Slovak Air Force

Summary

Slovak Air Force
Slovak Air Force logo.svg
Emblem of the Slovak Air Force
Founded1 January 1993; 28 years ago (1993-01-01)
Country Slovak Republic
TypeAir force
RoleAerial warfare
SizeApprox 3,200 personnel
28 aircraft
13 helicopters
Part ofSlovak Armed Forces
Garrison/HQZvolen
Commanders
Air Force CommanderBrigade General Robert Tóth[1]
Insignia
RoundelCoat of arms of Slovakia.svg Roundel of Slovakia – Low Visibility.svg
Aircraft flown
AttackL-39ZAM
FighterMiG-29AS
HelicopterMil Mi-17, UH-60M
ReconnaissanceL-410FG
TrainerL-39CM
TransportC-27J, L-410UVP-E14/20

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 23 aircraft and 10 helicopters from 3 air bases : MalackyKuchyňa, 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] Eight 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 seven Let L-410 and one Antonov An-26 transport aircraft.[13] The helicopter fleet consists of the ten Mil Mi-17.[14] Eight Mil Mi-24 were withdrawn from service on September 20, 2011.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][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]

1993–2018

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 December 12, 2018, Slovakia signed a contract to acquire 14 F-16 Block 70/72. All are to be delivered by the end of 2023.[41]

Structure

Slovak Air Force locations 2018:
Red pog.svg Fighter jets Pink pog.svg Helicopters Blue pog.svg Transports planes
Purple pog.svg Air Defense Missile unit Lightgreen pog.svg Air Operations Centre
Organization of the Slovak Air Force in 2021

Aircraft

A Slovak Air Force MiG-29
A Mi-17 of the Slovak Air Force
A retired MiG-21

Current inventory

Aircraft Origin Type Variant In service Notes
Combat Aircraft
MiG-29 Russia multirole MiG-29AS/UBS 10[46]
F-16 Fighting Falcon United States multirole F-16V 14 on order – two used for training[46]
Reconnaissance
L-410 Turbolet Czech Republic surveillance L-410FG 1[46]
Transport
Alenia C-27J Italy transport 2[46]
L-410 Turbolet Czech Republic transport L-410UVP-E 5[46]
Helicopters
Mil Mi-2 Poland utility 2[46]
Mil Mi-17 Russia transport / utility M/LPZS 13[46]
Sikorsky UH-60 United States utility UH-60M 9[46]
Trainer Aircraft
Aero L-39 Czech Republic jet trainer L-39CM/ZAM 7[46]
UAV
Elbit Skylark Israel UAV I-LEX 5[47] assigned to 5th Regiment.

Retired aircraft

Previous aircraft operated by the Air Force include the MiG-21, Sukhoi Su-22, Sukhoi Su-25, Yakovlev Yak-40, Tupolev Tu-154, Aero L-29, Antonov An-12, Antonov An-24/An-26, Mil Mi-2 and the Mil Mi-24 helicopter.[48]

Air Defense

Name Origin Type In service Notes
SAM
S-300PMU Soviet Union SAM system 1 battery One battery with 45 missiles.[49][50][51]
2K12 Kub 2M Soviet Union SAM system 5 batteries Tracked medium-range surface-to-air missile system.[49]
9K38 Igla2 Soviet Union MANPADS Man-portable infrared homing surface-to-air missile system.[49]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Bio" (PDF). www.parlamentnykurier.sk. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2014-02-02. Retrieved 2014-01-24.
  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. "Slovenske vzdune sily sa ete stle musia spolieha na stroje z komunizmu". Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  10. ^ SME – Petit Press, a.s. "SME.sk – Stihacky MiG-29 su vyrabovane, Smer zvazuje prenajom". 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. Archived from the original on January 20, 2014. 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. ^ https://spravy.pravda.sk/domace/clanok/493599-obrana-podpisala-zmluvy-na-stihacky-za-1-59-miliardy-eur/
  42. ^ https://www.scramble.nl/orbats/slovakia
  43. ^ "L-39 Albatros". 2sqn.sk. Archived from the original on 3 August 2017. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
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  45. ^ a.s., Petit Press. "The first two Black Hawks land in Slovakia". Archived from the original on 2017-09-04. Retrieved 2017-07-03.
  46. ^ a b c d e f g h i "World Air Forces 2021". Flightglobal Insight. 2021. Retrieved 7 January 2021.
  47. ^ P E R E X , a. s. "Armáda kúpila bezpilotné lietadlá. Snažila sa to tajiť". Pravda.sk. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  48. ^ "World Air Forces 1994 pg. 55". flightglobal.com. Archived from the original on 30 July 2017. Retrieved 14 December 2016.
  49. ^ a b c (www.aglo.sk), AGLO solutions. "Druhy techniky". www.plrb.mil.sk. Archived from the original on 2013-11-04. Retrieved 2013-06-07.
  50. ^ (www.aglo.sk), AGLO solutions. "Slovenské premiérové streľby na polygóne Šabla". www.vvzs.mil.sk. Archived from the original on 2016-01-25. Retrieved 2015-09-11.
  51. ^ "Brochure" (PDF). www.mosr.sk. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2017-08-17. Retrieved 2017-07-29.

External links

  • Official Homepage of the Slovak Air Force
  • Slovak Ministry of Defence page on the Slovak Air Force(en, sk)
  • Home page of Slovakia's 1 Fighter Squadron(en, sk)
  • Home page of 2nd Training Squadron, AFB Sliac(en, sk)
  • Website of the former Slovak Flight demonstration team (en, sk)
  • Website of the disbanded Slovak Military Flight Academy(sk)
  • Scramble on the Web page for the Slovak Air Force(en)
  • Aeroflight World Airforces on Slovakia(en)
  • Eagles of the Tatras: The Slovak Airforce 1939 – 1945(en)