Dubious historic origin
Legend has it the Rommandan Air Force owes its origins to the times of Grand Emperor Carlos el V "El Rey del Chocolate" when he rode a giant flying pig with wings made of cartilage protuberant from its ears while raining atomic breath on his enemies somewhere around The Dark Ages.
Although to be reasonable and more technically accurate it is safer to say the RIAF began some years before the First Great Pastry War (in time to deliver all that flying cake payload) in the form of scout balloons and wooden gliders, later to move to propellers and some time afterwards to nuclear-capable, alloy-framed jet-powered aircraft.
The air force is divided into eight Regional Commands overseeing patrol, defense and logistics of imperial territories as well as Fourteen Intercontinental Commands overseeing deployments abroad, either from the homeland, allied or occupied territories.
Each Command in turn has three divisions depending their specialty with their own support aircraft and logistic structure:
•Transport and Logistics Support Division: Primarily focused on troop deployments and supply carrying missions. All commands operate such divisions.
•Tactical Combat Divisions: Primarily focused on the deployment of fighter and attacks aircraft. All commands operate such divisions.
•Long Range Aviation and Strategic Bomber Divisions: Primarily focused on long range reconnaissance flights as well as strategic bombing and WMD deployment missions. Three regional commands and all fourteen intercontinental commands operate such divisions.
Because of its military might, Rommanda has enough reach for its tactical air forces to operate in half of the globe (with the navy covering more remote areas) while the strategic air forces can strike virtually anywhere worldwide.
Close cooperation with the army has led to the development of army military engineering units specialized in quickly fit the simplest civilian airport or even a country side runway into capable makeshift air base which enables the air force to quickly broaden its reach in supporting ground invasions or furthering operations into new territories.
Rommanda’s economy can be considered a war economy, and thus stands undisputed amongst the world’s largest arms manufacturers and its military aircraft industries truly stand out.
Because Rommanda produces far more than its already vast military requires this means a lot is exported abroad, which means that during conflicts the RIAF may come toe to toe with aircraft produced in Rommanda, however, the state-run military industries ensures that the latest technologies are well kept within Rommanda, as such, even newer aircraft models sold abroad (which will never include the latest generation in service) are a somewhat downgraded versions of what Rommanda has, while still ensuring a quality product suitable for the needs of today’s costumer and would-be-ally but without providing an advantage to a future would-be-enemy in today’s volatile geopolitical climate.
Rommanda’s growing needs as it expands territories and continues to hold belligerent stance abroad mean the Empire not only need newer and more technologically advanced aircraft to keep an edge on the battlefield but also greater numbers of active airframes.
While the industry can supply beyond Rommanda’s sole needs it also needs to keep its commitments abroad on schedule to keep the Rommandan war economy peaking, which means the RIAF has to be conservative with its policies regarding the retirement and/or mothballing of aging fleets.
The newest generation of aircraft will never directly replace the generation that came before, rather it will replace aircraft at least three generations old, which is meant to be done on a 3 to 1 ratio, understanding that the old fleets are by now just a fraction of their size due to combat loses or airframe aging/fatigue beyond repair.
While the newest aircraft can be found both in the frontlines and patrolling Rommandan airspace, the older aircraft are usually degraded in roles, patrolling low priority airspace or serving as training platforms which prolongs their service life at the twilight of their careers, much to the impatience of generals who wish to see their inventories renewed and will exaggerate the number of old aircraft loses in (what little) combat they participate on, accidents or to aging.
What happens to the “lost” aircraft? Rommanda’s black market is also one of the largest worldwide, thus written off airframes can be found years latter serving third world countries or mercenary armies much to the dismay of international organizations Rommanda’s despotic bureaucratic engine plays lip service to.