The Russian Air Force (Russian: Военно-воздушные силы России, tr. Voyenno-Vozdushnye Sily Rossii, literally "military air forces of Russia", VVS) is a branch of the Russian Aerospace Forces, the latter being formed on 1 August 2015 with the merging of the Russian Air Force and the Russian Aerospace Defence Forces. The modern Russian Air Force was originally established on 7 May 1992 following Boris Yeltsin's creation of the Ministry of Defence; however, the Russian Federation's air force can trace its lineage and traditions back to the Imperial Russian Air Service (1912–1917) and the Soviet Air Forces (1918–1991).
|Historical Air Forces of Russia|
Emperor's Military Air Fleet (1909–1917)
Workers and Peasants Red Air Fleet (1918–1991)
Military Air Forces of the USSR (1918–1991)
Aviation of the Military Maritime Fleet (1918–1991)
Anti-Air Defence Troops (1948–1991)
Strategic Rocket Forces (1959–1991)
Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union into its fifteen constituent republics in December 1991, the aircraft and personnel of the Soviet Air Forces—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 Tupolev 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 was felt throughout the armed forces made its mark on the Russian Air Forces as well. 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 money intended for other tasks. As a result of the cutbacks, infrastructure became degraded as well, and in 1998, 40% of military airfields needed repair.
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 Forces 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 reorganised, and over 600 given a new jurisdiction. 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 3,500 aircraft changed airfields. Military Transport Aviation planes took more than 40,000 families to new residence areas.
The short-lived operational commands were abolished. Two air armies, the 37th Air Army (long-range aviation) and the 61st Air Army (former Military Transport Aviation), were established directly under the Supreme Command. The former frontal aviation and anti-aircraft forces were organised as Air Force Armies and Anti-Aircraft Defense Armies under the military district commanders. There were initially four such armies with headquarters in St.Petersburg (Leningrad Military District), Rostov-on-Don (North Caucasus Military District), Khabarovsk (Far East Military District), and Chita (Siberian Military District). Two military districts had separate Air and Air Defence Corps. When the Transbaikal Military District and Siberian Military District were merged, the 14th Air Army was reactivated to serve as the air force formation in the area.
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 1,000 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 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'. General Kornukov established the new headquarters of the force in Zarya, near Balashikha, 20 km east of the centre of Moscow, in the former PVO central command post, where the CIS common air defence system is directed from.
In December 2003 the aviation assets of the Russian Ground Forces—mostly helicopters—were transferred to the VVS, following the shooting down of a Mi-26 helicopter in Chechnya on 19 August 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 was subsequently managed by the Chief of the Department of Army Aviation. However, by 2010, it was announced that the 2003 decision to transfer Ground Force Aviation to the Air Force was reversed, with the transfer back to the Ground Forces to occur sometime in 2015 or 2016.
During the 2000s, the Air Forces continued 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 International Institute for Strategic Studies (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.
In 2007 the Russian Air Force resumed the Soviet-era practice of deploying its strategic bomber aircraft on long-range patrols. This ended a 15-year unilateral suspension due to fuel costs and other economic difficulties after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Patrols towards the North Pole, the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean were reinstated, bringing the planes often close to NATO territory, including in one instance flying over the Irish Sea between the United Kingdom and Ireland.
During the 2008 South Ossetian War, the Russian Air Force suffered losses of between four and seven aircraft due to Georgian anti-aircraft fire. The 2008 Russian military reforms were promptly announced following the war, which according to Western experts were intended to address many inadequacies discovered as a result. The reforms commenced during early 2009, in which air armies were succeeded by commands, and most air regiments becoming air bases. Aviation Week & Space Technology confirmed that the reorganisation would be completed by December 2009 and would see a 40 percent reduction in aircrew numbers.
In February 2009, the Russian newspaper Kommersant reported that 200 of the 291 MiG-29s currently in service across all Russian air arms were unsafe and would have to be permanently grounded. This action would remove from service about a third of Russia's total fighter force, some 650 aircraft. On 5 June 2009, the 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". 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.
Also in September 2009 it was reported that an East European network of the Joint CIS Air Defense System was to be set up by Russia and Belarus. This network was intended to protect the airspace of the two countries as defined in the supranational 1999 Union State treaty. Its planned composition was to include five Air Force units, 10 anti-aircraft units, five technical service and support units and one electronic warfare unit. It was to be placed under the command of a Russian or Belarusian Air Force or Air Defence Force senior commander.
In July 2010, Russian jet fighters made the first nonstop flights from European Russia to the Russian Far East. By August 2010, according to the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Air Force Aleksandr Zelin, the average flight hours of a pilot in Russian tactical aviation had reached 80 hours a year, while in army aviation and military transport aviation it exceeded 100 hours a year. On 15 August 2010, the Russian Air Force temporarily grounded its fleet of Su-25 ground attack aircraft to conduct an investigation into a crash that happened during a training mission. The Russian Defence Ministry said that the plane crashed on 6 August 2010, 60 km to the north-west of Step air base in Siberia, according to RIA Novosti.
According to the instructions of the General Staff of the Armed Forces on 1 September 2011, the unmanned aircraft of the Russian Air Force and the personnel operating them moved under the command structure of the Russian Ground Forces.
