Cyprus Air Forces


The Cyprus Air Command (Greek: Διοίκηση Αεροπορίας Κύπρου), is the armed air wing of the National Guard. This force is equipped with attack and anti-tank helicopters, surface-to-air missile systems and integrated radar systems.

Air Command of Cyprus
Διοίκηση Αεροπορίας Κύπρου  (Greek)
Founded1964
Country Cyprus
BranchAir force
RoleAerial warfare
Size1,200 personnel
20 helicopters, 2 fixed wing aircraft, 4 unmanned aerial vehicles. On order: 4 helicopters + 4 UAVs
Part ofCypriot National Guard
Commanders
Current
commander
Βrigadier general Pattihis Gabriel
Insignia
Roundel
Fin flash

Organisation


The Cyprus Air Force consists of two aircraft squadrons.[1] Note that the aircraft of the Cyprus Police operate under a separate command-structure during peacetime.

  • 450th Attack Helicopter Squadron (450 M.E/P)[2]
  • 460th Search And Rescue Squadron (460 MED) [2]

Air Force bases and stations


  • Andreas Papandreou AFB, Paphos (ACTIVE)
The primary airbase of the Cyprus Air Force, this base adjacent to the Paphos International Airport has a runway, taxiway, hardened aircraft-shelters, and integrated command, control and communication facilities.
  • Lakatamia AFB, Nicosia (HEADQUARTERS)
The reserve airbase of the Cyprus Air Force lay just south of the Cypriot capital of Nicosia. The base rarely hosted fixed-wing aircraft, and simply served as a staging-post for helicopters operating in and out of the Nicosia area.
  • Troodos Stations (ACTIVE)
The Troodos Mountains, the highest mountain range in Cyprus, hosts a number of radar and air-defense facilities. Their unit designations and deployment status are not made public.

Equipment


Aircraft

A Cypriot AW139 helicopter departs the USS Stout
Aircraft Origin Type Variant In service Notes
Transport
Britten-Norman BN-2 United Kingdom Transport / Utility BN-2B-21[1] 1[3]
Helicopters
Bell 206 United States utility 206L 2[1]
Mil Mi-24 Russia attack Mil Mi-35P 11[3]
Aérospatiale Gazelle France utility/ anti-tank 342 4[3] +4 on order[4]
AgustaWestland AW139 Italy SAR / utility AB139 3[5]
Trainer Aircraft
Pilatus PC-9 Switzerland trainer / attack PC-9M 1[1]
UAVs
IAI Searcher Israel surveillance 2[6]
Aerostar Israel surveillance/ recon 4 +4 on order[7]

Air Defense

A Tor-M1 surface to air missile system
Name Origin Type In service Notes
SAM
Aspide Italy SAM system 3 batteries / 12 modular firing units[8] 130 live rounds[8]
9K331 Tor M1 Russia mobile SAM system 1 battery / 6 systems/24 cvs[8]
9K37M1-2 Buk M1-2 Russia mobile SAM system 3 battalions/6 batteries / 36 self-propelled firing units[9][10]
Anti Aircraft Artillery
Oerlikon GDF Switzerland anti-aircraft 30[8] towed 35mm anti-aircraft gun
Zastava M55A3 Serbia anti-aircraft 50 towed 20mm anti-aircraft gun

Aerial incidents between Cyprus and Turkey


Paphos Incident – 22 October 2000

On 22 October 2000, TOR-M1 air-defense batteries operated by the Cyprus National Guard at Papandreou Air Base tracked a pair of Turkish warplanes detected approaching the airbase by "locking-on" to them. By Jean Christou, Cyprus Mail, 7 April 2002. The action of engaging the Turkish aircraft with radar forced the warplanes to retreat from the area, as Greek Cypriot and Greek forces conducted joint military manoeuvres in the Paphos region. The incident prompted an angry outburst from the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktaş, who was reported in the media to have condemned the radar lock-on as a provocation that could lead to war.[11]

Paphos Incident – 5 April 2002

It was variously reported in the Cyprus media that combat radars of the Cyprus National Guard, based at Papandreou Air Base in Paphos, had tracked two Turkish F-16 warplanes at 11am on 5 April 2002, by "locking-on" to them. The two Turkish aircraft were reported to have incurred into the Nicosia Flight Information Region and then passed directly over the Greek Cypriot airbase at an altitude of 3500 feet. Upon realising that they were being tracked, the two Turkish aircraft turned back towards Turkey, and then returned to their airbase.

See also


References


  1. "Cyprus Air Command". Aeroflight. 9 April 2016. Archived from the original on 7 May 2018.
  2. "Cyprus Air Force". Aeroflight. Archived from the original on 9 May 2018. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  3. "World Air Forces 2021". FlightGlobal. 4 December 2020. Retrieved 5 January 2021.
  4. Andreou, Evie. "Helicopters to be bought for National Guard". Cyprus Mail. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  5. "World Air Forces 2018". Flightglobal Insight. 2018. Archived from the original on 2 December 2017. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  6. http://www.aeroflight.co.uk/user/in-service/cyprus-af-current-aircraft-inventory.htm
  7. "Εξοπλίζεται με drones τελευταίας τεχνολογίας από το Ισραήλ η Εθνική Φρουρά".
  8. Trade Registers Archived 14 April 2010 at the Wayback Machine. Armstrade.sipri.org. Retrieved on 14 December 2017.
  9. "The Cypriot Missile Crisis". geimint.blogspot.co.uk. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  10. "Cyprus unveiling new "secret" Air Defense Systems during the national military parade". Defencegreece (in Greek). 8 October 2017. Archived from the original on 24 December 2017. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  11. Alex Efty (24 October 2000). "Denktash Warns of War Risk". The Independent. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 19 September 2017.

Sources