Greek Air Force

Hellenic Air Force
Πολεμική Αεροπορία
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Hellenic Air Force Emblem

Hellenic Air Force Emblem
Founded1911
Country Greece
BranchHellenic Armed Forces
RoleNational Defense and Air Superiority
Size33,000 personnel
557 aircraft
Part ofHellenic Ministry of National Defense
Motto"Αίεν Υψικρατείν"
"Always Dominate the Heights"
ColorsBlue / White
Battles/warsBalkan Wars, World War I, Asia Minor Campaign, World War II, Korean War, Turkish invasion of Cyprus
Commanders
Chief of Air Force General StaffLieutenant General (Pilot) Ioannis Yagos
Insignia
HAF Roundel
HAF Fin Flash
Aircraft flown
AttackF-16, Mirage 2000, Mirage 2000-5 Mk2, F-4E Phantom II
BomberA-7 Corsair II
FighterF-16 Fighting Falcon
InterceptorMirage 2000, Mirage 2000-5 Mk2
PatrolP-3B Orion
ReconnaissanceEMB-145SA, RF-4E, Pegasus II
TrainerT-41, T-6 Texan II, T-2
TransportC-27J, C-130, C-47, ERJ-135, Gulfstream V, Bell 212


The Hellenic Air Force (HAF) (Greek: Πολεμική Αεροπορία (ΠΑ), Polemikí Aeroporía) is the air force of Greece. The mission of the Hellenic Air Force is to guard and protect the Greek airspace, provide air assistance and support to the Hellenic Army and the Hellenic Navy as well as humanitarian aid (upon request) in Greece and around the world.

During the period of monarchy (1935-1973) the force was known as the Hellenic Royal Air Force (Ελληνική Βασιλική Αεροπορία (EBA), Ellinikí Vasilikí Aeroporía).

The motto of the Hellenic Air Force is "Αίεν Υψικρατείν" meaning "Always Dominate the Heights" and the HAF ensign represents a flying eagle in front of the Hellenic Air Force roundel. The Hellenic Air Force is one of the three branches of the Hellenic Armed Forces.

History

The Hellenic Air Force was founded in 1911 and has more than 90 years of history. The first efforts to introduce aviation in Greece clearly belong to Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos, whose contribution was widely recognized in 2000, when the Greek Government gave his name to the Athens International Airport.

Foundation and the Balkan Wars

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The Henri Farman was the first aircraft to enter service. It served in both Balkan Wars, and the First World War


In 1911 the Greek Government appointed French specialists to form the Hellenic Aviation Service. Six Greek officers were sent to France for training, while the first four "Farman" type aircraft were ordered. The first Greek aviator was Emmanuel Argyropoulos, who flew in a Nieuport IV.G. "Alcuin" aircraft, on February 8, 1912.

The first military flight was made on 13 May of that year by Lieutenant Dimitrios Kamberos. In June, Kamberos, flew with the "Daedalus", a Farman Aviation Works aircraft that had been converted into a seaplane, setting the foundations of the Naval Aviation. That September, the Greek Army fielded its first squadron, the "Aviators Company" (Λόχος Αεροπόρων).

World War I and aftermath

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In 1939 an order for 24 Marcel Bloch MB.151 fighter aircraft was placed, but only 9 of the aircraft reached Greece


The Hellenic Air Force participated in the Balkan Wars, World War I, the Asia Minor Campaign and World War II. Initially it consisted of the separate Army Aviation and Naval Aviation services, but in 1930 the Aviation Ministry was founded, establishing the Air Force as the third branch of the Armed Forces. In 1931 the Hellenic Air Force Academy, the Scholi Ikaron, was founded.

In 1939 an order for 24 Marcel Bloch MB.151 fighter aircraft was placed, but only 9 of the aircraft reached Greece, since the outbreak of World War II prevented the French from completing the order. The aircraft served in the 24th Pursuit Squadron (MD - Moira Dioxis) of the then Hellenic Royal Air Force.

World War II and Civil War

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Drawing of a PZL P.24, the main Greek fighter in the Greco-Italian War


During the Second World War, the RHAF successfully resisted the Italian invasion in 1940, but practically the entire force was destroyed by the German Luftwaffe in April 1941. The Air Force was rebuilt in the Middle East as part of the British Royal Air Force, flying Spitfires, Hurricanes and Martin Baltimores.

