Zambian Air Force

The Zambia Air Force (ZAF) is the air force of Zambia and the air operations element of the Zambian Defence Force. Following the creation of the Republic of Zambia in 1964, the former Northern Rhodesia Air Wing was renamed as the Zambia Air Wing. The Zambia Air Force was then established.[2]

Zambia Air Force
Founded1968; 53 years ago (1968)
Country Zambia
TypeAir force
RoleAerial warfare
Part ofZambian Defence Force
Lieutenant General David Muma [1]
Lieutenant General Ronnie Shikapwasha
RoundelRoundel of Zambia.svg
Fin flashFin Flash of Zambia.svg
FlagAir Force Ensign of Zambia.svg
Aircraft flown
FighterMiG-21, Shenyang J-6, F-7
HelicopterMil Mi-17, Bell 205, Bell 206
TrainerAermacchi SF.260, Hongdu K-8 Karakorum, Hongdu L-15, Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-19, FT-5, FT-6
TransportAn-26, Harbin Y-12, Xian MA60, Alenia C-27J SpartanCessna 208 Grand Caravan
a Zambian Air Force MA-60 MTI-1
A Zambian Chipmunk

The primary missions of the Air Force are to defend Zambia's borders and protect its airspace. In addition, it provides various forms of air support to other government departments. It also flies reconnaissance, trooping and transport missions for the police and airlifts medical supplies and personnel to inaccessible areas. Finally, the organisation provides emergency transport whenever needed. One of the more recent relief operations mounted by the Air Arm occurred in early 2007, when it came to the aid of flood victims in the North-Western Province.[citation needed]

Current inventoryEdit

Aircraft Origin Type Variant In service Notes
Combat Aircraft
MiG-21 Soviet Union fighter 10[3] MiG-21-2000[4]
Shenyang J-6 People's Republic of China light attack F-6A 8[3] licensed built MiG-19
C-27 J Spartan Italy Transport C-27 J 2[3]
Xian MA60 China utility transport 1[3]
Harbin Y-12 China transport 8[3]
Bell 212 United States utility 1[3]
Bell 205 United States utility 12[3]
Bell 206 United States utility 2[3]
Mil Mi-17 Russia utility Mi-171 5[3]
Harbin Z-9 China utility 7[3] licensed built Eurocopter AS365
Trainer Aircraft
Shenyang J-6 People's Republic of China jet trainer FT-6 2[3]
Hongdu JL-8 China jet trainer K-8 16[3]
PAC MFI-15 Pakistan trainer 15[3]
SF.260TW Italy trainer 13[3]
Hongdu L-15 China jet trainer 6[3]

Few details are available on force deployment, but combat elements are understood to be located at Lusaka (K-8), Mbala (F-6) and Mumbwa (MiG-21), with the small fleet of transport aircraft and utility helicopters also reportedly stationed at Lusaka.[5]

Air Force commandersEdit

  • 1972 to 1976 Lieutenant General Peter D. Zuze
  • 1980 Major General C. Kabwe
  • General Hannaniah Lungu
  • 1991 to 1997 Lieutenant General Ronnie Shikapwasha[6]
  • 1997 to 2001 Lieutenant General Sande Kayumba
  • 2002 to 2006 Lieutenant General Christopher Singogo[7]
  • 2006 to 2010 Lieutenant General Samuel Mapala[7][8]
  • 2010 to 2011 Major General Andrew Sakala[8][9]
  • 2011 to 2018 Lieutenant General Eric Mwaba Chimese[10]
  • 2018 to present Lieutenant General David Muma[1]

Defence attachés

Brigadier General Samson Simwanda - Brussels, Belgium "2015 to 2018"


  1. ^ a b "Pres. Lungu Replaces Chimese as ZAF Commander". Zambia Online.
  2. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 October 2011. Retrieved 11 December 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "World Air Forces 2021". FlightGlobal. 4 December 2020. Retrieved 5 January 2021.
  4. ^ "Mig21 in Service".
  5. ^ "Defense & Security Intelligence & Analysis: IHS Jane's - IHS".
  6. ^ "Zambia: Chiluba Sacks Vice President In Major Cabinet Reshuffle". 2 December 1997. Retrieved 31 January 2021.
  7. ^ a b "People's Daily Online -- Zambian president fires air force commander".
  8. ^ a b "Zambia : President Banda retires top defense Chiefs(corrected)".
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 25 December 2011. Retrieved 3 December 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "President Sata Suspends Two Contracts". Truly Zambian. Archived from the original on 26 April 2012.