As of 2012, the Russian Air Force operated a total of 61 air bases, including 26 air bases with tactical aircraft, of which 14 are equipped with fighter aircraft. In terms of flight hours, pilots in the Western Military District averaged 125 hours over the 2012 training year. Pilots from the Kursk air base achieved an average of 150 hours, with transport aviation averaging 170 hours.
In February 2014, during the early periods of Russia's annexation of Crimea, the Russian Air Force's assets of the Southern Military District were activated and flown to the peninsula for supporting the rest of the operations.
On 1 August 2015, the Russian Air Force, along with the Russian Aerospace Defence Forces and the Air Defense Troops, were merged into a new branch of the armed forces, now officially called the Russian Aerospace Forces.
On 30 September 2015, the Russian Air Force launched a military intervention in Syria, in Syria's Homs region. On 24 November 2015, during a bombing mission, a Turkish Air Force F-16 shot down a Russian Sukhoi Su-24 that Turkey claimed had violated its airspace.
On 9 November 2020, a Russian Mil Mi-24 attack helicopter was shot down mistakenly by the Azerbaijani Armed Forces during the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war killing 2 crew members and injuring 1 more. Days later, after the signing of the ceasefire agreement, Russian peacekeepers were deployed to Nagorno-Karabakh with aviation for patrolling its borders.
Previously the highest military office until 1 August 2015.
|Commander-in-chief of the Russian Air Force||Years|
|General Pyotr Deynekin||(19 August 1992 – 22 January 1998)|
|General Anatoly Kornukov||(22 January 1998 – 21 January 2002)|
|General Vladimir Mikhaylov||(21 January 2002 – 9 May 2007)|
|Colonel General Aleksandr Zelin||(9 May 2007 – 27 April 2012)|
|Colonel General Viktor Bondarev||(6 May 2012 – 1 August 2015)|
|Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Aerospace
Forces and Commander of the Russian Air Force
|Lieutenant General Andrey Yudin||(1 August 2015 – August 2019)|
|Lieutenant General Sergey Dronov||(August 2019 – Present)|
Since the merger between the Russian Air Force and the Russian Aerospace Defence Forces on 1 August 2015, the commander of the Russian Air Force as part of the new Russian Aerospace Forces is titled Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Aerospace Forces and Commander of the Russian Air Force. Lieutenant General Andrey Yudin became the first holder of the position until he was succeeded by Lieutenant General Sergey Dronov in August 2019.
In 2009 the structure of the Russian Air Force was completely changed to a command-air base structure from the previous structure of air army-air division or corps-air regiment. The VVS is now divided to 4 operational commands, the Aerospace Defense Operational Strategic Command (seemingly primarily made up of the former Special Purpose Command), the Military Transport Aviation Command, and the Long-Range Aviation Command. This listing is a composite; the available new information covers frontline forces, and the forces of central subordination are as of approximately August 2008. Warfare.ru maintains what appears to be a reasonably up to date listing, and Combat Aircraft magazine in June 2010 listed their organisation's estimate of the new order of battle.
This listing appears to be as of June 2009:
Regional air armies
- 1st Aerospace Defence Forces Army (Moscow)
- 4th Aerospace Defense brigade (Dolgoprudnyi, Moscow Oblast)
- 5th Aerospace Defense brigade (Petrovskoe, Moscow Oblast)
- 6th Aerospace Defense brigade (Rzhev, Tver Oblast) (former 32nd Corps of PVO?)
- 6963rd aviation base (Kursk Vostochny Airport) (MiG-29SMT/UBT)
- 6968th fighter aviation base (Borisovsky Khotilovo, Tver Oblast) (Su-27, MiG-31B, MiG-31BM)
- 6th Air and Air Defence Forces Army (Voronezh) (Western Military District)
- 1st Aerospace Defense brigade (Severomorsk)
- 2nd Aerospace Defense brigade (St. Petersburg)
- 6961st aviation base (Petrozavodsk Airport) (Su-27)
