Nepalese Army Air Service

Nepalese Army Air Service

Nepalese Army Air Service roundel
Active 1965 - present
Country Nepal Nepal
Branch Nepal Army
Type Army aviation
Role Battlefield support and transport
Size 500
Part of Military
Garrison/HQ Kathmandu
Engagements Nepalese Civil War

Nepal has no separate Air Force but flies several aircraft within Nepalese Army Service, also known as the Nepal Army Air Wing. It was formed in 1960s, but became an air force unit in 1979. Finally, It is now again a part of the Army. It has limited combat capabilities as only few helicopters can be armed .The main objective of this flying element is transport, flying paratroopers and assistance in case of an emergency (e.g. natural disasters). Apart from the 11th Brigade the country has established a VIP Flight from Tribhuvan Airport, mostly the aircraft are stationed at Kathmandu, Surkhet and Dipayal.

From 1996 to 2006 the country was in civil war against Maoist rebels who strove to overthrow the constitutional monarchy and establish a republic. Their attacks increased since the massacre of the Royal Family in 2001. This development led to the need for armed helicopters. Several types of aircraft have entered service since: MI-17s, M28 Skytruck, HAL Lancer and HAL Dhruv. The UK has delivered two Britten-Norman Islanders and two MI-17s free of charge. China decided to supply an MA-60 (an Y-7 derivative). Nepal has also purchased HAL Cheetah and HAL Chetak helicopters.

In November 2014, India gave an HAL Dhruv as part of a strategic pact.[1]

The NAAS consists of about 500 members.


Current inventory

A PZL M-28 of Nepal Army.
A Nepal Army Mil Mi-171.
Aircraft Origin Type Variant In service Notes
PZL M-28 Poland transport 2[2] 1 on order[2]
Britten-Norman BN-2 United Kingdom transport 1[2]
Hawker Siddeley HS 748 United Kingdom transport 1[2]
HAL Dhruv India utility / SAR 4[2]
Mil Mi-8 Russia utility 5[2] 2 on order[2]
Eurocopter AS350 France light utility 1[2]
Aérospatiale SA330 Puma France utility / transport 1[2]
Aérospatiale SA 315B Lama France light utility 2[2]
Aérospatiale Alouette III France utility 4[2]
Air Defence
QF 3.7 inch Anti-Aircraft guns United Kingdom Max. H. Range : 5.7 km 45[3] UK and Commonwealth
Chinese towed twin 37 mm Soviet Union Max. H. Range : 8.5 km Type 65 [4]
ZPU 14.5mm anti-aircraft guns Chinese Built Max. H. Range : 5 km ZPU-4 Type 56 [5] Soviet Union Origin


In all Nepal there are 36 airfields that are able to support military operations. See also the full list of airports in Nepal

Army pilots training School

The Nepalese Army Air Service has its flying and helicopter pilots training school since 2004 within the No 11. Brigade and is the only helicopter pilot training school in Nepal.

Along with the army air service pilots, the school also produces civilian pilots. The school provides training using Mi-17, Bell and Ecureuil helicopters.

See also


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