Kant (air base)

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Kant Air Base
Summary
Airport type Public / Military
Owner Ministry of Defence
Operator Russian Air Force
Location Kant, Kyrgyzstan
Elevation AMSL 2,549 ft / 777 m
Coordinates 42°51′11″N 074°50′47″E / 42.85306°N 74.84639°E / 42.85306; 74.84639
Runways
Direction Length Surface
m ft
11/29 2,700 8,859 Concrete
Source: DAFIF[1]

Kant Air Base (Russian: Авиабаза Кант Aviabaza Kant) is a military air base in Ysyk-Ata District of Chuy Oblast in Kyrgyzstan. It is located just south of the city of Kant, some 20 km east of downtown Bishkek.

History[edit]

In 1941, a Soviet Air Force base and pilot training school were set up near the city of Kant, based on a school evacuated from Odessa.[2]

During World War II, 1507 Soviet military pilots were trained there and from 1956, the school also trained foreign pilots. Among its graduates were Egyptian former president Hosni Mubarak and the late Syrian president Hafez al-Assad, as well as India's Air Chief Marshal Dilbagh Singh and South Yemen Colonel Pilot Shakeeb Khobani.

In 1992, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, control of the air base was transferred to Kyrgyzstan.

Present-day Russian base[edit]

Russian president Vladimir Putin and former president Askar Akayev at Kant Air Base

In accordance with a bilateral agreement between Russia and Kyrgyzstan signed on 22 September 2003, the air base hosts Russian Air Force units.[3] The official opening took place on 23 October 2003, making the facility the first new air base Russia opened abroad since 1991. The unit stationed there has been described as Russian Air Force's 5th Air Army's 999th Air Base.[4]

In December 2012, Kyrgyzstan agreed to lease the base to Russia for fifteen years (with an option for an automatic extension for an additional five years) after the Russian government agreed to reduce some Kyrgyz debt by some $500 million.[5]

References[edit]

External links[edit]