Novofedorivka

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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 Novofyodorovka airbase.

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

History[edit]

At the time of the Yalta Conference in February 1944 during World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt's and Prime Minister Winston Churchill's aircraft landed on the airfield. Later the airfield played an important role in the work of the Center for Deep Space Communications near Yevpatoriya.[4]

The Soviet Black Sea Fleet used Novofyodorovka 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 Ukrainian 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 Novofyodorovka incident – altercations between Russian and Ukrainian troops – occurred.

Layout[edit]

The base has two, parallel, southwest/northeast 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 northeast on the northern parallel runway. The carrier landing trainer is on the southwest end of that runway.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Brief information. Saky Raion website.
  2. ^ "Чисельність наявного населення України (Actual population of Ukraine)" (in Ukrainian). State Statistics Service of Ukraine. Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  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 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

External links[edit]