- 6964th aviation base (Monchegorsk Air Base, Murmansk Oblast) (Su-24M, Su-24MR)
- 6965th aviation base (Vyazma Airport, Smolensk Oblast) (Mi-8TM, Mi-24V, Mi-28N)
- 7000th aviation base (Voronezh Malshevo Air Base) (Su-24M, Su-24MR, Su-34)
- 14th Air and Air Defence Forces Army (Yekaterinburg) (Central Military District)
- 8th Aerospace Defense brigade (Yekaterinburg)
- 9th Aerospace Defense brigade (Novosibirsk)
- 10th Aerospace Defense brigade (Chita)
- 6977th Aviation Base (Bolshoye Savino Airport, Perm Krai) (MiG-31BM)
- 6979th aviation base (Kansk Air Base, Krasnoyarsk Krai) (MiG-31BM)
- 6980th aviation base (Chelyabinsk Shagol Airport) (Su-24M)
- 6982nd aviation base (Domna Air Base, Zabaykalsky Krai) (MiG-29, Su-30SM)
- 11th Air and Air Defence Forces Army (Khabarovsk) (Eastern Military District)
- 11th Aerospace Defense brigade (Komsomolsk-na-Amur)
- 12th Aerospace Defense brigade (Vladivostok)
- 6983rd aviation base (Komsomolsk-on-Amur Airport, Khabarovsk Krai) (Su-27SM, Su-30M2, Su-35S, Su-34)
- 6988th aviation base (Khurba, Khabarovsk Krai) (Su-24M, Su-24M2, Su-24MR)
- 6989th aviation base (Vladivostok International Airport) (Su-27SM)
- 265th transport aviation base (Khabarovsk)
- 4th Air and Air Defence Forces Army – Southern Military District (former 4th and 5th Armies of VVS and PVO) (Rostov-on-Don)
- 7th Aerospace Defense brigade (Rostov-on-Don)
- 8th Aerospace Defense brigade (Yekaterinburg)
- 6970th aviation base (Morozovsk, Rostov Oblast) (Su-24M, Su-34)
- 6971st aviation base (Budyonnovsk, Stavropol Krai) (Su-25SM, Mi-8AMTSh, Mi-24V, Mi-28N)
- 6972nd aviation base (Krymsk, Krasnodar Krai) (Su-27, Mi-8, Mi-24P, Mi-28N, Ka-27)
- 6974th aviation base (Korenovsk, Krasnodar Krai) (Mi-8MTV-5, Mi-24V, Mi-35M, Mi-28N)
- 999th aviation base (Kant Air Base, Kyrgyzstan) (Su-25, Su-27, Mi-8T)
- 229th transport aviation base (Rostov-on-Don) (Mi-26(T), Mi-8AMTSh(TM))
Military Transport Aviation Command
Long-Range Aviation Command
Forces of Central Subordination
- 132nd Central Communications Center, Balashikha, Zarya airport, Moscow Oblast
- 1st Fighter-Bomber Aviation Regiment - Su-24 - Lebyazhye - absorbed by 6970th Aviation Base, 1 September 2009
- 764th Fighter Aviation Regiment - MiG-31, MiG-25PU - Bolshoye Savino Airport (Sokol)
- 8th Special Purpose Aviation Division (Chkalovsky Airport)
- 353rd Special Purpose Aviation Regiment— Chkalovsky Airport — Il-18, Il-76, Аn-12, Аn-72, Тu-134, Тu-154.
- 354th Special Purpose Aviation Regiment— Chkalovsky Airport — Il-18, Il-76, Аn-12, Аn-72, Тu-134, Тu-154.
- 206th Special Purpose Aviation Base — Chkalovsky Airport — Mi-8 helicopters.
- 223rd Flight Unit - commercial transport - Chkalovsky Airport - Il-62M, Il-76MD, Tu-134A-3, Tupolev Tu-154B-2
- 2457th Air Base of Long Range Radiolocation Detection Aircraft - A-50, A-50М - Ivanovo Severny
- 929th State Flight Test Centre (Akhtubinsk)
- 4th Centre for Combat Training and Flight Personnel Training - Lipetsk Air Base
- 968th Sevastopol Composite Training and Research Aviation Regiment, Lipetsk Air Base, fighter jets MiG-29, Su-27, Su-27M, Su-30, bombers Su-24M, Su-24M2, Su-34, reconnaissance plane Su-24MP, jammer Su-24MP, strike-fighter Su-25, Su-25T, Su-25SM
- 3958th Guards Kerch Aviation Base, Savasleyka, Nizhegorod Oblast, MiG-31.
- 185th Centre for Combat Training and Flight Personnel Training - Astrakhan
- 344th Centre for Combat Training and Flight Personnel Training - Torzhok (ground forces helicopters) (ru:344 Центр боевой подготовки и переучивания лётного состава армейской авиации)
- 924th Centre for Combat Training and Flight Personnel Training - Yegoryevsk Base UAV.
- 275th Separate research and UAV squadron instructors(Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), Yegoryevsk, Moscow Oblast. UAV Tu-143, Yak PCHELA-1T, IAI Searcher 2 .
- Russian State Scientific-Research Institute Centre for Cosmonaut Training - Zvezdnyi Goronok
- 70th Separate test and training Aviation Regiment Special Purpose — Chkalovski — Il-76 and other.
