Last update 11-07-2017
Yemen was divided in two countries: the Arab Republic (Northern part, backed by Royalist forces) and Peaple's Democratic Republic (Southern part, backed by socialist party) resulting in various air and ground fightings in 1974. The two countries were anyhow amalgamated into to the Republic of Yemen on 22-05-90. But in-country clashes led in 1994 to an attempted secession by the Southern part, put down by loyalist (Northern) troops. Continous fighting between the various opponents, as well as against Saudi Arabia which destroyed the remnants of the Air Force, dragging-on till today.
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A classified agreement was also reached in the USA to hire ca 80 pilots and ground crews from the Republic of China (Taiwan); Saudi Arabia financed the costs. Nine Chinese inspectors were sent in March 1979 to Yemen in order to assess the situation. The contract started shortly after, in April 1979, and was renovable every year, foreseen till the end in 1985. The contingent of 80 pilots and ground personnel was under command of the Saudi Arabian Assistance Mission. Initial foreseen deployment for personnell was one year, officially declared as being retiree personnell without support by the Taiwan's government. Taiwanese made up the main number of personnell of the 112 Squadron till 1985, when enough local people had been trained to operate the Tigers. They still helped converting to the type, fly and maintain the fighters.
It seems that an lower priced offer from South Korea was rejected.
During the flare-up fightings in 1979 Chinese pilots possibly saw air-combat and kills against South Yemenese aircrafts, said to be piloted by Soviet pilots.
The only known Yemeni/Chinese pilot's photo in 1979.