Belarus Air and Air Defense Force
Air Force and Air Defence as the armed service are intended to protect centers, regions and objects (administrative, industrial, economic), force groups against hostile air strikes, to defeat objects, military-economic potential and forces of hostile, to provide fire support and Army's combat activity. In peacetime Air Force and Air Defence is on combat duty to defend the State Frontier in air and to control use of the airspace of the Republic of Belarus. The Operational-Tactical Command exercises the direct control over subordinated troops, organizes air defence of vital objects of state and military administration, economy and forces, defends the State Frontier in its area of responsibility, trains subordinated troops and conducts combat missions jointly with forces of operational commands of the Army in operations line.
In December 2001 the transition of the armed forces to the two-fold structure - Ground Forces, and the Air Force (VVS) and Troops of Air Defense (PVO) -- was completed. The VVS and air defense forces consist of aviation, zenith rocket forces, radiotechnical troops, and also military parts and support units and maintenance/servicing.
In mid-1994 the Belarusian air force operated two interceptor regiments with MiG-23, MiG-25, and MiG-29 aircraft; three strike regiments with MiG-27, Su-17, Su-24, and Su-25 aircraft; and one reconnaissance regiment with MiG-25 and Su-24 aircraft. Four regiments had 300 helicopters, and one transport regiment had more than forty helicopters. Personnel numbered 15,800.
Belarus also had an air defense force with 11,800 personnel and 200 SA-2, SA-3, SA-5, and SA-10 surface-to-air missiles. The system was being integrated into Russia's air defenses in 1994 owing to Belarus's lack of resources.
On 5 May, 1942, on the base VVS of Western Front was formed by 1 air force. On 10 January 1949 control 1 VA on the basis of directive GSH VS OF THE USSR.ORG 120026 is renamed in control 26 VA of directive GSH VS OF THE USSR 1980.314/1/00170 control 26 VA was re-formed in control VVS of Belorussian military district.From 1 May, 1988, by the order of the Minister/Secretary of Defense OF THE USSR 1988.0018 control VVS BVO are re-formed in control 26 VA.
From 15 June, 1992, by the order of the Minister/Secretary of Defense of republic Belarus'.05 on the base of control 26 VA is formed the command of Air Force of republic Belarus'. In 1992, after the finding of state sovereignty, republic Belarus' approached the creation of the personal armed forces air defense forces they were formed/shaped as the independent form of the armed forces on the base of 2-1 independent army of air defense forces OF THE USSR, and also - the air defense units of red banner Belorussian military district.
In accordance with the decision of Supreme Soviet of republic Belarus' of 16 March, 1992, the 2-4 independent army PVO - AIR DEFENSE- from 1st June 1992 was subordinated to the commander of air defense forces of the armed forces of republic Belarus', and from 1 August control PVO - - AIR DEFENSE- of Red Banner Belorussian Military District and 2-1 independent army PVO - AIR DEFENSE- were re-formed into the troop command PVO - AIR DEFENSE- of the armed forces of republic Belarus'. In the course of reforming the air defense system the number of military personnel PVO - - AIR DEFENSE- new military-political conditions was in connection with substantially shortened, are re-formed more than 10 connections and parts. The normative base was reviewed and brought into correspondence with the decided tasks, and the modernization of forces and air defense weapons was carried out. Due to the modernization and the organizational measures, the air defense system of republic Belarus' became more contemporary, which makes it possible more effectively and more qualitatively to manage stated problems.
In accordance with the edict of the President of republic Belarus' in the year 2001 the Air Force and troops of air defense were created as one of the forms of the armed forces of the Belarus republic. The VVS and air defense forces as the form of the armed forces are intended for the protection of centers, regions, objects (administrative, industrial, economic), groupings of troops from the impacts/shocks of enemy from air, and also for the defeat of objects, military-economic potential and hostile troops, fire support and guarantee of combat operations of ground forces.In peacetime VVS and air defense forces by the part of the forces and facilities they bear standby alert for the purpose of the protection of state boundary in air and the control of the observance of the order of the use of airspace of republic Belarus'.