- 2881st Reserve Helicopter Base – Totskoye – Mi-24P
- 5th Independent Long-Range Reconnaissance Aviation Detachment – Voronezh (CFE and INF verification)
- 185th Centre for Combat Training and Flight Personnel Training – Astrakhan
- 118th Independent Helicopter Squadron – Chebenki (Dmitriyevka), Orenburg Oblast
- 4020th Base for Reserve Aircraft – Lipetsk
- 4215th Base for Reserve Aircraft – Chebenki
- 15th Army Aviation Brigade of the Western Military District at the airport Ostrov, Pskov Oblast
Warehouses, Storage and Maintenance Depots, Aircraft Repair Plants
(Russian: List of Aircraft Factories in Russia)
- Central Aviation Base of Rocket Armament and Ammunition, Sergiyev Posad, Moscow Oblast
- Aviation Warehouse of Rocket Armament and Ammunition, Yoshkar-Ola
- Supply and Storage Depot of Air Defense Rocket Armament, Serpukhov, Moscow Oblast
- Storage and Maintenance Depot of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Yaroslavl (Tunoshna)
- 502nd Military Equipment Maintenance Plant, Fryazevo (Noginsk-5)
- 1015th Military Equipment Maintenance Plant, Nizhniye Sergi-3, Sverdlovsk Oblast
- 1019th Military Equipment Maintenance Plant, Onokhoy-2, Buryat Republic
- 1253rd Central Radar Armament Maintenance Base, Samara-28
- 2227th Armament Maintenance and Storage Base, Trudovaya, Moscow Oblast
- 2503rd Central Base of Automated Control Systems Maintenance, Yanino-1, Leningrad Oblast
- 2529th Central Base of Armament Maintenance, Khabarovsk
- 2633rd Base of Armament Maintenance and Storage, Lyubertsy, Moscow Oblast
- 3821st Base of Armament Maintenance and Storage, Tosno, Leningrad Oblast
- 20th Aircraft Overhaul Plant, Pushkin-3 (not an inhabited locality, or name is misspelled), Leningrad Oblast
- 150th Aircraft Overhaul Plant, Lyublino-Novoye, Kaliningrad Oblast
- 419th Aircraft Overhaul Plant, Gorelovo, Leningrad Oblast
- 695th Aircraft Overhaul Plant (Factory), Aramil, Sverdlovsk Oblast
- 99th Air-Technical Equipment Plant, Ostafyevo (Shcherbinka), Moscow Oblast
- 5212nd Testing and Control (Docking?) Station, Znamensk, Astrakhan Oblast
Training and Research Organisations
- 2nd Central Scientific-Research Institute — Tver
- 13th State Scientific Research Institute "ERAT" Luberchi, Moscow Oblast
- 30th Central Scientific-Research Institute (ЦНИИ АКТ) — Shelkovo, also includes research institutes in Noginsk.
- Gagarin Military Air Academy (VVA) — Monino
- Zhukovsky Air Force Engineering Academy — Moscow
- Zhukov Command Academy of Air Defense — Tver ( branch in the St. Petersburg )
- Yaroslavl Anti-aircraft Missile Defence Institute
- Chelyabinsk Red Banner Military Aviation Institute of Navigators
- 604th Training Aviation Regiment — Chelyabinsk Shagol Airport
- Voronezh Central Military Aviation Engineering University (VCMAEU)
- Both the Irkutsk Military Aviation Engineering Institute and the Tambov Military Aviation Engineering Institute were disbanded in 2009 and transferred to VCMAEU.
- Krasnodar Military Aviation Institute (L-39Cs); by 2016, the Krasnodar Higher Military Aviation Pilots College Named for Hero of the Soviet Union A.K. Serov
- Syzran Military Aviation Institute (Mi-2, Mi-8T and Mi-24V, Ansat, Ka-226T
- 783rd Training Centre (Armavir) (MiG-29, L-39C)
- 786th Training Centre (Borisoglebsk):
- 705th Training Aviation Center for Training Flight Crews and Long-Range military transport aircraft - Balashov:
- 606th Training Aviation Regiment - Balashov
- 666th Training Aviation Regiment - Rtishchevo
- Center for anti-aircraft missile troops, Uchhoz (Gatchina-3), the Leningrad Region. Chief - Colonel Alexander Dobrovolsky.
- 357th Training Center, Belgorod. Chief - Colonel Viktor Baranov.
- 834th Centre for Signal Corps Radio and ensure, Novgorod. Chief - Colonel Vasily Fedosov.
- 874th training center (settlement) of radio engineering troops, Vladimir. Chief - Colonel Yuri Balaban.
- 902nd Training Center (settlement) of anti-aircraft missile troops Kosterevo-1, Vladimir Oblast.
Medical and athletic facilities
- State Research Institute of Aviation and Space Medicine, Moscow. Chief - Major-General Igor Ushakov.
- 5th Central Military Research Aviation Hospital, Krasnogorsk-3, Moscow Region.
- 7th Central Military Research Aviation Hospital, Moscow.
- Spa Air Force, Chemitokvadzhe, Krasnodar Krai. Chief - Colonel Theodore Barantsev.
- Central Sports Club VVS Samara. Chief - Colonel Dmitry Shlyahtin.
- 361st Center of psychophysiological training of personnel, Agha, Krasnodar region.
- 709th Center of psychophysiological training of personnel, Anapa (now Dzhubga), Krasnodar region.
- 464th Training Center for Physical Culture and Sports, Ufa, Bashkortostan.
The list of Soviet Air Force bases shows a number which are still active with the Russian Air Force.