After Greece's liberation in 1944, it returned home and subsequently played a decisive role in the Greek Civil War, which lasted until 1949.

Post-war developments

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The F-84F "Thunderstreak" first flew with the Hellenic Air Force in the 1950s
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The F-104G "Starfighter". One of the main turbojets that entered the HAF fleet in late 1960s


In the 1950s, the force was rebuilt and organized according to NATO standards, with US aid. The Greek Air Force participated in the Korean War with a transport flight.

Many aircraft systems were revised. The F-84F first flew with the Hellenic Air Force in 1950. The Thunderstreak was developed to overcome the limitations of the Thunderjet's straight flying surfaces. The RF-84F was the reconnaissance version of the F-84 F Thunderstreak. This aircraft remained operational with the 348 Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron of the Hellenic Air Force from 1956 to March 29, 1991.

In late 1960s the modernization of the fleet was vital, so RHAF acquired new jet aircraft, that served well for almost 20 years. The main turbojets that entered the HAF fleet were the F-104G "Starfighter" and later on, the Convair F-102 "Delta Dagger" (in service 1969-1975), the Dassault Mirage F1CG, the F-5 "Freedom Fighter" and the F-4E "Phantom", upgraded versions of which still serve today.

Modernization

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H.A.F. Mirage 2000 EG climbing after take-off
Until the late 1980s the Air Force deployed Nike-Hercules Missiles armed with U.S. nuclear warheads. As a result of Greco-Turkish tensions around the 1974 Turkish invasion in Cyprus, the U.S. removed its nuclear weapons from Greek and Turkish alert units to storage. Greece saw this as another pro-Turkish move by NATO and withdrew its forces from NATO’s military command structure from 1974 to 1980.

In 1988 the first fourth generation fighters were introduced, marking the beginning of a new era: the first Mirage 2000 EG/BG aircraft were delivered to the 114 Combat Wing and equipped the 331 and 332 squadrons. In January 1989, the first F-16C/D Block 30 arrived in Nea Anchialos (111 Combat Wing) and were allocated between the 330 and 346 squadrons.

In March 29, 1991 the RF-84F were retired from service after 34 years and 7 months of operational life. In November 1992 more RF-4E were delivered to the 348 Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron.

In 1997 the reception of fourth generation aircraft continued. In July, delivery of forty F-16 Block 50 began. The new aircraft, equipped with the LANTIRN navigation and targeting pod as well as AMRAAM and HARM missiles, were allocated to the 341 and 347 squadrons.

Entering the 21st century

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The F-16D Block 52+ entered service in 2005
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Eurofighter Typhoon. One of the prime 4.5th generation aircraft candidates for the Hellenic Air Force


Greece participated in NATO "nuclear weapons sharing" until 2001, using A-7 Corsair IIs to deploy tactical B61 nuclear warheads from Araxos Air Base. Greece then strategically decided to remove all nuclear weapons under storage in Greece and did not purchace any more aircraft with nuclear mounting capabilities.

In September 2004 started the Mirage 2000BG/EG fleet upgrade to the standard 2000-5 Mk2 and the project was undertaken by the French manufacturer Dassault and the Hellenic Aerospace Industry (EAB). Fifteen aircraft were ordered, while ten more were undertaken for upgrade by Dassault and EAB. The enhancements include upgraded radar and avionics, air-refueling capabilities, new self-defense system and upgraded engine, while the cockpit has taken some serious reforms.

In 2005, Greece was among the first countries to add the F-16 Block 52+ to its inventory. Ninety of these 4.5th generation aircraft were ordered and delivery begun the same year. This advanced F-16 type is an improved version of the Block 50 featuring a more powerful radar, better communications systems and an upgraded engine. The Hellenic Air Force's Block 52+ belong to the 337, 340 and 343 Squadrons with call signs "Ghost", "Fox" and "Star" respectively. 337 SQ is based at Larissa Air Force Base (110 Combat Wing) and the other two in Souda AB (115 CW).

