Belarusian Air Force

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Air Force and Air Defence Forces of the Republic of Belarus
Ваенна-паветраныя сілы і войскі супрацьпаветранай абароны Рэспублікі Беларусь
Belarusian Air Force badge.svg
Belarusian Air Force emblem
Active15 June 1992 – present
Country Belarus
TypeAir force
RoleAerial warfare
Part ofBelarusian Armed Forces
Commanders
Commander-in-ChiefAlexander Lukashenko
Commander of the Air ForceMajor General Igor Golub[1]
Insignia
RoundelRoundel of Belarus.svg
Fin flashFlag of Belarus.svg
FlagFlag of the Belarusian Air Force.svg
Aircraft flown
AttackSu-25
FighterMiG-29, Su-30
HelicopterMi-8, Mi-26
Attack helicopterMi-24
TrainerL-39C, Yak-130
TransportIl-76, An-26

The Air Force and Air Defence Forces of the Republic of Belarus (Belarusian: Ваенна-паветраныя сілы і войскі супрацьпаветранай абароны Рэспублікі Беларусь) is the air force of the Armed Forces of Belarus, formed in 1992 from the 26th Air Army of the Soviet Air Forces which had been serving in the Byelorussian SSR.[2]

Soviet era and establishment[edit]

On 5 May 1942, on the basis of the Air Forces of the Western Front, the 1st Air Army was created.[3] By General Staff order of 10 January 1949, the Army became the 26th Air Army (ГШ ВС СССР No. ОРГ 120026). In 1980, the 26th Air Army was redesignated the Air Forces of the Belorussian Military District (ГШ ВС СССР 1980 года No. 314/1/00170). On 1 May 1988, in accordance with the Ministry of Defence of the USSR's Decree No. 0018, the Air Forces of the District were again renamed the 26th Air Army. On 15 June 1992, by decree No. 05 of the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Belarus, the headquarters of the 26th Air Army became the headquarters of the Air Forces of the Republic of Belarus.

Aircraft operated by the 26th Air Army and 2nd Air Defence Army, prior to the collapse of the USSR, included the MiG-23, MiG-25, and the Sukhoi Su-22.[4][5][6][7]

The Belarus air forces (26th Air Army and 2nd Air Defence Army) may have begun existence with six major flying regiments: two interceptor, three strike, and a reconnaissance regiment.[citation needed] In January 1992, the 927th Koenigsberg Red Banner Order of Alexander Nevsky Fighter Regiment at Bereza-Osovitsy, Brest Oblast (Military Unit Number 55782) (ru:927-й истребительный авиационный полк) became part of the Air Force of Belarus. In 1993 or 1994, it was renamed as the 927th Koenigsberg Red Banner Order of Alexander Nevsky Fighter Air Base.[8]

Organization[edit]

Belarusian jets during a flypast in Minsk, July 2019.

In accordance with an edict of the President of Belarus in 2001, the Air Force (VVS) and Air Defence Troops were created as one of the arms of the Armed Forces of Belarus. The VVS and Air Defence Forces were intended to protect population centres such as cities and regions, as well as the administrative, industrial, economic interests of the Republic. They are also intended to defend troops from the impacts of enemy air attacks, and also against the attacks of hostile troops, as well as fire support and the guarantee of combat operations of ground forces. In peacetime, VVS and Air Defense forces are on standby to protect the state boundary in the air and also control of Belarusian airspace. The Air Force is responsible for all military aviation, as the Army maintains no aircraft of its own.

Prior to August 2010, there were six primary airbases: Minsk - Machulishchy (50th Mixed Air Base),[9] Lida (206th Assault Air Base), Baranovichi (61st Fighter Air Base) (Sukhoi Su-27),[10][11][12][13] Ross (116th Bomber-Recon Air Base), Pruzhany (181st Combat Helicopter Base), and Bereza (927th Fighter Air Base).[14]

On 26 August 2010, a reorganisation of the Air Force & Air Defence Force was announced.[14] It was reported that the 206th Assault Aviation Base (Lida) would be reorganized into the 116th Guards Red Banner Assault Base (at Ross) – formerly named the 116th Guards Bomber-Reconnaissance Base, flying Sukhoi Su-24 "Fencer" and Sukhoi Su-25 "Frogfoot" aircraft. The Su-24 bombers were retired. The 206th Assault Aviation Base was reorganised as the 206th Training Center. The Mikoyan MiG-29 "Fulcrum" aircraft and personnel of the 927th Fighter Base (at Bereza) became part of the 61st Fighter Base at Baranovichi. Shortly after the move of MiG-29s to Baranovichi, on 23 September 2010, a MiG-29 crashed during a reported low-altitude flying exercise at the new location (see below). On 24 August 2010, the 927th Konigsberg Red Banner Order of Alexander Nevsky Fighter Air Base at Bereza was renamed the 927th Koenigsberg Red Banner Order of Alexander Nevsky Training Center and the use of unmanned aircraft systems.

