Moscow Air Defence District

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Moscow Air Defence District
Active 1954–1998
Type Air Defence District
Decorations Order of Lenin Order of Lenin

The Order of Lenin Moscow Air Defence District was a formation of the Soviet Air Defence Forces and the Russian Air Defence Forces, which existed from 1954 to 1998, to fulfill the tasks of anti-aircraft Defense of administrative and economic facilities. The district administration was in Moscow.

The Moscow Air Defence District has a long history, dating back to the Second World War. During the war the defence of Moscow was carried out, in part, by the 1st Air Defence Corps and the 6th Fighter Aviation Corps PVO. As part of these formations at the beginning of massive Nazi air raids had more than 600 fighters; more than 1,000 guns of small and medium calibers; 350 machine guns; 124 fixed anti-aircraft barrage balloons; 612 stations; and 600 anti-aircraft searchlights.[citation needed] The presence of such large forces, skillful management organisation foiled enemy attempts to inflict massive air strikes. Only 2.6% of the total number of Axis aircraft flew in the outskirts of Moscow as a result of their efforts. Air defence forces defending Moscow destroyed 738 enemy aircraft.[citation needed] In addition, assaults by the 6th Fighter Aviation Corps inflicted heavy blows, destroyed 567 enemy aircraft on the ground. Overall, the Air Defence Forces destroyed 1,305 aircraft, and in combat with the enemy armies of Nazi Germany and its allies, alongside the Air Force, destroyed 450 tanks and 5,000 military vehicles.[citation needed] The Moscow district air defence had been provided during the Second World War by initially the Moscow PVO Corps Region. The Corps Region Headquarters, then formed the Moscow Front PVO from 6 April 1942 – 10 July 1943. In turn, the Moscow Front PVO was redesignated as Headquarters, Special Moscow PVO Army.

Until 1950, MiG-15 interceptor regiments were concentrated in the Moscow District to protect the capital against U.S. bomber attack.[1] After 1950 significant elements, the 64th Fighter Aviation Corps, were redeployed to fight in the Korean War.

In 1948 the North-Western Air Defence District was redesignated the Moscow Air Defence Region, which became the Moscow Air Defence District in 1950.[2] For its great contribution to strengthening the defense power of the Soviet state and its armed defense, success in combat and political training and in connection with the 50th anniversary of the Soviet Army and the Navy by the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of June 22, 1968, the Moscow Air Defense District was awarded the "Order of Lenin". The Order was handed over to the Moscow Air Force and Air Defence District for continuity.

The district's commander, Marshal of Aviation Anatoly Konstantinov, was replaced shortly before the Mathias Rust affair in 1988 for insufficient support of Mikhail Gorbachev's perestroika policy.[3]

History of Moscow's air defence[edit]

Organising for the air defence of Moscow began on April 25, 1918, when the Military Director of the Moscow District issued Order No. 01 of 25.04.1918, establishing the Moscow Air Defense Directorate.

The units, formations and associations that carried out the tasks of the air defence of Moscow, depending on the prevailing situation and the tasks to be solved, had different organizational forms:

The Moscow District of the Air Force and Air Defense was formed in 1998 on the basis of formations and units of the Moscow Air Defense District District and 16th Red Banner Air Army.

In connection with the ongoing reform of the Russian Armed Forces, the Moscow Region of the Air Force and Air Defense on September 1, 2002 was reorganized into the Special Purpose Command.


The following officers commanded the Moscow Air Defence Region or the district during its existence.[13]

The composition of the district[edit]

The composition of the district included:

In 1955 the district included the 52nd Fighter Aviation Army, the 151st Guards Fighter Aviation Division PVO (Klin, Moscow Oblast, 38th independent Reconnaissance Aviation Squadron (Rzhev, Kalinin Oblast), the 182nd independent Reconnaissance Aviation Squadron 90th independent Transport Aviation Squadron (Stupino, Moscow Oblast), the 1st Guards Anti-Aircraft Artillery Division (Maryino-Znamenskoye, Moscow Oblast), and six other anti-aircraft artillery divisions, and nine other anti-aircraft artillery regiments.[13]

In 1988 the Order of Lenin Moscow Air Defence District had four air defence corps and a division, which included 11 fighter aviation regiments, one transport helicopter regiment, 28 anti-aircraft rocket regiments, and four radar brigades and regiments. The corps were the 2nd, at Balashikha, 3rd at Rzhev, 7th at Kursk, and 16th at Gorky.[14] One of the fighter regiments was the 472nd Fighter Aviation Regiment at Kursk. The 7th Air Defence Corps was redesignated the 7th Air Defence Division in the early 1990s.