In 2007, the Hellenic Air Force has a total fighter fleet of 275 modern or upgraded aircraft and due to retirement of units that have ended their circle of operation, is looking forward to acquiring new 4th, 4.5th or 5th generation fighters in order to reach a total number of 300 advanced fighters, according to the "2007 Supreme Air Force Council Momentum" published in 2007. Such goal is to be gradually reached until 2015. Prime candidates for a 4.5th or 5th generation aircraft, of which acquisition is considered certain, are the Eurofighter Typhoon, F-35 Lightning II (JSF) and Dassault Rafale.

Organisation

Hellenic National Defense General Staff


The Hellenic Air Force is overseen by the Hellenic Ministry of National Defence, whose current head is minister Vangelis Meimarakis. More specifically, HAF is directly overseen by the Hellenic National Defence General Staff.

The Hellenic Air Force includes aproximantly 33,000 active troops, of whom 11,750 are carrier officers, 14,000 are professional conscripts (ΕΠ.ΟΠ.), 7,250 are volunteer conscripts and 1,100 are women. The three commands are the Tactical Air Command, headquartered at Larisa, the Air Support Command and the Air Training Command, both based in Athens.

The Tactical Air Command includes eight Combat Wings and one Transport Wing. The Combat Wings have six fighter ground-attack squadrons. There are ten fighter squadrons, one regular reconnaissance squadron, and one marine reconnaissance squadron. Three transport squadrons and two helicopter squadrons form the organization of the air portion of the Tactical Air Command. The Air Training Command includes four training squadrons.

The eight major H.A.F. installations are located in Larisa, Nea Ankhialos southeast of Larisa, Elefsis, west of Athens, Thessaloniki, Tanagra, north of Athens, Souda Bay, Araxos in the northern Peloponnese, and Andravida. Other airports supporting military operations are located in the Aegean Islands of Karpathos, Santorini (Thira), Rhodes, Skyros, and Lemnos as well as in Kavala, Heraklion, and Tatoi/Dekeleia, north of Athens.
  • Combat operations are overseen by the Chief of Operations of the Supreme Air Force Council.
  • Support services are managed by the Directorate of Aeronautical Support of the Air Force Support Command.
  • The training squadrons and air force schools, like the "Icarus Air Force Academy" and the "School of Advanced War Training", run by the Training Directorate of the Air Force Training Command.

Senior Command

  • Minister of National Defence (Website) : Evangelos Meimarakis
  • Chief of Air Force General Staff : Air Marshal Ioannis Yagos (Pilot)
  • Chief of Tactical Air Force Command (HTAFC) : Air Marshal Theologos Simeonidis (Pilot)
  • Commander of Combined Air Operation Center 7 (CAOC7) : Air Marshal Theologos Simeonidis (Pilot)
  • Chief of Air Force Support Command (HAFSC) : Air Vice Marshal Vasilios Tzinaetis (Pilot)
  • Chief of Air Force Training Command (HATC) : Air Vice Marshal Nikolaos Goutzouris (Pilot)

Officers Ranks and Insignia

NATO CodeOF-10OF-9OF-8OF-7OF-6OF-5OF-4OF-3OF-2OF-1OF-D-Student Officer
Greece
()
No equivalent
PterarchosAntipterarchosYpopterarchosTaxiarchosSminarchosAntisminarchosEpisminagosSminagosYposminagosAnthiposminagos


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Hellenic Air Force F-16 Block52+. Notice the conformal fuel tanks

