Slovak Air Force
|Slovak Air Force|
|Air Force Commander||Brigadier General Miroslav Korba|
|Transport||An-26, L-410, Mi-17M|
The Slovak Air Force, known since 2002 as the Air Force of the Armed Forces of the Slovak Republic (Slovak: Vzdušné Sily Ozbrojených Síl Slovenskej Republiky), is the aviation and air defense branch of the Slovak Armed Forces. Operating 25 aircraft and 10 helicopters from 3 air bases : Malacky - Kuchyňa, Sliač, Prešov. It succeeded the Czechoslovak Air Force together with the Czech Air Force in 1993. The Slovak Air Force is part of NATO Integrated Air Defense System - NATINADS.
The Slovak Air Force is tasked with the defense of the sovereign Slovak state and the support of the nation's ground troops. Twelve Russian upgraded fighter aircraft MiG-29 together with seven modernized basic and light advanced trainers Aero L-39 dominate the inventory, followed by the Let L-410 and Antonov An-26 transport aircraft. The helicopter fleet consists of the ten Mil Mi-17.Eight Mil Mi-24 were withdrawn from service on September 20, 2011. The Slovak Air Force has been under the command of Brigadier General Miroslav Korba since September 15, 2012.
After the division of Czechoslovakia by Nazi Germany in 1939, Slovakia was left with a small air force composed primarily of Czechoslovak combat aircraft. This force defended Slovakia against Hungary in 1939, and took part in the invasion of Poland in support of Germany. During the World War II, the Slovak Air force was charged with the defense of Slovak airspace, and, after the invasion of Russia, provided air cover for Slovak forces fighting against the Soviet Union on the Eastern Front. While engaged on the Eastern Front, Slovakia’s obsolete biplanes were replaced with German combat aircraft, including the Messerschmitt Bf 109. The air force was sent back to Slovakia after combat fatigue and desertion had reduced the pilots' effectiveness. Slovak air units took part in the Slovak National Uprising against Germany from late August 1944. Although the rebel forces were defeated by Nazi Germany, guerrilla warfare continued until the Soviet Army occupied Slovakia in 1945.
During this time Czechoslovakia was a member of the Eastern Bloc, allied with the Soviet Union, and from 1955 a member of the Warsaw Pact. Because of this, the Czechoslovak Air Force used Soviet aircraft, doctrines, and tactics. The types of aircraft were mostly MiGs. MiG-15, MiG-19, and MiG-21F fighters was produced in license; in the 1970s, MiG-23MF were bought, accompanied by MiG-23ML and MiG-29s in the 1980s.
During the 1980s and early 1990s, the Czechoslovak Air Force consisted of the 7th Air Army, which had air defense duties, and the 10th Air Army, responsible for ground forces support. The 7th Air Army had two air divisions and three fighter regiments, and the 10th Air Army had two air divisions and a total of six regiments of fighters and attack aircraft. There were also two reconnaissance regiments, two transport regiments, three training regiments, and two helicopter regiments.
In November 1989 Communism fell across Czechoslovakia. The two parliaments of the two new states from 1993, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, decided how to split the assets of the former air force. The assets were divided 2:1 in the Czechs' favor, and thus the Slovak Air Force was (re)formed. However the 20 MiG 29s were shared equally between the two countries. 
After the formal dissolution of Czechoslovakia on January 1, 1993, Czech and Slovak aircraft were divided according to each nation's population, in a ratio of nearly 2:1 in the Czech Republic's favor. The exceptions to this rule were the MiG-23's, which were given exclusively to the Czech Air force, and the MiG-29's, which were divided evenly between the two nations. Slovak bases were initially under-equipped to handle the aircraft transferred from the Czech bases, and required considerable improvements in infrastructure to facilitate the new air force. On March 1, 1995, the air force replaced the Soviet style aviation regiment organization with the western wing and squadron system. Around 2000-2002, Slovakia gradually retired many of the older aircraft, including the entire fleet of Su-22, Su-25, and MiG-21. In 2004, the flight training academy and national aerobatic demonstration team Biele Albatrosy, both based at Košice, were disbanded.
On August 30, 2014 the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Sweden have signed a letter of intent agreeing to co-operate on using the Saab Gripen fighter – paving the way for a potential Slovakian acquisition of the aircraft.
Bases and Commands
Aviation assets are divided between three major air bases throughout the country, at Malacky-Kuchyňa, Sliač, and Prešov. The headquarters of the air force is at Zvolen.