The air force consists of more than 18,170 personnel, though this number is being reduced.[citation needed] There are now four active airbases:[15]

The Belarusian Air Force maintains close links with the Russian Air Force and defense industry.[22][23][24][25]

Accidents[edit]

On 30 August 2009, a Su-27 UBM aircraft crashed on the second day of the Air Show 2009 in Radom killing both pilots.[26][27][28][29]

On 21 April 2010, two MiG-29 aircraft were performing an exercise when they both collided. One managed to land safely, while the other crashed.[30][31]

On 23 September 2010, a MiG-29 aircraft crashed.[32][33][34]

On 29 November 2011, a Mi-24 helicopter crashed in a small forest near the village of Novye Zasimovichi. The crew of three people was killed on impact. According to eyewitnesses, there was "thick fog.. the previous evening."[35][36][37]

On 12 June 2012, a Sukhoi Su-25 aircraft crashed near a small village in Belarus. The pilot, Lieutenant Colonel Nikolai Gridnyov, lost control of the aircraft when maneuvering at low-altitude.[38] [39] He was ordered to eject, but instead remained on board to make sure the aircraft did not crash into the village.[39] Lt Col Gridnyov died in the crash.

On 11 November 2014, a MiG-29 aircraft crashed.[40] On 23 February 2017, another MiG-29 aircraft crashed. The engine caught fire during takeoff, but the pilot ejected safely at Bobruisk, Mogilev Region.

Aircraft[edit]

Current inventory[edit]

