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Военно-воздушные cилы России
Voyenno-vozdushnye sily Rossii
Russian Air Force
Emblem of the Russian Air Force
Flag of the Russian Air Forces

Country Russian Federation
(previously the Soviet Union and Russian Empire)
Role Defeating enemy units, reconnaissance, defence of major military units and facilities
Size 210,000 personnel
2,832 aircraft
Anniversaries August 12
Colonel General Alexander Zelin
Roundel Russia new alternate roundel.svg

The Russian Air Force (Russian: Военно-воздушные cилы России, transliteration: Voyenno-vozdushnye sily Rossii) is the air force of Russia. With 2,832 aircraft, it is the second largest Air Force in the world. It is currently under the command of Colonel General Aleksandr Zelin. The Russian Navy has its own air arm, the Russian Naval Aviation, which is the former Soviet Aviatsiya Voyenno Morskogo Flota ("Naval Aviation"), or AV-MF).



Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union into its fifteen constituent republics in December 1991, the aircraft and personnel of the Soviet Air Force - the VVS were divided among the newly independent states. General Pyotr Deynekin, the former deputy commander-in-chief of the Soviet Air Forces, became the first commander of the new organisation on 24 August 1991. Russia received the majority of the most modern fighters and 65% of the manpower. The major commands of the former Soviet VVS - the Long Range Aviation, Military Transport Aviation and Frontal Aviation were renamed, with few changes, Russian VVS commands. However, many regiments, aircraft, and personnel were claimed by the republics they were based in, forming the core of the new republics' air forces. Some aircraft in Belarus and Ukraine (such as Tu-160s) were returned to Russia, sometimes in return for debt reductions, as well as a long range aviation division based at Dolon in Kazakhstan.

During the 1990s, the financial stringency felt throughout the armed forces made its mark on the Air Forces as well.[1] Pilots and other personnel could sometimes not get their wages for months, and on occasion resorted to desperate measures: four MiG-31 pilots at Yelizovo in the Far East went on hunger strike in 1996 to demand back pay which was several months overdue, and the problem was only resolved by diverting unit monies intended for other tasks.[2] As a result of the cutbacks, infrastructure became degraded as well, and in 1998, 40% of military airfields needed repair. The situation only began to improve after Putin took power and military budgets were greatly increased.

The VVS participated in the First Chechen War (1994–1996) and the Second Chechen War (1999–2002). These campaigns also presented significant difficulties for the VVS including the terrain, lack of significant fixed targets and insurgents armed with Stinger and Strela-2M surface-to-air missiles.

The former Soviet Air Defence Force remained independent for several years under Russian control, only merging with the Air Forces in 1998. The decree merging the two forces was issued by President Boris Yeltsin on 16 July 1997. During 1998 altogether 580 units and formations were disbanded, 134 reorganized, and over 600 given a new jurisdiction.[3] The redistribution of forces affected 95% of aircraft, 98% of helicopters, 93% of anti-aircraft missile complexes, 95 % of the equipment of radiotechnical troops, 100% of anti-aircraft missiles and over 60% of aviation armament. More than 600,000 tons of material changed location and 3500 aircraft changed airfields. Military Transport Aviation planes took more than 40,000 families to new residence areas.

The number of servicemen in the Air Force was reduced to about 185 000 from the former combined number of 318,000. 123,500 positions were abolished, including almost 1000 colonel positions. The resignation of 3000 other servicemen included 46 generals of which 15 were colonel generals. On 29 December 1998 Colonel General Anatoly Kornukov, a former Air Defence Forces officer who had in 1983 ordered the shootdown[4] of Korean Air Lines Flight 007, and new commander-in-chief of the merged force, succeeding Deynekin, reported to the Russian defence minister that the task had 'in principle been achieved'.[5] General Kornukov established the new headquarters of the force in Zarya, near Balashikha, 20 km north of the centre of Moscow, in the former PVO central command post, where the CIS common air defence system is directed from.

General Kornukov was succeeded by General Vladimir Mikhaylov in 2002.

