Air Force of Ivory Coast

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Ivory Coast Air Force
Roundel of Côte d'Ivoire.svg
Ivory Coast Air Force roundel
CountryIvory Coast
TypeAir force
Engagements2004 French–Ivorian clashes
First Ivorian Civil War
Aircraft flown
HelicopterAgustaWestland AW139 , Alouette III , AS365 Dauphin , SA330 Puma
TrainerAlpha Jet
TransportBoeing 727 , Gulfstream IV

The Air Force of the Ivory Coast is one of the four main branches of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Ivory Coast.


After achieving independence from France in 1960, Ivory Coast maintained a strong relationship with France through bilateral defense agreements. Training and operating techniques have been used since the establishment of the Ivory Coast Air Force. The first equipment supplied included three Douglas C-47s and seven MH.1521 Broussard STOL utility aircraft in 1961. The first jet aircraft to enter service were six Alpha Jet CI light attack and advanced training aircraft, in October 1980. Six more were ordered and subsequently cancelled, and finally, another one was purchased in 1983.

The Ivory Coast Air Force had only transport and liaison aircraft in 1979. In 1987, the Library of Congress Country Study said that the Air Force's official name, Ivoirian Air Transport and Liaison Group (Groupement Aérien de Transport et de Liaison—GATL), "reflects an original mission focused more on logistics and transport rather than a combat force."

In 2004, following air strikes on French peace-keepers by Ivorian forces, the French military destroyed all aircraft in the Ivorian Coast Air Force. Gbagbo had ordered air strikes on Ivorian rebels. On 6 November 2004, at least one Ivorian Sukhoi Su-25 bomber attacked a French peacekeeping position in the rebel town of Bouaké, killing nine French soldiers and wounding 31.[1] An American development worker, reported to have been a missionary, was also killed. The Ivorian government claimed the attack on the French was unintentional, but the French insisted that the attack had been deliberate.

Several hours after the attack, French President Jacques Chirac ordered the destruction of the Ivorian Air Force and the seizure of Yamoussoukro airport. The French military performed an overland attack on the airport, destroying two Sukhoi Su-25 ground attack aircraft and three Mi-24 helicopter gunships. Two more military helicopters were destroyed during combat in the skies over Abidjan. France then flew in 300 troops and put three Dassault Mirage F1 jet fighters based in nearby Gabon on standby. Since then, the Air Force of Ivory Coast has been rebuilt. In 2007, Aviation Week & Space Technology reported a total of six aircraft in service: one Antonov An-32 tactical transport, one Cessna 421 Golden Eagle utility aircraft, two Eurocopter SA 365 Dauphin helicopters, one Gulfstream IV VIP aircraft, and one Mil Mi-24 attack helicopter. In addition, reported two Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23 attack aircraft. It is unknown whether any of these aircraft are completely operational.


An Ivory Coast Air Force Gulfstream G-III at Zurich
A Côte d'Ivoire SA330 Puma at Faro Airport, Portugal
Aircraft Origin Type Variant In service Notes
Combat Aircraft
Sukhoi Su-25 USSR Attack Su-25UB Unknown[2]
Antonov An-26 Ukraine Transport An-26B 2 Ex-Bulgarian, delivered July 2018[3]
Boeing 727 United StatesVIP 1[4]
Gulfstream IVUnited States1
Alouette III France light utility 2[5]
AS365 Dauphin France utility 1[5]
SA330 Puma France transport / utility 1[5]
AgustaWestland AW139 Italy VIP 1[5]
Trainer Aircraft
Alpha Jet France/Germany

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Ivory Coast seethes after attack". 7 November 2004.
  2. ^ "Cote d'Ivoire". Retrieved 2018-07-30.
  3. ^ Martin, Guy. "Second-hand An-26s". Air International. Vol. 95 no. 3. p. 12. ISSN 0306-5634.
  4. ^ "Republique de Cote d'Ivoire TU-VAO". Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d "World Air Forces 2017". Flightglobal Insight. 2017. Retrieved 3 March 2017.

External links[edit]