With the Air Force now fusing into one joint service branch the personnel from the Russian Aerospace Defence Forces and their respective facilities, the following now report to the Aerospace Forces HQ:
- Space Command (Russian: Космическое командование (KK)):
- 153rd Main Trial Centre for Testing and Control of Space Means named after G.S. Titov at Krasnoznamensk (Russian: Главный испытательный центр испытаний и управления космическими средствами имени Германа Титова)
- 820th Main Centre for Missile Attack Warning (SPRN) (Russian: центр предупреждения о ракетном нападе��ии (цпрн)) in Solnechnogorsk
- 821st Main Space Surveillance Centre (SKKP) (Russian: центр контроля космического пространства (цккп)) in Noginsk-9, Moscow Oblast
Early warning of missile attack:
- Voronezh radar at Lekhtusi, Armavir, Kaliningrad, Mileshevka, Yeniseysk, Barnaul
- Daryal radar at Pechora
- Volga radar at Hantsavichy
- Dnepr radar at Balkhash, Irkutsk and Olenegorsk
- Oko early warning satellites
- Okno in Tajikistan
- Krona in Zelenchukskaya and Nakhodka
- RT-70 in Yevpatoria (since the 2014 Crimean crisis, the status of Crimea, and thus of the city of Yevpatoria which is located on Crimea, is under dispute between Russia and Ukraine; Ukraine and the majority of the international community considers Crimea and Yevpatoria an integral part of Ukraine, while Russia, on the other hand, considers Crimea and Yevpatoria an integral part of Russia) and Galenki (together with Roscosmos)
- A-135 anti-ballistic missile system
- Don-2N radar
- A-235 anti-ballistic missile system (future; after 2020)
- Liana space reconnaissance and target designation system (3 electronic reconnaissance satellites 14F145 "Lotus-C1")
- Air and Space Defence Command (Russian: Командование противовоздушной и противоракетной обороны (К ПВО И ПРО)):
- State Testing Plesetsk Cosmodrome (Russian: Государственный испытательный космодром «Плесецк» (ГИК «Плесецк»))
The precise quantitative and qualitative composition of the Russian Air Force is unknown and figures include both serviceable and unserviceable aircraft as well as those placed into storage or sitting in reserve. FlightGlobal estimated that there were about 3,947 aircraft in inventory in 2015. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the share of modern armament in the Air Force had reached about 35% during 2014. The figure was raised to 66% by late 2016 and to 72% by late 2017.
Estimates provided by the IISS show that Russian Air Force combat pilots average 60 to 100 flight hours per year and pilots flying transport aircraft average 120 flight hours per year.
As of 2014:
- 8 × Bomber squadrons (4 operating Tu-22M3/MR; 3 operating Tu-95MS; 1 operating Tu-160)
- 37 × Fighter squadrons (8 operating MiG-29; 3 operating MiG-29SMT; 11 operating the MiG-31/MiG-31BM; 10 operating Su-27; 4 operating Su-27SM1/Su-30M2; 1 operating Su-27SM3/Su-30M2)
- 27 × Attack squadrons (11 operating the Su-24M/Su-24M2; 13 operating Su-25/Su-25SM; 3 operating Su-34)
- 10 × Attack & Reconnaissance squadrons (1 operating Su-24M/MR; 8 operating Su-24MR; 1 operating Mig-25RB)
- 1 × AEW&C squadron (1 operating A-50/A50-U)
- 1 × Tanker squadron (1 operating Il-78/Il-78M)
Ranks and insignia
The Russian Air Force inherited the ranks of the Soviet Union, although the insignia and uniform were slightly altered and the old Tsarist crown and double-headed eagle were re-introduced. The Russian Air Force uses the same rank structure as the Russian Ground Forces.
|Su-35S||2||8||24||12||12||10||10||10 ||10 ||98||128|
Future of the Russian Air Force
|Beriev A-100||Russia||Jet||AWACS||1 prototype||Replacement for A-50|
|Ilyushin Il-78MD-90A||Russia||Jet||Tanker||1 prototype||Replacement for Il-78 10 ordered, production starting in 2021.|
|Ilyushin Il-112V||Russia||Propeller||Transport||2 prototypes||Replacement for An-26 & An-72|
|Ilyushin Il-276||Russia||Jet||Transport||In development||Replacement for An-12|
|Ilyushin Il-106 PAK VTA||Russia||Jet||Transport||In development||Future super-heavy transport airplane|
|Kamov Ka-60/62||Russia||Rotorcraft||Transport||2 prototypes||Certification of the Ka-62 expected to begin until the end of 2018|
|Mikoyan MiG-41||Russia||Jet||Interceptor||In study||New long-range interceptor, to replace the MiG-31 after 2025|
|Mil Mi-38T||Russia||Rotorcraft||Transport||4 prototypes||Serial production expected after 2020|
|Sukhoi Okhotnik||Russia||Jet||Stealth UCAV||1 prototype||Stealth UCAV, encompassing some technologies of the Su-57|
|Orion||Russia||Propeller||Attack UCAV||3 prototype||ordered|
|Sukhoi PAK ShA||Russia||Jet||Ground attack||In study||Project for a combat aviation complex to replace the Su-25 after 2030|
|Sukhoi Su-57||Russia||Jet||Stealth multirole||In service||78 on order for GVP (State Armaments Program) 2018-2027, 1 received as of December 2020|
|Tupolev PAK DA||Russia||Jet||Stealth bomber||In development||Future stealth strategic bomber, first flight expected in mid-2020s|
|Tupolev Tu-160M2||Russia||Jet||Bomber||1 prototype||10 on order|
|Yakovlev Yak-152||Russia||Propeller||Trainer||4 prototypes||150 on order for GVP 2018-2027|
- Awards and emblems of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation
- Orders, decorations, and medals of Russia
- Honorary titles of Russia
- List of Russian aviators
- "Russia retains world's 2nd place by active combat aircraft — research data". TASS. 11 December 2019. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
- Norwegian Baron (25 July 2016). "Russian Federation (1991-****) Military March "Авиамарш"". Archived from the original on 27 May 2018. Retrieved 4 October 2016 – via YouTube.
- Sizuoka1987 (29 May 2016). "【ロシア軍���】 航空行進曲 Авиамарш 【歌詞付き】". Archived from the original on 18 November 2018. Retrieved 4 October 2016 – via YouTube.
