serviceAviation Week & Space Technology 2009, 26 JAN 2009 240. Web.4 Aug 2009. />. Notes
Fighter Aircraft
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29 Fulcrum Air Superiority Fighter MiG-29SE/UB 16 Multi-role air superiority fighter. Based in Kurmitola AB under 8th Squadron.
Chengdu F-7 Airguard Interceptor Fighter F-7BG
Multi-role, interceptor and air Defense. All F-7MB to be replaced by F-7BG. Based in Kurmitola AB under 5th Sq 'Supersonics' and 35th Squadron 'Thundercats'.
Attack Aircraft
Nanchang A-5 Fantan Ground Attack A-5C 16 Deep penetration bomber/attack aircraft. Based in Kurmitola Air base under 21st Squadron.
Aero L-39 Albatros Light Attack/Advanced Trainer L-39ZA 8 Advanced trainer used by BAF Academy & Light Attack Aircraft under 25th Squadron 'Trendsetters' based in Chittagong
Trainer Aircraft
Nanchang PT-6 Primary Trainer CJ-6A 25 Basic trainer used by BAF Academy in Jessor & Bogra
Cessna T-37 Tweet Intermediate Trainer T-37B 12 Intermediate trainer used by BAF Academy, Jessor under 15th Squadron.
Shenyang FT-6 Farmer Advanced Trainer/Ground Attack FT-6 12+ Used as Trainer to complement A-5. Used under 21st and 25th squadron.
Fouga CM.170 Magister Jet Trainer CM.170 8 Being phased out
Bell 206L LongRanger Utility Helicopter 206L 3 Primary helicopter trainer for BAF based in Jessor
Transport Aircraft
Antonov An-32 Cline / Tactical Transport Aircraft/Converted Bomber An-32 3 Transport aircraft, also converted to bomber aircraft by BAF. Based in Chittagong under 3rd Squadron 'Unicorns'.
Lockheed C-130 Hercules Tactical Medium Lifter C-130B 4 Designed as a troop, medical evacuation, and cargo transport aircraft. Based in Kurmitola AB under 101st Squadron.
Attack Helicopters
Mil Mi-171Sh Armed Helicopter Mi-171 Sh 6 Recently procured for use as attack helicopter.
Transport Helicopters
Mil Mi-17 Hip-H Transport Helicopter Mi-17
Used for VIP Transport, air lifting, evacuation and transporting light cargo
Bell 212 Twin Huey Utility Helicopter 212 16+ Multi-mission helicopter. Additional units procured for UN peace keeping operation.

Obsolete and Retired

List of BAF obsolete and retired aircraft:


The basic dimensions of the Bangladesh Air Force badge, motto, ensign, and roundel are similar to that of many Commonwealth nations. Their basic colors are blue, green and red.

List of Air Force Chief

With effect from 23 May 2007, The rank of Air Chief was elevated from Air Vice Marshal to Air Marshal.

See also


External links

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