In December 2003 the aviation assets of the Army—mostly helicopters—were transferred to the VVS, following the shooting down of a Mi-26 helicopter in Chechniya on August 19, 2002, that claimed 19 lives. The former Army Aviation was in its previous form intended for the direct support of the Ground Forces, by providing their tactical air support, conducting tactical aerial reconnaissance, transporting airborne troops, providing fire support of their actions, electronic warfare, setting of minefield barriers and other tasks. The former Army Aviation is now managed by the Chief of the Department of Army Aviation, who in mid 2007 was Lieutenant General Anatoly Surtsukov.[6]

Current state

Russian Air Force Victory Day Parade 2008.ogg
Fly-over by aircraft of the Russian Air Force at the Victory Day parade in Moscow in May 2008.
Medium emblem of the Russian Air Force

In October 2004 the disbandment was announced of the 200th and 444th Bomber Aviation Regiments with Tupolev Tu-22M3, of the 28th, 159th, 790th, and 941st Fighter Aviation Regiments, of the 302nd and 959th Regiments equipped with Sukhoi Su-24, and of the 187th and 461st Assault Aviation Regiments with the Sukhoi Su-25.[7] These disbandments did not go ahead.

The VVS continues to suffer from a lack of resources for pilot training. In the 1990s Russian pilots achieved approximately 10% of the flight hours of the United States Air Force. The 2007 edition of the IISS Military Balance listed pilots of tactical aviation flying 20–25 hours a year, 61st Air Army pilots (former Military Transport Aviation), 60 hours a year, and Army Aviation under VVS control 55 hours a year.[8]

During the 1990s the Sukhoi design bureau designed a replacement bomber aircraft, the T-60S, which now is being developed into the PAK DA. A further abortive design project was the MiG 1.42, which is now being developed into the Mikoyan LMFS . Currently, a fifth-generation fighter jet is being developed by a consortium of companies, including Mikoyan, Yakovlev and spearheaded by Sukhoi. The program has been named Perspektivnyy Aviatsionnyy Kompleks Frontovoy Aviatsii - PAK FA, which means Future Air Complex for Tactical Air Forces. It is intended to replace the MiG-29 and Su-27 in the Russian Air Force. General Colonel Alexander Zelin said on August 8, 2007 that Russia will soon start construction of a prototype fifth-generation fighter plane.[9] "At present, we have completed the development of technical documentation for the fifth-generation fighter and passed it to the production plant, which will start construction in the near future," Colonel General Zelin said.[9]

Armed Forces of the
Russian Federation
Medium emblem of the Вооружённые Силы Российской Федерации.svg
Big Emblem of Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.jpg
Banner of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (obverse).svg
Services (Vid)
Air Force Russian Air Force
Ground Forces Russian Ground Forces
Navy Russian Navy
Independent troops
Ground Forces Strategic Rocket Forces
Ground Forces Russian Space Forces
Ground Forces Russian Airborne Troops
Other troops
Naval Infantry
Naval Aviation
Missiles and Artillery Agency
Ranks of the Russian Military
Air Force ranks and insignia
Army ranks and insignia
Navy ranks and insignia
History of the Russian Military
Military History of Russia
History of Russian military ranks
Military ranks of the Soviet Union

The Air Force commander also said that Russia would deploy advanced unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) with flight range of up to 400 kilometers (250 miles) and flight duration of up to 12 hours by 2011.[9] The UAVs of both fixed- and rotary-wing types will perform a variety of tasks, including reconnaissance, attack, retransmission of radio signals and target designation, the general said.[9]

Russia's air forces have 650 dedicated fighter jets in service, mainly of the Sukhoi and MiG variety. The most numerous type of aircraft is the MiG-31. The 291 MiG-29s have fallen into disrepair however and many of them suffer rust damage. 200 of these aircraft have been rated unsafe to fly. However the Russia Defense Ministry has already stated that it will upgrade and modify all Mig-29s that are obsolete making them combat ready[10] by 2012 when new aircraft such as the PAKFA are scheduled to enter service.