A Belarusian Su-25 in flight
Ilyushin Il-76MD of the Belarusian Air Force on arrival day at Radom-Sadków AFB before Air Show 2009.
Aircraft Origin Type Variant In service Notes
Combat Aircraft
MiG-29 Russia multirole 39[41] 13 upgraded to MiG-29BM in 2004[42]
Sukhoi Su-25 Russia attack / CAS 68[41]
Sukhoi Su-30 Russia multirole 2 10 on order[43]
Transport
Ilyushin Il-76 Russia strategic airlifter 2[41]
Antonov An-26 Ukraine transport 2[41]
Helicopters
Mil Mi-8 Russia utility 36[41]
Mil Mi-24 Russia attack 21[41]
Mil Mi-26 Russia transport 4[41]
Trainer Aircraft
Yak-130 Russia advanced trainer 12[41]
Aero L-39 Czech Republic jet trainer 10[41]
Mil Mi-2 Russia rotorcraft trainer 8[41]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Лукашенко назначил командующего ВВС и ПВО Беларуси" [Lukashenko has appointed commander of the Belarusian Air Force and Air Defense]. news.tut.by (in Belarusian). 31 August 2018. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
  2. ^ "The Military Balance 2014". Archived 2018-10-01 at the Wayback Machine, February 05, 2014.
  3. ^ Belarusian Ministry of Defence, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-10-28. Retrieved 2008-07-19.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link), accessed 22 May 2008
  4. ^ "Belarus restores Su-24s, but for whom?". AIRheads↑FLY. Archived from the original on 2014-08-19. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  5. ^ "Белоруссия отказалась от бомбардировщиков Су-24". 21 February 2012. Archived from the original on 2013-03-22. Retrieved 16 December 2012.
  6. ^ "Belarus' Su-27 fighter jets will probably be retired, defense minister say". Archived from the original on 24 December 2014. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  7. ^ "bmpd". 2012-12-15. Archived from the original on 19 December 2012. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  8. ^ Michael Holm (2015). "927th Kenigsbergskiy Red Banner order of Aleksandr Nevskiy Fighter Aviation Regiment". Soviet Armed Forces 1945-1991 Organisation and order of battle. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  9. ^ "Belarus Returns MIG-29 Alert Fighters to Machulischi". Open Source IMINT. Archived from the original on 24 December 2014. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  10. ^ "Russia Deploys First Fighter Jets to Belarus". Open Source IMINT. Archived from the original on 24 December 2014. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  11. ^ "Russian QRA Fighters & A-50 at Baranovichi". Open Source IMINT. Archived from the original on 24 December 2014. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  12. ^ "Angola, Sudan, & Belarus' 558th Aircraft Repair Plant". Open Source IMINT. Archived from the original on 24 December 2014. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  13. ^ "Belarusian Baranavichy will be Russian fighter home". AIRheads↑FLY. Archived from the original on 2014-08-12. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  14. ^ a b "Belarus Base Realignment and Closure". OSGEOINT. 12 December 2011. Archived from the original on 25 April 2012. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  15. ^ a b c https://www.scramble.nl/orbats/belarus, accessed April 2020.
  16. ^ "Russia ready to establish air base in Baranavichy - Charter'97: News from Belarus - Minsk". Archived from the original on 2014-12-24. Retrieved 24 December 2014. and "Lukashenko inspects 61st fighter airbase". Archived from the original on 28 December 2014. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  17. ^ "Belarus Phases Out Russian Warplanes, Radars". Archived from the original on 2013-09-28. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  18. ^ "Belarusian Air Force Base, Lida". Archived from the original on 2014-12-24. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  19. ^ "Russia to Open Airbase in Belarus Within Months". Archived from the original on 2014-10-24. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  20. ^ "Russian Fighter Jets to Deploy to Belarus by Year End – Minister". Archived from the original on 2014-08-31. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  21. ^ "Сайт Берёзовской районной газеты Маяк". Archived from the original on 2014-12-24. Retrieved 24 December 2014. and "Россь: мы уходим, уходим, уходим… (фото и видео)". Волковыск.BY. Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  22. ^ White October Ltd. "The Conventional Imbalance and Debate on Russian Non-Strategic Nuclear Weapons". Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  23. ^ "Defence Statistics 2013" Archived 2013-09-27 at the Wayback Machine August 1, 2013
  24. ^ "Defence Statistics 2014" Archived 2017-10-19 at Archive-It May 15, 2014
  25. ^ http://www.armstrade.org/includes/periodics/news/2019/0523/101552496/detail.shtml
  26. ^ "Funeral for two Air Force pilots in Baranavichy -". Archived from the original on 7 December 2014. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  27. ^ "BelaPAN. In pictures: Funeral for two Air Force pilots in Baranavichy". Archived from the original on 2014-12-09. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  28. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-09-27. Retrieved 2013-08-30.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  29. ^ "Belarus to modernize its fleet of Sukhoi Su-27 jet fighter". January 31, 2014. Archived from the original on 2014-02-01. Retrieved 2014-02-01.
  30. ^ Harro Ranter. "ASN Aircraft accident 21-APR-2010 MiG-29 Fulcrum". Archived from the original on 2014-12-24. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  31. ^ "Two fighter jets collide in mid-air in Brest region, no casualties reported". Archived from the original on 25 December 2014. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  32. ^ Harro Ranter. "ASN Aircraft accident 23-SEP-2010 MiG-29UB 63". Archived from the original on 2014-12-24. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  33. ^ "Two pilots killed in fighter jet crash in western Belarus". Archived from the original on 25 December 2014. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  34. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-02-19. Retrieved 2013-08-08.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  35. ^ Harro Ranter. "ASN Aircraft accident 29-NOV-2011 Mil Mi-24 01 white". Archived from the original on 2014-10-30. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  36. ^ "Military helicopter crashes in Pruzhany killing crew - Charter'97 :: News from Belarus - Belarusian News - Republic of Belarus - Minsk". Archived from the original on 2014-12-25. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  37. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-12-24. Retrieved 2011-12-01.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  38. ^ Harro Ranter. "ASN Aircraft accident 12-JUN-2012 Sukhoi Su-25". Archived from the original on 2014-12-24. Retrieved 24 December 2014. and "Belarussian Su 25 crashes, pilot choses not to eject to save civilians". Indian Defence Forum. Archived from the original on 2014-12-24. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  39. ^ a b "Su-25 Fighter Jet Crashes in Belarus". Archived from the original on 27 July 2014. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  40. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-08-24. Retrieved 2015-08-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  41. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "World Air Forces 2020". Flightglobal Insight. 2020. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
  42. ^ "Музей авиационной техники-Боровая". museum.ucoz.ru. Retrieved 12 January 2015.
  43. ^ Karle, Prathamesh (14 November 2019). "Belarus receives first pair of Su-30SM aircraft". Jane's Defence Weekly. Retrieved 17 April 2020.

Further reading[edit]

  • Sergey Burdin (transl. Alan Dawes), 'Belarus Air Force,' Air Forces Monthly, March 2003, 26-30.