Lao People's Liberation Army Air Force

The Lao People's Liberation Army Air Force (LPLAAF) is the air force of Laos.[2]

Lao People's Liberation Army Air Force
Founded1975; 46 years ago (1975)
Country Laos
TypeAir force
RoleAerial warfare
Size43 aircraft
Part ofLao People's Armed Forces
HeadquartersVientiane
Commanders
Chief of Air ForceColonel Khamlek Sengphachanh[1]
Insignia
RoundelRoundel of Laos.svg
Fin flashFin Flash of Laos.svg
Aircraft flown
HelicopterMil Mi-17, Kamov Ka-32, Bell UH-1H, Harbin Z-9
TrainerYakovlev Yak-130
TransportXian MA600

HistoryEdit

The present-day LPLAAF is descended from the Aviation Laotienne, which was established by the French and later became the Royal Lao Air Force. Pathet Lao guerrilla forces began to operate a few aircraft from 1960, as did another rebel group led by Kong Le. Kong Le forces were later re-incorporated into the Royal Lao Air Force. The communist take-over in 1975 resulted in the adoption of the present title.[3]

Military co-operation agreement with Russia in 1997 resulted in 12 Mil Mi-17 (second handed) helicopters that entered service in mid-1999 to follow on from previous deliveries of Mi-8s. SAM systems also entered service such as the SA-3 'Goa'.[4]

BasesEdit

The LPLAAF operates from two main bases—Vientiane and Phonsavan—with another three bases supported by detachments from the main units. Apart from the main military air bases, there are also a number of smaller airports and airfields around the country which are frequently used by the air force and the semi-military airline Lao Airlines. In 1961 Laos had 25 airstrips capable of landing a C-47.[5]

EquipmentEdit

Current inventoryEdit

 
A retired Antonov An-2 on display
Aircraft Origin Type Variant In service Notes
Transport
Xian MA600 China Transport 2[6]
Helicopters
Mil Mi-17 Soviet Union Utility/Transport Mi-17/172 17[6]
Bell UH-1 United States Utility UH-1H 4[6]
Harbin Z-9 China Utility 4[6]
Kamov Ka-27 Russia Utility Ka-32 2[6]
Trainer aircraft
Yakovlev Yak-130 Russia Advanced trainer 4 6 on order[6]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Senior General meets Laotian Air Force Chief". 23 January 2020. Retrieved 28 February 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-01-20. Retrieved 2010-12-07.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Lao People's Liberation Army Air Force". aeroflight.co.uk. Archived from the original on 18 January 2017. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
  4. ^ armstrade.sipri.org/armstrade/page/trade_register.php
  5. ^ "Lao People's Liberation Army Air Force". aeroflight.co.uk. Archived from the original on 18 January 2017. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
  6. ^ a b c d e f "World Air Forces 2021". FlightGlobal. 4 December 2020. Retrieved 5 January 2021.