District forces 1998[edit]

  • 1st Special Purpose Air Defense Army (Balashikha, Moscow Region);
  • 3rd Air Defense Corps (Yaroslavl)
  • 7th Air Defense Corps (Bryansk); (division by 1995?)[15]
    • Headquarters, Bryansk, Bryansk Oblast, 1960 – 2001
    • 207th Communications Center (Bryansk, Bryansk Oblast)
    • 153rd Fighter Aviation Regiment PVO (Morshansk, Tambov Oblast)
    • 472nd Fighter Aviation Regiment PVO (Kursk, Kursk Oblast)
    • 108th Anti-Aircraft Missile Regiment (Nikolskoye, Voronezh Oblast)
    • 260th Anti-Aircraft Missile Regiment (Bryansk, Bryansk Oblast)
    • 563rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Regiment (Gorodets, Nizhniy Novgorod Oblast)
    • 9th Radio-Technical Brigade (Nizhniy Novgorod, Nizhniy Novgorod Oblast)
    • 41st Radio-Technical Brigade (Orel, Orel Oblast)
  • 16th Air Defence Corps (Nizhny Novgorod);
  • 5th Air Defence Division (Rzhev, Tver Region) (2nd Air Defence Corps 1960-94; 5th Air Defence Division 1994-2001)[16]
  • 118th Air Defence Command Center (Moscow)
  • 436th Independent Transport Aviation Regiment (Stupino, Moscow region);
  • 103rd separate regiment of radio technical intelligence and interference (Stupino, Moscow region);
  • 2367th separate battalion of radio relay communication (Nemchinovka, Moscow region);
  • 52nd Separate Engineering Airfield Battalion (Kosterevo, Moscow Region);
  • 1470th Separate Engineering Battalion (Elektrostal, Moscow Region);
  • 193rd separate transport battalion (Moscow).

7th Air Defence Division was disbanded in 2001.

District fighting strength for 2002[edit]


  1. ^ Steven J. Zaloga, The Russians in MiG Alley, Air Force Magazine, 1991
  2. ^ Michael Holm, Order of Lenin Moscow Air Defence District, accessed December 2012.
  3. ^ Bill Keller, Moscow dismisses more air generals, New York Times, June 18, 1987
  4. ^ {{subst:saved_book}}
  5. ^ Resolution. State Defense Committee. No. GKO-1541ss dated April 5, 1942. "On the strengthening of Moscow's air defence"
  6. ^ {{subst:saved_book}}
  7. ^ {{subst:saved_book}}
  8. ^ a b {{subst:saved_book}}
  9. ^ General Staff Directive of October 25, 1945
  10. ^ General Staff Directive of May 23, 1946
  11. ^ The Directive of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of August 14, 1948
  12. ^ Order of the Minister of Defense of the USSR of August 20, 1954
  13. ^ a b Holm, Michael. "Moscow Air Defence District". Retrieved 14 May 2017. 
  14. ^ V.I. Feskov et al 2004, 150.
  15. ^ Holm, 7th Air Defence Division
  16. ^


  • AG Lensky, MM Tsybin (2013). "Советские Войска ПВО в последние годы Союза ССР. Часть 1" (Soviet Air Defense Forces in the last years of the USSR. Part I). Organization of troops. Saint Petersburg ,: INFO OL. p. 164.  Comprehensive history of the Air Defence Forces, with unit histories of all units in existence during the last years of the USSR.
  • AG Lensky, MM Tsybin (2014). Soviet Air Defense Forces in the last years of the USSR. Part II ». Organization of troops. SPb,: INFO OL. pp. 108 sec. (With ill.). 
  • AG Lensky, MM Tsybin (2015). Soviet Air Defense Forces in the last years of the USSR. Part III ». Organization of troops. SPb,: INFO OL. pp. 144 with. (With ill.). 
  • I. G. Drogovoz (2003). Воздушный щит Страны Советов [Air shield of the Land of Soviets]. Military Historical Library (in Russian). Minsk: Kharvest. p. 448. ISBN 985-13-1390-4. 

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