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Slovak Air Force

Slovak Air Force
190px
Slovak Air Force emblem
Active 1939–1945
1993–present
Country 23x15px Slovakia
Allegiance NATO
Size 20 aircraft
10 helicopters
3.200 personnel
Commanders
Air Force Commander Brigadier General Miroslav Korba[1]
Insignia
Roundel 75px
Low-visibility Roundel 75px
Aircraft flown
Attack L-39ZAM, Mi-17M
Fighter MiG-29AS/UBS
Trainer L-39CM
Transport An-26, L-410, Mi-17M

The Slovak Air Force, known since 2002 as the Air Force of the Armed Forces of the Slovak Republic (Slovak: Vzdušné Sily Ozbrojených Síl Slovenskej Republiky), is the aviation and air defense branch of the Slovak Armed Forces. Operating 20 aircraft and 10 helicopters from 3 air bases : Malacky - Kuchyňa, Sliač, Prešov. It succeeded the Czechoslovak Air Force together with the Czech Air Force in 1993. The Slovak Air Force is part of NATO Integrated Air Defense System - NATINADS.[2][3][4][5][6]

The Slovak Air Force is tasked with the defense of the sovereign Slovak state and the support of the nation's ground troops.[7] Twelve Russian upgraded fighter aircraft MiG-29[8][9][10][11][12] together with seven modernized basic and light advanced trainers Aero L-39 dominate the inventory, followed by the Let L-410 and Antonov An-26 transport aircraft.[13] The helicopter fleet consists of the ten Mil Mi-17.[14]Eight Mil Mi-24 were withdrawn from service on September 20, 2011. The Slovak Air Force has been under the command of Brigadier General Miroslav Korba since September 15, 2012.[15][16][17][18][19][20]

History

1939-1945

After the division of Czechoslovakia by Nazi Germany in 1939, Slovakia was left with a small air force composed primarily of Czechoslovak combat aircraft. This force defended Slovakia against Hungary in 1939, and took part in the invasion of Poland in support of Germany. During the World War II, the Slovak Air force was charged with the defense of Slovak airspace, and, after the invasion of Russia, provided air cover for Slovak forces fighting against the Soviet Union on the Eastern Front. While engaged on the Eastern Front, Slovakia’s obsolete biplanes were replaced with German combat aircraft, including the Messerschmitt Bf 109. The air force was sent back to Slovakia after combat fatigue and desertion had reduced the pilots' effectiveness. Slovak air units took part in the Slovak National Uprising against Germany from late August 1944.[21][22] Although the rebel forces were defeated by Nazi Germany, guerrilla warfare continued until the Soviet Army occupied Slovakia in 1945.[23]

1946-1992

During this time Czechoslovakia was a member of the Eastern Bloc, allied with the Soviet Union, and from 1955 a member of the Warsaw Pact. Because of this, the Czechoslovak Air Force used Soviet aircraft, doctrines, and tactics. The types of aircraft were mostly MiGs. MiG-15, MiG-19, and MiG-21F fighters was produced in license; in the 1970s, MiG-23MF were bought, accompanied by MiG-23ML and MiG-29s in the 1980s.

During the 1980s and early 1990s, the Czechoslovak Air Force consisted of the 7th Air Army, which had air defense duties, and the 10th Air Army, responsible for ground forces support.[24] The 7th Air Army had two air divisions and three fighter regiments, and the 10th Air Army had two air divisions and a total of six regiments of fighters and attack aircraft. There were also two reconnaissance regiments, two transport regiments, three training regiments, and two helicopter regiments.

In November 1989 Communism fell across Czechoslovakia. The two parliaments of the two new states from 1993, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, decided how to split the assets of the former air force. The assets were divided 2:1 in the Czechs' favor, and thus the Slovak Air Force was (re)formed. However the 20 MiG 29s were shared equally between the two countries. [25]

1993-2015

After the formal dissolution of Czechoslovakia on January 1, 1993, Czech and Slovak aircraft were divided according to each nation's population, in a ratio of nearly 2:1 in the Czech Republic's favor.[26] The exceptions to this rule were the MiG-23's, which were given exclusively to the Czech Air force, and the MiG-29's, which were divided evenly between the two nations. Slovak bases were initially under-equipped to handle the aircraft transferred from the Czech bases, and required considerable improvements in infrastructure to facilitate the new air force. On March 1, 1995, the air force replaced the Soviet style aviation regiment organization with the western wing and squadron system.[27] Around 2000-2002, Slovakia gradually retired many of the older aircraft, including the entire fleet of Su-22, Su-25, and MiG-21.[28] In 2004, the flight training academy and national aerobatic demonstration team Biele Albatrosy, both based at Košice, were disbanded.[29][30]

On January 19, 2006, the Slovak Air Force lost an Antonov An-24 in a crash.

