Ozerne Air Base
Tu-22 Monument at entrance to garrison
|Operator||Ukrainian Air Force|
|Location||Ozerne, Zhytomyr Oblast|
|Elevation AMSL||764 ft / 233 m|
Ozerne (given in source material under the plethora of names: Zhytomyr Ozerna, Ozernyy, Ozernoye, Oziernoye, Ozernoe, Ozernoye, Ozyornoye, Ozyornaya, and in US intelligence as Zhitomir/Skomorokhi) is an air base in Ozerne, Zhytomyr Oblast, Ukraine located 11 km southeast of Zhytomyr. The facility has angled taxiways, ramp space, and over 30 large revetments consistent with a bomber base.
The airbase was erected 1933 by the red army and expanded 1942 by the german Luftwaffe and was called Flughafen Hegewald. Nearby was the headquarter of Heinrich Himmler and surrounded by the settlements of the new german Hegewald colony. 15th Guards Heavy Bomber Aviation Division was stationed at the base from 1945 to 1994. In 1965 Ozernoye began receiving Tupolev Tu-22 (Blinder) aircraft. By 1967 it had 31 Tu-22 aircraft, and in 1968 it received Tu-22PD aircraft. A Tu-22 crash-landed here in 1969 due to a stall during the landing flare; this incident was captured by a movie camera and used in the motion picture Tenderness for the Roaring Beast.
In December 1989 the 251st Guards Heavy Bomber Aviation Regiment (Belaya Tserkov, Kiev Oblast) with Tu-16K, was transferred under the control of the 43rd 43rd Center for Combat Employment and Retraining of Personnel of Long Range Aviation, located in the Russian SFSR. In 1990 the division comprised:
- 121st Guards Heavy Bomber Aviation Regiment (Machulishchi, Minsk Oblast) with Tu-22K
- 203rd Guards Heavy Bomber Aviation Regiment (Baranovichi, Brest Oblast) with Tu-22K
- 341st Heavy Bomber Aviation Regiment (Ozernoye, Zhitomir Oblast) with Tu-22K
With the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1992 the two regiments in Belarus were transferred under other command and the 251st Regiment rejoined the division. Units stationed at Ozernoye include:
- 894th Fighter Aircraft Regiment (894 IAP). The unit initially operated the Sukhoi Su-9 (Fishpot) in the 1960s., replacing it in 1979 with the MiG-23 (Flogger-G). The airfield hosted up to 38 MiG-23MLD, ML, and UB models from 1979-1992 and onwards. This regiment was subordinate to 28th Air Defence Corps of the 8th Air Defence Army (8 OA PVO) (April 1986-January 1992). By 1994 under Ukraine resubordinated to Western Region Air Defence.
- 341st Heavy Bomber Aircraft Regiment (341 TBAP) flying Tu-22M2 from 1965 until the 1990s and Tu-22PD from 1968 until the 1990s, and the Tu-22UD as recently as 1991. Under 15th Guards Heavy Bomber Aviation Division from 1950 to 1992,(Holm) and at least up to 1994 (AFM March 1994).
Currently the airfield is home to about 15 advanced fighter aircraft visible in Google Earth high-resolution imagery. The north airfield appears to contain a huge army salvage yard.
- Gordon, Yefim (1999). Tupolev Tu-22 'Blinder' Tu-22M 'Backfire'. Midland Publishing. ISBN 1-85780-065-6.
- Michael Holm
- PHASEOUT OF FISHPOT IN APVO STRANYY AIRFIELDS USSR, February 1981, CREST: CIA-RDP81T00380R000100980001-5, Central Intelligence Agency, Washington, DC.
- "Aviatsiya PVO". Aviabaza KPOI.
- "Dal'nyaya Aviatsiya". Aviabaza KPOI.
- Ranter, Harro. "Accident Sukhoi Su-27 55 blue, 15 Dec 2018". aviation-safety.net. Retrieved 2018-12-15.
- "Photos of crash wreck of Ukraine's Su-27 made public". 112.international. Retrieved 2018-12-17.