Aviation VVS air defense forces consists of bomber, reconnaissance, assault, destructive, army, transport, special and is intended for: the defeat of the air weapon systems, important military-economic objects of enemy; the disorganization of stated and military control; the protection of important state, military targets and troops from air; air-ground support; the guarantee of forces of special operations; conducting aerial reconnaissance; the transportation by air of troops and of supplies; landing personnel and technology.
Bomber aviation, being armed with bombers Su-24m, is the basic VVS attack means and is intended for the defeat of the groupings of troops, aviation on the earth/ground (airfields), destroying of important military, military industrial, energy objects, communications, predominantly in the operational depth. It can also solve the problems of conducting of aerial reconnaissance and aerial mine laying.
Attack aviation, being armed with attack aircraft Su-25, is the means of the air support of troops and is intended for the defeat of troops, ground-based, mainly small size and mobile, the objects of enemy predominantly on the forward edge, in the tactical and nearest operational depth, and also for the aerial mine laying. It can solve the problems of the defeat of the helicopters (aircraft) of enemy in air, conducting aerial reconnaissance.
Fighter aviation, being armed with fighters Su-27 and MiG-29, was one of the basic means of fight with the air enemy and is intended for the damage/defeat of aircraft, helicopters, cruise missiles and unmanned vehicles of enemy in air. It also can solve problems in the defeat of the ground-based objects of enemy in the tactical and nearest operational depth and on conducting of aerial reconnaissance.
Reconnaissance aviation, being armed with aircraft Su-24mr helicopter-scouts Mi-24k, is intended for the aerial reconnaissance of enemy, locality/terrain and weather.Sometimes aircraft (helicopters) the scouts can simultaneously with conducting of reconnaissance destroy the revealed by them objects of enemy.
Army aviation, being armed with combat helicopters Mi-24, transport- combat Mi-8 and transport Mi-26, is the means of the air support of troops and is intended for the damage/defeat of kinetic energy, ground-based small size and mobile objects of enemy, predominantly on the forward edge, the air support of the combat operations of ground forces, and also for the transportation of troops and loads, landing, aerial mine laying. It can solve the problems of the damage/defeat of the helicopters (low-speed low-flying objects) of enemy in air, conducting the aerial reconnaissance and other tasks.
The cargo fleet, being armed with transport aircraft Il-76, An-12, An-26 is intended for landing the forces of special operations, transportation of troops and of supplies by air, guaranteeing of maneuver and combat operations of troops.
Belarus’ Armed Forces will soon decommission Russian-made Sukhoi Su-27 fighters, Belarusian Defense Minister Yury Zhadobin said on 19 February 2013. By that time all of Belarus’ Su-27s had been grounded. The post-Soviet nation earlier took all of its Sukhoi Su-24 Fullback fighter bombers out of service. “The Su-24 is an offensive system. Who am I supposed to attack and where? In addition, this aircraft has outlived its usefulness. The decision was made to decommission it,” Zhadobin said. The Belarusian Armed Forces will continue using its Sukhoi Su-25 Frogfoot and MiG-29 Fulcrum fighters, he added. “This year two MiG- 29s will be modernized,” the minister said.
The Air Force and Air Defence (AFAD) was established as a new service of the Belarusian Armed Forces in 2001 and became a successor of the history and glorious traditions both of the Air Force and the Air Defence Force.
The history of the Belarusian Air Defence Force goes back to 1941, when the 5th Air Defence Division was set up in Kuibyshev (now Samara, Russia) from units of the Moscow Air Defence Corps. Following a number of reorganisations, 30 June 1960 saw the establishment of the 2nd Independent Air Defence Army, which comprised the 27th Rizhsky and 11th Baranovichsky Air Defence Corps. The army was among the first equipped with the S-300 and S-200 strategic surface-to-air missile systems, as well as the Su-15 and MiG-25 interceptors.
In 1974, the 2nd Independent Air Defence Army was decorated with a major Soviet order, the Red Banner.
The Air Force of the Republic of Belarus was founded in 1992 from the 26th Air Army. The army’s combat record is closely connected with the history of the Soviet Western Front Air Force and the 1st Air Army (since May 1942). In 1949, it was renamed the 26th Air Army.
