Armée de l'Air d'Australie
Australian Air Force
Army of the Air of Australia

Founded 13 March 1921
Country Australia
Branch Air Force
Part of Forces armées de la République australienne
Air Force Headquarters Bonaparte
Size Over 500 aircraft, and 25,000 personnel (2007)
Mascot Kangaroo
Chief of Staff of the Armée de l'Air d'Australie Général d'Corps aérienne
ADAA Roundel AdAA Roundel
ADAA Tail flash AdAA FinFlash
Aircraft flown
Bomber Mirage 4000OD/ON
Fighter Mirage 4000O, Rafale, Mirage 2000O, Mirage F1O
Reconnaissance Mirage IVOR
AEW A320 AEW&C Aigle
Transport C-17, C-130 Hercules, CN-235, A330 MRTT, A340, A319CJ, Falcon 8X, TBM 700
Training Alpha Jet, PC-9/A, CT/4, Xingu, Fennec
Helicopter Puma, Caracal

The Armée de l'Air d'Australie is the air branch of the armed forces of the Australian Republic. The Armée de l'Air d'Australie is one of the oldest air forces in the world being founded as a corps of the army in 1911. Under the name Aéronautique Militaire d'Australie, Australian pilots fought in the First World War. Alongside their French comrades, Australian pilots made a good name for themselves, and shortly after the war, the Aéronautique Militaire d'Australie became an independent force now called the Armée de l'Air d'Australie. The Armée de l'Air d'Australie fought in the Second World War too. An expeditionary air force was sent to France to fly in French aircraft (it was easier to ferry crews alone than crews and aircraft). In fact, Australian airmen were in France on the first day of the war conducting conversion training on Dewoitine D.520 fighters and Bloch MB.210 bombers. They flew with limited success against the Germans. After the armistice, this force split. Some pilots managed to get to Britain. There they answered the call of Charles de Gaulle and fought in the Free French Air Force. Others remained behind and flew for the Vichy Air Force (in a revival of Trans-Tasman rivalry, there were several incidents of Australian-Vichy pilots shooting down aircraft of the Royal New Zealand Air Force). After the Gaullist takeover in Australia, some of the Vichy pilots were interned by the Germans. In the Pacific, the Armée de l'Air d'Australie fought against the Japanese using a variety of Australian-made/French-designed aircraft, and US Lend Lease aircraft.

After victory in 1945, Australian airmen have fought in Korea, Indochina, Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée, the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, and Iraq (2003). It uses a variety of aircraft, predominately of French design or manufacture. Other providers of aircraft include the US, New Zealand, Spain,and Brazil.


The professional head of the Armée de l'Air d'Australie is the Chief of Staff of the Armée de l'Air d'Australie who reports to the Armed Forces Chief of Staff and the Minister of Defence. The Chief of Staff is assisted by the Air Force Staff and is responsible for doctrine, advising the Armed Forces Chief of Staff on the best way to use the Armée de l'Air d'Australie, and the logistical and personnel preparation of the Armée de l'Air d'Australie. Under him are several commands.

The Commands of the Armée de l'Air d'Australie are:

  • Commandement des Forces aériennes stratégiques Australienne (Australian Strategic Air Force Command)
    • Nuclear strike, strategic reconnaissance.
  • Commandement de combat aérien (Air Combat Command)
    • Air defence, tactical air support, conventional strike, maritime strike.
  • Commandement de logistique aérienne (Air Logistics Command)
    • Tactical transport, strategic transport, aerial refueling, VIP transport
  • Commandement du soutien des forces aériennes (Air Force Support Command)
    • Ground support, infrastructure maintenance, ground defence.
  • Commandement des écoles de l'armée de l'air d'Australie (Australian Air Force Training Command)
    • Ground and air training.