On September 20, 2011, all of the remaining Mil Mi-24 gunships were retired.[31][32][33][34]

In January 2014, Slovakia started discussions with the Swedish Government regarding leasing or purchasing JAS-39 Gripen aircraft to replace their MiG-29 fighters.[35][36]

On April 21, 2014 Slovakia and RAC MiG signed a contract for a three years long modernization programme for the air force's MiG-29 fighters. [37][38][39][40]

On July 28, 2014 Slovakian Minister of Defence Martin Glváč[41] confirmed that the JAS-39 Gripen was selected as the new fighter aircraft for the Slovak Air Force.[42]

Bases and Commands

Aviation assets are divided between three major air bases throughout the country, at Malacky-Kuchyňa, Sliač, and Prešov.
The headquarters of the air force is at Zvolen.[43]

Headquarters of Slovak Air Force (Veliteľstvo Vzdušných síl OS SR), based at Zvolen[44]

Transport Wing (Dopravné krídlo), based at Malacky-Kuchyňa[45][46][47][48]

  • 1st Transport Flight (1. Dopravný roj): An-26
  • 2nd Transport Flight (2. Dopravný roj): L-410

Mixed Wing (Zmiešané krídlo), based at Sliač[49]

  • 1st Squadron (1. Letka): MiG-29AS, MiG-29UBS
  • 2nd Squadron (2. Letka): L-39CM, L-39ZAM

Helicopter Wing (Vrtuľníkové krídlo), based at Prešov

  • 1st Training and SAR Squadron (1. Výcviková a LPZS letka): Mi-17 LZPS
  • 2nd Transport Helicopter Squadron (2. Dopravná vrtuľníková letka): Mi-17M

Anti-aircraft Rocket Brigade (Protilietadlová raketová brigáda), based at Nitra

  • 1st Anti-aircraft Rocket Group (1. Protilietadlová raketová skupina, Nitra): SA-10B Grumble (S-300 PMU)
  • 2nd Anti-aircraft Rocket Group (2. Protilietadlová raketová skupina, Nitra): SA-6 Gainful (2K12 Kub 2M)

Command, Control and Surveillance Brigade (Brigáda velenia, riadenia a prieskumu), based at Zvolen

Aircraft

File:Slovak Air Force MiG-29AS.JPG
A Slovak Air Force MiG-29
File:Slovakia SFOR (cropped).jpg
A Mi-8 of the Slovak Air Force

Current inventory

Aircraft Origin Type Variant In service Notes
Combat Aircraft
MiG-29 23x15px Russia multirole 8[50]
Reconnaissance
L-410 23x15px Czech Republic surveillance 1[50]
Transport
An-26 23x15px Soviet Union transport 2[50]
L-410 23x15px Czech Republic transport 6[50]
Alenia C-27J 23x15px Italy transport 2 on order[50]
Helicopters
Mil Mi-17 23x15px Russia transport 14[50]
Mil Mi-2 23x15px Russia utility 3[50]
Trainer Aircraft
Aero L-39 23x15px Czech Republic trainer 10[50]
UAV
Elbit Skylark Template:Country data Israel surveillance 5[51] assigned to the Ministry of Interior and 5th regiment of special assignment

Retired aircraft

Previous aircraft operated by the Air Force consisted of MiG-21 Fishbed fighters, Sukhoi Su-25 and Sukhoi Su-22 ground attack aircraft, Tupolev Tu-154 airliners, Aero L-29 trainers, and Mil Mi-24 helicopters. [52]

Future aircraft

The Slovakian government has given approval for the acquisition of nine Sikorsky UH-60M helicopters. The 261 million US dollars (€236.7 million) deal, would include training, logistics, spares, and maintenance, the aircraft could be delivered between 2016 to 2019.[53]

Slovakia and Sweden have signed a Letter of intent to co-operate on using the Saab JAS-39, which may lead to a potential acquisition of the type to replace aging MiG-29's.[54]

Air Defense

Name Origin Type In service Notes
SAM
S-300(SA-10) 23x15px Soviet Union SAM system 1 battery[55] one battery will have 48 missiles
2K12 Kub 23x15px Soviet Union SAM system 5 batteries[56] tracked medium-range surface-to-air missile system