- La Banda Militare: Italian and International Military Music (22 September 2013). "Авиамарш (Марш Авиаторов) 2". Archived from the original on 6 October 2015. Retrieved 4 October 2016 – via YouTube.
- "US Confirms Russian Airstrikes in Syria" Archived 1 October 2015 at the Wayback Machine, September 2015.
- Russia creates new Aerospace Force service branch Archived 27 December 2015 at the Wayback Machine, janes.com, 4 August 2015
- Austin & Muraviev, The Armed Forces of Russia in Asia, Tauris, 2000, p.235
- Jeroen Brinkman, 'Russian Air Force in Turmoil,' Air Forces Monthly, No.105, December 1996, p.2, cited in Austin & Muraviev, 2000
- General Heikki Nikunen, The Current State of the Russian Air Force Archived 15 October 2009 at the Wayback Machine, last updated 2005
- Piotr Butowski, 'Russia's new air force enters a tight manoeuvre,' Jane's Intelligence Review, May 1999, p.14
- Piotr Butowski, 'Russia Rising,' Air Forces Monthly, July 2007, p.83
- Moscow Defense Brief #2, 2010 page 23
- Routledge/IISS, IISS Military Balance 2007, p.200
- "BBC NEWS, ',Russia restarts Cold War',, 17 August 2007, patrols". BBC News. 17 August 2007. Archived from the original on 13 August 2011. Retrieved 1 June 2011.
- Russia restores Soviet-era strategic bomber patrols – Putin −2 Archived 19 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine Russian News & Information Agency
- "BBC NEWS, RAF intercepted Russian planes, 30 April 2008". BBC News. 30 April 2008. Archived from the original on 3 December 2012. Retrieved 1 June 2011.
- Warfare.ru, Air Force: structure accessed May 2009
- "Russian Military Aircrew Numbers Tumble". Aviationweek.com. 16 December 2009. Retrieved 1 June 2011.[permanent dead link]
- Reuters.com, One-third Russian fighter jets old and unsafe: report Archived 15 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine Friday, 6 February 2009 5:40 am EST
- "Russian Military Weakness Increases Importance of Strategic Nuclear Forces". Cdi.org. 11 June 2009. Archived from the original on 28 August 2011. Retrieved 1 June 2011.
- "Russia upgrades bomber-ALCM force for 21st century". Upi.com. 5 January 2009. Archived from the original on 21 October 2012. Retrieved 1 June 2011.
- "18 September 2009". Asbarez.com. 10 February 1995. Archived from the original on 23 July 2011. Retrieved 1 June 2011.
- John Pike. "Russian fighter jets make first ever nonstop flight across Russia to Far East". Globalsecurity.org. Archived from the original on 3 November 2012. Retrieved 1 June 2011.
- "Радиостанция "Эхо Москвы" / Передачи / Военный совет / Суббота, 14.08.2010: Александр Зелин". Echo.msk.ru. Archived from the original on 13 June 2011. Retrieved 1 June 2011.
- Александр Зелин. "Aviation EXplorer: С-400 начнет защищать границы России в 2012 году". Aex.ru. Archived from the original on 3 May 2012. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
- ""Максимальный налет летчика в Западном военном округе превысил 215 часов в год " в блоге "Армия и Флот" – Сделано у нас". Сделано у нас. Archived from the original on 13 August 2014. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
- "In Crimea, Russia signals military resolve with new and revamped bases". reuters. 30 July 2017.
- Gordon, Helene Cooper, Michael R.; Macfarquhar, Neil (30 September 2015). "Russians Strike Targets in Syria, but Not ISIS Areas". The New York Times.
- Lydia Tomkiw (24 November 2015). "What Is A Fencer Su-24? What To Know About The Russian Plane Shot Down By Turkey". International Business Times. Archived from the original on 25 November 2015. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
- Press release (24 November 2015). "Hava sahası İletim" [Transmission of Airspace]. Turkish Armed Forces Chief of Staff (in Turkish). Archived from the original on 24 November 2015. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
- Borger, Julian (2 March 2020). "Russia committed war crimes in Syria, finds UN report". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 3 March 2020.
- "Russia deploying peacekeeping forces to Karabakh". anadolu agency. 16 November 2020.
- "Russia analyst: What are the Kremlin's priorities for 2021?". defensenews. 22 February 2021.
- "Russia's Military Modernization Plans: 2018-2027". ponarseurasia. 22 February 2021.
- Юдин Андрей Вячеславович [Yudin Andrey Vyacheslavovich] (in Russian). Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. Archived from the original on 19 June 2018. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
- "Russian Armed Forces". baummil.org. Archived from the original on 18 February 2018. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
- Dmitry Gorenburg, Air Force Structure Archived 29 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine, 7 February 2011
- Части центрального подчинения [Parts of Central Subordination]. Kommersant (in Russian). 25 August 2008. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
- Michael Holm, 1st Guards Fighter-Bomber Aviation Regiment, accessed October 2011
- Piotr Butowsky. Force Report:Russian Air Force, Air Forces Monthly, July 2007.
- Nikolay Surkov and Aleksey Ramm, "Подготовку летчиков пустят на поток (Flight Crew Training to Be Stepped Up)," Izvestiya Online, 2 October 2017. https://iz.ru/645337/nikolai-surkov-aleksei-ramm/letchikov-budut-gotovit-tysiachami via OEWatch, Vol.7, Issue 10, November 2017. See also http://www.ww2.dk/new/air%20force/division/schools/kvolty.htm.