During World War II, the army’s formations participated in the Oryol and Smolensk operations, liberation of Belarus, the Baltic republics and Poland and fought in the Battle of Berlin.
In the course of the war, pilots of the Western Front and the 1st Air Army carried out 300,000 combat flights, destroying over 5,000 enemy aircraft, more than 3,000 tanks, 3,000 artillery systems and almost 30,000 vehicles.
As many as 56 pilots of this Belarusian army delivered ram attacks against enemy warplanes. Over 160 of its service members became Heroes of the Soviet Union, 18 pilots received this honorary title twice, 46 persons became full cavaliers of the Order of Glory and 18,000 personnel were decorated with various orders and medals.
Two formations and five independent regiments were awarded guards status for excellence and valour demonstrated in combat missions. 44 units were given honorary designations: Moskovskaya, Smolenskaya, Vitebskaya, Minskaya, Grodnenskaya, Konigsbergskaya and others. Eight air corps, 24 air divisions and 59 air regiments were named after 19 Belarusian towns, marking their participation in liberating Belarus.
After WWII, the army remained on duty. Military aviators accomplished their missions in Afghanistan, Korea, Vietnam, Egypt, Angola, Syria, Yemen, Ethiopia, Cuba, Laos and Cambodia.
Over 400 members of the Air Force were involved in emergency response to the Chernobyl disaster.
The Belarusian people will always remember the heroic deed of pilot Lt. Col. Vladimir Karvat, who served in the 61st Fighter Airbase. On 23 May 1996, he sacrificed his life to steer away a falling airplane from a populated area near Baranovichi. For courage and heroism while performing military duty Karvat was honoured the Hero of Belarus (posthumous) and became the first person who was awarded this title by the Belarusian President.
The new armed service appeared as a result of merger of the Air Force and the Air Defence Force. The decision was made after profound theoretical research of modern warfare techniques. The united staff of the two services was first tested in the field at the Nyoman 2001 exercise.
Lt. Gen. Oleg Paferov was appointed the first commander of the Belarusian Air Force and Air Defence as a single armed service.
On 21 December 2001, AFAD assumed a new organisation. The year 2012 saw the actual establishment of the new armed service when multiple problems were to be settled for the first time. This required additional responsibility and hard work of its personnel.
Realising the importance of operational command and control over the troops, in 2002 the Defence Ministry set up two AFAD commands, the Western Operational-Tactical Command (WOTC) and the North-Western Operational-Tactical Command (NWOTC). The commands operated in multiple exercises, raising interoperability and C2 efficiency.
AFAD is presently developing as the Armed Forces’ most important armed service, which primary mission is gaining and retaining air supremacy when countering any military threat against Belarus. Defence of the airspace is presently a critical state task and air defences together with retaliatory forces have become the decisive deterrence factor.
Belarus is developing advanced C4ISR systems and fielding them to AFAD. The systems contribute to the efficiency of command and control over the troops. C4ISR prototypes integrating air direction centres and AFAD’s Central Command Post were first tested during the Clear Sky 2003 exercise. In August 2004, the new automated control systems were employed at operational-tactical manoeuvres, which included field firing at Russia’s Ashuluk range.
Another priority line is improvement of military hardware in the inventory of AFAD. The engineers seek to enhance the systems’ performance, jamming immunity, operational capabilities and automation, apply up-to-date elements and raise the capabilities of simulators.
Today, the Belarusian Air Force and Air Defence employs well-trained professionals, has cutting-edge weapon systems and is capable to meet its challenges. The descendants of those who attained the great victory in WWII serve in AFAD now. They determine the face and the future of modern Belarus and its army.
The Air Force and Air Defence (AFAD) is a service of the Belarusian Armed Forces, designed to defend critical facilities and military forces from air attacks, destroy enemy military industrial installations and troops and support the Belarusian Army.
