Air Wing of the Armed Forces of Malta

Armed Forces of Malta Air Wing
Skwadra tal-Ajru tal-Forzi Armati ta' Malta

Maltese Air Wing emblem
Active 1973–Present
Country  Malta
Branch Air Wing of the Armed Forces of Malta
Size 15 aircraft (2 leased by Italy)
Fin flash
Aircraft flown
Patrol Beechcraft Super King Air, AgustaWestland AW139, Agusta-Bell AB 212
Reconnaissance Aérospatiale Alouette III, Agusta-Bell AB 212
Trainer Scottish Aviation Bulldog
Transport Britten-Norman Islander, Beechcraft Super King Air

The Air Wing of the Armed Forces of Malta is the aerial component of the current Maltese military. The Air Wing has responsibility for the security of Maltese airspace, conducts maritime patrol and Search and Rescue duties, and provides military assistance to other government departments of Malta.

The Air Wing of the Armed Forces is based at the AFM terminal at the Malta International Airport.


Main articles: RAF Luqa, RAF Hal Far, and RAF Ta' Qali

While Malta has a rather long tradition of military aviation within its territory, including the housing of Royal Air Force bases and squadrons during World War Two, the nation had no official military aviation of its own until gaining independence in 1964 (and the building of an independent national military that followed).

The Air Wing was founded as an operational branch of the Armed Forces of Malta in the early 1970s. The Air Wing serves primarily as a support branch of the ground forces and Maritime Squadron of the AFM and has so far never operated combat aircraft. The Air Wing's current Commanding Officer is Lieutenant Colonel Clinton O'Neill.

In a bilateral agreement with Italy, the Italian Air Force provided two AB 212 helicopters to perform SAR duties with Maltese rescuers on board.[1]

Current structure

The main divisions of the Air Wing are :


Below is a list of aircraft currently operated by the Armed Forces of Malta Air Wing. The Air Wing operates a total of 8 fixed-wing aircraft and 5 helicopters. Since its founding, the Air Wing has never operated any jet-powered or combat aircraft.

Current inventory

Aircraft Image Origin Type Variant In service Notes
Maritime Patrol
BN-2 Islander  United Kingdom Maritime patrol BN-2B/T[3] 2[4][5] 1 x BN-2B, 1 x BN-2T
King Air  United States Maritime patrol 200 2(+1)[4] Two in service, a third to be delivered in 2017. Fitted with a maritime surveillance and imaging radar[6][7]
AW139  Italy SAR / Maritime patrol 3[4][8] Delivered in June 2014, December 2014 and September 2016 respectively. [9][7]
Alouette III  France SAR / Utility SA316B 3[4] Donated by Libya in 1980[10] due for replacement in 2017[7]
Trainer Aircraft
Bulldog T1  United Kingdom Basic trainer 4[11] Donated by UK, one crashed just of the island of gozo in 2006.


An Agusta-Bell 47G-2 over Malta Int'l airport
Aircraft Origin Type Variant In service Notes
Maritime Patrol
CASA C-212  Spain SAR / maritime patrol 1[12] 3 month lease from CAE Aviation of Luxemburg
Cessna 0-1  United States observation 0-1E 5[13] retired from service
Agusta-Bell 47  Italy maritime patrol 47G2/G 3/1[13] Three G2’s were former West German Army aircraft
Agusta-Bell 206  Italy SAR / utility Agusta-206A 1[13]
MD 500  Italy SAR / utility NH-500M 2[13] licensed built Hugher 500 by Breda Nardi


  1. "AGUSTA BELL 212". Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  2. "Official AFM website - Overview of the AFM Air Wing's operational structure, divisions and subdivisions". Retrieved 2015-11-24.
  3. "BRITTEN NORMAN BN-2B ISLANDER". Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  4. 1 2 3 4 "World Air Forces 2015 pg. 22". Flightglobal Insight. 2015. Retrieved 25 March 2015.
  5. "BRITTEN NORMAN BN-2T". Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  6. "New AFM patrol aircraft rolled out". Retrieved 30 March 2015.
  7. 1 2 3 "World Air Forces 2016 pg. 24". Flightglobal Insight. 2015. Retrieved 12 December 2015.
  8. "Malta takes delivery of second AW139". Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  10. "AFM Aerospatiale SA.316B Alouette III". Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  11. World Air Forces 2014 "WAF 2014" Check |url= value (help) (PDF). Flightglobal Insight. 2014. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  12. "AFM gets maritime patrol aircraft". Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  13. 1 2 3 4 "World Air Forces 1994 pg. 48". Flightglobal Insight. 1994. Retrieved 21 March 2015.

External links

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