Ukraine Air Force
The Command of The Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine is the military control body of the branch of the Armed Forces of Ukraine - The Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. In early 2005, the armed forces of Ukraine have moved to a "trividovu" structure — Army, Navy and Air Force. The main purpose of the establishment of this new type was determined by increasing the level of effectiveness of the tasks inherent in both military - Air Forces, and Air Defence Forces - by eliminating duplicative controls the overall process of protecting domestic airspace.
The Air Force of Ukraine is an essential part of the Ukrainian AF combat potential. This highly maneuverable component of the Ukrainian Armed Forces together with Air Defence Troops is assigned to protect the country's air space, defeat enemy forces in the air, perform friendly forces air support, air assault missions, troops and materiel airlift and air reconnaissance.
The main purpose of the Ukrainian Air Force reform and development is the establishment of a mission ready and small force, capable of effectively fulfilling assigned missions. It is planned to achieve this goal by: improving the structure of formations and units, improving their location, maintaining their combat potential, enhancing pilots flight skills and by modernization of military equipment.
The main task of The Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reforming and development is the creation of effective, personnel moderate aircraft force with high feasibility of allotted tasks. The achievement of this goal is planning to carry out by the improvement of organizational structure and strength, to support optimum deployment, to maintain battle potential, raising the level of aircrews skills and modernization of aircraft basic types, armaments and air supply means.
The Air Force of Ukraine is designed for: delivering air strikes at enemy units, winning operational air superiority, units and facilities, cover against enemy air strikes, air support to the Land Force and the Navy, disruption in military and state management, damage of communication, support by air reconnaissance, air drop, troops and cargo transportation by air.
By the Decree of the President of Ukraine the Air Force Day (pilots professional holiday) is celebrated annually on the last Saturday in August. The Air Force of Ukraine is one of the important guarantees to the state's integrity and independence. The Force secures safely the airspace of Ukraine.
In 1997 the Program of establishment and development of The Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine of the period till 2005 was worked out and approved by Minister of Defence of Ukraine. In 2000 the Program of reforming and development of The Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine of the period till 2005 was worked out and approved by Minister of Defence of Ukraine, according to the Decree of the President of Ukraine 927/2000 dated 28.07.2000.
By 1999 a Ukrainian air force pilot flew a mere 40 percent of the 100-110 hours required by the standard training fly program. This is really a small number in comparison with NATO's standard of 150 to 220 flight hours. The bulk of young pilots had flown a mere 100-200 hours, as against the minimum 1,000 hours a first category pilot used to fly in Soviet times. Only a fraction of air force crews, i.e. around 40 per cent of pilots, were ready to carry out combat missions. The normative ratio of pilots to aircraft is 1.5:1.
According to unofficial data, the average pilot in the Air Force of Ukraine in 2010 flew only 17 hours, which is extremely low. By 2012, the situation in the Ukrainian air force had significantly improved. The average pilot flying time had significantly increased in comparison with previous indicators and amounted to an average of 42 hours a pilot For comparison, the average annual duration of pilot in the Air Force of Russia for the same period amounted to 100-120 hours, and NATO was 120–180 hours.
After the fall of the USSR, dozens of the Tu-95 strategic bombers remained on the territory of Ukraine, where they were included in the bombing regiment in Uzin. After Ukraine had become a nuclear-free country, part of the Tu-95 fleet was either destroyed or transported to Russia in order to pay off gas debts. By 2014, at least six Tu-95 remained in Ukraine – three of them in the museums of Kiev, Poltava and Luhansk, and one bomber remained in Uzin. Another two bombers were reequipped in 2000 to serve for “ecological reconnaissance” and as reported, were located at the Nikolaev aircraft repair factory.
One of these two Tu-95 strategic bomber, owned by the Ukrainian Air Force, was put up on eBay auction. Anyone can buy the bomber, equipped to carry a nuclear weapon, for some $3 million. The bomber was built in 1987 and remained undamaged due to few flying hours (454). However, it can’t be piloted without special training. The bomber had signs of the USSR Air Force and Ukrainian Air Force tokens, The Aviationist reports. The Tu-95 MS would be transported to the ports of Odessa or Nikolaev, where a buyer is to receive it. The lot won’t be sold to citizens of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Baltic States, Africa, Central America or Oceania, in addition to several other countries, like Israel and Mexico. The seller was a German-Swiss company that allegedly supplies raw materials from Ukraine. The bomber was put on sale on March 6, 2014 and would last six days.
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