The Slovak Air Force, known since 2002 as the Air Force of the Armed Forces of the Slovak Republic , is the aviation and air defense branch of the Slovak Armed Forces. Operating 23 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.
The Slovak Air Force is tasked with the defense of the sovereign Slovak state and the support of the nation’s ground troops. Eight Russian upgraded fighter aircraft MiG-29 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. The helicopter fleet consists of the ten Mil Mi-17. Eight Mil Mi-24 were withdrawn from service on September 20, 2011.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 15th, 2012.
The Slovak Air Force (Slovak: Slovenské vzdušné zbrane, or SVZ), between 1939 and 1945, was the air force of the short-lived World War II Slovak Republic. Its mission was to provide air support at fronts, and to protect Bratislava and metropolitan areas against enemy air attack.
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.
The SVZ took part in Axis offensives in the Ukraine and Russian Central front sectors of the Eastern Front under the lead of Luftwaffe in the Stalingrad and Caucasus operations. The engagement in the cost it great losses of aircraft and personnel.
For the rest of the war the SVZ fought US Army Air Forces and Royal Air Force raids against Slovakia.
The symbol of the Slovak air force was a blue and white cross similar to the German Balkenkreuz, with a red disc in the centre. It was carried on the tail and wings. Engine covers were painted yellow and there was a vertical line on the fuselage.
Training aircraft were supplied by Germany and Italy. To defend Slovak air space, the air force used Messerschmitt 109 (E and G types), Avia B-534, and some other interceptor types. It was also helped by Luftwaffe units active in the area.
When Romania and the Soviet Union entered Slovakia, with some captured aircraft and defectors they organized a local Insurgent Air Force to continue the fight against Axis forces in country. Others served voluntarily in Luftwaffe units; later these air units were integrated to the reconstituted Czechoslovak Air Force after the end of the war.
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 defence duties, and the 10th Air Army, responsible for ground forces support. 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.
After the formal dissolution of Czechoslovakia on January 1st, 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. 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 1st, 1995, the air force replaced the Soviet style aviation regiment organization with the western wing and squadron system. Around 2000–2002, Slovakia gradually retired many of the older aircraft, including the entire fleet of Su-22, Su-25, and MiG-21. In 2004, the flight training academy and national aerobatic demonstration team Biele Albatrosy, both based at Košice, were disbanded.
On January 19th, 2006, the Slovak Air Force lost an Antonov An-24 in a crash.
On September 20th, 2011, all of the remaining Mil Mi-24 gunships were retired.
In January 2014, Slovakia started discussions with the Swedish Government regarding leasing or purchasing JAS-39 Gripen aircraft to replace their MiG-29 fighters.
On April 21st, 2014 Slovakia and RAC MiG signed a contract for a three years long modernization programme for the air force’s MiG-29 fighters.
On December 12th, 2018, Slovakia signed a contract to acquire 14 F-16 Block 70/72. All are to be delivered by the end of 2023.
MiG-29A Fulcrum 6829 Slovak Tiger available from Flying Tigers.
Slovak Air Force (Air Force of the Armed Forces of the Slovak Republic since 2002) MiG-29A Fulcrum was manufactured in late 1994 c/n 296053606 and delivered to the air force 1st Squadron at Sliač in January 1995 as 6829. MiG-29A 6829 was painted in a special tiger scheme to be the 2002 air show demonstrator. On June 8th and 9th 2002 the aircraft performed at the Slovak 5th International Air Display. On November 6, 2002 6829 was involved in a mid-air collision with MiG-29 6930 destroying both aircraft and killing one pilot.
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