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.
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. The bulk of young pilots had flow a mere 100-200 hours, as against the minimum 1,000 hours a first category pilot used to fly in the Soviet times. Only a fraction of air force crews, i.e. around 40 per cent of pilots, are ready to carry out combat missions.
Even upgraded aircraft will be able to fly no longer than up to the year 2015. That is to say that approximately from 2012 Ukraine will have to take practical steps to create a new combat aircraft.
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