The 16th Air Army will soon receive two regiments of the advanced Su-34 Fullback fighter-bombers in the near future.[11] General Belevitch said the 16th Air Army would also receive MiG-29SM Fulcrum fighters to replace outdated MiG-29s and modernized Su-25 Frogfoot close support aircraft, which showed outstanding performance during operations in Afghanistan, Chechnya and other "hot spots."[11]

Russia resumed the Soviet-era practice of sending its bomber aircraft on long-range flights at a permanent basis in July and August 2007, after a 15-year unilateral suspension due to fuel costs and other economic difficulties after the collapse of the Soviet Union.[12][13] Patrols towards the North Pole, the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean were reinstated, bringing the planes often close to NATO territory, most recently flying over the Irish Sea, between the UK and Ireland.[14]

General Mikhailov was succeed by General Colonel Aleksandr Zelin in 2007. In 2008 the Air Force lost between 4 and 7 aircraft to Georgian anti-aircraft fire during the 2008 South Ossetian War. indicates that in early 2009 the Air Force went through a major restructuring, in which air armies were succeeded by commands, and most air regiments becoming airbases.[15] However, Combat Aircraft, in a piece by Stefan Buttner in its August-September 2009 issue, presented the order of battle as being substantially unchanged, similar to the listing below.[16] Thus whether a reorganisation is yet to take place or has taken place remains unclear. Aviation Week reports that the reorganisation will be complete by years end and will see a 40 percent reduction in aircrew numbers.[17]

On 5 June 2009, Russian Chief of the General Staff Nikolai Makarov said of the Russian Air Force that "They can run bombing missions only in daytime with the sun shining, but they miss their targets anyway".[18] Maj. Gen. Pavel Androsov said that Russia's long-range bombers would be upgraded in 2009 with the aim of being able to hit within 20 meters of their targets.[19]

Russia has officially signed a contract for 48 Su-35BM, 4 Su-30M2 and 12 Su-27SM's on August 18th at the MAKS-2009 air show.[20]

Ranks and Insignia


This order of battle is reproduced from Air Forces Monthly's July & August 2007 editions, but is not complete - some of the training units and direct reporting units have subordinate squadrons or regiments listed in the magazine but not replicated here yet.

List of Units

Structure of the Russian Air Force (click to enlarge)

Forces of central subordination of the Russian Air Force

  • 8th Air Division for Special Purposes (Chkalovskiy Chkalovsky Airport?)
  • 929th State Flight Test Centre (Akhtubinsk)
  • 4th Centre for Combat Training and Flight Personnel Training - Lipetsk Air Base
  • 344th Centre for Combat Training and Flight Personnel Training - Torzhok(ground forces helicopters)
    • 696th Research and Instruction Helicopter Regiment (Torzhok)(Ka-50, Mi-8, Mi-24, Mi-26, has used Mi-28)
    • 92nd Research and Instruction Helicopter Squadron (Sokol-Vladimir) (Mi-8, Mi-24)
  • 2881st Reserve Helicopter Base - Mi-24 - Totskoye (air base)
  • 924th Centre for Combat Training and Flight Personnel Training - Yegoryevsk (UAVs)
  • Russian State Scientific-Research Institute Centre for Cosmonaut Training - Star City, Russia Zvezdniy Gorodok
  • 2457th Air Base of Long Range Radiolocation Detection Aircraft - A-50s - Ivanovo Severny
  • 1st Fighter-Bomber Aviation Regiment - Su-24 - Lebyazhye
  • 764th Fighter Aviation Regiment - MiG-31, MiG-25PU - Bolshoye Savino Airport (Sokol)
  • 5th Independent Long Range Reconnaissance Aviation Detachment - Voronezh (CFE, INF verification)
  • 185th Centre for Combat Training and Flight Personnel Training - Astrakhan
  • 118th Independent Helicopter Regiment - Dmitriyevka [Чебеньки], Orenburg Oblast.
  • 4020th Base for Reserve Aircraft, Lipetsk
  • 4215th Base for Reserve Aircraft, Dmitriyevka