Combat Wings

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Hellenic Air Force Mirage 2000-5 Mk2, able to carry the SCALP-EG long range, self-guided missile (also known as "Storm Shadow")
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TA-7C Corsair II of the Hellenic Air Force, taxiing for take off at the Royal International Air Tattoo, Fairford, England, in 2005
  • 110th Combat Wing (110 Πτέρυγα Μάχης)
  • 337th Fighter Squadron "Ghost" (337 Μοίρα "Φάντασμα") - Flies the F-16 Fighting Falcon - C/D Block 52+
  • 346th Fighter Squadron "Jason" (346 Μοίρα "Ιάσων") - Flies the F-16 Fighting Falcon - C/D Block 30
  • 348th Fighter Squadron "Eyes" (348 Μοίρα "Μάτια") - Flies the '''F-4 - RF-4E Phantom II
'''
  • 111th Combat Wing (111 Πτέρυγα Μάχης)
  • 330th Fighter Squadron "Thunder" (330 Μοίρα "Κεραύνος") - Flies the F-16 Fighting Falcon - C/D Block 30
  • 341st Fighter Squadron "Ace" (341 Μοίρα "Άσσος") - Flies the F-16 Fighting Falcon - C/D Block 50
  • 347th Fighter Squadron "Perseus" (347 Μοίρα "Περσεύς") - Flies the F-16 Fighting Falcon - C/D Block 50
  • 114th Combat Wing (114 Πτέρυγα Μάχης)
  • 331st Fighter Squadron "Aegeus" (331 Μοίρα "Αιγέας") - Flies the Mirage 2000 - 2000-5 Mk2
  • 332nd Fighter Squadron "Falcon" (332 Μοίρα "Γεράκι") - Flies the Mirage 2000 - BG/EG
  • 115th Combat Wing (115 Πτέρυγα Μάχης)
  • 340th Fighter Squadron "Fox" (340 Μοίρα "Αλεπού") - Flies the F-16 Fighting Falcon - C/D Block 52+
  • 343rd Fighter Squadron "Star" (343 Μοίρα "Αστέρι") - Flies the F-16 Fighting Falcon - C/D Block 52+
  • 116th Combat Wing (116 Πτέρυγα Μάχης), based in Araxos, prefecture of Achaia
  • 335 Bomber Squadron "Tigers" (335 Μοίρα Βομβαρδισμού "Τίγρεις") - Flies the A-7 Corsair - TA-7C Corsair II
  • 336 Bomber Squadron "Hawk" (336 Μοίρα Βομβαρδισμου "Γεράκι") - Flies the A-7 Corsair - TA-7C Corsair II
  • 117th Combat Wing (117 Πτέρυγα Μάχης), based in Andravida, prefecture of Ilia
  • 338 Interception Squadron "Ares" (338 Μοίρα Αναχαίτησης "Άρης") - Flies the F-4 PI2000 - F-4E Phantom II
  • 339 Interception Squadron "Ajax" (338 Μοίρα Αναχαίτησης "Αίας") - Flies the F-4 PI2000 - F-4E Phantom II

Training Wings

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Ensign of the 335 Bomber Squadron "Tigers", part of the 116 Combat Wing, located in Araxos, Greece
  • 124 Basic Training Wing (124 Πτέρυγα Βασικής Εκπαίδευσης), located in Tripoli, Arcadia.
  • 1st Cadets Training Squadron (1η Mοίρα Εκπαίδευσης Νεοσυλλέκτων)
  • 2nd Cadets Training Squadron (2η Mοίρα Εκπαίδευσης Νεοσυλλέκτων)
  • 3rd Cadets Training Squadron (3η Mοίρα Εκπαίδευσης Νεοσυλλέκτων)
  • Local Defense Training Squadron (Mοίρα Εκπαίδευσης Τοπικής Άμυνας)
  • 120 Air Training Wing (120 Πτέρυγα Εκπαίδευσης Αέρος), located in Kalamata, Messinia.
  • 361 Air Training Squadron (361 Μοίρα Εκπαίδευσης Αέρος)
  • 362 Air Training Squadron (362 Μοίρα Εκπαίδευσης Αέρος)
  • 363 Air Training Squadron (363 Μοίρα Εκπαίδευσης Αέρος)
  • 364 Air Training Squadron (364 Μοίρα Εκπαίδευσης Αέρος)
  • Sea Survival Training School / S.S.T.S. (Σχολείο Εκπαίδευσης Θαλάσσιας Επιβίωσης / Σ.Ε.Ε.Θ.)
  • 123 Technical Training Wing (123 Πτέρυγα Τεχνικής Εκπαίδευσης), located in Decelea, Tatoi.
  • Air Defense Staff Training Center (Κέντρο Εκπαίδευσης Προσωπικού Αεράμυνας / Κ.Ε.Π.Α.)
  • 128 Squadron of Communications Training and Avionics (128 Σμηναρχία Εκπαίδευσης Τηλεπικοινωνιών και Ηλεκτρονικών / Σ.Ε.Τ.Η.), located in Kavouri, Athens