Commandement des Forces aériennes stratégiques AustralienneEdit

  • EB 1
    • Dassault Mirage 4000ON
  • ERS 6
    • Dassault Mirage 4000ON
    • Dassault Mirage IVOR

Commandement de combat aérienEdit

  • EC 3
    • Dassault Mirage 4000O/OB
  • EC 30
    • Dassault Mirage 4000O/OB
  • EC 83
    • Dassault Mirage 4000O/OB
  • EA 2
    • Dassault Mirage 4000OD
  • EA 8
    • Dassault Mirage 4000OD
  • EC 75
    • Dassault Mirage 2000O/OB
  • EC 76
    • Dassault Rafale O/OB
  • EC 77
    • Dassault Rafale O/OB
  • EC 79
    • Dassault Mirage 2000O/OB
  • EC 80
    • Dassault Rafale O/OB
  • ER 74
    • Dassault Mirage F1OR
  • EDCA 1
    • Airbus A320 AEW&C Aigle
  • EAC 1
    • Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jet
  • ETO 2
    • Dassault Mirage 2000O/OB
    • Dassault Rafale OB
  • ETO 3
    • Dassault Mirage 4000O/OB

Commandement de logistique aérienneEdit

  • ET 33
    • SOCATA TBM 700
  • ERV 33
    • Airbus A330 MRTT
  • ETEC 34
    • Airbus A340
    • Airbus A320CJ
    • Dassault Falcon 8X
  • ET 36
    • Boeing C-17A Globemaster III
  • ET 37
    • Lockheed C-130J Hercules
  • ET 38
    • Lockheed Martin C-130J-30 Hercules
  • ET 40
    • Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules
  • ET 35
    • CASA CN-235
  • ET 41
    • Lockheed Martin MC-130W Combat Spear
  • ETH 9
    • Eurocopter EC 725 Caracal
  • ETH 5
    • Aérospatiale Puma

Commandement des écoles de l'armée de l'air d'AustralieEdit

  • EPAAA 1
    • PAC CT/4 Airtrainer
  • EAC
    • Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jet
  • EAT
    • Embraer EMB-121 Xingu


  • EB: Escadron de bombardement (nuclear bomber squadron)
  • EC: Escadron de chasse (fighter squadron)
  • EA: Escadron d'attaque (attack squadron)
  • ER: Escadron de reconnaissance (reconnaissance squadron)
  • EDCA: Escadron de détection et de contrôle aéroporté (detection and aircraft control squadron)
  • EAO: Escadron Aériens d'Observation (airborne observation squadron -- army co-operation squadron)
  • ERS: Escadron de reconnaissance stratégique (strategic reconnaissance squadron)
  • EAC: Ecole de l'aviation de chasse (fighter aviation school)
  • ET: Escadron de transport (transport squadron)
  • ERV: Escadron de ravitaillement en vol (flight refueling squadron)
  • ETH: Escadron de transport d'hélicoptère (Helicopter Transport Squadron)
  • ETEC: Escadron de transport, d'entraînement et de calibrage (Transportation, training and calibration squadron)
  • EPAAA: Ecole de Pilotage de l'Armée de l'Air d'Australie (Flying School of the Australian Air Force)
  • EAT: Ecole de l'aviation de transport (Air Transport School)

Commandement du soutien des forces aériennesEdit

The Commandement du soutien des forces aériennes (Air Force Support Command) has no flying units, but plays an important role in maintaining and defending Australia's air fields. They also control all Australian military Air Traffic Controllers. Their only combat unit is the 1ere Régiment de Paracommando de l'Armée de l'Air d'Australie (1st Paracommando Regiment of the Air Force). This is a ground combat unit and combines airfield defence with combat search and rescue capabilities. The Regiment consists of several Squadrons (which in turn consist of several Flights). Typically, each air base will have a flight for its own defence. One Squadron is a Foreign Squadron (its members are recruited from the Australian Foreign Legion). Most of their equipment is standard Army equipment, except for the VIB which is an IFV version of the VAB fitted with the Toucan system, a tele-operated turret fitted with a 20 mm cannon and a AA52 7.5 mm machine-gun.