Training Units

  • Krasnodar Military Aviation Institute (L-39Cs)
  • Syzran Military Aviation Institute (Mi-2, Mi-8, Mi-24)
  • 783rd Training Centre (Armavir) (MiG-29, L-39C)
  • 786th Training Centre (Borisoglebsk)

Special Purpose Command, HQ Moscow, Moscow Military District

  • 16th Air Army - Kubinka
  • 226th Independent Composite Air Regiment (Mi-8, Mi-9, An-12, An-24, An-26, An-30) (Kubinka (air base));
  • 1st Corps of PVO (surface to air missiles only);
  • 32nd Corps of PVO (Rzhev)
  • Army Aviation components
    • 45th Independent Helicopter Regiment (Oreshkovo (Vorotinsk) near Kaluga) Mi-24
    • 440th Independent Helicopter Regiment for battle control- Vyazma - Mi-24, Mi-8
    • 490th Independent Helicopter Regiment for battle control - Klokovo (4 km north of Tula) - Mi-24, Mi-8;
    • 865th Reserve Helicopter Base (Protasovo/Aleksandrovo (air base), near Ryazan);

6th Army of VVS and PVO, Leningrad Military District

  • 21st Air Defence Corps - Severomorsk
    • 9th Fighter Aviation Regiment - HQ atKilp-Yavr (Poliarnyi) - Su-27;
    • 458th Interceptor Aviation Regiment - HQ at Savatiya (Kotlas) - MiG-25U, MiG-31;
  • 54th Air Defence Corps - HQ at Taytsy
  • 149th Composite Aviation Division
  • 67th Bomber Aviation Regiment - HQ at Siverskiy-2 - Su-24;
  • 722nd Bomber Aviation Regiment - HQ at Smuravyevo (Gdov) - Su-24;
  • 98th Guards Reconnaissance Aviation Regiment - HQ at Monchegorsk (air base) - MiG-25RB/U, Su-24MR;
  • 138th Independent Composite Air Regiment - HQ at Levashevo - An-12, An-26, Mi-8, Tu-134;
  • 147th Independent Helicopter Squadron of Electronic Warfare - HQ at Pushkin - Mi-8PPA;
  • 332nd Independent Helicopter Regiment for Battle Control - HQ at Pribylovo - Mi-8, Mi-24;
  • 85th Independent Helicopter Squadron - HQ at Alakurtti - Mi-8, Mi-24.

4th Army of VVS and PVO, North Caucasus Military District

  • 1st Composite Air Division - Krasnodar
    • 559th Bomber Aviation Regiment - Morozovsk - Su-24 in service;
    • 959th Bomber Aviation Regiment - Yeysk - operates the Su-24 and L-39C;
    • 368th Assault Aviation Regiment - Budyonnovsk - Su-25;
    • 461st Assault Aviation Regiment - Krasnodar - Su-25;
    • 960th Assault Aviation Regiment - Primorsko-Akhtarsk - Su-25;
  • 51st Air Defence Corps - Rostov on Don
    • 3rd Fighter Aviation Regiment - Krymskaya, (ex 562nd) - Su-27;
    • 19th Fighter Aviation Regiment - Millerovo - MiG-29;
    • 31st Fighter Aviation Regiment - Zernograd - MiG-29;
    • SAM Regiments
  • 11th Independent Reconnaissance Air Regiment - Marinovka - operates the Su-24MR;
  • 535th Independent Composite Air Regiment - Rostov on Don - Mi-8, An-12 and An-26 in service;
  • ex Army Aviation component
    • 55th Independent Helicopter Regiment - Korenovsk - Mi-24, Mi-8, reported to be in line for Mi-28[21]
    • 325th Independent Transport-Combat Helicopter Regiment - Yegorlyskaya - Mi-26, Mi-8;
    • 487th Independent Helicopter Regiment for battle control- Budyonnovsk - Mi-8, Mi-24, Mi-28;

5th Army of VVS and PVO, HQ Yekaterinburg, Volga-Ural Military District General Lieutenant Mikhail Kucheryavy[22]