Equipment

Aircraft inventory

Aircraft and Helicopters Origin Type Versions In service Total Numbers Notes
Alenia C-27 Spartan ItalyTransportC-27J128 have been delivered of which 4 have entered service. The remaining 4 on order will be equipped with IFRRS (In Flight Refuelling Receiver System). [4]
Lockheed C-130 Hercules United StatesTransportC-130B
C-130H
5
10
15The fleet is undergoing an Avionics Upgrade (AUP) by SPAR Aerospace [5] and HAI.
C-47 Skytrain United StatesTransportC-47D2
Gulfstream V United StatesVIP TransportG5001
Embraer ERJ-135 BrazilVIP TransportERJ-135ER2
Embraer EMB-145 BrazilAirborne Early Warning (AEW&C)EMB-145SA4also known as "Ericsson Erieye"
EAB Pegasus II GreeceReconnaissance (RUAV)E1-795Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
Lockheed P-3 Orion United StatesMaritime PatrolP-3B42 more retired and used for spare parts
NAMC YS-11 JapanCalibrationYS-11A1
McDonnell-Douglas F-4 Phantom II United StatesFighter
Reconnaissance
F-4E PI2000
RF-4E
35
21
56
Vought A-7 Corsair II United StatesGround AttackA-7E
TA-7C
A-7H
TA-7H
36
15
29
5
85 Plans to retire by 2010. The 34 TA/A-7H will be put in reserve but will be kept operational till their final retirement.
Dassault Mirage 2000 FranceFighter2000BGM-3
2000EGM-3
2000-5 Mk2
3
17
25
456 Mirage-2000-5 Mk2 have been delivered and 19 more are under delivery [6].
Lockheed F-16 Fighting Falcon United StatesFighterF-16C
F-16D
103
28
131[1]Versions operating: Block 30, Block 50D, Block 52+
20 additional F-16C Block 50 and 10 F-16D Block 52+ aircraft on order [7]
T-41 Mescalero United StatesTrainerT-41D20Military version of the Cessna 172 Skyhawk
Beechcraft T-6 Texan II United StatesTrainerT-6A
T-6A NTA
25
20
45T-6A NTA has the capability to carry rocket pods, gun pods, external fuel tanks and bombs (similar to T-6B). [8]
Rockwell T-2 Buckeye United StatesTrainerT-2C
T-2E
5
35
40
Bombardier CL-215 CanadaFirefighting13
Bombardier CL-415 CanadaFirefighting
Firefighting & SAR
415GR
415MP
7
1
8CL-415MP model have SAR capabilities. It is visually recognisable by the black radome at the nose cone.[9] [10]
PZL-Mielec M-18 Dromader PolandFirefightingM-18
M-18BS
19
3
22
Grumman Ag Cat United StatesFirefightingG-164A12
Agusta A109 ItalyMEDEVAC HelicopterA-109 Power3
Eurocopter Super Puma FranceCSAR & SAR HelicopterAS-332C1102 have MEDEVAC configuration, while the initial 4 were ordered by the Ministry of Merchant Marine. [11]
Bell 212 ItalyVIP HelicopterBell-2124
Bell 205 ItalySAR HelicopterAB-20511built by Agusta
Bell 47 United StatesUtility Helicopter47G7

Retired & Historical Aircraft

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Embraer R-99A Erieye AEW&C platform. HAF operates 4 Ericsson Erieye platforms (EMB-145SA)
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AM-39 EXOCET launch

Weapons Inventory

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PATRIOT PAC III Missiles Launching System
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Storm Shadow (SCALP-EG) Self guided, long range missile

Navigation & Targeting Pods

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LANTIRN navigation and targeting pod
  • DB-110: 2
  • LANTIRN-AWNP (F-16 Block 50D & 52+): 24
  • LANTIRN-TP (F-16 Block 50D & 52+): 24
  • F-4E UAP Targeting Pods: 15
  • A-7E Night Navigation Pods: ?

Anti-aircraft Systems

Notes

The camo extensively used is the "Aegean Ghost" theme (Φάντασμα του Αιγαίου). Note that Greece has placed an order for 20 additional F-16C Block 50 and 10 F-16D Block 52+ aircraft [12]. Also, the purchase of new generation fighters is likely to follow due to the A-7 Corsairs being gradually retired from service. The prime candidates are the Eurofighter Typhoon , the F-35 Lightning II (Joint Strike Fighter) and the French Rafale.

