Moldovan Air Force

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Moldovan Air Force
Moldova16.jpg
Founded 21 August 1991 -
Country Moldova
Size 15 Aircraft, 1,040 personnel (2012)
Insignia
Air Force flag Flag of Moldova.svg
Roundel Roundel of Moldovan Air Force.svg
Aircraft flown
Transport An-72, An-26, An-2, Mi-8

The Moldovan Air Force is the national air force of Moldova. It was formed following Moldova's independence from the Soviet Union in August 1991 and is part of the Military of Moldova.

Structure[edit]

In 1994 the Air Force consisted of 1,300 men organized into one fighter regiment, 1 helicopter squadron, and 1 missile brigade. They had 31 MiG-29 aircraft, 8 Mi-8 helicopters, 5 transport aircraft (including an Antonov An-72), and 25 SA-3/SA-5 Gammon surface-to-air missiles.[1]

In 2002 the Air Force consisted of 1,400 men.[2]

In 2007 the Air Force had been reduced to a strength of 1,040 men organized into one helicopter squadron, and one missile battalion. They had 6 MiG-29S aircraft, upgraded in Ukraine and stationed in Mărculeşti Air Base, 8 Mi-8 helicopters, 5 transport aircraft (including an Antonov An-72), and 12 SA-3 surface-to-air missile.

In March 2010, the Moldovan Air Force signed an agreement with the Romanian Air Force regarding the exchange of information about military aircraft flights near the border, the exchange of radar data, the obligation to provide mutual support to military aircraft in distress and future joint operations.[3]

Air Force inventory[edit]

Aircraft Origin Type Versions In service Notes
Fighters
MIG-29  Soviet Union Multirole fighter MIG-29 6 Inoperational,stored
Military transport aircraft
AN-12  Poland Military transport aircraft AN-12T 2 Operational
AN-24  Soviet Union Military transport aircraft AN-24RV 1 Operational
AN-26  Soviet Union Military transport aircraft AN-26 1 Operational
AN-72  Soviet Union Military transport aircraft AN-72 2 Operational
Training, Helicopters
PZL-104  Poland Training aircraft PZL-104 5 Operational
Mil Mi-8  Soviet Union transport helicopter Mi-8MTV-1 and MI-8PS (VIP transport) 4 (in AID missions) 1 for intern missions Operational
Moldavian MiG-29 being towed by a truck (1997)
Moldavian MiG-29 is readied for air shipment (1997)
Moldavian MiG-29UB trainer (1997)
Moldavian Mi-8MTV-1 helicopters in 1996
Moldavian Mi-8PS for VIP transport (former Nicolae Ceauşescu helicopter)

Under an agreement finalized on 10 October 1997, the United States acquired 14 MiG 29Cs, described by U.S. officials as wired to permit delivery of nuclear weapons. Also, the United States purchased six MiG 29As, one MiG 29B, 500 air to air missiles and all the spare parts and diagnostic equipment present at the Moldovan Air Base where the aircraft were stationed. In return, Moldova received around $ 40,000,000, humanitarian assistance and non lethal excess defense articles, such as trucks. [4]

In late 1998 Moldova also sold 10 MIG 29s to Eritrea but it was speculated that these aircraft were no longer airworthy.

All of those MiG-29s were transported from Moldova to the National Air Intelligence Center (NAIC) at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio in C-17 transport planes over a period of two weeks.[5]

In February 2012, Defense Ministry announced eight planes and eight military transport helicopters will be purchased at the cost of US$240 million.[6]

Moldovan MiG-29s on display[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]