The Tunisian Air Force (Arabic: جيش الطيران, French: Armée de l'Air[1]) is one of the branches of the Tunisian Armed Forces.

Tunisian Air Force
جيش الطيران (Arabic)
Armée de l'Air (French)
Badge of the Tunisian Air Force
Founded1959; 65 years ago (1959)
Country Tunisia
TypeAir force
RoleAerial warfare
Size4,500 personnel
Part ofTunisian Armed Forces
Anniversaries24 July
Equipment159 aircraft
EngagementsWar on Terror
Commander-in-ChiefPresident Kais Saied
Commander of the Air ForceGeneral Mohamed El Hajjam
Aircraft flown
AttackAermacchi MB-326
FighterNorthrop F-5
PatrolSIAI-Marchetti S.208
TrainerAero L-59 Super Albatros, Aermacchi SF.260
TransportG-222, Let L-410 Turbolet, Lockheed C-130B/H/J-30 Hercules/Super Hercules



The Tunisian Air Force was established in 1959, three years after Tunisia regained its independence from France. It took deliveries of its first aircraft, eight Saab 91 Safirs, in 1960, later to be complemented by further Saab 91 Safirs. The Tunisian Air Force entered the jet age in 1965 with the purchase of 8 MB326-Bs and then 5 MB326-LTs. In 1969, the country received 15 ex-USAF F-86F Sabres. Between 1974 and 1978 12 SF.260 Warriors and 9 SF.260Cs were delivered for basic training. In 1977–78, eight MB.326KTs were supplied for light attack duties. In 1981, Tunisia ordered 12 F-5s (8 F-5E and 4 F-5F); deliveries took place in 1984–85. Tunisia added 5 ex-USAF F-5Es from the Alconbury Aggressor Squadron in 1989. In 1985 Tunisia ordered two C130-H Herculeses. In 1995, a major Czech order was placed, with 12 Aero L-59 armed trainers and 3 Let L-410UVP transports ordered. In 1997, five surplus C-130B's were delivered from the USA. Tunisia had two C-130J-30s on order for delivery in 2013 and 2014. Tunisia purchased a 8 UH-60M.[2]

Tunisia's four main bases are Bizerte/Sidi Ahmed, Gafsa, Bizerte/La Karouba, and Sfax.



The order of battle of the Tunisian Air force is as below:[3]


No. 12 Squadron
Transport squadron, Let L-410 Turbolet

Bizerte-Sidi Ahmed

No. 11 Squadron
Jet trainer squadron, Aermacchi MB-326
No. 15 Squadron
Fighter squadron, Northrop F-5 Tiger
No. 21 Squadron
Transport squadron, C-130 Hercules, G-222

Bizerte-La Karouba

No. 31 Squadron
Helicopter squadron, Bell 205, UH-1 Iroquois
No. 32 Squadron
Helicopter squadron, Alouette II, Ecureuil
No. 33 Squadron
Helicopter squadron
No. 36 Squadron
Helicopter squadron


No. 13 Squadron
Light utility and liaison squadron, flying SF-260s
No. 14 Squadron
Light utility and liaison squadron, flying SF-260s
No. 31 Squadron
Helicopter squadron


No. 16 Squadron
Jet trainer squadron, flying L-59s
No. 34 Squadron


A C-130J approaching on to Beijing Capital International Airport
A Tunisian HH-3 helicopter participating in a rescue exercise in Bizerte

Current inventory

Aircraft Origin Type Variant In service Notes
Combat Aircraft
Northrop F-5 United States fighter F-5E 10[4]
Maule MX-7 United States reconnaissance MX-7 12[5] for border surveillance
Cessna 208 United States ISTAR 4 on order[4]
Let L-410 Czech Republic utility 5[4]
C-130 Hercules United States transport / SAR C-130B/H 3[4]
C-130J Super Hercules United States tactical airlifter 2[4]
Bell 412 United States utility 2[4]
Bell 205 United States utility 21[4]
UH-1N Iroquois United States utility 16[4]
Bell OH-58 United States armed scout OH-58D 18[4] Ex US army
Alouette II France liaison / light utility 8[4]
Alouette III France liaison / utility 7[4]
Sikorsky HH-3 United States SAR / transport 15[4]
Sikorsky UH-60 United States utility UH-60M 8[4]
Eurocopter AS350 France utility / liaison 6[4]
Trainer Aircraft
Northrop F-5 United States conversion trainer F-5F 3[4]
Aero L-59 Czech Republic jet trainer L-59T 6[4] Phased out of service in January 2023
Textron T-6 Texan II United States jet trainer T-6C 8[4][6]
Aermacchi MB-326 Italy jet trainer 10[7] Phased out of service
SIAI-Marchetti SF.260 Italy trainer 17[4] Phased out of service/ replaced by T6
TAI Anka Turkey ISR / UCAV Anka S 6[8]


  1. ^ "Présentation au profil de l'armée de l'air" (in French). Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  2. ^ "Tunisia – UH-60M Black Hawk Helicopters - The Official Home of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency". Archived from the original on 27 July 2014. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
  3. ^ "Tunisian Air Force OrBat". Scramble. Archived from the original on 15 December 2010. Retrieved 5 August 2007.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Hoyle, Craig, ed. (2023). "World Air Forces 2024". Flight Global. Retrieved 1 December 2023.
  5. ^ Warnes, Alan (14 February 2017). "Tunisian Maule ISR Package Revealed".
  6. ^ McNeil, Harry (16 August 2023). "Beechcraft T-6C Texan II training system delivered to Tunisian Air Force". Airforce Technology. Retrieved 21 August 2023.
  7. ^ Lake, Jon (15 October 2019). "T-6C Texan II Sale Possible for Tunisia". ainonline.
  8. ^ "TUSAŞ hangi ülkelere kaç adet hava aracı teslim etti?" (in Turkish). 24 May 2023. Retrieved 24 May 2023.


  • World Aircraft Information Files. Brightstar Publishing, London. File 337 Sheet 03