See also

References

1. ^ "World Military Aircraft Inventory", Aerospace Source Book 2007, Aviation Week & Space Technology, January 15 2007.
''

External links


 
Military of Greece
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Motto
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Eleftheria i thanatos  
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The armed forces of Greece (Hellas) consist of the
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The civilian authority for the Greek military is the Ministry of National Defence.
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The Hellenic Ministry of National Defense (Greek Υπουργείο Εθνικής Άμυνας, abbreviated (ΥΠΕΘΑ)
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Ottoman Empire: Nizam Paşa, Zeki Paşa, Esat Paşa, Abdullah Paşa, Ali Rıza Paşa Bulgaria: Vladimir Vazov, Vasil Kutinchev, Nikola Ivanov, Radko Dimitriev
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Greco–Turkish War of 1919–1922, also called the War in Asia Minor, or the Greek campaign of the Turkish War of Independence, was a series of military events occurring during the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire after World War I between May 1919 and
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Following the conquest of Constantinople in 1453, the Ottoman Empire entered a long period of conquest and expansion, extending its borders deep into Europe and North Africa.
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Lieutenant General is a military rank used in many countries. The rank traces its origins to the Middle Ages where the title of Lieutenant General was held by the second in command on the battlefield, who was normally subordinate to a Captain General.
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Pilot can refer to:
Occupations
  • Aviator, in aviation, an Aircraft pilot is someone who controls an aircraft
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A ground-attack aircraft is an aircraft that is designed to operate in direct support of ground forces such as infantry, tanks and other fighting vehicles. Their use is therefore tactical rather than strategic, operating at the front of the battle rather than against targets deeper
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Type Multirole fighter
Manufacturer General Dynamics/Lockheed Martin
Maiden flight 1974-02-02
Introduction 1978-08-17
Status Active: 724
Reserve: 69
ANG: 522[1]
Primary users United States Air Force
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Type Fighter-bomber
Manufacturer McDonnell Douglas
(née McDonnell Aircraft)
Designed by David S. Lewis, Jr.
Maiden flight 27 May 1958
Introduction 30 December 1960
Status
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bomber is a military aircraft designed to attack ground targets, primarily by dropping bombs.

Classifications of bombers

Strategic bombers are primarily designed for long-range strike missions with bombs against strategic targets such as supply bases, bridges, factories,
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Type Attack aircraft
Manufacturer Ling-Temco-Vought
Maiden flight 26 September 1965
Introduced February 1967
Retired 1991 USAF
Primary users United States Navy
United States Air Force
Hellenic Air Force
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fighter aircraft is a military aircraft designed primarily for attacking other aircraft, as opposed to a bomber, which is designed to attack ground targets, primarily by dropping bombs. Fighters are comparatively small, fast, and maneuverable.
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Type Multirole fighter
Manufacturer General Dynamics/Lockheed Martin
Maiden flight 1974-02-02
Introduction 1978-08-17
Status Active: 724
Reserve: 69
ANG: 522[1]
Primary users United States Air Force
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interceptor aircraft (or simply interceptor) is a type of fighter aircraft designed specifically to intercept and destroy enemy aircraft, particularly bombers, usually relying on great speed.
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A patrol bomber, or patrol aircraft, is an fixed-wing aircraft designed to operate for long times over water in an anti-shipping or anti-submarine role.

The first aircraft that would now be identified as patrol bombers were flown by the Royal Naval Air Service during
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Type Maritime patrol aircraft
Manufacturer Lockheed
Maiden flight 1959-11-25
Introduction 1962
Status active
Primary users United States Navy
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Surveillance aircraft are military aircraft used for monitoring enemy activity, usually carrying no armament. This article concentrates on military aircraft used in this role, though a major civilian aviation activity is reconnaissance and ground surveillance for mapping, traffic
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Type Fighter-bomber
Manufacturer McDonnell Douglas
(née McDonnell Aircraft)
Designed by David S. Lewis, Jr.
Maiden flight 27 May 1958
Introduction 30 December 1960
Status
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The Pegasus (full name is E1-79 ΠΗΓΑΣΟΣ) is an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), product of the Hellenic Aerospace Industry (HAI or EAB from the Greek initials).
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A trainer is a training aircraft used to develop piloting, navigational or weapon-aiming skills in flight crew.

Civilian pilots are normally trained in a light aircraft, with 2 or more seats to allow for student and instructor.
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