  • 128th Independent Composite Air Squadron - HQ at Koltsovo near Yekaterinburg - An-26;
  • 320th Independent Transport Squadron of Search & Rescue Service - HQ at Uprun (Troitsk), near Chelyabinsk - Mi-8;
  • 999th Air Base - Kant, Kyrgyzstan - L-39, Mi-8, Su-25;
  • Army Aviation component;
    • 793rd Independent Helicopter Regiment - HQ at Kinel'-Cherkasy - Mi-8, Mi-26;
    • 237th Independent Helicopter Squadron - HQ at Bobrovka - Mi-8, Mi-24;

11th Army of VVS and PVO, Far East Military District - HQ at Khabarovsk

  • 23rd PVO Corps - HQ at Vladivostok;
    • 22nd Fighter Aviation Regiment - HQ at Centralnaya Uglovaya (Artem) - Su-27;
    • 530th Intercepto Aviation Regiment - HQ at Sokolovka - MiG-25PU, MiG-31;
  • 25th PVO Division - HQ at Komsomolsk na Amure
    • 23rd Fighter Aviation Regiment - HQ at Dzemgi - Su-27;
  • 303rd Composite Aviation Division - HQ at Ussuriysk
    • 277th Bomber Aviation Regiment - HQ at Khurba - Su-24;
    • 302nd Bomber Aviation Regiment - HQ at Verino - Su-24;
    • 18th Shturmovik (Assault) Air Regiment - HQ at Galenki - Su-25;
    • 187th Shturmovik Air Regiment - HQ at Chernigovka - Su-25;
    • 799th Reconnaissance Aviation Regiment - HQ at Varfolomeyevka - Su-24MR, MiG-25RB(?);
  • 257th Independent Composite Air Regiment - HQ at Khabarovsk-Bolshoy - An-12, An-26, Mi-8;
  • Army Aviation component;
    • Unknown Independent Helicopter Regiment - HQ at Sokol (Dolinsk) - Mi-8;
    • 319th Independent Helicopter Regiment for Battle Control - HQ at Chernigovka - Mi-24;
    • 364th Independent Helicopter Regiment - HQ at Srednebelaya - Mi-8, Mi-24, Mi-26;
    • 825th Independent Helicopter Regiment - HQ at Garovka-2 - Mi-6, Mi-8, Mi-26;

14th Army of VVS and PVO, HQ Novosibirsk, Siberian Military District

  • 21st Composite Air Division - HQ at Dzhida;
    • 2nd Bomber Aviation Regiment - HQ at Dzhida - Su-24M;
    • 266th Shturmovik Air Regiment - HQ at Step',Oloviannaya - Su-25;
    • 313th Reconnaissance Air Regiment - HQ at Bada - Su-24MR;
  • 120th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment - HQ atDomna, 27 km southwest of Chita - MiG-29;
  • 712th Interceptor Aviation Regiment - HQ at Kansk (air base) - MiG-25PU, MiG-31;
  • 137th Independent Composite Aviation Squadron - HQ at Novosibirsk Tolmachevo Airport - An-26;
  • Army Aviation component
    • 337th Independent Helicopter Regiment - HQ at Berdsk - Mi-8, Mi-24;
    • 112th Independent Helicopter Regiment - HQ at Chita - Mi-8, Mi-24;
  • Two SAM regiments and four radar units

Air Armies of the Supreme High Command

Air Forces of Russia

Flag of Russia.svg Russian Empire

Air Force (1909–1917)

Flag of the Soviet Union.svg Soviet Union

Red Air Force (1918–1991)

Naval Aviation (1918–1991)

Air Defense (1948–1991)

Strategic Rocket Forces (1959–1991)

Flag of Russia.svg Russian Federation

Air Force (1991–present)

Naval Aviation (1991–present)

Strategic Rocket Forces (1991–present)