- ""Фотофакт. Новые вертолёты Ансат-У и Ка-226 для ВВС России " в блоге "Фотофакты" – Сделано у нас". Сделано у нас. Archived from the original on 21 December 2014. Retrieved 24 December 2014.,
- "Герасимов: Приоритет в 2015 году — развитие стр��тегических ядерных сил". warfiles.ru. 29 December 2014. Archived from the original on 10 January 2015. Retrieved 7 March 2016.
- UKRAINE REPORTS RUSSIAN MILITARY ACTIVITY ON CRIMEA BORDER Archived 18 October 2016 at the Wayback Machine, Newsweek (8 August 2016)
Gutterman, Steve (18 March 2014). "Putin signs Crimea treaty, will not seize other Ukraine regions". Reuters. Reuters.com. Archived from the original on 9 July 2014. Retrieved 26 March 2014.
Ukraine crisis timeline Archived 15 July 2014 at the Wayback Machine, BBC News
UN General Assembly adopts resolution affirming Ukraine's territorial integrity Archived 4 March 2018 at the Wayback Machine, China Central Television (28 March 2014)
- "Cosmos-2528 - new Lotus-S1 electronic reconnaissance satellite". russianforces.org. 25 October 2018. Retrieved 15 August 2020.
- "9th independent Anti-Missile Defense Corps". www.ww2.dk. Archived from the original on 29 May 2013. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
- "Major powers: Our Top 10 of military aviation strength". 4 December 2015. Archived from the original on 25 September 2017. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
- "ТАСС: Армия и ОПК – Шойгу: оснащенность Российской армии современным оружием и техникой за год выросла на 7%". ТАСС. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 3 July 2015.
- "Восемь МБР приняты на вооружение в интересах РВСН во втором квартале". РИА Новости. 16 July 2015. Archived from the original on 9 October 2017. Retrieved 7 March 2016.
- "ЦАМТО / Новости / Выступление министра обороны РФ генерала а��мии Сергея Шойгу на расширенном заседании Коллегии Минобороны". www.armstrade.org. Archived from the original on 9 October 2017. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
- "Remarks by Chief of General Staff of the Russian Federation General of the Army Valery Gerasimov at the Russian Defence Ministry's board session (November 7, 2017) : Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation". eng.mil.ru. Archived from the original on 9 November 2017. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
- International Institute for Strategic Studies: The Military Balance 2014, p.186
- "24.05.2016 "Авиакор" передал очередной самолет Ан-140 Министерству обороны РФ". aviacor.ru. 24 May 2016. Archived from the original on 29 December 2016. Retrieved 15 August 2020.
- "Тихоокеанский флот получил новый транспортно-пассажирский самолет". flot.com. 15 February 2017. Retrieved 15 August 2020.
- "Российский самолет радиолокационного дозора А-100 совершил первый полет". TASS. 18 November 2017. Retrieved 15 August 2020.
- "М��нобороны до конца 2019 года закупит 35 учебно-тренировочных самолетов производства УЗГА". TASS. 25 December 2017. Retrieved 15 August 2020.
- "Серийный Ил-76МД-90А, изготовленный в АО "Авиастар-СП", успешно совершил первый полёт". aviastar-sp.ru. 15 December 2015. Retrieved 15 August 2020.
- "Минобороны переоценило транспортные самолеты". Kommersant. 28 May 2020. Retrieved 15 August 2020.
- "Минобороны имеет твердый контракт на 35 учебно-тренировочных самолетов производства УЗГА". armstrade.org. 25 December 2017. Retrieved 19 July 2019.
- "Минобороны передан второй самолет - пункт управления Ту-214 ПУ-СБУС". TASS. 20 June 2018. Retrieved 15 August 2020.
- "Итоги 2012 года в картинках: ВВС — часть 1 (самолёты)". sdelanounas.ru. 3 January 2013. Retrieved 14 July 2019.
- "Итоги 2012 года в картинках: гражданская авиация". sdelanounas.ru. 31 December 2012. Retrieved 14 July 2019.
- "Итоги 2013 года в картинках: гражданская авиация". sdelanounas.ru. 5 January 2014. Retrieved 14 July 2019.
- "Поставки военных самолетов Министерству обороны России в 2014 году". bmpd.livejournal.com. 11 January 2015. Retrieved 14 July 2019.
- "Поставки боевых самолетов в Вооруженные Силы России в 2016 году". bmpd.livejournal.com. 4 January 2017. Retrieved 14 July 2019.
- "Поставки боевых самолетов в Вооруженные Силы России в 2017 году". bmpd.livejournal.com. 5 January 2018. Retrieved 14 July 2019.
- "Поставки боевых самолетов в Вооруженные Силы России в 2018 году". bmpd.livejournal.com. 13 January 2019. Retrieved 14 July 2019.
- "В Саратовскую учебную авиабазу поступила партия новых вертолетов Ансат-У". Russian Defence Ministry. 19 December 2017. Retrieved 15 August 2020.
- "World Air Forces 2020". Flightglobal Insight. 2020. Retrieved 22 February 2020.