AIR FORCE AND AIR DEFENCE
- Air Force and Air Defence Command
- Western Operational-Tactical Command
- North-Western Operational-Tactical Command
- Independent units and organizations
In accordance with an edict of the President of Belarus in 2001, the Air Force, and Air Defense troops were created as one of the arms of the Armed Forces of Belarus. The VVS and Air Defense forces are intended to protect population centres such as cities and regions, as well as the administrative, industrial, economic interests of the Republic. They are also intended to defend troops from the impacts of enemy air attacks, and also against the attacks of hostile troops, as well as fire support and the guarantee of combat operations of ground forces.
In peacetime, VVS and Air Defense forces are on standby to protect the state boundary in the air and also control of Belarusian airspace.
The Air Force and Air Defense of the Armed Forces of Belarus are organized into six major flying regiments, including two interceptor, three strike, and a reconnaissance regiments. The air force consists of more than 18,170 personnel, though this number is being reduced. Prior to August 2010, there were 6 primary airbases: Machulishi (50th Mixed Air Base), Lida (206th Assault Air Base), Baranovichi (61st Fighter Air Base), Ross (116th Bomber-Recon Air Base), Pruzhany (181st Combat Helicopter Base), and Bereza (927th Fighter Air Base). There are 4 active airbases: Baranovichi (61st Assault Air Base), Lida (116th Guards Assault Air Base), Pruzhany (181st Combat Helicopter Base) and Machulishi (50th Mixed Air Base), now December 2011. The Air Force is responsible for all military aviation, as the Army maintains no aircraft of its own.
The Belarusian Air Force maintains close links with the Russian Air Force.
Air Defense Forces
Zenith rocket forces (ZRV) are intended for the protection from the air strikes of administrative and economic regions and centers, important state and military targets and groupings.In the arsenal ZRV are found contemporary ZRK, including unique, exceeding best foreign analogs zenith rocket systems S -300. They possess the high possibilities of the damage/defeat of contemporary air weapon systems in entire altitude range and flight speeds of targets.
Radiotechnical troops (RTV) are intended for conducting the reconnaissance in airspace, notification of the organs of military control about the air attack and guarantee with the reconnaissance information of control posts, by the combat information of connections and military parts ZRV and aviation, guarantee of flight control of aviation. They are equipped with contemporary radars and complexes of the automated means of control, which allow at any time of year and twenty-four hours under the conditions for radio-electronic opposition to detect air weapon systems at the long range and at all heights, to determine their precise coordinates, state belonging.
On 17 April 2006, Brtish journal Jane's Defence Weekly wrote that its sources report Russia isselling S-300PS anti-aicraft missile systems to Iran, using Belarus as a cut-out. Since that article was published, the Belarusian, Russian and Iranian governments have all denied that any such sales are taking place. Belarusian Defense Minister Leonid Maltsev called such reports "fantasy," and told the press that Belarus does not have the legal right to re-export the S-300s it is acquiring from Russia. Iranian Commerce Minister Massoud Mir-Kazemi told reporters in Minsk on April 21, "The question of deliveries of S-300 systems was not discussed. From the viewpoint of military technology, we are self-sufficient and there is no need for us to consider buying weapons abroad." According to international press reports, Russia has admitted it is selling Tor-M1 missile systems to Iran.
The first of four S-300PS missile systems [battalions] arrived in Minsk by special train from Russia on 21 April 2006. Belarus already had other S-300 units active -- the new S-300s will be deployed on the Polish border. There was no advance notice of this delivery. Belarus was to receive 24 S-300 launchers, and press reports claim they will go into service with the 115th Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade, headquartered in Brest. Vo Slavu Rodiny (official newspaper of the Ministry of Defense) wrote that the unit accepting the S-300PS systems, the 115th Air Defense Brigade, had prepared firing positions for the S-300s (which require different positions than the SA-3s they are replacing). The unit is also reportedly renovating barracks and the mess hall required for the expected increase in personnel.
Russia is ready to sell air defense systems S-400 to Belarus if the latter decides to buy them, Russian Air Force Chief, Colonel-General Alexander Zelin said at a session of the Air Defense Coordinating Committee under the CIS Defense Ministers Council in Moscow on 13 July 2010. “Because we have a united air defense system, if Belarus is willing to buy this system, we will naturally supply it,” said Alexander Zelin. In turn, Belarusian Air Force and Air Defense Chief, Major-General Igor Azarenok said that various schemes are under consideration to equip Belarus air force and air defense troops with defense solutions, including S-400. He said the matter cannot be decided in one day and added that buying as many S-400 systems as necessary to protect Belarus’ borders is the idea.