  • 37th Air Army (strategic bombers) - HQs at Moscow
    • 43rd Centre for Combat and Flight Personnel Training - Ryazan - operates the Tu-22M3, Tu-95MS, Tu-134UBL and An-26;
    • 22nd Heavy Bomber Air Division "Donbass" - HQs at Engels-2;
      • 121st Heavy Bomber Air Regiment - Engels - Tu-160 in service;
      • 184th Heavy Bomber Air Regiment - Engels - Tu-95MS;
      • 52nd Heavy Bomber Air Regiment - Shaykovka - Tu-22M3;
      • 840th Heavy Bomber Air Regiment - Soltsy - Tu-22M3;
    • 326th Heavy Bomber Air Division - HQs at Ukrainka;
      • 182nd Heavy Bomber Air Regiment - Ukrainka - Tu-95MS;
      • 79th Heavy Bomber Air Regiment - Ukrainka - Tu-95MS;
      • 200th Heavy Bomber Air Regiment - Belaya (air base) (near Irkutsk) - Tu-22M3, Tu-22MR;
      • 444th Heavy Bomber Air Regiment - Vozdvizshenka (Ussuriysk) - Tu-22M3;
    • 203rd Independent Air Regiment of Tanker Aircraft - HQs at Ryazan - Il-78 and Il-78M in service;
    • 181st Independent Air Squadron - Irkutsk - An-12 and An-30;
    • 199th Air Base - Ulan-Ude;
    • 3119th Air Base - Tambov;
    • Unknown Air Base - Tiksi;
  • 61st Air Army (former Military Transport Aviation) - Moscow
    • 610th Centre for Combat and Flight Personnel Training - HQs at Ivanovo Severny;
      • Unknown Instructor Military Transport Air Squadron - Ivanovo - operates the Il-76;
    • 12th Military Transport Air Division - Tver (Migalovo);
      • 196th Military Transport Air Regiment - Tver - Il-76 in service;
      • 566th Military Transport Air Regiment - Seshcha - Il-76, An-124;
      • 76th Independent Military Transport Air Squadron - Tver - An-22;
    • 103rd Military Transport Air Regiment - Smolensk - Il-76;
    • 110th Military Transport Air Regiment - Krechevitsy - Il-76;
    • 117th Military Transport Air Regiment - Orenburg - Il-76, An-12;
    • 334th Military Transport Air Regiment - Pskov - Il-76;
    • 708th Military Transport Air Regiment - Taganrog - Il-76;
    • 78th Independent Military Transport Air Squadron - Klin-5 - operates An-26, An-12 and Tu-134;
    • 224th Air Detachment of Military Transport Aviation - Tver - An-124, Il-76MD;
    • one communications centre

The List of Soviet Air Force bases shows a number which are still active with the Russian Air Force.

Aircraft Inventory

Due to the secrecy of the Russian Ministry of Defence, the actual numbers and types of aircraft in the Russian Air force is largely unknown. However it is believed that can give a fairly reliable and up to date inventory for the Air Force.[23] The Russian Air Force operates around 2,832 aircraft of all types. This includes 1,351 fixed wing combat aircraft, 200 strategic bombers and 305 attack helicopters.