- "146 вертолетов Ка-52 поступят в войска до 2020 года". Archived from the original on 7 February 2018. Retrieved 5 February 2018.
- "В 2017 году Минобороны получит 12 боевых вертолетов Ка-52 "Аллигатор"". interfax.ru. 7 March 2017. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
- "Завершена приемка большого транспортного вертолета Ми-26Т для авиасоединения ВВО в Хабаровском крае". Russian Defence Ministry. 17 October 2017. Retrieved 15 August 2020.
- ""Вертолеты России" передали военным четыре новых Ми-35М и два "Ночных охотника"". TASSdate=26 January 2019. Retrieved 15 August 2020.
- "Минобороны получило семь новых боевых вертолетов". ria.ru. 3 March 2020. Retrieved 15 August 2020.
- "ВКС России получили два новейших боевых вертолета Ми-28Н��". regnum.ru. 23 June 2019. Retrieved 15 August 2020.
- "Army aviation brigade in Urals gets four Mi-24P attack helicopters". TASS. 28 October 2019. Retrieved 3 November 2019.
- "Итоги 2012 года в картинках: ВВС — часть 2 (вертолёты)". sdelanounas.ru. 2 February 2013. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
- "Производство вертолетов на КВЗ, КумАПП и ААК "Прогресс" в 2012 году". bmpd.livejournal.com. 3 April 2019. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
- "Итоги работы "Роствертола" в 2013 году". bmpd.livejournal.com. 12 June 2014. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
- "Итоги деятельности ОАО "Роствертол" в 2014 году". bmpd.livejournal.com. 12 June 2015. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
- "Новейший топливозаправщик Ил-78М-90А совершил первый полет". TASS. 25 January 2018. Retrieved 15 August 2020.
- "Russia to Build World's Biggest and Fastest Air Freighter". ruaviation.com. Archived from the original on 26 July 2018. Retrieved 11 February 2016.
- "Russia Wants to Replace its Giant An-124 Airlifters with Updated Decades-Old Design". Archived from the original on 30 December 2018. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
- "Новейший российский вертолет совершил первый перелет на остров Русский". russianhelicopters.aero. 6 September 2018. Archived from the original on 9 November 2018. Retrieved 15 August 2020.
- "Russia's MiG aircraft corporation working on fifth-generation fighter jet". TASS. 17 August 2018. Archived from the original on 11 September 2018. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
- "Состоялся первый полет нового вертолета Ми-38 с российскими двигателями ТВ7-117В". Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
- "Источник: системы БПЛА "Охотник" испытывают на Су-57". TASS. 29 January 2019. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
- "Russian air force to order Su-25 replacement". Flight Global. 21 May 2012. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
- "Минобороны и "Сухой" заключили контракт на поставку двух Су-57". TASS. 22 August 2018. Retrieved 20 July 2019.
- "Минобороны получит 76 истребителей Су-57". TASS. 27 June 2019. Retrieved 20 July 2019.
- "Russia completes work on conceptual design of next-generation strategic bomber". TASS. 22 August 2018. Archived from the original on 11 September 2018. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
- "Интерфакс-Агентство Военных Новостей". www.militarynews.ru. Archived from the original on 26 July 2018. Retrieved 2 February 2019.
- "Испытания учебно-тренировочного самолета Як-152 завершатся в июле". РИА Новости. 17 February 2016. Retrieved 7 March 2016.
- "Минобороны заказало 150 легких тренировочных самолетов Як-152". ria.ru. 7 July 2016. Archived from the original on 21 June 2018. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
- Higham, Robin (editor). Russian Aviation and Air Power in the Twentieth Century. Routledge, 1998. ISBN 0-7146-4784-5
- Palmer, Scott W. Dictatorship of the Air: Aviation Culture and the Fate of Modern Russia. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006. ISBN 0-521-85957-3
Further sources include:
- Воздушно-Космические Силы. WARFARE.BE (in Russian). Archived from the original on 13 May 2016. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
- Piotr Butowsky. Force Report:Russian Air Force, Air Forces Monthly, August 2007 issue
- Pyotr Butowski, Air Power Analysis: Russian Federation, Part 2, International Air Power Review, AIRTime Publishing, No.13, Summer 2004 (also Part 1 in a previous issue)
- the extensive list of sources at 
- Yefim Gordon, Dmitriy Komissarov, Russian Air Power, updated 2011 edition
- Yefim Gordon, Russian Air Power, 2009 edition
- Kommersant-Vlast, State of Russia's Air Forces 2008 No.33 (786) 25 August 2008 (in Russian)
- Что такое современная армия России [What is the modern army of Russia]. Vlast (in Russian). Kommersant. 7 (610). 21 February 2005. Archived from the original on 11 November 2007. Retrieved 20 September 2008.
- Aleksandr Stukalin, Mikail Lukin, ‘Vys Rossiyskaya Armiya’, Kommersant-Vlast, Moscow, Russia, (14 May 2002)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Air force of Russia.|
- Russian Air Force Official site (English)
- Kommersant-Vlast, State of Russia's Air Forces 2008 No.33 (786) 25 August 2008 (in Russian)
- VVS Order of Battle (scramble.nl)
- Photos Russian Air Force
- Russian Military Aviation
- "Russian Revival" – Russia's technological strategy for post-2010 airpower[permanent dead link]