Headquarters of Slovak Air Force (Veliteľstvo Vzdušných síl OS SR), based at Zvolen
- 1st Transport Flight (1. Dopravný roj): An-26
- 2nd Transport Flight (2. Dopravný roj): L-410
Mixed Wing (Zmiešané krídlo), based at Sliač
- 1st Squadron (1. Letka): MiG-29AS, MiG-29UBS
- 2nd Squadron (2. Letka): L-39CM, L-39ZAM
Helicopter Wing (Vrtuľníkové krídlo), based at Prešov
- 1st Training and SAR Squadron (1. Výcviková a LPZS letka): Mi-17 LZPS
- 2nd Transport Helicopter Squadron (2. Dopravná vrtuľníková letka): Mi-17M
Anti-aircraft Rocket Brigade (Protilietadlová raketová brigáda), based at Nitra
- 1st Anti-aircraft Rocket Group (1. Protilietadlová raketová skupina, Nitra): SA-10B Grumble (S-300 PMU)
- 2nd Anti-aircraft Rocket Group (2. Protilietadlová raketová skupina, Nitra): SA-6 Gainful (2K12 Kub 2M)
Command, Control and Surveillance Brigade (Brigáda velenia, riadenia a prieskumu), based at Zvolen
|Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29 Fulcrum||Russia||Fighter
|Delivered in 1995. Only 6 MiG-29´s (5 MiG-29 AS and 1 MiG-29 UBS) are airworthy. Will be replaced until 2016 by 8 to 14 JAS-39 Gripen.|
|Aero L-39 Albatros||Czechoslovakia||Light attack
|One L-39CM are being overhauled in LOT Trenčín.|
|Antonov An-26 Curl||Ukraine||Transport||An-26||1||Delivered in 1983. Will be replaced after 2015 by two C-27J Spartan.|
|Let L-410 Turbolet||Czech Republic||Transport||L-410 UVP-E20
|Used for light transport, photogrammetry, parachute training and VIP transport. Delivered between 2009 - 2013.|
|Mil Mi-17 Hip||Russia||Transport
|Delivered between 1987 - 1988. Will be replaced after 2016 probably by 10 new utility helicopters.|
|Elbit Skylark||Israel||UAV||Skylark||5||Currently in possession of Ministry of Interior and 5th regiment of special assignment.|
|S-300 PMU||USSR||Long range air defense system||SA-10B||1 battery||Delivered in 1985. Operational range 75 kilometres (47 mi). Battery have 48 missiles of type 5V55KD.|
|2K12 Kub||USSR||Low to medium range air defense system||SA-6||4 batteries||Delivered in 1980. Operational range 24 kilometres (15 mi). One battery have 12 missiles of type 2K12M3.|
Retired aircraft of the Slovak Air Force
- Aero L-29 Delfin trainer aircraft (2002)
- Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 fighter aircraft (2002)
- Sukhoi Su-22 ground attack aircraft (2000)
- Sukhoi Su-25 close air support aircraft (1999)
- Antonov An-12 transport aircraft (1999)
- Antonov An-24 transport aircraft (2006)
- Mil Mi-24 attack helicopter (2011)
- Mil Mi-8 VIP helicopter (2012)
- Mil Mi-2 trainer helicopter (2013)
- Military of Slovakia
- Ground Forces of the Slovak Republic
- Slovak National Uprising
- 2006 Slovak Air Force Antonov An-24 crash
- "The ambitions of the Slovak armed forces. Theory and reality."
- "Trends in Slovak Republic military spending"
- "Východiská strategického hodnotenia obrany Slovenskej republiky 2011"
- "Na obranu pôjde v roku 2014 jedno percento HDP" 10 October 2013
- "The Military Balance 2014"., February 05, 2014.
- " Abonentná zmluva na prevádzku lietadiel MiG-29 na roky 2011-2016" December 3, 2011
- "Holes in Central European Skies" 23 October 2013
- sk:Zoznam lietadiel Vzdušných síl Slovenskej republiky
- "Biela kniha o obrane SR 2013"
- "Ročenka MO SR 2012"
- "Ročenka MO SR 2013"
- "Commander of the Slovak Air Force Brigadier General Miroslav Korba"
- Slovak Insurgent Air Force
- List of World War II aces from Slovakia
- ed David Oliver, Eastern European Air Power, No 3 in the AFM Airpower Series, Key Publishing Ltd, Stamford, Lincs, 1990-91, p.38-41
- Ed. David Donald.The Pocket Guide to Military Aircraft and the World's Air Forces. Ed. David Donald. London:Hamlyn. 2001 ISBN 0-600-60302-4
- Slovak Air Arms
- "Situácia na Ukrajine 2013" 12 December 2013
- "Nie je obrana už dávno v kríze?!" 24 April 2011
- " V Kuchyni má armáda 10 lietadiel a takmer 500 zamestnancov"
- "World Air Forces 2013". Flightglobal Insight. 2013. Retrieved 20 March 2013.
- World Air Forces 2014 10 December 2013
- "Defence Statistics 2013" 1 August 2013
- "Defence Statistics 2014" 15 May, 2014
- "Slovakian L-39 Albatros"
- Pravda - Armáda kupila bezpilotné lietadlá
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Air force of Slovakia.|
- Official Homepage of the Slovak Air Force
- Slovak Ministry of Defence page on the Slovak Air Force(en, sk)
- Home page of Slovakia's 1 Fighter Squadron(en, sk)
- Home page of 2nd Training Squadron, AFB Sliac(en,sk)
- Website of the former Slovak Flight demonstration team(en, sk)
- Website of the disbanded Slovak Military Flight Academy(sk)
- Scramble on the Web page for the Slovak Air Force(en)
- Aeroflight World Airforces on Slovakia(en)
- Eagles of the Tatras: The Slovak Airforce 1939 - 1945(en)