Aircraft Photo Origin Type Versions Numbers In Service[24] Comments
Combat aircraft
Sukhoi Su-27 Su-27 on landing.jpg USSR Air Superiority Fighter Su-27SM 322 [25]
Sukhoi Su-30 Russian Air Force Su-30.jpg Russia Strike Fighter Su-30M 12 [26]
Sukhoi Su-35BM Sukhoi Su-35 on the MAKS-2009 (01).jpg Russia Air Superiority Fighter Su-35BM 12 48 to be delivered by 2015 with first delivery in 2011. [3]
Mikoyan MiG-29 Mig-29 on landing.jpg USSR Multirole Fighter MiG-29SM 194 [27]
Mikoyan MiG-31 MiG-31 Foxhound.jpg USSR Interceptor MiG-31M 168 [28]
Sukhoi Su-34 Russian Air Force Su-34.jpg Russia Fighter-bomber Su-34 16 [29] 58 to be delivered by 2012[30]
Sukhoi Su-24 Sukhoi Su-24.jpg USSR Tactical Fighter/Bomber Su-24M 314 [31]
Mikoyan MiG-35 MiG-35 airliners net.jpg Russia Multi-Role Fighter MiG-35D 0 MiG-35 is currently in development, 10 prototypes by 2011 Ref
Sukhoi Su-25 Russian Air Force Su-25.jpg USSR Close Air Support Su-25/Su-25UB 243 80 awaiting modernization to reach Su-25SM (~20 Su-25SM already modernized).[32]
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25 Russian Air Force MiG-25.jpg USSR Reconnaissance MiG-25RB 70 [33]
Total Combat aircraft 1,351
Bomber Aircraft
Tupolev Tu-22M Tupolev Tu-22m3.jpg USSR Strategic bomber Tu-22M3 120 [34]
Tupolev Tu-95 Tupolev Tu-95 in flight.jpg USSR Strategic bomber Tu-95MS 64 64 (37th Air Army), modernization of 35 to reach Tu-95MSM
Tupolev Tu-160 Tu-160 at MAKS 2007.jpg USSR Strategic bomber Tu-160M 16 16 (37th Air Army), modernization to reach Tu-160M
Total Bomber aircraft 200
Trainer Aircraft
Yakovlev Yak-130 Yak130MAKS.jpg Russia Training Yak-130 4 62 ordered, first aircraft to be commissioned in 2009[35]
Aero L-39 Albatros L39-at-Santa-Rosa-airshow.jpg Czechoslovakia Training L-39 500
Total Trainer aircraft 504
Transport Aircraft
Ilyushin Il-76 Atlant Soyuz Ilyushin Il-76 Candid A, BIAP.jpg USSR Transport IL-76MD 119 Planned modernization to reach Il-76MF-90
Ilyushin Il-112 Maquette Ilyushin Il-112.jpg Russia Light Transport Il-112V 0 18 by 2015
Antonov An-12 Kocmoc An-12 RA-12957.jpg USSR Transport An-12 Unknown
Antonov An-22 Russian Air Force An-22 in April 2007.jpg USSR Transport An-22 21 [36]
Antonov An-26 Antonov.an26.fairford.arp.jpg USSR Transport An-26 30 9 An-26, 21 An-26B
Antonov An-124 224th Flight Unit Antonov An-124.jpg USSR Transport An-124 25 14 says IISS
Total Transport Aircraft 195
Command Post
Ilyushin Il-80 Ил-87КП в полете.jpg Russia Command Post Il-80 4
Tupolev Tu-214 Russia Command Post / VIP Tu-214-100 6(ordered) 2 delivered[37]
Total Command Post 6
Aerial refueling
Ilyushin Il-78 Il-78 Midas.jpg USSR Refueling Tanker IL-78 20
Total Aerial refueling aircraft 20
Beriev A-50 Beriev A-50 color.jpg USSR AWACS-Reconnaissance Beriev A-50 19 [38] currently being modernized to A-50M standard
Total Reconnaissance aircraft 19
Attack Helicopter
Kamov Ka-50 Russian Air Force Kamov Ka-50.jpg USSR Attack Helicopter Ka-50 15 [39] Serial production cancelled in favour of Ka-52.[39]
Kamov Ka-52 Ka-52 061.jpg Russia Attack Helicopter Ka-52 10 [40] Special Forces - 12 more to be purchased in 2009 [41]
Mil Mi-24 Mil Mi-24.jpg USSR Attack helicopter Mi-24 252 [42] All to be replaced within 2015 by Mi-28s[43]
Mil Mi-28 Ми-28-no-balloons.JPG Russia Attack Helicopter Mi-28 28 [44] 47 by end of 2010 and 300 by 2015
Total Attack Helicopters 305
Transport Helicopter
Mil Mi-8 MAKS-2007-Mi-8.jpg USSR Transport Helicopter Mi-8 195 160 Air Force
Mil Mi-26 Mil Mi-26.jpg USSR Transport Helicopter Mil Mi-26 30 [45]
Kamov Ka-60 Russian Air Force Ka-60.jpg Russia Transport Helicopter Ka-60 7 [46]200 ordered
Total Transport Helicopters 232
Total aircraft of all types 2,832


