The Royal Bahraini Air Force سلاح الجو الملكي البحريني (formally the Bahrain Amiri Air Force) was formed in 1977 building up its airm powers with the delivery in the mid-80s of the Northrup F-5E/Fs. Currently the backbone of the combat aircraft are the F-16C/Ds delivered in two batches between 1990 and 2001. Supplemented by the BAE Systems Hawk 100s ordered in July 2002.
To supplement the Cobra helicopter fleet, interest was expressed in the acquisition of seventeen (17) additional surplus US AH-1Fs, which fourteen (14) would subsequently enter service.
The Royal Bahraini Air Force is driving towards fulfilling full operational capability with the phasing in the Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk utility helicopters, eight were delivered in early September 2010 replacing the 11 Agusta/Bell AB212s. One of the type's main roles is the search and rescue operations.
Jane's Assessment (Jane's World Air Forces dated: Sep 13, 2011) of the Royal Bahraini Air Force:
The build-up of the inventory of attack and utility helicopters has enhanced capability to support both naval and ground forces, as well as internal security forces.
Commander of the Air Force: Sheikh Hamad bin Abdallah al-Khalifa
Air Force Personnel Strength: 1,500