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Aircraft of the RMAF

Military transport

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C-27J Spartan

The RMAF’s air transport squadron, part ot transport and Aerial refueling squad, bassed at the 3rd Air Force Base (3rd BAFRA) in Kenitra provides rapid mobility, forces projection and logistical support in national and international duties. Air mobility is a national asset of growing importance for responding to national emergencies, technical and logistical support in national and international operations, and providing aid and medical supplies to international countries touched by disasters. Cargo and transport aircraft are also typically used to deliver troops, weapons and other military equipment to any area of military operations and needs in national and ranged international countries. The materials of the RMAF’s transport squad are:

  • 12 Lockheed C-130H Hercules.
  • 7 CASA CN-235M.
  • 4 Alenia C-27J Spartan.

Aerial refueling

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KC-130

The RMAF’s tanker aircraft are part of air cargo transport and Aerial refueling squad (See Military transport), the main mission is to provide the fuel in large-scale operations and daily air operations and exercises. Air-to-air refueling is extensively used by fighters and cargo aircraft, this makes these aircraft an essential part of the Air Force’s efficiency and RMAF’s projection.

  • 2 Lockheed Martin KC-130.

Reconnaissance

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RC-130

The reconnaissance aircraft of the RMAF are in roles such as intelligence gathering, battlefield surveillance, airspace surveillance, observation, border patrol and fishery protection.

  • 1 Lockheed RC-130.

Several unmanned remotely controlled vehicles or UAVs are also actives, providing cheaper and more capable fighting machines that can be used without risk to aircrews. These aircraft are:

  • 4 General Atomics Predator XP.
  • At least 3 Dassault/IAI Heron.
  • (UN) BAE Skyeye R4E-50.
  • (UN) General Atomics I-GNAT ER.

The Recon Pods, can be installed in fighters, and contains reconnaissance sensors, imagery data recording system and can also carry air-to-ground data link system. The sensor are electro-optical and infrared, allowing day or night missions.

  • Aero Maroc Industrie (AMIN) HARES Reconnaisance pod (EO Day only)
  • Goodrich DB-110 reconnaissance pod. (EO/IR)
  • Dassault COR2 reconnaissance pod. (EO/IR)

Electronic warfare

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Falcon 20ECM

 

The purpose of electronic warfare is to deny the opponent an advantage in the EMS and ensure friendly, unimpeded access to the EM spectrum portion of the information environment. Electronic warfare aircraft are used to keep airspaces friendly, and send critical information to anyone who needs it.

  • 2 Mystère 20F with ECM/ELINT platforms.

The EW ELINT pods, also in RMAF inventory, intercepts signals involving electronic signals not directly used in communication (ELINT)

  • ASTAC ELINT Pod.

Trainer

The Air Force’s trainer aircraft are used to train pilots, navigators, and other aircrew in their duties. Given the expense of military pilot training, air forces typically conduct training in phases to winnow out unsuitable candidates, and different aircraft are used depending on the future posts:

 

 

Ab initio

  • 16 Beechcraft Super King Air

 

Basic training

  • 24 T-6C Texan II

Advanced training

 

  • 24 Alpha Jet E+
  • 8  F-5B/F TIII
  • 8 F-16D Block 52+

Transport and utility Helicopters

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An SA330 Puma and a AB212 Twin Huey

Military transport helicopters are used in places where the use of conventional aircraft is impossible. They’re used for air assault, cargo, MEDEVAC, command and control, and troop transport. They can also transport towed artillery and light vehicles either internally or as under-slung roles, small AFVs, supplies, etc. They are usually expected to land directly in a zone under enemy fire or used to reinforce and resupply landing zones.

  • 31 Agusta-Bell 205.
  • 26 Agusta-Bell 206.
  • 3 Agusta-Bell 212.
  • 8 CH-47C Chinook.
  • 37 SA330C/L Puma.

Atack Helicopters

Two SA342 Gazelle

The primary role of the attack aircraft is the capability of engaging targets on the ground, such as enemy infantry and armored vehicles. Weapons used on attack helicopters can include autocannons, machine-guns, rockets, and guided ATGM missiles. RMAF’s atack helicopters have to provide direct and accurate close air support (CAS) for ground troops, to destroy enemy armor concentrations, for armed scout role or to escort an aerial convoy.

  • 22 Aérospatiale SA342M/L Gazelle.

Fighter-Bombers

F-16C/D Block 52+

The fighter aircraft of the RMAF’s are used for air-to-air combat and ground-attack capabilities, also known as fighter-bombers. Secondary roles includes interception of bombers and other fighters, reconnaissance and patrol. Other operational missions includes intelligence-gathering by interception of signals with advanced ELINT pods, target identification, autonomous tracking, coordinate generation, and precise weapons guidance from extended standoff ranges.