  1. ^ Austin & Muraviev, The Armed Forces of Russia in Asia, Tauris, 2000, p.235
  2. ^ Jeroen Brinkman, 'Russian Air Force in Turmoil,' Air Forces Monthly, No.105, December 1996, p.2, cited in Austin & Muraviev, 2000
  3. ^ General Heikki Nikunen, The Current State of the Russian Air Force, last updated 2005
  4. ^ Los Angeles Times, Jan. 23,1998
  5. ^ Piotr Butowski, 'Russia's new air force enters a tight manoeuvre,' Jane's Intelligence Review, May 1999, p.14
  6. ^ Piotr Butowski, 'Russia Rising,' Air Forces Monthly, July 2007, p.83
  7. ^ Valeriy Kolosov, Military Reform: Minus One Hundred Thousand, Kommersant, 11 October 2004, cited in Scott & Scott, Russian Military Directory 2004
  8. ^ Routledge/IISS, IISS Military Balance 2007, p.200
  9. ^ a b c d Russia to build fifth-generation fighter prototype soon
  10. ^, One-third Russian fighter jets old and unsafe: report Friday, Feb 6, 2009 5:40am EST
  11. ^ a b Russia to equip two air regiments with Su-34 strike planes soon
  12. ^ BBC NEWS, Russia restarts Cold War, 17 August 2007, patrols, [1]
  13. ^ Russia restores Soviet-era strategic bomber patrols - Putin -2 Russian News & Information Agency
  14. ^ BBC NEWS, RAF intercepted Russian planes, 30 April 2008, [2]
  15. ^, Air Force: structure accessed May 2009
  16. ^, accessed August 2009
  17. ^ Russian Military Aircrew Numbers Tumble
  18. ^ Russian Military Weakness Increases Importance of Strategic Nuclear Forces
  19. ^ Russia upgrades bomber-ALCM force for 21st century
  20. ^ Sukhoi signs record $2.5 bln deal with Russian defense ministry
  21. ^ Roy Braybrook, Armada International, October 1, 2007
  22. ^ 'Kucheryavy takes up post as Urals Air Force, Air Defense Army commander', AVN Military News Agency, MOSCOW. July 10, 2007 (Interfax-AVN)
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^ SU-34 Fullback Long range fighter-bomber,, Russian Military Analisis. Retrieved on September 9, 2008.
  31. ^
  32. ^ "Aircraft Profile:Su-25 Frogfoot", Air Forces Monthly magazine, July 2009 issue.
  33. ^ Flying High, The Moscow News, April 24, 2008. retrieved on September 6, 2008.
  34. ^
  35. ^ News, Air Forces Monthly, August 2008 issue, p. 30
  36. ^ Antonov An-22,, Russian Military Analisis. Retrieved on September 8, 2008.
  37. ^ The Russian bear gets restless again, Air Forces Monthly magazine, August 2009 issue, pp. 60—64
  38. ^ AWACS/AEW&C Operators, Air Forces Monthly, August 2008 issue, p. 91
  39. ^ a b
  40. ^
  41. ^
  42. ^
  43. ^ Russia’s Air Force to Replace Combat Helicopters by 2015, Kommersant, October 24, 2007. Retrieved on September 9, 2008.
  44. ^
  45. ^ Guy, Martin. A heavyweight saint, Air Forces Monthly magazine, November 2008 issue, p. 68.
  46. ^ Kamov Ka-60,, Russian Military Analisis. Retrieved on September 8, 2008.

Further reading

Reference Works

  • Andersson, Lennart. Soviet Aircraft and Aviation, 1917-1941. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1994. ISBN 1557507708
  • Gunston, Bill. Aircraft of the Soviet Union: The Encyclopedia of Soviet Aircraft Since 1917. London: Osprey, 1983. ISBN 085045445X

General Histories

  • Higham, Robin (editor). Russian Aviation and Air Power in the Twentieth Century. Routledge, 1998. ISBN 0714647845
  • Palmer, Scott W. Dictatorship of the Air: Aviation Culture and the Fate of Modern Russia. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006. ISBN 0521859573

See also

External links


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