The Belarusian army will soon get Russian air defense missile systems Tor-M2, Major-General Piotr Tikhonovsky, Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Belarus, First Deputy Defense Minister, told media on 07 December 2011. They are on the way already and will soon enter service in the air force and air defense troops, he said. Piotr Tikhonovsky added that they had finished the creation of a new Belarusian radar station Rosa. The Chief of the General Staff said that this effective tool will soon enter service, too. Asked about the possibility of getting Russian complexes Iskander, Piotr Tikhonovsky said that time will tell. “Prospects of air force outfitting are rather serious,” he added.
Russian Defense Minister Sergey Ivanov and a delegation of military officers were in Minsk 21 April 2006. In a televised meeting Ivanov announced that Russia and Belarus should sign the documents to integrate their air defense networks by the end of 2006. In practical terms, he said this means a joint air defense command would be created with the authority to deploy aircraft and air defense systems across the Russian-Belarusian border without having to wait for any political decision.
In February 2012 President Lukashenka approved an agreement with Russia establishing a Single Regional System of Air Defence. The defence ministers of the two nations had already signed the treaty three years earlier. The Russian and Belarusian presidents will jointly appoint the commander of the air defence system.
Consolidated control is an important peculiarity of the united regional air defense of Belarus and Russia, Major-General Piotr Tikhonovsky, Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Belarus, First Deputy Defense Minister, told media on 13 February 2012. “The creation of the system has been legally stipulated today. It will allow us to advance military, military and technical cooperation, cooperation in all the fields related to defense and security of the Union State,” said the General Staff Chief.
The Belarusian-Russian agreement on joint protection of the external border of the Union State in the air space and the creation of a united regional Belarusian-Russian air defense system was approved by the President of Belarus earlier on 13 February. “The agreement has been ratified by the Russian side, too. In essence the regional air defense system has become a component of [the Belarusian-Russian] force grouping, of the united CIS air defense system,” said the Major-General.
The united air defense system is supposed to integrate the means and forces used to secure the air space border of the Union State. The practical side of the system has been polished during army exercises, with the exercise Union Shield 2011 crowning the efforts. The document had been brought about due to the growing threat of terrorism. The need to detect aircraft as far away as possible has arisen. Aircraft have to be timely detected, recognized, with troops and equipment put on readiness if necessary.
The system will have to control and protect the air space border of the Union State. It will also force those, who violate flight regulations, to stop doing so. It will also provide aid to aircraft in distress. The system will improve air defense effectiveness for Belarus by 40-60%, for Russia – by 70%. The effectiveness of air defense troops management will improve by 25-27%. Combat effectiveness of the air defense system will improve by 33-35%.
Accidents and Future Plans
On 30 August 2009, an Su-27 UBM aircraft crashed on the second day of the Air Show 2009 in Radom killing both pilots.
On 20 April 2010, two MiG-29 aircraft were performing an exercise when they both collided. One managed to land safely, while the other crashed.
On 23 September 2010, two MiG-29 aircraft were performing an exercise when they both collided. One managed to land safely, while the other crashed.
On 30 November 2011, an Mi-24 helicopter crashed in a small forest near the village of Novye Zasimovichi. According to eyewitnesses, "thick fog fell the previous evening."
On 12 June 2012, an Su-25 aircraft crashed near the small village in Belarus. The pilot Nikolai Gridnyov lost control of the jet when doing exercises in low-altitude flight.
Future plans for Belarus is to buy around 18 Su-30Ks or Su-30KN, which are already outdated, according to Russia. The return of these Su-30K (originally leased by India) to Russia cannot be kept by the Russian Air Force. However, Russia can modify the aircraft for 5 million US$ a piece and Belarus can participate in the upgrade program and receive the Su-30KN in the future.
Belarus and Russia have signed a contract for the delivery of four Yak-130 Mitten light attack aircraft to Belarus in 2015.
Source: By globalsecurity.org, .mil.by and en.wikipedia.org