See also

References

  1. ^ http://www.parlamentnykurier.sk/kur217a218-13/16.pdf
  2. ^ "The ambitions of the Slovak armed forces. Theory and reality."
  3. ^ "Trends in Slovak Republic military spending"
  4. ^ "Východiská strategického hodnotenia obrany Slovenskej republiky 2011"
  5. ^ http://www.ucps.sk/subory/Prilohy_rychle_aktuality/vychodiska_strategickeho_hodnotenia_obrany_sr.doc
  6. ^ "Na obranu pôjde v roku 2014 jedno percento HDP" 10 October 2013
  7. ^ "The Military Balance 2014"., February 05, 2014.
  8. ^ " Abonentná zmluva na prevádzku lietadiel MiG-29 na roky 2011-2016" December 3, 2011
  9. ^ SME - Petit Press, a.s. "Slovensk vzdun sily sa ete stle musia spolieha na stroje z komunizmu". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  10. ^ SME - Petit Press, a.s. "SME.sk - Sthaky MiG-29 s vyrabovan, Smer zvauje prenjom". www.sme.sk. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  11. ^ SME - Petit Press, a.s. "SME.sk - Piloti sthaiek pravdepodobne odlietaj menej hodn, ako bol pln". www.sme.sk. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  12. ^ "Galkovi ľudia podľa Glváča trpeli kanibalizovaním stíhačiek". Webnoviny.sk. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  13. ^ "Holes in Central European Skies" 23 October 2013
  14. ^ sk:Zoznam lietadiel Vzdušných síl Slovenskej republiky
  15. ^ "Biela kniha o obrane SR 2013"
  16. ^ "Ozbrojené sily nemajú praktické kroky, tvrdí Martin Fedor". Webnoviny.sk. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  17. ^ "CÉROVSKÝ: Ozbrojené sily sú vo veľmi zlej situácii". Webnoviny.sk. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  18. ^ "Ročenka MO SR 2012"
  19. ^ "Ročenka MO SR 2013"
  20. ^ "Commander of the Slovak Air Force". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  21. ^ "Hkans Aviation page - The Slovak National Uprising". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  22. ^ Slovak Insurgent Air Force
  23. ^ List of World War II aces from Slovakia
  24. ^ ed David Oliver, Eastern European Air Power, No 3 in the AFM Airpower Series, Key Publishing Ltd, Stamford, Lincs, 1990-91, p.38-41
  25. ^ John Pike. "Slovak Republic Air Force - Equipment". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  26. ^ Ed. David Donald.The Pocket Guide to Military Aircraft and the World's Air Forces. Ed. David Donald. London:Hamlyn. 2001 ISBN 0-600-60302-4
  27. ^ Slovak Air Arms
  28. ^ White October Ltd. "The Conventional Imbalance and Debate on Russian Non-Strategic Nuclear Weapons". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  29. ^ "Scramble". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  30. ^ "Situácia na Ukrajine 2013" 12 December 2013
  31. ^ SME - Petit Press, a.s. "Vrtuľníky Mi-24 vzlietli v Prešove naposledy - Spravodajstvo - presov.korzar.sme.sk". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  32. ^ Azet.sk. "Vojakov je menej. Za desať rokov klesol ich počet o 8000". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  33. ^ "Nie je obrana už dávno v kríze?!" 24 April 2011
  34. ^ "Obrana po slovensky alebo Armáda, kam ťa to dovedú...". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  35. ^ "Slovakia Plans To Acquire Fighter Jets". Defense News. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  36. ^ Stockholm TT. "Slovakien intresserat av Gripen". SvD.se. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  37. ^ http://www.janes.com/article/26739/russia-to-upgrade-slovakian-mig-29s
  38. ^ "Minister Glváč odpísal sovietske Migy, opravy by stáli veľa". Webnoviny.sk. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  39. ^ SME - Petit Press, a.s. "Slovensk armda je zvisl od ruskch dodvok". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  40. ^ P E R E X , a. s. "Nové stíhačky si armáda prenajme". Pravda.sk. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  41. ^ "Minister of Defense of the Slovak Republic". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  42. ^ "Slovakia “wants Gripen” from 2016". AIRheads↑FLY. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  43. ^ Touchdown Aviation. "Slovak Air Force". Touchdown Aviation. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  44. ^ "Scramble". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  45. ^ P E R E X , a. s. "V Kuchyni má armáda 10 lietadiel a takmer 500 zamestnancov". Pravda.sk. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  46. ^ Harro Ranter. "Malacky AB profile - Aviation Safety Network". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  47. ^ John Pike. "Malacky AB / Kuchyna Range Slovakia". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  48. ^ "Airport Photos - Malacky Air Base - LZMC - JetPhotos.Net Aviation Photos". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  49. ^ Harro Ranter. "Sliac Airport profile - Aviation Safety Network". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  50. ^ a b c d e f g h "World Air Forces 2015 pg. 28". Flightglobal Insight. 2015. Retrieved 15 May 2015. 
  51. ^ P E R E X , a. s. "Armáda kúpila bezpilotné lietadlá. Snažila sa to tajiť". Pravda.sk. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  52. ^ "World Air Forces2004 pg. 55". flightglobal.com. Retrieved 11 May 2015. 
  53. ^ "Slovakia approves deal for nine UH-60 helicopters". airrecognition.com. Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  54. ^ "Slovakia creeps closer to Gripen agreement". flightglobal.com. Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  55. ^ "Druhy techniky". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  56. ^ "M. Glv: Ostr bojov streby s pre vojakov najlepou prleitosou vyska si to, o doma cviia". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 

External links