  • 27 Mirage MF2000 and 13 Mirage F1.
  • 24 F-5E/F “Tiger III”.
  • 24 F-16C/D Block 52+ Fighting Falcon.
  • 22 Alpha Jet E+ (Used for light ground attack, CAS and COIN missions)

Combat aircraft Wings and Squadrons

F-16C/D Block 52+ – Escadre “Atlas Falcon” (Squadron)

  • Viper Fighter Escadron (Flight):  Ground attack and CAS (Multirole)
  • Falcon Fighter Escadron (Flight): Air superiority and Interception (Multirole)
  • Spark Fighter Escadron (Flight): SEAD/DEAD, EW and reconnaissance.

F-5E/F TIII – Escadre “Tigre” (Squadron)

  • Chahine Fighter Escadron (Flight): Air superiority and Interception (Multirole)
  • Borak Fighter Escadron (Flight): Ground attack and CAS (Multirole)
  • ERIGE fighter Escadron (Flight): Reconnaissance, Interception and EW.

MF-2000 – Escadre “Sarab” (Squadron)

  • Atlas Fighter Escadron (Flight): Multirole
  • Assad Fighter Escadron (Flight): Multirole
  • Iguider Fighter Escadron (Flight): Reconnaissance and EW.

Special Missions

Some RMAF’s aircraft are used or were upgaded or transformed to be able to perform special missions.

Al Ghait

In 1985 the Moroccan Government started with a Cloud seeding program called ‘Al-Ghait’. The system was first used in Morocco in 1999, It has also been used between 1999 and 2002 in Burkina Faso and from 2005 in Senegal. For this program two aircraft were equipped with special instruments:

  • A Beech King Air; which holds cloud physics and seeding equipment
  • RMAF’s Alpha Jet No 245; which only holds the seeding equipment.

To be prepared for the dangers when flying into the clouds the Alpha jet is equipped with a Sperry/Honeywell PRIMUS 300SL colour weather radar system, hence the different shape of the nose-radome. During operations the aircraft will fly into the clouds and spray chemicals by pushing a button on the control stick. The chemicals will leave the rear of the aircraft via the modified AN/ALE-40 counter measure flare dispenser system. Due to the iodized chemicals the volume of the clouds should grow which should increase the chance for rain. The system was first used in Morocco in 1999 and has also been used between 1999 and 2002 in Burkina Faso. It was first shown to the public in March 2006.

Aerial firefighting

The RMAF use aircraft, helicopters and other aerial resources to combat wildfires. The equipment used is:

  • 2 C-130 Hercules equiped with Modular Airborne FireFighting System
  • 10 S2R-T Turbo Thrush
  • 5 Bombardier CL-415
  • Helicopter bucket used in some utility Helicopers.

Aerobatic Team

https://i2.wp.com/www.defense.gov/DODCMSShare/NewsStoryPhoto/2000-02/scr_20002142a.jpgRMAF’s aerobatic display team “Marche Verte” (Green March), was formed in 1988. The team performs unique formation takeoffs in which all seven planes are tied together with ropes. They perform some maneuvers in this configuration before a breaking apart maneuver which tears the ropes. All the team aircraft are painted in all-red, with green and yellow lines, smoke generators are also used. At present, the “Marche Verte” team flies with French-built CAP-232 aerobatic aircraft.

VIP staff transport

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Due to the international role of the Kingdom of Morocco and national mobility needs, a large fleet of VIP aircraft is available for official travels of the royal family and government members:

  • Cessna Fleet: 1 Cessna 414, 1 Cessna 421, 1 Citation V and 1 Citation XLS.
  • Beechcraft Super King Air: 6 Beech A100, 4 Beech B200, 3 Beech B300 and 3 Beech 350 (Some used for initial training)
  • (1 )Boeing 737-BBJ2: The official aircraft used by the King of Morocco.
  • Dassault Aviation fleet: 1 Falcon 50 and 1 Falcon 100.
  • Gulfstream Aerospace fleet: 2 Gulfstream II, 1 Gulfstream III, 1 Gulfstream V and 1 Gulfstream G550.
  • (1) AgustaWestland AW139: The official Helicopter used by the King of Morocco.

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. steven marsh says:

    I am an enthuiast, visiting Marrakech soon. I would lke to contact the airforce to see if I can get a tour of the active and displayed/stored aircraft, an someone let me know who to write or email to

  2. Greg Butko says:

    I served in the US Navy in the Sixties and was stationed in Morocco. I had a wonderful time and had many Moroccan friends. I get nostalgic whenever I hear of Morocco. Best wishes.

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