3rd December 2020
  • 3rd December 2020

72nd anniversary of Russian Army Aviation

By Jacek Domański on 31st October 2020
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On 28th October, the Russian Army Aviation (AA) celebrated its 72nd anniversary. On this occasion, several official celebrations were observed around the country, as well as the dedicated live-fly trainings.

The history of Russian (then Soviet) army aviation dates back to 1948, when the first helicopter squadron was formed at Serpukhov, equipped with ´Omega-3´ (G-3) rotorcraft. In its initial years, the army helicopters performed just the auxiliary tasks, as delivering mail and other documents, providing the aerial reconnaissance and correcting the artillery fire.

Progressively, with the development of helicopters and their increased capability, importance of that kind of aviation force increased. Soon, the rotorcraft were able to conduct combat missions, transport troops and to perform the search and rescue operations.

Mil Mi-8, Russian Army Aviation

In the Soviet Union, the army aviation was a part of the air force until 1990, then, in Russia, it was transferred to the army and since 1993 called the Ground Forces Aviation. In 2003, the Army Aviation returned to the structures of the Russian Air Force (later, since 2015, the Russian Aerospace Forces), being recognized as its separate branch.

Nowadays, the Russian Army Aviation is armed with a broad range of transport, multipurpose and combat helicopters. Those rotorcraft allows the AA to perform not only a variety of military task, increasing the mobility of the troops, but also to participate in missions aimed for eliminating the consequence of natural and human-made disasters.

On the eve of their professional holiday, the crews of the AA aviation training centre performed a live-fire exhibition exercise of combat against the ground targets. During this exercise, Mi-28N attack helicopters used their guided and unguided missiles, as well as the onboard cannons, to eliminate armoured and transport vehicles of the enemy.

Army Aviation Mi-8 helicopters in action

According to commander of the Russian Army Aviation, Colonel Igor Romanov, this branch of the Aerospace Forces participated in more than 840 combat exercises this year. Including the most important one, ´Kavkaz-2020´ Strategic Exercise in September. As stated by Romanov, in 2020 the AA pilots clocked 100 flying hours on the average, therefore fully achieving their annual training schedule.

On 31st October, three days after the Russian Army Aviation anniversary, the Syzran Higher Military Aviation School – the only military high school in Russia that educates helicopter pilots – organized an official ceremonial graduation of 300 army aviation pilots for the Russian Aerospace Forces and five other countries: Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Abkhazia, Mozambique and Mongolia.

According to the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, the AA pilots will start the 2021 training season in the Republic of Tuva, East Siberia. The crews of Mi-24P attack helicopters and Mi-8MTV5-1 / Mi-8AMTShV multipurpose helicopters will participate in the night-fly exercise organized in the mountainous terrain, at altitudes from 1,500 to 3,000 metres above the sea level.

Currently, the army aviation, organized as a separate branch of the armed forces, can be observed in approximately 20 countries, including Germany (German Army Aviation Corps), France (French Army Light Aviation) or Greece (Hellenic Army Aviation).

Ka-52 ´Alligator´

Mi-28 and Ka-52 combat helicopters

All photos © Russian MoD (Министерство обороны Российской Федерации), used under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. MoD press information were used.

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