Novofedorivka (air base)

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Coordinates: 45°5′35″N 33°35′42″E / 45.09306°N 33.59500°E / 45.09306; 33.59500

Russian Naval Aviation aircraft at Novofedorovka airbase.

Novofedorivka (Crimean Tatar: Novofödorovka, Ukrainian: Новофедорівка; Russian: Новофёдоровка) is an urban-type settlement and a military air base (ICAO: UKFI) on the Black Sea coast of the Saky Raion in western Crimea. Novofedorivka was established in 1992.[1] Population: 6,558 (2013 population estimate)[2].

It is located about 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) south of the regional centre of Saky, and about 70 kilometres (43 mi) north of Sevastopol. Formerly a base of Soviet Naval Aviation as "Saky-4", it came under the Ukrainian Navy control with the breakup of the Soviet Union. It was captured by Russian forces without resistance on March 22, 2014.[3]

At time Yalta Conference in February 1944, a President Franklin D. Roosevelt's, Prime Minister Winston Churchill's aircrafts landed on the airfield. Airfield played an important role in the work of the Center for Deep Space Communications near Yevpatoriya.[4]

History[edit]

The Soviet Black Sea Fleet used Novofedorivka as a major air base. The base was also home to the only Soviet aircraft carrier shore-based landing, trainer and test site, the Nazyemniy Ispitateiniy Treynirovochniy Kompleks Aviatsii (NITKA), with arresting gear and a ski-jump ramp that was a full-sized replica of the bow of the Admiral Kuznetsov.

The flying unit at the base appears to have been the 1063rd Center for Combat Employment Shipborne Aviation from 1988 to 1992.[5]

After 1992, the base continued to be leased by the Russian Navy.[6][7]

During the 2008 South Ossetia War, the President of Ukraine, Viktor Yushchenko, stopped Russian pilots from using the carrier training facilities. This decision was reversed in April 2010.[6] Meanwhile, the Russian Navy had begun to build a similar facility at Yeysk in the Krasnodar Krai region by the Sea of Azov.[6]

During the 2014 Crimean Crisis, Russian forces occupied the base. The Ukranian 10th Saki Naval Aviation Brigade, controlling all the Ukrainian Navy's air units, managed to get a number of its aircraft airborne to bases in mainland Ukraine on March 5, 2014.[8] However, more than a dozen aircraft and helicopters undergoing maintenance had to be abandoned. At the same time, the Novofedorivka incident - altercations between Russian and Ukrainian troops - occurred.

Layout[edit]

The base has two, parallel, south-west/north-east runways, a smaller east-west carrier landing facility, and an extensive 'dispersal' complex to the north and west. The main base hangars and workshops are to the west of the runway complex.

The carrier take-off trainer faces north-east on the northern parallel runway. The carrier landing trainer is on the south-west end of that runway.

Future[edit]

In April 2010, Jane's Defence Weekly reported that China's People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has expressed interest in using NITKA to train pilots ahead of commissioning trials of the former Soviet Navy carrier Varyag.[6][9][10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Brief information. Saky Raion website.
  2. ^ "Чисельність наявного населення України" (in Ukrainian). State Service of Statistics. Retrieved 6 May 2014. 
  3. ^ "Russian troops storm Ukrainian bases in Crimea". 22 March 2014. Retrieved 22 March 2014. 
  4. ^ Boris Chertok Rockets and People. Vol.3. p.489, 608, 653, 655, 702, 709, 720
  5. ^ Michael Holm, http://www.ww2.dk/new/navy/1063tsbpka.htm, accessed March 2014.
  6. ^ a b c d Ukraine reopens training base to Russian pilots, Reuben F Johnson, Jane's Defence Weekly (p6), 14 April 2010
  7. ^ Ukraine reopens training base to Russian pilots, Reuben F Johnson, Jane's Defence Weekly, 9 April 2010
  8. ^ Tim Ripley, 'Ukrainian Navy decimated by Russian move into Crimea, Jane's Defence Weekly 2 April 2014, p.17
  9. ^ China progresses aircraft carrier aspirations, Ted Parsons, Jane's Defence Weekly (p6), 14 April 2010
  10. ^ China progresses aircraft carrier aspirations, Ted Parsons, Jane's Defence Weekly, 8 April 2010

External links[edit]